My monitors must be reproducing. A few years ago, I switched from multiple monitors back to a single monitor, happy to use different Spaces to organize my desktop. Recently, though, I’ve added a second and then a third monitor into the equation (one of which is my MacBook Pro screen). The drawback of this setup is the time it takes to drag the mouse cursor from one monitor to another. Keyboard Maestro fixed this.
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A few days ago, I wrote about my first attempt at using the new and improved automation features in OmniFocus for iOS. In that attempt, I used Editorial to create a Taskpaper-formatted template that prompted me for dates. Those dates would carry over as due dates in an OmniFocus project. I’ve since tweaked that template, so that it flags the tasks, and automatically calculates defer dates based on the due dates.
UPDATE (2016-05-01): I’ve updated this template to calculate defer dates, add flags to tasks, and make the project parallel instead of sequential. You can find the updated template to download, along with an explanation, in this post.
The Omni Group released a new version of OmniFocus for iOS yesterday. That version dramatically improved automation in OmniFocus for iOS, adding support for two-way communication with other iOS apps. This was irresistible for me, so I dove in, albeit at a very basic level.
This makes so much sense, I can’t believe nobody thought of it sooner:
Project Infinite will enable users to seamlessly and securely access all their Dropbox files from the desktop, regardless of how much space they have available on their hard drives. Everything in the company’s Dropbox that you’re given access to, whether it’s stored locally or in the cloud, will show up in Dropbox on your desktop. If it’s synced locally, you’ll see the familiar green checkmark, while everything else will have a new cloud icon.
In hindsight, it is inconvenient to have to hop over to the web interface to get the full power of Dropbox. This is a step in fixing that. All your Dropbox files show up in Finder or Windows Explorer, even if they’re not really on your device. When you want a file, you just double click on it, and it will download and open.
This showed up on the Dropbox Business Bog, and the discussion focused on company usage, so I’m guess it will roll out business plans first. I’m good with that, as I have a business plan, but I’d love it if it made its way to personal accounts as well.
Every year, Federico Viticci of MacStories publishes a wish list for the next version of iOS. He’s done it again this year, and I’d love it if even half of his wishes come true. I don’t use iOS to near the extent that Federico does, so my personal wish list contains just two items, including one that I didn’t find on Federico’s list:
1) A share sheet for the Mail app. This is perhaps my biggest source of annoyance on iOS, and the reason why I constantly evaluate third party mail clients. All I want is an easy way to get content directly from the Mail app into OmniFocus and other apps. I can use Omni’s Mail Drop service for this, but with Mail Drop, I need to later go in and add projects and contexts to my tasks. Omni is also adding automation support to OmniFocus 2.14, which could make use of the share sheet even more helpful.
2) A search box in the Slide Over app picker. As more apps support split screen multitasking, the shortcomings of the Slide Over app picker become more glaring. Having to scroll, and scroll,and scroll, and scroll, and (you get the idea) just to find an app is a chore. Federico has mocked up very a great fix, with a tighter clustering of apps, the ability to search, and the ability to pin favorite apps. All three would be great, but I’d be happy with just the ability to search apps.
To see this mock up, and many others, hit the link below. I hope some influential people at Apple read MacStories.
Pretty soon, it’s going to be hard to find a bank in the U.S. that doesn’t offer Apple Pay:
Apple Pay officially expanded to its sixth country yesterday with Apple adding support for Singapore and today, the company has added support for over 50 new banks and credit unions in the United States.
Rant time: seeing an article like this just reminds me how hard it is to find merchants who accept contactless payment options like Apple Pay, at least where I’m located in Pennsylvania. It’s telling that I’m pleasantly surprised when I discover a merchant that accepts Apple Pay, instead of being disappointed when one doesn’t.
I have no clue what Apple is doing behind the scenes to get more merchants on board, so I don’t know whether the fault lies with Apple, or with merchants who are slow to adopt change. I’d love to know if Apple has any incentives, such as subsidies for new contactless payment terminals, to get smaller merchants on board.
Once you’ve used Apple Pay (or, I presume, a competing contactless payment system like Android Pay), you realize just how simple it makes the checkout process, and don’t want to go back to using cash or a credit card. That’s doubly true if you’re paying from your Apple Watch. No more fumbling around for cash or a credit card. Checkout lines would be cut in half for some merchants. My wife is probably tired of hearing me say, “this line would be gone if all these people were using Apple Pay.”
So, come on folks, what’s the hold up?
I’m way late to the game on this one. Huffduffer is a service that I’ve heard mentioned several times on different podcasts, but I recently checked it out for the first time. Huffduffer has been described as the Instapaper for audio files, and the description is appropriate. The idea behind Huffduffer is that you can take individual audio files, including individual episodes of podcasts, and easily get them into your favorite podcast client.
Eddie Smith over at Practically Efficient read my mind when he explained how the Apple Watch fits into his life.
Considering the frequency with which I’ve used the Watch every day for nearly a year now, the graph of my investment in the Watch per unit of utility is an asymptote teasing zero. For me, all of the following have been enough in Watch version 1.
He then lists 7 ways the Apple Watch works for him, and explains that his abandonment of third party apps on the Watch hasn’t diminished the ways in which the Watch is useful. Hit up the link for his list and a full explanation.
∞ I still wear the Apple Watch | Practically Efficient
The iOS version of Scrivener appears to be getting closer to seeing the light of day, as development is moving from alpha to beta testing. If that sounds familiar, it was just over a year ago that the iOS version of Scrivener entered closed beta. Alas, it was not to be, as so many bugs were found that the entire project was scrapped, and started from scratch.
Let’s hope the beta goes better this time. The founder of Scrivener on the Mac took over coding duties himself for this go-around, after using an outside developer for the last attempt.
Scrivener is one of my favorite writing apps on the Mac, especially for writing legal briefs. Scrivener’s ability to handle reference material is unparalleled among writing apps. The absence of an iPad app, though, is becoming increasingly problematic as I do more writing work on the iPad Pro. I’m crossing my fingers that soon we will be easily moving back and forth between Scrivener on the Mac and iOS.
∞ From Alpha to Beta | Literature and Latte
I’ve been using an iPad Pro for more than three months, and while my MacBook Pro is my workhouse, the iPad Pro has found an essential place in my workflow. Since I’m a couple of years overdue on posting a numbered list, here are a ten examples of how I use it.