I'm pleased to welcome a new sponsor to the website this week, Sanebox. I've been using Sanebox for over a year now and it still saves my bacon every day. There are so many great benefits to Sanebox. First and foremost is filtering. Sanebox looks at all of my incoming email and filters it for me to appropriate mailboxes. That way, the first thing in the morning I see are only those emails that are most important. However, Sanebox can do so much more with its Black Hole service that makes unwanted email go away, forever. There is also an ingenious reminder system where you can blind copy an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the service will remind you if you don't get a response to the email within one week.
This week MacSparky is sponsored by inShort (website) (Mac App Store) (iOS App Store). inShort is is an iPhone/iPad/Mac application that lets you plan projects and processes graphically. This brings a new paradigm to process and project planning and is absolutely worth checking out. One of the more clever features is the way it allows you to embed processes and drill down to the level of detail you need at the moment.
Just today inShort released its updated version for iOS 8, which adds a widget to the Today view, displaying the last activated object and has been adapted for the new iPhone 6 screens. Want to learn more, read the developer's PDF.
This week MacSparky is sponsored by inShort (website) (Mac App Store) (iOS App Store). inShort is is an iPhone/iPad/Mac application that lets you plan projects and processes graphically. One of the more clever features is the way it allows you to embed processes and drill down to the level of detail you need at the moment. This app was built around the Theory of Constraints and is worth checking out. Want to learn more, read the developer's PDF.
This week I’m pleased to welcome back Middle Davids Artisan Candles. Dan Catlin and his team at Middle Davids understand the use of rituals to help with productivity. We all like our good coffee (or tea!), our clicky keyboards, and our clean work surfaces, but what about scent?
I burn candles while I write and I always feel that the ritual of lighting the candle is a way to tell myself “it is on” and get to work. After I’ve worked a few hours, I blow out the candle and take a break. You’ll be surprised how well this works. My favorite this month is Carribean Teakwood.
Dan, the proprietor, is a candle geek and obsesses on candles like I do productivity apps. The candles are 100% botanical soy wax, not paraffin (which is a petrochemical) and the wicks are cotton woven (no metals).
MacSparky readers are already loving their Middle Davids Candles including graphic designer Cody Jones, who explained, “Making Light helps me to define a time to lock into my creative and productive zone. Lighting that candle is one of the best parts of my workday.”
Middle Davids has a subscription plan that gets you two candles a month with 40 hours of burn time. That’s two hours of focus a day. You also get a box of wooden matches, and a sample of the next month’s scent. Give it a try. You’ll surprise yourself. Use the code “MacSparky9” (or “macsparky9”) for 20% off.
Hoban Press is sponsoring MacSparky.com this week. I’ve heard from many readers that love their new Hoban Cards pressed out of Hoban’s 1902 letterpress machine. I sure love mine. Evan and the gang are expanding.
Hoban Press specializes in custom letterpress printed items like Business Cards and Stationery. This is the best choice if you need to use your own logo or artwork. They also provide design and layout services.
Hoban Cards specializes in in minimal calling cards. This is a less expensive way to get into letterpress printing. Pick from among 12 beautiful, typographic calling card templates. These are perfect for individuals or businesses looking for a unique and classy alternative to conventional, mass produced, soulless business cards.
There is no doubt I’m a geek but I have to admit I really love handing out letterpress cards … like a gentleman. Use ‘MacSparky’ during checkout to receive free shipping.
If you have a unique product or service you'd like to advertise at MacSparky, let me know.
This week MacSparky.com is sponsored by Rocket Matter, the premier cloud-based law practice management solution. The folks at Rocket Matter get how to run your business in the Internet age and Rocket Matter is the place to go when you've finally had it with the expense and pain of trying to do it yourself. The service now even integrates with Microsoft Outlook.
This week Rocket Matter is giving away a free ebook, The Telecommuters Guide to the Galaxy. This book is full of tips and advice on how to work remotely. If you are going on vacation or just sick of spending all your time in the office, go download the book. You won't regret it.
This week MacSparky is sponsored by Rocket Matter, makers of the finest cloud-based law practice management service in the galaxy? Most recently they've released an update that lets you integrate your RocketMatter account with Microsoft Outlook. Larry and the gang just keep pushing the envelope.
Rocket Matter also has a new ebook they are giving away to MacSparky readers, Rocket Matter Case Studies, where they demonstrate how several law firms have increased productivity with cloud-based data management. Frankly, this book is useful to anyone in the service business that wants to take advantage of the cloud. Go check it out.
This week MacSparky.com is sponsored by LIFX Smart Lightbulbs. LIFX is a smart lightbulb that gives you previously unheard of control of your lighting. Each bulb is Wi-Fi enabled, controllable from your smartphone and can produce millions of colors, they are also 4 times more energy efficient that traditional bulbs.
LIFX bulbs only consume 18 watts of power, yet produces the same level of brightness as your standard 75W bulb. Control the brightness, colour, and a range of cool effects is easy on your smartphone. Each LIFX bulb is rated for 27 years at 4 hours per day which is equivalent to 40,000 hours. You'll probably move house before you need to change the light bulb again.
The LIFX bulbs support both standard Edison screw and Bayonet connectors and will work at all standard voltages around the world. The LIFX bulbs have a developer-friendly development kit which means that if you can think of a great way to control them, you can go out and build it on whatever platform you like, right now!
LIFX bulbs are shipping right now worldwide. Buy from this link and use coupon code “MacSparky” for 15% off the total cost.
This week MacSparky is sponsored by Rocket X1, Internet marketing for professional services. The Internet is the future for all businesses but can be an intimidating place if you don't know your way around. Rocket X1 puts you ahead of your competition with a combination of top-notch web hosting and design, assstance with social media, search engine optimization and public relations.
Forget about vague concepts and ideas, Rocket X1 brings real world answers and quantifiable results. Look no further and put your professional service firm on the Internet with a elegant imagery and polished messaging. Maintain your sleek identity across the web, social media, stationary, and print materials.
This week, Rocket X1 is offering a free book, Internet Marketing for Professional Services. Go get your copy and check out Rocket X1.
This week MacSparky.com is sponsored by Rocket Matter, the premier cloud-based law practice management solution. The folks at Rocket Matter get how to run your business in the Internet age and Rocket Matter is the place to go when you've finally had it with the expense and pain of trying to do it yourself. This week Rocket Matter is giving away a free ebook, The Telecommuters Guide to the Galaxy. This book is full of tips and advice on how to work remotely. If you are going on vacation or just sick of spending all your time in the office, go download the book. You won't regret it.
This week MacSparky is sponsored by Mighty Deals. Mighty deals puts together deals on some of the best tools and resources available for your Mac. This week they are featuring an email template package that includes 11 professionally designed templates from ChocoTemplates. These include over 100 color variations and over 500 layered PSD files. They are highly customizable and work with all major email clients. The templates connect with MailChimp and Campaign Monitor so you'll be able to use the templates on your next email blast. The above example is just one of the eleven you'll get, all for just $12. If you have ever sent out campaign emails or ever think you may, you should go buy these templates now.
Hoban Press is sponsoring MacSparky.com this week. I’ve heard from many readers that love their new Hoban Cards pressed out of Hoban’s 1902 letterpress machine. I sure love mine.
Hoban Cards specializes in in minimal calling cards. This is a less expensive way to get into letterpress printing. Evan has been adding new designs and he is now up to 18 beautiful, typographic calling card templates. These are perfect for individuals or businesses looking for a unique and classy alternative to conventional, mass produced, soulless business cards. For a limited time, he has a nice discount on some of the new templates.
This week MacSparky.com is sponsored by Beloved Robot, a group of app developers that get it.
Got At Idea?
Do you have an idea that will take your business to the next level? Want enable your employees to be more productive and efficient? Solving these types of problems is their specialty. They can offer you the design and development that will solve problems, not create more.
Got An App?
Do you already have an app that needs a little love? Not happy with the look and feel? Let Beloved Robots developers take a look. They pride ourselves in creating beautiful apps that will stand out in a ever more crowded App Store.
The ever growing need for mobile solutions is not going away. Don’t stand aside and let the competition beat you to the punch. Engage your customers with a stunning mobile app and let the pros at Beloved Robot help you do that. They provide strategy, design and development services to clients that is a cut above the rest.
Beloved Robot has got you covered.
This week MacSparky.com is sponsored by Rocket Matter. Rocket Matter is a fantastic cloud-based solution for running a law practice. You set up an account and log in and get back to work. You don't need to buy your own server. You don't need to install local updates. You just work and let Rocket Matter do all that back-end stuff for you. Rocket Matter continues to grow with some great features like billing, document storage, calendaring, and more. They even have an iPhone app that lets you accesses and manipulate all of your data.
If you're looking for a more efficient way to practice law, it is time to get your own Rocket Matter, walk-through. They do live demonstrations every day. Jut go to Rocket Matter and and request your very own demo. Tell them you came from MacSparky.com.
I'd like to thank Rocket Matter for sponsoring MacSparky.com this week. Are you a legal professional looking to end the insanity of broken, old-school practice management tools? Do you want to see how information based workers will manage their workflows, billings, and businesses in the future? This week, Rocket Matter is giving away a free ebook, Cloud Planet: The Mobile Lawyer to MacSparky Readers. Go get your free ebook and check out Rocket Matter.
This week MacSparky is again sponsored by MindNode. MindNode is an excellent mind mapping application that uses iCloud Sync (or Dropbox) to share your data between its iPhone, iPad, and Mac versions.
This week, I'd like to point out some of the really great functionality MindNode now has with its live outline view. This screenshot (which will expand with a tap or click) demonstrates MindNode's ability to take your mind map and display it as an outline. The outline view auto updates as you make changes to the mind map and it is a great way to see your data in two different formats. I use this function all the time. MindNode is a great combination of looks and power. If you've been curious about mind mapping, go buy it now and find out for yourself how useful this tool can be.
I'm pleased to welcome MindNode as a new sponsor at MacSparky.com. While I played with mind maps for years, I never fully appreciated them until I got an iPad. Now I'm a true believer. I've come to rely on MindNode for all of my mind mapping these days. It has a simple, clean interface and syncs over iCloud with zero hassles. Using MindNode, I can start a mind map on my iPad, polish it up on my Mac, and then add a few nodes over lunch on my phone all without any file management.
I keep MindNode in my iPad dock and spend time in the app every day as I plan ideas and big projects. Currently, I've got MindNode mind maps for the next MacSparky Field Guide, an extended letter I have to write for the day job, two legal briefs, and a series of articles I want to write for Macworld. Jumping into MindNode for little bursts of brainstorming allow me to properly cook all these ideas and projects before I start digging in on them. I've written about MindNode before. MindNode is an essential tool for me and if you haven't got on the mind mapping bandwagon yet, go get yourself a copy and try it for yourself.
This week I'd like to thank Rocket Matter for sponsoring MacSparky.com. This week Rocket Matter is giving away a free ebook, 60 Apps Every Lawyer Needs to Know. The book has some great app recommendations for anyone that works in a profession where their time is their stock-in-trade.
Rocket Matter is the innovative leader in cloud-based legal services. If you run or work in a law firm and you are tired of dealing with all of the hassles, go check out Rocket Matter that gives you calendaring, document management, billing, task management, and all the other bits it takes to practice law in one gorgeously designed web interface and a really spiffy iPhone application.
Rocket Matter just keeps getting better. Most recently they premiered their Pon Farr release, which includes evergreen retainers. Evergreen retainers are a big deal for law firms these days and now Rocket Matter has got it covered. They've also sped up Rocket Matter by over 60% through some hardware and software wizardry.
This week I'm welcoming a new sponsor to the site, Drafts. With the emergence of mobile computing, we are still figuring out exactly how to make these pocketable devices work for us. Drafts is one of those applications that just bangs you over the head with its obvious utility.
At its most basic level Drafts is an app that presents you with a blank screen and a keyboard every time you open it. Think about that for moment. When you are meeting a person or something brilliant occurs to you, there will be no friction between your brain and writing it down. There is no fiddling with the new file buttons or file naming. Just you and the cursor. Tap the drafts icon and start writing (or dictating through Siri). Drafts sits on the far right of my iPhone and iPad dock. I pop in there multiple times a day to capture ideas. This alone would make Drafts worth the price of admission but there is more.
Developer Greg Pierce has made Drafts one of the leaders of inter-app communications on iOS. Drafts is loaded with tools for you to easily do things with those bits of text right from the app. I can send them to emails and text messages but even this function goes deeper than you’d expect. You can set up common recipients and route texts or emails without any further work. For example, I’ve got a group of friends that have a Drafts texting action. I can dictate a message into Drafts, push a button, and send the text to everyone in that group. That is a simple example though. I could also send text to OmniFocus, process it in Markdown, create a calendar entry, send to Day One (my diary app), send to Byword, or process in Tweetbot. The interactions with Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive are just crazy. Also, your data will sync between your iPhone and iPad so you can capture on one device and process on another. I use the badge trick to make sure I process all my drafts every day.
Drafts has become one of my most important apps. It helps me get through the day and I'm privileged to have it as a sponsor. If you haven’t tried Drafts yet, you owe it to yourself. Head over to their website and check it out.
This week MacSparky is sponsored by Hoban Cards. Hoban Cards specializes in in minimal calling cards. This is a less expensive way to get into letterpress printing. Pick from among fifteen beautiful, typographic calling card templates. They now have designs as low as $50 (pictured below) so there really is no excuse. These are perfect for individuals or businesses looking for a unique and classy alternative to conventional, mass produced, soulless business cards. I’ve heard from many readers that love their new Hoban Cards pressed out of Hoban’s 1902 letterpress machine. I sure love mine.
Use ‘MacSparky’ during checkout to receive free shipping.