Archive for November, 2008

TaskPaper 2.0 released

TaskPaperIn case you’ve been living in a box, the three most compelling options in the world of Mac task managers are: Things (if you like a simple, beautiful interface), OmniFocus (if you need lots of powerful features), and TaskPaper. TaskPaper eschews the standard feature bloat of GTD applications and provides instead the minimum tools you need to manage your tasks easily and effectively. TaskPaper task lists are plain text (so you can take and edit them just about anywhere) but enhanced with features like automatic formatting, archival of completed tasks, and easy filtering/searching of your task list. TaskPaper 2.0 adds a fantastic new search system (watch the screencast), a Things-style quick entry window to add tasks from anywhere on your computer, drag and drop organizing, a customizable theme system, Applescript support, and an even more attractive user interface.

I strongly recommend TaskPaper even to people who think their needs are met by more complicated software. There is nothing like using a minimalist tool like TaskPaper for a couple of weeks to learn exactly what features you can live without and which you desperately need in a task manager, and for many people TaskPaper will be the solution that finally gets out of their way and lets them complete their tasks rather than fiddling with them. TaskPaper 2.0 is a free upgrade to users of TaskPaper 1 (although it now requires OS 10.5), or is available for $29.95 with a free trial.

StoryMill update: 3.2

StoryMillStoryMill, my favorite place to craft longer fiction, has been updated to version 3.2. This update includes numerous improvements, but my personal favorite is the new project-wide find and replace. Although it’s been a long time in coming, StoryMill’s find and replace is possibly the best implementation I’ve ever used outside of powerful (and user-unfriendly) text editors, and uses the type of modeless window that users of Textmate or Xcode will recognize to serve up detailed and contextual information about exactly what your search has found, allowing you to make replacements with confidence. (Special Tagamac tip: if you find more hits than you were expecting, you can toggle all of the items closed by holding down option while you click any of the disclosure arrows.) Other new features include the ability to use European-style dates, Quick Look support for StoryMill files, and text zooming available in all views (rather than just the chapter view).

For a full list of changes, see the 3.2 forum announcement. StoryMill 3.2 is a free update for owners of StoryMill.

MailTags update: 2.2.2

MailTagsMailTags has been updated to version 2.2.2 (or possibly 2.2.3; the release notes disagree with the rest of the site). This minor release mainly includes enhancements to improve efficiency when working with Mail Act-On and IMAP, but also includes numerous bug fixes and adds seven days to expired trial versions for those who want to try out the new features and fixes.

For full details, check out the release notes.

VoodooPad 4 released

VoodooPadVoodooPad 4 has at last been released, and although tagging is still something of a sideshow (categories have officially been renamed from tags, but the interface is virtually identical) the update is well worth checking out. VoodooPad is one of those programs that is fantastically easy to learn (open a document, create a link for a new page; just like every wiki on the web) and yet offers so many different ways to configure it that the main limit on how you use it is your imagination.

The big new feature in VoodooPad 4 is the ability to sync documents across multiple computers (and even provide a web interface for iPhones) as long as you have a WebDAV server available (like a MobileMe iDisk). This version also includes a system-wide hotkey to append text to any page in an open document, a reworked (and very slick) interface including a single unified palette, and all of the greatness that was VoodooPad 3 still alive and kicking. I highly recommend VoodooPad for anyone who needs to store and organize just about any text-based information. For full details about the update, see the release notes. VoodooPad 4 comes in three flavors (lite, standard, pro) priced accordingly, and is available for an upgrade fee or, for those who bought version 3 after August 1, 2008, for free.

Together update: 2.2

TogetherAlthough I’ve been using it since its release, I evidently forgot to remark on the fact that Together has been updated to version 2.2 (and soon after bumped to 2.2.1). This version is a major point release that includes a mixture of new features—notably intelligent auto-tagging, the ability to nest tags in bundles, and the ability to nest groups and smart groups in folders—and a large number of minor improvements—which are frankly too numerous to list, but affect everything from groups and tabs to previews and imports and beyond.

This is another great update to an already excellent program, and since most of the big improvements have to do with how you view and use tags Together 2.2 is definitely worth another look for anyone who needs a simple way to tag and track their files. For complete details on the update, see the release notes or the 2.2 blog announcement.

Minor updates in early November

Several programs received minor updates in the tail end of October and the beginning of November. Hazel, a useful utility for automatically handling your files, was updated to version 2.2.3. This update includes minor interface changes, bug fixes, and the ability to use “match/does not match” with “Source URL/Address”. EagleFiler was updated to version 1.4.1, and then soon after to 1.4.2. 1.4.1 included numerous bug fixes and minor feature improvements and 1.4.2 fixed a couple issues that apparently slipped through the cracks. Lastly, PackRat was updated to version 1.7.5, a version which fixes two 10.5 specific problems with Applescript and the Synchronize with Backpack Automator option.

For more information, see the Hazel release notes, EagleFiler’s 1.4.1 and 1.4.2 blog posts, or PackRat’s 1.7.5 blog announcement.