Three things I would like to see in OmniFocus 2

I have recently started trying OmniFocus 2, the new version of my favorite task management software from OmniGroup, scheduled to be released in June. While all in all I like the changes in the new version, I think three important features of OmniFocus 1 have been lost: smooth clipping from Mail,  quickly adding duration of actions, and the ability to manage project focus in Review (which is actually possible). Continue reading

Posted in Tasks | Tagged | 8 Comments

Trying Sente instead of Papers. Two annoying setbacks.

Following the disappointments with the recent version of Papers I am trying Sente 6, a competing reference and pdf management software. The initial impression is unfortunately not very good.

First, I wanted to email two references to a colleague. Papers can do this through a menu item, a right-click, and a keyboard shortcut ( ⌥⌘E). Any of these create an email message with the subject line containing the author, year and title, the bibliographic reference as the body, and the pdf file as the attachment. All you need to do is to type the recipient’s name. With Sente, I spent 15 minutes combing its User Manual and then searching the Internet for tips, before giving up and locating the PDFs in Finder to send. Am I missing something? Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Bibliographies | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

Ulysses III and TextExpander in teaching

Ullysses III, a note-taking app, stores its ‘sheets’ in hierarchical folders. It is therefore a great tool for keeping project notes, which similarly to project files are best organized in folders. I have previously described using Ullysses for responding to reviewer’s comments on a manuscript. This entry is on using Ulysses for other typical academic projects: teaching courses. Here is an example of recording notes on students’ in-class presentations.

It has always been hard for me to both concentrate on a student’s talk and take accurate notes for feedback and assessment. I used to get distracted by the discussion and as a result loose notes or miss writing down critical information. This year, a combination of TextExpander and Ulysses III has made the task much easier by automating some of the elements. Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Notes, Teaching | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Daily Rituals of Some Well-known Creative People

I came across this interesting infographic on the Huffington Post (originally created by RJ Andrews of Info We Trust) that visualizes how some important creative and intellectual figures used to structure their days.  It seems that none of them spent any of their precious time on Facebook. ;)

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Papers 3: still disappointing

I was very optimistic about the most recent build of Papers 3. The company announced some change in file management (which I could not quite understand but decided that any change would be for the better). I have also found a way to search within the Papers3 package file (another post coming). So I finally decided to give it a full try by importing my Papers2 library and starting to write with help of Papers3. So far I am sorry to report significant disappointment and regret. The version is still too buggy. In particular, it consistently fails to rename files in accordance with the publication’s data and it also fails to display correct titles of publications in the list. In addition I spent some 30 minutes trying to add eight authors to a book chapter (the app kept erasing all data). Frustrating.


Posted in Bibliographies | Tagged | 52 Comments

Tags or folders? Depends on the file.

The  introduction of tags in the latest Mac OS has re-ignited the debate on tags vs. folders (e.g. in Mac Power Users episodes 172 and 167). For the last three years, I have consistently used folders for project files and tags for reference files in academic work:

project and reference files Continue reading

Posted in Tags and folders | 9 Comments

Papers 3 is here

Papers 3 have just graduated from the beta version! Here is a couple of first quick impressions. There is a change in handling of files, which many people intensely discuss here and which is a make-or-break feature for a pdf manager. In the beta versions of Papers 3 the files in the library were virtually not accessible. Papers 3 Preferences now assure the user that the files in the library are accessible through Finder:

Library___and_Papers Continue reading

Posted in Bibliographies | Tagged | 58 Comments