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Productivity

Task and project management apps such as OmniFocus and Things aren’t just popular, they’re a necessity for anyone wanting to keep track of tasks and projects all the way from start to finish. While I probably spend more time trying out new GTD apps than actually getting anything done, I’d be completely lost without any sort of task management app that lets me track individual tasks and projects.

My latest GTD distraction is Firetask, a project-orientated task management app that promises complete and simple control of your tasks so you can spend less time procrastinating and more time, well, getting things done.

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One of the best text editors for iOS, the Markdown-powered Byword has been a firm favourite of ours with its simple iCloud and Dropbox integration and clean, distraction-free layout. With the release of iOS 7, the Portuguese-developed app has embraced this and has been updated with a more fitting UI and some other enhancements that make writing any quantity of text even more of a pleasure.

I put the latest release of Byword, now only available for iOS 7, through its paces to see what benefits it brings for those using Apple’s latest iOS release.
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It feels like just yesterday when Evernote got a big 6.0 update. At the time, it was a pretty big hoopla. It was universally well-received. From top to bottom, 6.0 was to Evernote what iOS 7 is to the iPhone: a complete and total rethinking of how it works and how it looks. And, to be completely frank, I hated it. I thought it was slow and I thought it slowed down my process with unnecessary and ugly menus.

With the release of iOS 7, Evernote is once again getting another huge visual update. This time, Evernote’s release is version 7. Not only has it been redesigned, but the very basics of how people use the app has been rethought on both the iPhone and the iPad. And, to my surprise, I love it. Read on to find out why I plan on making Evernote a steady part of my workflow again.

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If you actually stop and think about it, the iPhone and iPad has replaced the need for, well, almost everything really. Books, music, photographs, games, satellite navigation… it is all there, packed inside a device as little as half the size of a paperback novel. But can an iPhone or iPad replace the humble Moleskine, an iconic notebook used by people like Vincent van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway since the 19th Century, with Moleskine Journal? Let’s find out!

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I’ve reviewed a lot of calendar apps in the past six months. I like to think of them as one of the trends in design, particularly since Apple’s own app seems so disregarded at this point. Ever since Twitter started shutting the doors on third-party developers, it seems like weather and calendar apps have been the “it” things to build.

Most of the development is happening with iPhones, and there are some truly great apps to be had on that side of the iOS playing field. With the iPad though, I hadn’t tried anything that really did much for me. Most of them were boring visually and dry as far as features go. But that all changed recently with Calendars 5 for iPad, the new app from the visionaries over at Readdle.

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I’m a fan of getting things done apps, and I have more than one on my iPad. That’s not just because I like them so much, though. One app never seems to have all of the features I want, and I want to create the best task management solution, piecemeal. I’m trying out Todoist, because it seems to have some features I’ve been looking for but haven’t been able to pin down. Will it be all I need in a single app? We’ll see after the jump. (more…)

Writer’s block is a common condition and one that’s really hard to shake off when it hits. Sometimes you’re stuck on how to develop your writing beyond what you have, or sometimes it’s just that you can’t seem to get started. Running out of inspiration is never good, but at least when you’re typing on an iPad, there’s some tools to support your issue.

Prompts is the answer to your creative problem — a simple, minimalist writing app at its core with a bank of more than 1,000 starting lines for your next big hit. Load up the app, start a new piece and use the randomly generated line as your inspiration. Let’s take a look! (more…)

The other day, I tried to work out which single service or platform my digital life couldn’t do without. Initially, I thought Dropbox might be that product, but then I realized I could probably use Box or some other, similar alternative. Google’s collection of apps also entered my consideration, due to my commitment to Gmail, and my reliance on Google’s Calendar and Contacts apps for day-to-day operation. In reality, though, iCloud does a similar job.

Strangely, the one service which stood out was Evernote. I realize that this revelation may cause a few sneers, not least because Evernote is nothing more than a digital scrapbook. I can’t honestly think of how I would replace the ease of web-clipping, note-taking and document filing it provides, though.

Much as I love Evernote, I know it isn’t perfect. For instance, it still works in the same way filing systems have done for years — search, in combination with lists — and it is starting to feel a little bit old. A new, innovative approach to browsing your notes can now be found on your iPad, via a third-party Evernote add-on app named Bubble Browser, currently on sale at $4.99. Its older, OS X sibling has already made waves with us at AppStorm, due to its ease of use and its visually striking design. Can the same magic be recreated on a touchscreen?
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Squareboard is a most unusual app that is a new take on organising your life. Sometimes the things we need to note down, buy, schedule or purchase just don’t fit into a neatly ordered list. Squareboard offers us a way to quickly record an item into a square, associate it with a category and add further detail or a photo.

Having each item in a square (or rectangle) allows you to get a quick overview of many tasks in a single glance. You can also freely re-arrange items using simple drag-and-drop gestures. It really is great fun and a novel way to increase your productivity. It offers the ability to group together items of similar interest and then quickly re-organise should your plans change. Take a closer look after the jump.
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When it comes to Markdown editors, iPad users are pretty much spoilt for choice. From Byword to iA Writer, there’s something for almost everyone and each app boasts a myriad of features that makes choosing one a pretty lacklustre affair. I personally use Drafts when I’m working on my iPad, as I can use it for both scribbling down a quick note and typing a longer document and I’ve been a four-month relationship with Ulysses III on my Mac, which is simply awesome — I do pretty much all my writing on there.

So, you’d probably guess that when a new Markdown editor comes along, I don’t get that excited, right? Yes, that’s right, but there was a certain amount of mystery surrounding the release of Editorial. Federico Viticci has had his hands on the beta for quite some time now, and the developer Ole Zorn released a few pretty awesome-looking screenshots as well, which really started the wheel turning. Now, the final version is out — and it’s mighty impressive. Editorial has now become the Markdown editor on the iPad — and here’s why.

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