Sponsor: SaneBox and SaneReminders

I’d like to thank SaneBox for sponsoring MacSparky.com this week. SaneBox is a kick in the pants for your email. It adds a host of additional features to any email account and works with exchange, Google mail, or IMAP accounts.

There is a lot you can do with SaneBox to tame your email. One feature that a lot of users aren’t aware of is SaneReminders. Often you will send an email to someone and have some sort of expectation about a reply. That creates a pesky problem for you. Do you try and just remember to follow up on it in a week or two? Do you tie a string around your finger? Do you create a task in your task list application to remind you to check on whether or not there’s a reply? There really isn’t a simple, efficient way to handle that problem.

With SaneReminders, when you send an email to someone, you can blind copy it to SaneBox with some designated amount of time like, “1week@sanebox.com”. SaneBox then quietly watches out for a reply to that email. If you don’t get a reply within one week, you get a note from SaneBox reminding you. If you deal with a lot of people, this is a completely friction-free way to track email replies. I use this feature every day.

Learn more about all of the features of SaneBox over at SaneBox.com. If you sign up using the links in this post, you even get a nice discount. Who doesn’t want a nice discount? Thank you SaneBox for supporting MacSparky.com.

Sponsor: OmniFocus

This week I’m pleased to welcome back OmniFocus as the MacSparky.com sponsor. I always giggle a little bit when people talk to me about their “to do” apps. OmniFocus is just so much more than a “to do” manager. The application lets you track projects with powerful tools like review and context tracking. OmniFocus makes it wicked simple to capture tasks as you think of them so nothing falls to the cracks. Because it’s on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, I’m never without it. Looking back, the only times I managed to drop things are when I didn’t track them in OmniFocus.

Moreover, the gang at the Omni Group doesn’t seem to sleep. They are always coming out with new features. Very recently, OmniFocus for Mac got styles. It ships with a dark and light style but you can create your own as well. Just yesterday, they announced a mechanism to create project templates on the iPad for your OmniFocus database. It’s still in beta but will be released soon and you can trust me that I will be covering it when it does.

OmniFocus makes a difference in what I actually ship and for that I will always be grateful. Give it a try and let it make a difference for you as well.

Sponsor: Daylite

This week MacSparky.com is sponsored by Marketcircle, the developers of Daylite. Daylite is a business productivity app for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Daylite is a native app, so you don’t need an Internet connection to use it. All your information is right on your device whenever you need it. When you get an Internet connection it syncs across all your devices and your team’s devices.

A lot of people and teams use Daylite as their project management app because it organizes your contacts, calendars, tasks, projects, notes, emails, and sales in one app. It helps you plan meetings because you can see everyone’s schedule and availability. It helps you stay on top of deadlines because it highlights upcoming tasks, projects, and appointments right on your Home Screen. You never get caught off guard because you can see what’s due and coming up for the next seven days as soon as you open Daylite. 

Daylite lets you share, prioritize, and delegate tasks. You can set reminders for when things are due and get a notification when someone finished a task that you’ve assigned to them. Daylite also gives you flexible ways of sorting and organizing tasks so you can work how you want.

With Daylite you’re not stuck using it a certain way. You create your own pipelines to track many different kinds of projects at a time. You can build multiple different checklists for all the different things you work on.

Daylite makes processing your emails really quick because it integrates with Apple Mail on the Mac. From an email you can link it to a project, assign a task to a team member, or schedule a meeting – all without leaving Apple Mail.

Daylite on iPhone and iPad makes it easy for people and teams to stay on top of their tasks, calls, and meetings. It lets you see upcoming tasks and meetings, track projects, schedule follow ups, and even delegate tasks to team members back at the office. 

Daylite is used by a lot of consultants, designers, lawyers, photographers, and real estate agents. You can read their stories here. Daylite is great for an individual or team that need a solution to keep everything together in one organized place. Thanks again Daylite for your support.















Sponsor: SaneBox with $25 Discount

This week MacSparky.com is sponsored by SaneBox. I’ve been using SaneBox for years and at this point I can’t imagine email without it. There are so many great benefits to Sanebox. It filters my mail so I don’t wake up to an inbox bursting with irrelevant email. It allows me to defer email messages so they get out of the way while I am doing other things. It also lets me set reminders for outgoing emails.

One thing I've never covered, however, is SaneBox's advanced filtering features. Once you set up your SaneBox email filtering, there are some great options. 

With SaneVIP, you can give your friends and co-workers a word or phrase to add to the subject line of their email messages to push their email to the top of your list.

You can also set the SaneBox intelligence setting between Smart, Moderate, and Manual to change how aggressively SaneBox sorts your mail for you.

SaneSubjects lets you teach SaneBox about subjects that are or are not important to you and lets SaneBox do an even better job of appropriately filing related messages.

There’s also Manual Domain Filtering. Usually SaneBlackHole takes care of any Spam that gets through your net but if you are still having an issue, you can send all messages from a certain domain to the black hole. This is not just a feature for dealing with spam. You could also, for instance, sort all email from a certain domain in your “Later” box or your inbox or any other folder you create through SaneBox.

Somewhat related, you can also specifically identify certain domains that are important to you. Once you do that, SaneBox keeps an eye out for an email from that domain and treats it appropriately.

Because all of this work is done through the SaneBox service, you can use it with any email application you want and this frees you to try and switch mail apps at will.

I love using SaneBox. I’ve talked to the team at SaneBox and they are getting ridiculously high conversion rates from MacSparky readers and Mac Power Users listeners. Because of this, they are offering the highest discount they’ve ever offered just for you. If you sign up now, you get a $25 discount. That’s only good for a few more weeks so make sure to take advantage of it. To do so, go to SaneBox.com/MPU and cash in.


Sponsor: OmniOutliner

This week MacSparky is sponsored by OmniOutliner, the best outlining application I've ever used. Often people throw information at me in a jumbled mess. Not a week goes by that I don't fire up OmniOutliner on my Mac, iPad, or iPhone and bring order to chaos with an outline. Not only does OmniOutliner help me sort my own thoughts out, it also creates an attractive outline that I can share with clients to show them what I'm thinking. 

There simply is no better tool than OmniOutliner for organizing complex data. In addition to your text, OmniOutliner Outlines can include links, images, sound files, and movies. The app even has the ability to record audio while you outline. This is so useful for students.

If you've got an iPad Pro, you'll really love OmniOutliner with split screen and extensive keyboard shortcut support. I'm using this app a lot on my jumbo iPad. Thanks to OmniPresence, you can sync your outlines seamlessly between your Mac, iPad, and iPhone. A good outliner can make your work product better and this is the best outliner available on the Mac and iOS. Go check it out.

Sponsor: Billings Pro

This week MacSparky is sponsored by Marketcircle, the makers of Billings Pro - a time-tracking & invoicing app for the Mac, iPad, iPhone & Apple Watch. It’s great for freelancers and small businesses such as consultants, lawyers, designers, photographers, that need an easy way to keep track of time spent on client work and a fast way to produce professional looking invoices.

Billings Pro syncs all your devices across all your team members, so you can track time for a project while out on your iPhone while a team member tracks time on their Mac at the office. It supports 3D touch, making it quick and easy for you to start a new timer or jump to a recent one, and includes a handy widget that lets you manage your Billings Pro timers within the Notification Centre. Easily add comments to your slips so you remember all the details of the work you did during that time. 

After the work is done, Billings Pro makes it really quick and simple to invoice–whether you’re creating the invoice from your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. You just select the time slips, pick an invoice template, and send. You can also add expenses or bill by flat rate. Comments jotted down on your time slips can be added to the invoice so your client has a clear understanding of the work you did - which means you get paid faster, with fewer questions. Billings Pro customers really like the invoice templates because they are clear and professional looking – and you can further customize invoices to fit your own brand. Marketcircle is full of smart developers and designers that love the Mac an iOS and if you try this app, you’ll see their attention to detail everywhere.

Read about other Mac users using Billings Pro here or experience Billings Pro for yourself with a free 30 day trial.

Sponsor: OmniFocus

This week MacSparky is sponsored by OmniFocus. We are all busy. We all have multiple commitments. In the modern world, it is very easy to wake up in the morning with a sense of dread and foreboding. You know you have a lot of tasks to do and a lot of commitments to keep. The problem is you don’t know where to start.

OmniFocus solves that problem. It’s a task management application for big boys and big girls. I hear from readers and listeners every day that use OmniFocus to make amazing things happen in their lives. As we are entering the new year, if you are having trouble keeping up with everything, now is the time. All I ask is that you give a half day to learning OmniFocus. Watch my video or watch some of the great materials on the Omni Group’s Inside OmniFocus website. Then download the free trial and spend some time familiarizing yourself with it. Once you understand how it all works, the magic starts.

One of the great things about OmniFocus is that the development team never sleeps. They’re constantly striving to make the application better in all of its iterations. This was evidenced most recently when Apple gave it a “Best of 2015” award for their Apple Watch OmniFocus app.

Learn more directly from the Omni Group. Thank you OmniFocus for sponsoring MacSparky and all the help you give me with my task lists every day.

Sponsor: Curbi Parental Controls

The holidays are over and you may know of some little ones with shiny new iOS and Android devices. That's great. Kids should be using technology. However, they should also be subject to rational limitations. That, however, is easier said than done. Enter curbi

Curbi lets kids enjoy the Internet while at the same time protecting them from the nefarious parts. One of the great things about Curbi is that it protects kids not only your local WiFi network, but also through a cellular connection or at a friend’s house. curbi solves this problem, giving you amazing parental controls for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can easily block specific types of content or add a specific site list. curbi tracks (and can block) websites through Safari or any other iOS app that has a web browser. Perhaps even more importantly, the curbi blocks will work no matter how they access the Internet, even using their pal's home WiFi on the other side of town.

curbi also lets you set boundaries. For example, you could block social networks from 3pm to 6pm and the entire Internet from 9pm to 8am. For just $6.99 a month, you can protect all of the iOS devices in your home. curbi is the only service I’ve ever seen that can protect your kids, no matter where they are. Learn more here.

Sponsor: OmniFocus and New Screencast

This week MacSparky is sponsored by OmniFocus. The gang at the Omni Group has been hard at work at work and recently released an update that adds custom columns. This new feature gives you tons of control over what you see in your perspectives. You can learn more about custom columns from the Omni Group directly. Adding this feature wasn’t easy and the Omni Group developers explain how they pulled it off right here

I like custom columns so much that I made this short screencast. Enjoy.

Sponsor: PopClip for Mac

I’m pleased to welcome PopClip as this week’s MacSparky.com sponsor. PopClip is a Mac utility that gives you the ability to perform acts upon your text just by selecting it. Select some text and you are just one tap away from doing something clever, like changing text formatting or dialing a selected phone number. This works just like the popup tools you get on the iPhone and iPad. One of my favorite PopClip actions is putting quotes around selected text when I’m writing legal briefs.

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There are now 143 downloadable PopClip extensions that range from something as simple as converting the selected text to uppercase to something more exotic, like looking up the selected word in the urban dictionary or sort the selected text alphabetically.

For just $6.99 you can dramatically shorten the amount of time you spend formatting and otherwise working with text on your Mac. This one’s a no-brainer. Learn more at the developer’s website.

Sponsor: Hoban Cards and Hoban Press

For several years now Hoban Cards has sponsored MacSparky. I love Hoban as a sponsor because I’ve always wanted to make this site about discriminating content and products and Hoban fits the bill perfectly.


They’ve proven it once again with the third iteration of the Hoban Cards website. As always Hoban Cards give you a way to minimize the cost of letterpress printing while still getting something beautiful. The website is better than ever and there are some new templates to choose from. (I like “The Requisite Card”, pictured above.) They’ve also got some gorgeous Stationery, again reasonably priced.

If you want to do something even more unique, head over to Hoban Press and Evan will help you make something beautiful. Regardless of which route you take, use the discount code “MacSparky” for $10 off. Thanks again Hoban for sponsoring MacSparky.