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Rescue Me!

What is your favorite Mac productivity software? That is, those of you who are not using:


  1. text edit or Word lists
  2. hipster PDA
  3. your memory???


No, no… surely not relying just on memory! Everyone knows how busy you are – and that isn’t going to get easier as you complete here and go out into the world! So how do you keep up with everything? Here are a few of my favorites, but I have so many I may need to do another post! Did I miss one of yours?


Mindnode (both Lite and Pro versions) is everything a brainstorming app should be – and how do you know what you want to do until you explore all the possibilities? It’s lightweight, quick to open, responsive, and fun to use. Plus, for me an important point is I can customize it, but not TOO much, if you know what I mean – I can format things all day, but that doesn’t get my “to do” list to “done”! The downside? It isn’t really all that great for organizing if you have to be time and calendar based, though It works fine if you just have a big project that needs to get done – and you’re very visual!


The Omnifocus tagline is: “When You’re Ready to Get Serious About Productivity” is the complete opposite of Mindnode, but am pretty sure you could organize the invasion of a country with it. Well, maybe a small country. It’s based on the “Getting Things Done” methodology, so dear to the heart of internet geeks everywhere, but can be customizable for anyone. It’s downside is a much steeper learning curve – there have been a couple of BOOKS written about this app – although to begin using it, like all the great Omni Group’s work, is pretty straightforward and simple: you can make a simple list of things to do. But from then on, you can manipulate your “to dos” in all sorts of ways: create folders and projects to house your various lists, nest them in hierarchies 9 deep, set up recurring tasks with reminders, clip stuff from your email and the web, add pictures – though only in the notes area. The only thing Omnifocus can’t do is actually DO for you this disheartening list of 1 gazillion things you’ve now got on your plate – too bad!


The calendar field for Macs is surprisingly small, considering how much fun they are to make and how design-oriented Mac developers are. Okay, I’ll give you iCal – for a free app that comes with every Mac and the reason I went with the iPhone – they sync up beautifully – it has a lot of limitations in my book. Yes, it no longer crashes all the time – everything seems rock steady in there now – and yes, you can add tasks and import calendars and it’s super easy to use – drag a time frame and start entering data – but it could be so much more! It could have better task integration, it could let you add pictures or change the text, it could show you something besides that standard daily, weekly, and monthly view – sort of boring, if reliable. It’s the Volvo of apps…


Enter Omniplan – when PC people complain about Microsoft Project, I like to show them this sleek little beauty. Even though I have never project-managed anything huge, Omniplan makes me think I could! if you think about your schedule and all the things you have to do – your LIFE is a project to be managed, isn’t it? I mean, in the sense that you have a schedule and you can only be in one place at a time and that you also have tasks to do. Omniplan is one of the few places that shows you both. Better than a calendar because it enables you to see clearly what things are coming at you down the road and where you’d better get some work done pronto and where you can afford to coast a little; it also smoothly collapses or expands to show you all the little things to do when you need that – and the big overview picture when you need that. Of course, the downside is that you’re paying for all that sleekness – you didn’t expect to get a Jaguar for nothing, did you? And why can’t I shake this car analogy?


And I haven’t even mentioned DevonThink or some of my other favorites – until next time, what are yours?

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