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Your System - Functions and Apps That Fulfill Them

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Feb 12, 2019 at 11:15 AM


I found this very amusing, since I’m engaged in much the same process. I’ve been evaluating all the lovely apps I use for stuff, and have concluded that the ones I really need are limited to:

- Numbers (increasingly important to me as a general note-taker, calculation engine and whiteboard)
- Notebooks (although I’m impatiently looking forward to version 2 for macOS at the moment, due to the significant shortcomings of V1)
- DEVONthink Pro Office (invaluable for storing large quantities of information, especially bitexts in PDF format, random research stuff etc.)
- Notability for dealing with dictated input (doesn’t [yet] require a subscription - hooray!)
- Soulver (as a quickie calculator when I can’t be bothered to set up a spreadsheet-style calculation in Numbers)

Otherwise I’m still using MacJournal, because I’ve used it to store lots of encrypted info and don’t have an immediate alternative (until the advent of Notebooks 2 above). I also still use Curiota, but will be replacing it with Notebooks 2 once the latter arrives. I occasionally use Scrivener, but don’t write enough long-form novels/books enough to make it a heavy-use app.

Apps I have, to my surprise, decided are redundant include: Bear, Ulysses, Outlinely, Keep It. I’m in the process of exporting the content at the moment (quite tedious, but not as bad as I thought it might be). The savings should be considerable!

I use Scapple occasionally, too.

As you will see, I am expecting Notebooks 2 for macOS to take over most of the functionality of multiple apps (Notebooks on iOS is already more sophisticated). As for outliners qua outliners – I love the folding thing, but am increasingly convinced that folding should be part of a larger structure (Pagico does it quite neatly, as it happens, although I’ve replaced my Pagico setup with a Numbers setup; so does Scrivener), hence my abandonment of Workflowy, OmniOutliner and similar apps.

Saying that, I’ve worked out a way to make Numbers fold individual entries (tables, text notes etc.), which saves space and is actually quite elegantly managed by Numbers (which, when you unfold an item, pushes everything below it vertically downward - and then elegantly raises it up again when you close the item, so no disruption to the positioning of items even on a very extensive whiteboard-style worksheet. Nice. Actually, more than nice - everyone should do it!). The one major disadvantage to Numbers - and indeed all Apple iWorks apps - is the amount of space taken up by individual files. They really should opt for the compressed XML used by MS Office or, for that matter, LibreOffice etc. It’s a bit ridiculous that a fairly basic spreadsheet should take up around a quarter of a megabyte!

I like HyperPlan, but it’s not cross-platform at the moment, and to be honest, the Numbers setup allows me to create much the same kind of views (albeit manually, so without the neat automation - I love the x/y axis swap feature, incidentally). I’d love to see more variation in the HyperPlan card layout (“Appearance”), with e.g. the option to change font sizes for different parts of the display, use rich text, etc. But I’m sure that’s all on the roadmap. HyperPlan is definitely something I could get into if it was just a little bit more sophisticated and - aha - cross-platform. It’s already a very impressive product, however!


Dellu wrote:
>I am removing every productivity app except DEVONthink &  Scapple.
>I will see if I will be less productive.