Underused, Powerful Software

There are two pieces of software I don’t use efficiently or often enough; Evernote and Hazel. Many other pieces of software have come through my hands but they did’t stick. Evernote and Hazel stuck around even though I neglected them…a lot.

One thing that drove me away from Evernote was that editing notes was very different (dysfunctional) on the mobile app when compared to the desktop versions. It would corrupt notes and cause all kinds of formatting clashes. These problems drove me to try other “note taking” applications:

  • TrunkNotes: great wiki features, bad sync and no viable desktop version, limited input options
  • Voodoo Pad: excellent wiki features, great sync, great desktop version, limited input options

Wiki-style cross linking functionality—a feature Evernote is weakest in—is the single most powerful feature I use in note taking apps. TrunkNotes & Voodoo Pad are exceptional apps with that feature. So why leave a great app like Voodoo Pad and go back to Evernote when Evernote is a weaker app in this area? One word: ubiquity.

Evernote is tied into everything. It’s a rare app, mobile or desktop, that doesn’t tie into Evernote. This ubiquity isn’t limited to software, it’s also true for hardware like the awesome Fujitsu ScanSnap (Evernote Edition) and the Jot Script stylus. So, after shifting back to Evernote again, it seems they’ve conquered their editing issues. I’m hopeful that they will add Wiki features in future releases.

Evernote Essentials CoverTo get better at using Evernote I bought a book by Brett Kelly titled Evernote Essentials. Hopefully the book will help me polish up on my Evernote skills and, perhaps, learn some new ones. Who knows, I may find a workaround for the wiki issue.

The other underutilized app (utility), Hazel, has been doing very minor tasks on my system for a while now. I keep coming across articles where people are using Hazel to levels I can’t yet achieve. Running scripts, moving and renaming files, all kinds of housekeeping functions.

For a while I used Desktop Tidy to keep me from piling up files on my desktop which helps with performance, etc. The main reason I’m interested in going back to Hazel is that I don’t like racing Desktop Tidy. When a file lands on the desktop, Desktop Tidy then moves the file to a shadow folder and that’s annoying when I’m placing something there briefly to work on before tossing it in the trash.

The shadow folder is another irritation. It’s fairly difficult to navigate to the shadow folder in OS X Mavericks. Sure, these issues might be able to be addressed by tweaking Desktop Tidy but, if I’m going to learn new software, I think it will be best invested in Hazel because of it’s way more powerful.

I Love RapidWeaver But…

I really do love using RapidWeaver on my Mac to make my personal web site. But here’s the issue: I’m mobile. I need to be able to edit my site whenever I get a spare moment to do so. In order to edit the site whenever I get time, I need tools that are mobile. RapidWeave can’t do that.

So, after experimenting with the WordPress app on iOS, I decided to take the plunge and relaunch a WordPress site. Same primary rule though: keep it simple. I’m looking forward to using WordPress again, it has been many years. WordPress looks great!