Lifecraft review: Retooled Mac journal app embraces cloud sync, iOS support

Best known for creative Mac software like iScrapbook, Labelist, and PrintLife, Chronos has spread its wings with Lifecraft a digital journal app that works on mobile devices as well. While not as full-featured as the excellent Day One, there are several compelling features that make it worth a look.

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the company’s former Daylife app, Lifecraft would be considered a “reboot” of sorts. The developer’s second crack at Mac journaling addresses grievances I had with the previous release, while enhancing the eye-catching user interface in unique ways.

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TripMode 2 review: Utility manages, blocks, and caps macOS Internet use

TripMode 2 ($8) solves the macOS user’s dilemma when tethered to a mobile data connection or using a limited-data VPN or a conference center, hotel, or coffeeshop data-restricted pass: how to keep Internet bandwidth-hungry apps from eating your data allotment, leading you to run out of high-speed data for the month or having to purchase additional units. It also helps keep those apps at bay when you’re on a slow connection.

With TripMode installed, no app or background process can communicate with the Internet unless you flip a switch next to the app’s name. In this new version, you can create profiles, either automatically when you switch among Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and tethered connections, or manually, for particular purposes, like “at a coffeeshop” or “on cellular.” There’s also a master on/off switch in its menu, and TripMode remembers by network or connection type (like USB for tethering) if you turned it off entirely the last time that connection was used.

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Timing 2.0 review: Mac software for professionals to track billable time

If you need to track your time, there are plenty of apps that can help you. Many of them are designed for freelancers who need to track billable time so they can invoice clients, but others track activity on your Mac, so you can know where your day has gone. Timing ($29, $49, or $79) combines both of these features, allowing you to easily start and stop projects, to know how much to bill, and also see which apps you use, and which websites you visit.

For many people, this latter feature is a novelty; you can see exactly how much time you spend on Facebook or Twitter, for example. But some professionals may bill time spent in a specific app or on a specific website for their clients. If this is the case, Timing can automatically add up all that time, so you don’t even need to tell the app when you’ve started working on a project and when you’ve finished.

Timing displays lots of information; in some cases, a bit too much. It takes a while to get used to this app, and fortunately the developer has a good deal of help on his website, as well as a five-day email course you can sign up for.

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