I’ve kept paper journals in the past, but never stuck with them. Filling those blank pages felt too much like a chore. Bloom Built’s superb Day One (Mac App Store link) makes keeping a journal easier than ever, thanks to smart features and a beautiful, welcoming interface.
At every turn, Day One does its best to get out of your way and let you write. The app offers helpful (if generic) prompts like “Do you have any favorite pets?” above each new entry window to get you going. These little nudges take away some of the pressure of the empty space below them. You can also fire off quick entries straight from an icon on your menubar, if opening the app itself is too much of a hassle. Day One can even gently remind you to write something; just tell it what time of day, and how often you wish it to prod you.
Unless you’ve spent a bundle to max out your Mac Pro with a couple pairs of 16GB RAM sticks, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the occasional OS X slowdown. Even with Mavericks’ smart memory management, apps can still leak precious resources, causing all but the newest Macs to feel downright sluggish at times. Memory Diag won’t necessarily take away these issues, but it’ll help you pinpoint your trouble, contain the problem and get back to work.
Apple has always offered a way to track memory usage in Activity Monitor, but Memory Diag takes that data out of the app and puts it into the menu bar. A tiny thermometer icon gives you an approximation of how much RAM is being used by your system, and you’ll find a wealth of information after clicking on it, most notably a color-coded pie chart that breaks down your memory allotment and tells you which apps are doing the most damage. A second screen shows a summary of the available memory and the amount of RAM installed in each slot, though it would be more useful if it listed the type, too.
Cooking is as much a science as it is an art—both following a strict set of instructions or creating a new dish on the spur of the moment can yield excellent results (and full bellies). Even the most extemporaneous chef, however, has a stash of favorite recipes on hand—if not for anything else, then just to draw inspiration from when the next meals comes calling.
Recipes (Mac App Store link) gives chefs of all skill levels a digital box in which they can save, consult, and find their recipes. The app offers an elegant interface that captures all the essentials elements of a recipe: basic data like name, difficulty level, and cooking time are recorded alongside step-by-step instructions and an ingredient list. A separate grocery list is also available, although, unfortunately, there is no way to populate it with a recipe’s ingredients, or to sync it with the Reminders app.
Sharing your pictures is always a risky proposition: Regardless of whether you just email them to a friend or post them on a social network, you never know when someone is going to reuse them, without your permission, in a way that you do not approve of.
Watermarker 1.3 (Mac App Store link) gives you a way to solve this problem by superimposing a mark of your choosing to an existing picture, thus “stamping” with your particular imprint. The app supports three different types of watermarks: text, an image, and strike-through (a set of diagonal lines that cross the image from opposite corners, thus making it unusable in a production scenario).
There are plenty of ways to keep track of changes made to a text document. You can use the track-changes tools built into your word processor (assuming it has them). If your needs are more sophisticated, particularly if you’re collaborating with others, you can use a sophisticated version-control system such as Github, Subversion, CVS. Or you can use a dedicated utility such as Kaleidoscope (which can compare documents, images, and even folders).
But if all you really want to track are changes to plain-text or word-processing documents, you have another simpler alternative: Draft Control (Mac App Store link). It’s dead-simple to use: You add the document you want to track to Draft Control’s My Documents list (either by clicking on the + Document button or dragging it into the Draft Control window from the Finder). Thereafter, any time you save the document, Draft Control will take a snapshot of that version; in its preview window, it color-codes all additions to and deletions from the previous version. If you want, you can give those versions descriptive labels (instead of the app’s default time-stamps). You can also organize them into folders within the Draft Control interface. (Those organizational changes don’t roll over to the OS X file-system.)
Mavericks’s Finder tags feature offers a number of benefits over the older file and folder labels, but one of the drawbacks of tags is that items are no longer colored with your preferred tag (nee label) color—you see just a tiny, colored dot next to the file name. The reason for this is clear: While you could apply only a single label to a file or folder in OS X 10.8 and earlier, you can apply multiple tags to files, so OS X wouldn’t know which of those tags to use for the item color.
Still, I really miss the colored folders of old, as I used those colors as quick-glance “Hey, this is [important/finished/etc.]” indicators. I’ve been able to restore an approximation of this feature using Erica Sadun’s $3 Folderol, which makes it quick and easy to colorize the icon of any folder.
Launch Folderol, and its window offers a row of default folder colors; click one to chose that color, or click the swatch to the right to choose any custom color using the OS X color picker. Whichever you do, your chosen color appears in the large drag-and-drop area above. Drag one or more folders into that area, and Folderol instantly gives each folder the appropriate colored-folder icon.
Flexiglass (Mac App Store link) is a neat idea for window resizing from Mac development company Nulana: it uses keyboard shortcuts and multitouch gestures to help you quickly move your windows from place to place without dragging and dropping.
In addition, you can use several keyboard shortcuts to automatically resize windows to a certain portion of the screen—for instance, centering a window, or making it expand to fill the top half of the screen only.