Software I Love Right Now

OmniOutliner Pro, whose praises I’ve sung in the past, and which continues to rock. In conjunction with Joel Schoonmaker’s KGTD scripts, OOPro becomes a fearsome task organizer; on its own, it can help organize even the wonkiest thinking. I drafted a paper in OOPro during the fall, and am currently laying out the outline for a Big Project in it, a project that I’m not at all sure I could visualize without it.

TextWrangler, a richly featured text editor from the folks at BareBones Software. This is the free version of the hallowed BBEdit, and I’ve been using it up a storm, in no small part out of a desire to move as much of my writing as possible out of .doc formats and into .txt, until fancy formatting is actually called for. I’m liking this so much that I’m considering upgrading to BBEdit just to pay for the value I’ve gotten from TextWrangler. All I’d need is one desirable little feature to push me over the upgrade edge.

NeoOffice. Because like vemos, I’d love 2006 to be the year in which I get to escape the clutches of Microsoft entirely. This is one of the primary reasons I’m moving a lot of my writing over to text files (the other being that text editors are generally so much lighter, and given that the point of the writing is usually supposed to be the text rather than the formatting, lighter is better). Yes, there’s an irony in attempting to get off the MS boat in the year in which Apple is going over to Intel processors, but I’m good with irony. Anyhow, NeoOffice is an OS X native port of the OpenOffice project. It doesn’t quite do everything that the MS programs do, and there are apparently some issues with spreadsheet compatibility, but 95% fabulous is pretty darned fabulous.

Adium. An app that I first heard about from AKMA. One client to IM them all; tabbed chat windows; cool interface. Awful alert sounds, but they’re easily changed. And again — one IM client for all your chatting needs.

The overall story is simplication: single clients, lightweight formats, cleaner text. This is thus far the sabbatical of streamlining, and thus far, it’s going well.


  1. This is close to my set:

    outliner=novamind which also does mindmaps

    text editor =bbedit

    word processor+citation management= Mellel + Bookends

    Data mangler for my 13000+ pdf/html = DevonThink Pro (cause desktop searching just does not work effectively)

  2. Ethan! Good grief. Was that a Coen-crossing in my brain?

    And you can tell Special K that though I aspire to his level of geekdom, I haven’t achieved it yet. Still following the fourfold path of discarding Word, adopting the text editor, simplifying my directory structure, and learning to love the command line. Some day I’ll be sufficiently enlightened as to appreciate emacs, but I ain’t there yet.

  3. KF: if you’re grabbing lots and lots of documents, you might take a look at the just-released Yojimbo which, despite it’s awful name, is pretty cool. I’ve been using Stickybrain/SOHO Notes for a while now, and they’re amazingly helpful. But Yojimbo’s sync is fantastic and just may pull me over to it.

  4. Thanks for the suggestion, Scott — I actually saw your post about Yojimbo yesterday. I tinkered with Stickybrain for a little while last year, but never really got far enough into it to see its value. I may give Yojimbo a whirl — or may test out DevonThink, which Jeremy suggests above, and which I’ve heard is mighty in its organizy powers.

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