Organize your life and work faster
With the flood of media sources on the Internet, staying on top of your assets isn’t so easy anymore. The tools and utilities will help you stay ahead of the curve and be more productive in the process.
Utility: Library Books 2.5
As high-tech as our lives may be, most of us still enjoy reading actual books from time to time. Library Books 2.5 ( Harold Chu ).— DM) brings your local library into the digital age by letting you see at a glance how many items you’ve checked out of the library, when they’re due, and even (in some cases) how many items you’ve requested. You can set up accounts for multiple libraries—a school and a public library, for example—or keep track of multiple people’s accounts. Library Books even integrates with iCal to remind you when your due dates are getting close, which should help you avoid fines. With nearly 200 library systems supported in the United States (plus dozens from eight other countries), there’s a chance your library is included. If you don’t see it listed, you can try one of the several included generic catalog systems (payment requested;
Utility: Spanning Sync 1.0.4
The free, Web-based Google Calendar lets you manage your schedule online. Like iCal, it lets you define multiple calendars (to keep work, personal, and family events separate, for example) and subscribe to public calendars, such as sports schedules, holidays, and movie releases. It can even send an SMS message to your mobile phone to alert you to an upcoming event—and unlike iCal, it can do so even when your computer isn’t running. Offering the best of both programs, Spanning Sync 1.0.4 ( Spanning Sync ).— JK) provides two-way synchronization between iCal and Google Calendar without requiring you to reinput data in either place. Enter your Google user name and password into Spanning Sync’s preference pane, select one or more iCal calendars, and specify which Google calendar to sync each with. Changes made on either side will be reflected in both places ($65; yearly subscription, $25;
Organization: ComicBookLover 1.2
ComicBookLover 1.2 ( Bitcartel ).— Jason Snell) is the iTunes for digital comics, letting you organize and read comic-book files stored on your hard drive. Yes, as with iTunes, those files could be illegally downloaded from the Internet. But legal downloadable comics are on the rise, and ComicBookLover is also compatible with the files on the DVD comic collections that major publishers are releasing. ComicBookLover lets you view comics in a window or in full-screen mode, offers an iTunes-style interface for filtering your collection, and lets you browse comics via its handsome cover-gallery feature ($25;
Organization: ReceiptWallet 1.1.1
If you’ve got shoeboxes full of paper receipts—or folders full of PDF versions on your Mac—ReceiptWallet 1.1.1 ( GGT Enterprises ).— DF) can help you unclutter your life. Drag your PDFs or scanned receipts into ReceiptWallet, or use one of many TWAIN-compliant scanners to scan in the paper versions directly, and the software will keep them all organized (and accessible) for you. And if you take the time to enter a few pertinent details—such as the date, the store, the amount, and a category or two—you’ll get a searchable database of your purchases that lets you immediately find any receipt. You can create smart collections based on criteria such as categories, dates, and stores—useful for putting together expense reports, maintaining warranty records, or tracking how much you’ve spent on utilities, for example. You can even export data as CSV or Quick CIF files ($30;
Education: Schoolhouse 2.1
With lots of word processing, calculation, and Web research tools available for OS X, your Mac is terrific at helping you do your homework. Now, with Schoolhouse 2.1 ( Altered Axis ).— Peter Cohen), you can use your Mac to manage your homework, too. The software uses a three-panel interface that will be familiar to anyone who has used iTunes. Smart notebooks let you filter assignments by specific criteria—for example, by due date, priority, or course name. Schoolhouse also tracks assignments, tasks, and class notes; reminds you when papers are due; calculates and graphs grades; and even lets you publish assignments online, via a Classcasting feature that works with .Mac, FTP, SFTP, and WebDAV services. You can also use Schoolhouse to track e-mail requests to your instructor (payment requested;
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