I hate to give too much of my personal power away to technology, but, getting the MacBook Pro last summer has totally changed my life. Mostly because it made me even more addicted to the internet, but also because it opened up many opportunities in the way I interact with multimedia, and this website.
Seriously, the moment I switched to the MBP, I realized just how much I dreaded my old Dell Notebook. I haven’t booted it back up since to retrieve old documents (which says something about the importance of those docs).
Somethings I really like about the Mac is the ease with which I can create Podcasts, edit imagines and video, and of course the many fun and creative productivity applications. The exact type of creative and productive people that a Mac is geared for, are the types that come up with and create simple and productive new applications.
Two pieces of software, in particular, have a very special appeal to me both for their simplicity, and shear power they add to my productivity arsenal. They are the WriteRoom and TaskPaper by Hog Bay Software. Both of these programs are available as FREE 30-day TRIALS.
WriteRoom: Distraction free writing
For people who enjoy the simplicity of a typewriter, but live in the digital world. WriteRoom is a full-screen writing environment. Unlike the cluttered word processors you’re used to, WriteRoom is just about you and your text.
It’s hard to explain the experience, but there’s something about being locked away in a matted black screen with simplistic green font, that ignites my motivation and creativity in writing. There have been several occasions where I woke up at 5am, turned on WriteRoom, and cranked out 3 full articles by 6:30am.
Just one such morning, and the program has already paid for itself. I use WriteRoom for everything from the aforementioned blog article, to reworking small snippets of text for e-mail, and copy. I even wrote my entire ebook in WriteRoom, and it didn’t take me more than a day.
Be prepared to play. That’s exactly how I feel when I’m in my WriteRoom, alone with my words. I’m not saying that it cures all my writing block, fix my atrocious grammar, and help me crank out my first prize winning novel. I’m just saying it’s simple, fun, and productive, and if you own a Mac, try it for free.
TaskPaper: Simple to-do Lists
For Mac users who want an easier way to make lists and stay organized. TaskPaper is a simple to-do list that’s surprisingly adept. Unlike today’s complex organizers, TaskPaper is just about you and your tasks.
I’m new to TaskPaper. In fact, I only downloaded and started using it this morning (about 8 hours ago). I’ve already managed to get a lot of use out of it, and transfer some of the Tasks that I had written elsewhere into this application.
It’s simple, to be sure. It has some intuitive features, ones that I’ve always wanted, but never saw in any other application. Jesse, the programmer, is clearly a creative and productive individual, who uses his programming superpowers to help people that want productivity without the bullshit.
The interface is as simple as NotePad, but it has some extra features. You can organize and search by Project, Task, and Label. It’s really that simple, but I’d suggest watching the 10 minute screencast and trying it yourself to see what I m ean.
I’m in the works of planning a large Personal Development meetup/seminar, and I’ve been able to use TaskPaper very effectively for the planning part of this event. I’ve also used it for smaller tasks like, podcast interviews to record this week, books to review, and most importantly how I’m going to break down my studying into efficient and manageable chunks throughout the week.
There are dozens of programs out there that are geared towards productivity. What works best for me, may not be your cup of tea. I encourage you to jump into the comments below, and let me know what software has (and has not) worked for you in the past.