GoodDay Review

From time to time I catch myself using an app on my iPhone to check for new e-mails, or to see the newest tweets, even if I am using my Mac at that moment. What I am trying to say is that mobile apps can be a perfect way to stay on top of things, and to do some tasks in just a few taps. Sure, these apps don’t come with the same functionality and advanced tools like their desktop counterparts, but there are many situations where I prefer a mobile app over its desktop version.

I guess there are a lot of people who share my opinion, and I can see that by looking at the OSX App Store and those numerous menu bar apps which emulate iPhone apps or show web services in their mobile editions. One of the latest additions to this app category is called GoodDay, and we are going to take a look at it in this article. Continue reading to see what you can expect from this app, and how it can help you in your everyday life.

GoodDay 1

Once downloaded, GoodDay is going to be showed in the OSX menu bar. Simply click on its icon and you’ll see fairly small interface which resembles the way an iPhone shows content. Here I am referring to those two large gray strips on top and bottom, which also hold some icons and functions. Every time you click on its icon, GoodDay will show you Gmail.com, and there’s no easy way to remove this. I guess this could be helpful if you’re using Gmail, so you can always get a glimpse of your inbox. In order to use some other service you’ll need to reveal the sliding menu, which will be showed if you click on a button containing three vertical bars. This will show you icons of Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Wikipedia, as well as some built-in note taking apps. Simply click on any of these icons and you’ll get to see their iOS-compatible interfaces. It actually works like just like an emulator, but it comes with a good performance.

As I’ve said in the previous paragraph, with GoodDay you’ll get to use several online services, but you can also use some built-in note taking apps. These also function as web apps, and come in a very limited functionality. There are apps for journaling, taking notes, to-do lists, and expense tracking. All of these are nicely designed, but they can’t replace any desktop app, so in case you’re really interested in a note taking app, I would suggest looking elsewhere. These are not its biggest selling points, but you also won’t find them advertising as primary features.

Even though you can use GoodDay to access your mail and several social networks, and you’ll also get some helpful utilities, I am not sure that I would pay its asking price of $10. There are a lot of similar apps in the OSX App Store which are free or which cost only a few dollars, so GoodDay certainly comes with a very uncompetitive price, which is undermining its full potential.

 

DeskConnect Review

With the introduction of iOS7 you’re able to easily exchange files between multiple iOS devices using a feature called AirDrop. This is something that OSX was able of doing for a while now, so now it is time for AirDrop on iOS to shine. It works just fine and nicely implements into iOS, but it comes with a very limited functionality. The biggest drawback is that you can’t use it to send files to your Mac, which is something that most users were really excited about. If you know Apple well enough, than you could’ve assumed that this functionality will be rolled out gradually, step by step. This is the main reason why some developers tried to offer their own solutions for transferring files between iOS and OSX, and we’re just about to take a look at one of those.

DeskConnect is a new app created to offer easy file access and transfer between your Mac and any iOS device (there’s no iPad version, but for now you can use its 2X mode). It is completely free to download and use, and you’ll need to sign-up for a free account in order to use it. There’s no limit on how many files you can send, and the only limit is that one file can be up to 100MB in size. There’s also another hidden limit, and it comes as a timeout limit on uploads, so you might not even be able to upload those 100MB files if your internet connection isn’t fast enough.

DeskConnect 2

The first step is to download DeskConnect to your OSX and iOS. On your phone this will be a regular app, while on your Mac it will exist as a menu bar application. This is the point where I need to be clear on how this service actually works, because you’ll find a lot of info that says that this app can replace AirDrop. This is not an Ad-hoc service, and it uses internet connection to exchange files, and that’s the main difference. This is basically an enhanced cloud solution, which comes with some iOS-friendly additions. This way you can send contact numbers from your Mac to your iPhone, so your phone can start a call automatically. This is the main reason why this isn’t a typical cloud storage solution.

If you’ve ever used any cloud storage to sync files, than you already know how DeskConnect works. No matter if you share files from iOS or OSX, they will stay in the cloud up to 30 days and they’ll be deleted eventually.

DeskConnect is trying to combine AirDrop functionality with some kind of cloud sync solution, which will leave most people confused, and that’s why you can read a lot of negative reviews around the web. That’s why it’s going to be very hard for this app to find its place, since is doesn’t offer anything that new or innovative. For example, if you’re already using a cloud sync solution like Dropbox, SkyDrive, or Google Drive, I don’t see a big and valid reason why someone would switch to DeskConnect. Sure, there are those small iOS-friendly features that we explained, but these are not something that will make this product more appealing.

Full Review

In case you need some help to say on top of things, than you can use your iPhone as a very reliable digital assistant. This can be done thanks to hundreds of incredibly helpful productivity apps that you can browse throughout the iOS App Store, where you can find free and paid apps to help you get started.

We already reviewed a number of popular to-do applications which are there to help you keep track of your obligations for the current day as well as the future, so today we are going to show you another interesting app which could keep you motivated towards your goal. This application is not a to-do app, nor a regular productivity app. Instead, it could be said that this is a goal tracker, which keeps track of your progress towards desired goal, and notifies you if you begin slacking off. This application is called Full, and could be purchased for $2 right from the iOS App Store.

Full 1

Full is actually a very simple app, but which could be very effective. You’ll basically need to set a monthly goal, and each time you perform that activity you’ll need to report it to this app. This way you can always see if you’re on track of your monthly goal, or if you’re just a little bit behind, or if you’re in a “danger zone”. These three categories are going to be differently colored: green, yellow, and red, and you’ll be able to see the report right after you open Full. Now let’s see how exactly this application works.

Full scr2

Once you open Full you’ll be able to add a new goal. Simply name it, and enter a number which should correspond to how many times you’d like that particular activity to occur. For example, you can say that you’d like to run five times a week, or if you’d like to read three books this month. Now simply tap on “Set Goal” and you’ll be able to see the report in the main screen. In case your goal changes, you can select the particular one and simply add or subtract the number to edit it. All these changes are going to be updated in the main screen. After a full month of use is passed, you’ll be able to review its history and see how many goals you’ve accomplished so you can make plans for the future.

Full is incredibly simple application, but if you take some time and commit to it, it will surely produce valuable results. It brings something new to the iOS App Store and opens up its own sub-category, so I am very interested to see how well this application is going to perform. I would also like to see some new features, so I’ll keep my eye on future updates, since this can fully justify its price.

Some people will see Full as an overly simple goal tracker, but I see a very good foundation for a very powerful iOS application.

NoteSuite for iOS Review

My iPad already replaced my laptop in many ways. For example, I use my iPad to review all my e-mails, to browse the web on occasion, to stay informed about the current events, and to review Word and PDF documents. These are all the things that you can easily do with your iPad, and there is an amazing selection of applications on the iOS App Store which can help you do the job.

The thing is that I always like searching for a new application that could replace the one I am using at the moment. Here I am talking about simplifying the workflow, and replacing several applications with the one that could do the job I need. For example, when it comes to reviewing and editing documents on my iPad, I use Apple’s Pages when I need to precisely design a poster, while I use some other app to review PDFs and Microsoft Office files, and more. If you’re in the same situation as I am, keep reading this article and you might find a very good solution to this problem.

NoteSuite for iOS 2

In this article I am going to introduce you to NoteSuite for iOS. If you follow articles we post on MacReview, than you probably know that we already reviewed NoteSuite for OSX. This is all-in-one text editor which comes with a great potential, but performance issues and bugs prevented it from receiving high rating. As it turns out, its iOS counterpart can be even better solution.

NoteSuite for iOS combines several roles like note taking, text processor, task management, PDF annotating, and even file management all in one single application. It could be found on the iOS App Store for only $2.

Even though NoteSuite comes with many demanding roles, it somehow manages to balance them out and create a well-designed and unified experience. No matter if you’re taking a note or annotating PDF document, there’s always going to be the same interface so you’re going to quickly learn your way around.

NoteSuite for iOS 1

Even though I am not really fond of iOS apps which try to offer all-in-one, I need to say that I was pleasantly surprised with NoteSuite. Interface and gestures are very natural and intuitive, and even though you can really do a lot with this app, you won’t get overwhelmed in the process.

When it comes to note taking, you’ll be able to write text, make sketches, insert (and even take) photos, and you can also record audio. All of these elements can be easily aligned onto one page, with great flexibility. It actually gives you all you need within one iOS text editor.

As a task manager, you can use NoteSuite to create nicely looking to-do lists. You’ll get all you might possibly need like due dates system, custom reminders, and possibility to attach notes and documents.

Finally, there’s also another very import feature and that’s ability to annotate PDFs. You can actually convert Pages and MS Office documents into PDFs, review them and add annotations, and easily send them through an e-mail.

NoteSuite comes with an amazing number of useful features, so I would recommend heading over to its official website where you can see videos and learn more about this iPad app. If you’re in need of all-in-one office-type app, this application is currently the best choice.

Task Review

Task 1During my time as a reviewer I’ve encountered a number of applications across platforms like iOS, Windows Phone, and Android as well. As even after all this time reviewing all kinds of mobile apps, I can still say with great certainty that the most beautiful apps could be found in the iOS App Store. Sure, there are some developers who are trying their best to make attractive apps for all available platforms, but somehow it turns out that iOS users tend to appreciate beautiful graphic design the most. I am trying to be as objective as possible since I’ve seen a lot of different designs and talked with developers and designers about their decisions, and because my background education is somewhat connected to graphic design.

Task 2

If you follow our reviews, than you can probably remember that we talked about a very interesting and unique to-do app named Clear. This was an application that was designed for iOS, and after it reached massive success it was also published as an OSX app. Today we are going to tell you about another interesting organizational iOS tool, which resembles Clear in many ways, but which also brings a lot of new and unique things.

The application we’re going to talk about is simply called Task and you can purchase it from the iOS App Store for only $0.99. This is a to-do list manager, but also acts as a calendar app, so it can be used both ways.

Task 3

The first time I opened Task on my iPhone I was stunned how similar it was to Clear. As I started exploring it and finding more about advanced gestures, I started to like it more and more. First, let’s see how you can use this app. Well in order to add a new item you simply need to tap anywhere on the screen. This is where you can set up exact time when you need to be reminded, and you can also choose a due date. If a due date is sometime this week, you can simply swipe days in order to choose one. You can also swipe up and reveal a full featured calendar so you can pick any date. You’ll also get to label that specific reminder as important by tapping on a small exclamation mark which will make it bold in the list of to-do items.

Once you return to a list of to-do items you’ll notice that today’s tasks are on the bottom of the iPhone’s screen. Tasks which need to be done tomorrow or any day later are on top, which does seem like a very strange design decision. This is something that many users noted as well, and even though some didn’t like it, I didn’t have any problems adjusting to it. I also need to say that I really liked this interface and that I believe that Task is one of the most beautifully designed organizational tools.

The only bad thing I’ve noticed it that Task can’t import data that’s already present on your iPhone, in Calendar and Reminders app. This is something that every new to-do app needs to be capable of, and I hope this will be resolved in a future update.

NoteSuite Review

notesuite 4Productivity apps have been very popular in the Mac App Store ever since its inception. These apps are created to help you stay on top of things, so they are usually to-do organizers which are also implementing another prominent organizing-related feature, simply to be ready to compete with other apps. Probably the best known one is Evernote, which turns out to be a real productivity powerhouse which now has versions for every possible desktop and mobile operating system, and besides that it’s packed with lots of useful features.

Trying to enter the Mac App Store by designing a productivity application seems like a very serious and not that easy task. Competition is tough, some serious companies are trying to aggressively sell their applications, and prices are great for an end-user (which usually means it’s hard for a new developer to earn a profit). These are all reasons why I am always interested to review a new productivity app, which already received positive ratings and which is trying to offer something not seen before.

NoteSuite 1

The application we’re going to talk about in this article is called NoteSuite, and it basically combines note taking system with a to-do organizer. It can be purchased for $5, which makes it very affordable, and there’s also an iPad version (priced at $2).

Once you open NoteSuite for the first time you’ll be pleasantly surprised with its interface. It’s fairly simple and very intuitive, so you’ll be ready to use it right from the start. You’ll see two main tabs named Notes and To-dos which feature similar interfaces. You’ll basically see a blank sheet of paper where you can enter all kinds of data, and there’s also a formatting bar, which is used to make your lists clear and nicely organized.

NoteSuite 2

In order to get new notes into NoteSuite, you can use one of several ways. One of those is web clipping, which could be done using a web browser’s extension which will allow you to clip an article, a full page, or a certain selection. You can also add new notes through an e-mail which you’ll need to set up first, so that NoteSuite can retrieve information using the Get Mail option. Also, notes can be organized by using folders, lists, and tags. There’s also a standard search feature which works as expected.

NoteSuite 3

Besides note taking, you can also use NoteSuite as a task manager. You’ll be able to enter new tasks and set due dates, additional notes or links to a file. These notes can be automatically organized according to their due dates, so you can easily use preloaded lists like Today, This Week, or Next, to review all those tasks. You can also set up your own lists and manage them manually.

NoteSuite doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking, but this is a very solid combination of a note taking app and a task manager. There are some annoyances like scaling bug, or some other features that you might expect like multiple task editing and similar. These bugs and annoyances leave a bad overall impression, so I really hope a new update will try to fix them.

Scapple Review


Scapple 1If you take a look at the Mac App Store, you’ll see that it’s becoming overcrowded with mind-mapping applications. These applications are used to present an idea visually, or to draw diagrams to outline an idea. Actually, there are many different uses for these applications, so in case you decide to try one out and invest some time in learning some of its tricks, you might be surprised how helpful a mind-mapping app can be.

Probably the best known mind-mapping app is OmniGraffle, which is priced at $100, which means this is well rounded professional-grade application. For someone who’s still trying to enter a world of mind-mapping, there are numerous simple apps which are providing all the needed tools to get the job started.

In this article you’ll be able to read about Scapple, which is a promising free-form mind-mapping app, and which is priced at $15. This application comes from developers who created well-known Scrivener, which can be used to write comprehensive writing projects. This was an application which received Editors’ Choice Award back in 2010, so it’s very promising at a first glimpse.

Scapple 2

According to its developers, Scapple is a freeform, nonlinear, mind-mapping text editor. What this means in practice is that you get to use a blank sheet of paper which can be used to freely draw any idea you might be considering at the moment. Most other mind-mapping tools use hierarchal system to keep thing clear and in order, while Scapple is freeform and completely open to your editing.

As we said earlier, once you open Scapple you’ll get to use a blank canvas. Simply double click anywhere and you’ll add a new note. After you’ve added a few notes, you’ll want to connect them and this can be done simply by dragging them on top of each other. The same procedure can be done if you’d like to disconnect two or more notes. By default, Scapple will draw a dotted line as a connection between notes, but as you’ll see in its preferences, you can use different keyboard shortcuts to get different styles. For example, if you hold the Option key while you’re dragging a note, you’ll end up with a directional arrow. There are also different key combinations if you’d like to change a direction of that line, or if you’d like to get an arrow on both ends.

Scapple also uses a large set of key combinations to connect a bunch of notes. For example, you’ll be able to create and easily edit stack of notes, and then connect these stacks. The same goes for all kinds of background shapes which are used to visually present different aspects of an idea.

Even though this all might sound a bit confusing, this is usual for any mind-mapping editor. These are very interesting and unique applications which are crated to help you fully explore an idea. And you’ll be able to freely do this using Scapple, which is the perfect choice for an entry level mind-mapping editor.

Daylite Review

Daylite 2In this review we are going to tackle a very comprehensive CMS (Content Management System) which is made to be utilized within a business organization. This application is called Daylite, and it is much more than just a CMS, since it offers a complete package to keep all your (co)workers on track and to ease up communication and project management.

It would be very hard to explain all features which are brought by Daylite, and such article would be very exhausting and confusing to read. Instead, we are going to show you what can be done with Daylite, for what kind of user this app is made for, and we’ll explain some if its most prominent features.

Daylite is designed to be used to manage your business, simply said. You can use this application to keep track of your business contacts, to exchange e-mails with others, to set up calendars and goals, and finally – to keep track of every single aspect of work on a specific goal (or a project).

In order to use Daylite, you’ll need to use one of Macs in your office as a server which is going to hold the main database, so all other computers can access it and store information. This way all your workers will always be in sync, which is vital when working on complex projects. Setting up a server is actually easy with Daylite since you’ll get to use an app called Daylite Server Admin. It takes just a couple of minutes to get it up and running, even if you’re a complete newbie.

Daylite 3

Once you’ve set up a server you’ll get to use Daylite in its fullest. When you open it you’ll see a list of main tools located in the left-positioned sidebar. Some of these are: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Reports, and more. This is the main navigation sidebar, so when you click on any of these tools you’ll see a drop-down menu which reveals a list of options and additional tools directly related to the one you’ve previously chosen. By default, Daylite will show you a brief overview of today’s tasks, as well as overdue tasks and short overview of the next seven days. This app also features its own notification system, which is really nicely designed, and which is there to notify you of any active changes within your database.

Now let’s briefly see some of Daylite’s main tools and what their abilities are. Calendar is designed to set up tasks and events, and you can also create several calendars which can be helpful to keep track of several areas of your business. Contacts are there to help you keep tracks of your clients, sales leads, and pretty much everyone you work with, and contacts can be organized into groups as well.

Daylite 1

Objectives is a tool which can be used to keep track of a project. This is a very comprehensive tool, which be an application for itself. You’ll get to create projects based on other tasks you’ve already created and you can use calendars, contacts, and notes which are already there in Daylite. This way you’ll get a progress bar which is a very nice visual representation of a stage your project is currently in.

Finally, it is also import to say that Daylite features very complex reporting tool, which can be used to get almost any imaginable report which is going to be completely automatically generated.

Daylite is a professional solution, so it’s priced accordingly. You can currently purchase it for $290, which might seem a lot, but you should know that there are no monthly subscriptions like with most other similar apps.

Vitamin-R 2 Review

Vitamin-R 2 2In case you’re having a trouble committing to a single goal, there are more than a few applications ready to jump in as a help. Some of those are pretty basic to-do apps, which allow you to organize your day completely manually, so it’s up to you to fulfill all your goals. On the other hand, there are some a bit more advanced applications which are being published as part of a larger philosophy which is created to help you achieve your goals. For example, you can use so-called Pomodoro technique, which is made to help you finish a task by dividing it into timed periods which allow you to really focus on working towards the goal. This and many similar techniques really work for some, but there are also those who don’t really believe in this kind of forced organization.

Well, for those who do believe that there are numerous techniques which can help you achieve a goal, we’re going to review a very interesting OSX application called Vitamin-R 2 ($20). This is a well-known application which has been around for several years, which only proves that many users were happy with it. We are going to review its second version, which is actually not that different from the original Vitamin-R and mostly brings some interface changes.

Vitamin-R 2 1

First, a few words on how Vitamin-R 2 actually works. This is an application which promotes working in short time slices, which can improve productivity and make you more focused on a goal. In this manner, it’s somewhat similar to Pomodoro technique, but Vitamin-R 2 allows you to set-up your own time slices and time breakes between those periods of intensive work.

In order to start working with Vitamin-R 2 you’ll need to click on its menu bar icon, and you’ll be greeted with a welcome screen. Once you click on “Next” you’ll get a new window where you’ll need to define your goal, and then you’ll need to define the objective for the first time slice. The good news is that Vitamin-R 2 works well with applications like Things, OmniFocus, and The Hit List, where you can simply drag-and-drop already created tasks. Once you’ve completed them, Vitamin-R 2 will mark them as checked in the referenced application.

After you’ve set your goals, and the goals of each time slice, you’ll need to set-up the length of time slices and breakes between them. Also, you can eliminate distractions, which means that Vitamin-R 2 will automatically hide or quit any application you add to a list. After everything is set-up, you can start working.

While you work on your goal, Vitamin-R 2 will show numerous pop-ups and notifications to show your progress and how much time you’ve got left. At the end, you will be able to grade yourself and see your progress through time.

Even though Vitamin-R is a very interesting application, I still need to mention some of my concerns. First of all, it comes with a very intrusive interface which stands out from the OSX environment. In some ways, I could even call it ugly and poorly designed. It also overwhelms you with loads of information, options, and adjustments. At the end, if someone has a procrastination problem, I don’t see how helpful it can be to spend 5-10 minutes each time, simply to set-up Vitamin-R for a task.

Listacular for Dropbox Review

Listacular 2Everyone who already owns an iPhone has a chance of using Apple’s own Reminders app. This is Apple’s response to an iOS to-do application which could be considered as essential for every iPhone user. In fact, this is a very competitive piece on the market, and you can easily see that within iOS App Store where you can find hundreds of very useful to-do apps. This led to a new generation of iOS apps which are now trying to attract new users by providing some advanced features like voice recognition and geo-fenced reminders.

In this article we are going to review an app named Listacular (for Dropbox), which is a completely free iOS to-do application. This is a very cleverly made app which is in direct competition with Apple’s Reminders. This is an app for those who don’t like skeuomorphic design of Reminders, and who need a few advanced features which could not be found in Apple’s own to-do solution.

As the name says, Listacular uses Dropbox to sync notes and to-do items across iOS devices. It also means that you’ll need a Dropbox account, but I guess most future users will be well aware of that, since this app is very nicely explained in its iOS App Store section.

Listacular 1

The first thing I liked about Listacular is its flat and very interesting design. If you’ve read about upcoming iOS7, than you already know that Apple’s future Reminders will look this way, but Listacular has been around for a while and brought flat interface design way before Apple. Once you’ve signed-in using your Dropbox credentials, you’ll be able to add new folders and within them you can add new to-do lists. While you’re adding a new list or a note, you’ll be surely surprised how Listacular provides plenty of formatting options, some of which are preloaded styles, checkboxes and bullets, and much more. This is not something you can see in every iOS to-do app. Overall, this is one of the most beautifully designed to-do apps for iOS, and features striking balance of flat design and very promising usability.

Another interesting thing about Listacular is its gesture support, which is similar to any of those newly designed iOS e-mail clients. This means that you can swipe to the right to check an item off, or if you continue swiping it, you will delete it. You can reorder items by tapping and dragging across the screen. Another tip is about reorganizing lists between folders, which could be done by swiping to the left while you’re in the app’s main screen.

For a free application, Listacular brings a lot. In fact, I think it is much better than most $1-$2 apps, and this is its main selling point. I really like its flat design, beautiful fonts, and very powerful formatting options, and those gesture controls are really fluid and work well. What I would like to see in the future is a voice recognition support, and perhaps a location based reminders.