DevonThink – The most powerful note taking application I have ever used

Truth be told, calling DevonThink a note taking app is like saying a Lamborghini is a neat car. In reality, DevonThink is a document management application which note only creates notes, but track documents, images, web pages, RSS Feeds and just about any other file you have on your system.

Originally I was stored code snippets in Boostnote and project documents in Freeter. I then had some documents tracked in Pagico and some in mini note. But that is too many notes and too many places to look for them. Then DevonThink came in and stored them all.

Since it is document centric, it stored files in it’s own database, or multiple databases. I now have a Project database, a Development database, a Review database and within each is a series of folders with notes, PDF files, documents, spreadsheets, shell scripts, document templates, diagrams, links, source code for Java and SQL, JMeter config files and every other digital note I have created.

In fact, everything goes into DevonThink because it is all searchable. I store PDF files, requirements documents, Jira links, test plans and all my project documents together. No more looking in multiple places or storing a little bit here, a little bit there.

As an example, for my latest testing project I created a new folder and created notes with links to the Jira requirements. I created notes for the SQL queries I needed to verify my results. There was a link to the test plan I was going to follow. Additionally I had a list of bug reports and outstanding issues. For reference, I had screenshots of what things should look like so I could check we had all the buttons and column headers.

This makes keeping up with the project so much easier. Everything is in one place, even if the documents are completely different.

There is also DevonThink To Go for iOS. I have a copy for my iPad which I use in meetings.

The list of features is impressive, almost overwhelming. With Black Friday sales coming up, with kids going back to school, with projects wrapping up for the end of the year, now is a great time to invest in some document sanity.

What’s more, there is a brand new version of DevonThink available. Version 3 has just come out with all new features, a new look and lots of improvements. If you collect a lot of data, DevonThink is a tool well worth investing in.

DevonThink for Mac

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Big deals over at BundleHunt

Several months ago I discovered BundleHunt and have bought several bundles of software from them. For this month they have a great selection that should interest Mac owners.

Two programs I would highly recommend off the bat are TypeIt4Me and Downie 3. Each one is listed for under $4, down from the regular price of $20.

TypeIt4Me is a tool I use every day for code snippets and text expansion. So far it has saved me hundreds of hours. It’s worth every penny at $20, it’s an absolute steal at $3.

Downie is another tool I use all the time. I use it to grab tutorial videos from Udemy and YouTube. At times, our Internet connection can be terrible, so being able to have a local copy of training material is a huge win. Again, it’s another tool that’s worth every penny at $20, but is a steal at $3.5.

Other tools to consider are DriveDX, Mosaic Pro, Project Office and Luminar 2018. These are tools I have been looking for, but to be honest, it’s an excellent selection of tools for sale and well worth checking out. I inevitably pick up 5 or 6 tools from each bundle. I’m quite keen to learn more about Project Office.

These bundles are limited time offers. Have a look and pick up great deals.

BundleHunt

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A beautiful kaleidoscope (mandala art) generator called Inspirit by EscapeMotions

I’m a huge fan of fun tools like Spirograph and kaleidoscopes. A fun filled Internet search lead me to a fantastic graphics app called “Inspirit.” In short, it makes incredibly colorful and complex mandala art circles. It then adds the kaleidoscope effect so they endlessly swirl and dance like a lava lamp.

You don’t need to know a thing about art to enjoy using Inspirit. Simply draw on the screen and the image is mirrored. Different parts of the screen produce different effects and you will absolutely lose yourself in the experimentation of patterns and color.

I have this running on a dedicated monitor at work and not only is a conversation piece, but it creates a wonderful environment. It also a great way to take a break from all the computer work and indulge in something uniquely creative.

I don’t possess drawing skills, but with Inspirit, I can create mesmerizing color patterns any time I want. And I have made several dozen already.

If you want a creative outlet, have a look at Inspirit by Escape Motions.

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A couple examples of the mandala art

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Pocket City – A great little city builder for Mac

I was a huge fan of Simcity 2000. I thought Simcity 3 was quite enjoyable. Then the music stopped and I skipped all the subsequent versions. But with Pocket City on the scene, I can now experience the same joy of city building.

Pocket City is a new game I just picked up over the weekend. And once I got started, I invested several hours into the venture. It has all the game play elements that made Simcity great. You set up residential, commercial and industrial zones. You need to play fire and police stations. To keep citizens healthy, hospitals need to be placed. To keep it all feed and watered, power stations and water towers need to go in. And things keep building from there.

I love the style of the game. The UI is easy to understand. There are the advisors to help you build and plan. If you miss the old days of Simcity, Pocket City needs to be added to your collection. And for $3.99, it’s a steal!!

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Pocket City for Mac

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A whirlwind of doom and gloom comes for my little city

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Well, didn’t see this one coming

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A shortcut to your applications with Fiplab Shortcut Bar

A pattern is emerging that I am a fan of Fiplab and the tools they make. That is true. They make several productivity tools that I find very beneficial. Another in that list is the Fiplab Shortcut Bar.

I have no shortage of apps installed, but there are a handful I use everyday. And I want to get to them quickly. Enter Shortcut Bar.

It’s a small menu bar applet that is configured to display whatever list of applications you build. Or, jump to a set of folder that you use frequently. This keeps the Dock from being overrun with icons.

In my case I have Katalon, the App Store, Coderunner, LibreOffice, MWeb, SQL Studio Pro and a few others in my dropdown list. These are the tools I go to each day.

But it’s not just for apps. It can be folders as well. It could be a training folder, a folder for test plans, or even a specific document you need to load, such as a template.

It only takes a few minutes to build the list or add folders. Once complete, it will be a quick change to click on the menu bar rather than Lanchpad to start your most common apps.

There are similar tools out there, but I have found Shortcut Bar to be very reliable. I’ve had it at work and at home for about a year. I make changes every now and again as apps get replaced or fall to the wayside. But it’s a clean list of my common tools and I like the way it works.

Shortcut Bar – Favorites at your fingertips

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