My Suite of Apps: Kiwi for Gmail

When it comes to OS X, I’ve tried almost every email client I could get my hands on. To say that I’m particular about my workflow is an understatement. As such, it’s important that I have applications that don’t harsh getting work done.

I’m pretty sure every single one of you is the same way. How we get work done likely varies from person to person, but still.

Anyway, so when it comes to email I’ve not always had the best of luck. Either the client was unintuitive, I didn’t like the UI, the shortcuts what weren’t I wanted, or it didn’t have features that helped me get things done quickly.

And since I use Gmail as my main provider of email, I often found myself hopping back into the browser. It was, you know, comfortable.

But then I found Kiwi.

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My Suite of Apps: Stache

One of the problems I seem to have (among many, some may say ;) is I can’t seem to find a consistent way to manage bookmarks.

I don’t mean I have a problem using the “Favorites” or the “Star” feature in my web browser. I mean I might as well toss the page into a black hole if I use those features. They are a pain to organize, search, and – for whatever reason – feel like an after thought in terms of features of a browser.

And I’ve tried a number of different ways to go about managing this – if you name it, I’ve probably tried it – and it’s not from lack of knowledge of available applications for things like this either.

But it wasn’t until I found Stache I felt like I finally found a utility that made it easy for me to save resources as I was browsing the web, categorize them as needed, and then be able to search them later using any of my devices.

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My Suite of Apps: LineIn

I don’t do a lot of audio work on my computer – I don’t podcast or have a vlog or anything like that. I do, however, participate in a number of Skype calls and/or Google Hangouts, and I also do a fair amount of screencasting.

Because of the latter, I have a couple of pieces of equipment that I use in order to make sure that I’m getting the highest quality audio possible.

This includes:

  • A Rode shotgun microphone (with a stand),
  • And a Blue Icicle for connecting the microphone to the USB port of my computer

It’s a simple setup, but it works. The thing is, if I have my headphones in and I’m working on my laptop, then I have three potential microphones available that the computer can capture audio:

  1. The microphone built into the display
  2. The microphone that’s built into my headphones
  3. My Rode Shotgun

And even though I can generally set the devices I prefer to use and leave them, all it takes is one mistake before I end up double and triple checking my settings for each call and each screencast.

Unfortunately, I made one such mistake before so now I check my settings every. single. time.

But, for the sake of screencasting, I even take it one step further: I use a small software tool called LineIn (and anyone familiar with audio inputs and mixing boards will understand the importance of knowing which device is capturing what audio at what level).

The LineIn Homepage

And it’s been a fantastic little application for making sure my levels are balanced and that allow me to hear what others will hear based on my system settings.

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My Suite of Apps: Living Earth

One of the most interested aspects of working with people all over the world – aside from the fact that, y’know, they’re all over the world – is coordinating time zones with people for phone calls.

Sure, it’s easy to coordinate one-on-one calls with people when it’s only two timezones you’re working with, but when it comes to adding three or more people to a call, things get more interesting.

Case in point: I’ve been in a number of calls where I’m chatting with people in the UK and in Australia all at the same time. That’s a pretty big shift in time zones, right? We’re about as spread out as you can get when it comes to setting up timezones.

And yeah, it’s easy to go about coordinating timezones through the use of various web sites that are out there, but there’s one app that I’ve found that I really like not only for that reason, but also for what it offers as it relates to other various information about the planet (yes, planet).

Check out Living Earth.

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