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SheetPlanner 2.0 Beta 1

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Posted by Amontillado
Jul 22, 2020 at 01:11 PM


Yes, and I got your email.

I got an external USB SSD drive this morning, which I’ll use for a bootable clone of my Mac. That’s what I’ll boot and install the beta on.

Yeah, I know. I’m overly cautious. My wife said the same thing when I was flapping around on the cruise ship in my flippers with my snorkel and life preserver.

They all laughed, but who would have had the last laugh if we’d hit an iceberg on our Caribbean cruise?

SheetPlanner wrote:
>Good news, SheetPlanner 2.0b1 will go out to beta testers tonight.
> >Have you submitted a request to participate in the beta?
> >
>Amontillado wrote:
>Great news - can’t wait to see your latest offering.


Posted by MadaboutDana
Jul 23, 2020 at 07:47 AM


Yeah, you tell ’em, dude – that’s why I always sit in an underground Faraday cage when I’m working on my laptop. Okay, so it’s a bit damp and I don’t always hear the doorbell, but details details, eh?


Posted by Amontillado
Jul 23, 2020 at 02:06 PM


I need to try that! :-)

If anyone wants to know how to create a alternate Mac environment, Googling didn’t get a clear step-by-step for me.

But it’s easy. The steps I took were I downloaded but did not install Catalina from the app store. Then I created a bootable installer USB device with the createinstallmedia tool that’s part of the MacOS download.

I plugged in an SSD USB 3 disk, rebooted the Mac from the installer USB I made, and told it to install Catalina to the SSD USB device.

Incredibly, booting from an SSD USB 3 device performs nearly as well as booting from an internal disk.

Easy-peasy. My boot drive was unmolested and I have a crash-and-burn Mac environment.

MadaboutDana wrote:
Yeah, you tell ’em, dude – that’s why I always
>sit in an underground Faraday cage when I’m working on my laptop.
>Okay, so it’s a bit damp and I don’t always hear the
>doorbell, but details details, eh?


Posted by MadaboutDana
Jul 24, 2020 at 11:17 AM


Hm, actually, that’s really interesting. I’m going to try it your way! I happen to have a ridiculously fast SanDisk USB3 drive I could use for that…



Posted by Amontillado
Jul 24, 2020 at 01:05 PM


I think you can skip the step where I created the bootable USB device, although that’s probably not a bad “in case of emergency” thing to have, anyway.

The Catalina download left an installer in my Applications folder, visible in the Launchpad. If you run it, you will see - oh, horrors! - there is no quit or cancel button, but don’t panic. “Install Catalina” on the menu bar, just to the right of the Apple logo, has a “quit” command.

I trust my multiple Time Machine volumes and the bootable mirror I refresh weekly with Chronosync. I think it’s safe to run the installer and tell it to use an external USB destination for the install, and have done it a couple of times. If your mileage varies, be brave. Be willing to command your Mac to arise from its ashes.

Seriously, a bottle-to-throttle rule might be good, but other than that it all seems safe. It’s just exercising the same utility that put your OS on your Mac to begin with. I would far rather restore my Mac (or my Linux boxes) from a factory-fresh wipe than a Windows box.

It’s probably a good idea to not let the new install sign into your Apple account, in case your testing crashed your Contacts and deleted everything, or anything like that.

The new Sheetplanner looks much the same as the old one, but one test that the current release doesn’t like on my Mac works fine on the Beta - improvement, in other words. After brief testing, I’d say the new version is going to be a stronger tool. It is rightfully a Beta version at this point, but it appears to be well on its way to a good release.

In the original Sheetplanner, saving smart filters was a matter of holding your mouth just right. The beta works in that regard exactly as expected.

Using Sheetplanner as an outliner, you can type nearly the same stream of keystrokes that you would type into OmniOutliner and get the same outline. In OO, the keys to indent/undent are command-] and command=[. Sheetplanner uses tab/shift-tab. Both use command=’ to enter a note on a topic. Based on a close your eyes and type test, Sheetplanner really will do what OO does, at least for my outlining purposes.

Sheetplanner puts horizontal lines between outline topics. I had to get used to that, but it makes column navigation easier, and that is a little of a weak point in OO. If an OO column out of view is multiline, the vertical outline layout can get lumpy.

In OO, you can turn off the task completion “status” checkboxes. In Sheetplanner, they are always there.

Sheetplanner and OO are different tools. The idea of a outline that automatically maintains a timeline is pretty darn neat. With OO, you can add extra columns, export to CSV, and import directly into Aeon. Sheetplanner has toolbar buttons to select which views you see, and whether they are arranged side by side or vertically.

I haven’t tested it yet, but I’m pretty sure a Sheetplanner CSV export would also feed Aeon without trouble.

As an enthusiastic OO user, Sheetplanner looked, er, unflattering at first. Opening the cover and looking at the book, though, shows much better utility than I first thought. The Beta is already very nice, and I have high hopes for the production release, which appears to be in the near future.

It’s also nice to see active development at work. You don’t quite have that feeling with OO these days.

My next mission is to replace OmniFocus and OmniGroup’s proprietary sync servers. They work fine, I just don’t like the idea and I can do without a watch app. TaskPaper and its integration with Reminders might be what I can live with. My needs are pretty simple. Huge task lists, some days, but operationally, just simple stuff.

MadaboutDana wrote:
Hm, actually, that’s really interesting. I’m going to try it
>your way! I happen to have a ridiculously fast SanDisk USB3 drive I
>could use for that…
> >Cheers!


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