New apps that I like

Articles+ – Save articles to read later. It’s got a clean, simple interface, runs on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and lets you highlight text in articles and take notes. Subscriptions are up to $3/mo. for unlimited bookmarks, $1 for 30 bookmarks/month, free for less than that. It’s a nicer, cleaner interface than Instapaper or Pocket.

Goodlinks – Alternative to Articles+, $4.99 for a one-time payment. Doesn’t do highlighting or notes (at least not yet). Also, Articles+ has a two-column interface on the big iPad in landscape mode, which I like.

Obsidian – a note-taking app built on creating links between notes, like your own personal Wikipedia. This kind of note-taking has a passionate fanbase on the Internet; they call it personal knowledge management (PKM) or Zettelkasten. Obsidian runs on the Mac, Windows, and Linux.

The basic app is simple; plugins make it extremely customizable. I’ve been having fun playing with this and using it for work. Mobile apps are due in public beta any day now, and I’m looking forward to that; I’ve heard from testers who say the mobile apps are terrific.

Pricing is free for personal use, commercial licenses start at $25.

This wiki-style method of organizing documents might be better than traditional folders. On the other hand, it requires my thinking about things I generally do automatically. On the other hand, occasionally thinking about things I do automatically is good. On the other hand, DevonThink already does a great job for me at this kind of thing.

How many hands is that?

We’ll see how it goes.

I used a similar application to Obsidian, Craft, for a few weeks. It’s got a more visual user interface, is Apple-native and only Apple, and has apps running on the iPad and iPhone as well as the Mac. After using it for a few weeks, I found its quirks a little annoying. And it stores documents in a proprietary database rather than plain text like Obsidian. The developers of Craft say they’re working on a more open data format, but that’s not there yet today. And Craft does have great export capabilities. It’s a very nice app to write in and I may come back to it.

Paletro is a command palette for the Mac. Type a user-configurable keyboard shortcut – it’s shift-Cmd-P out of the box – and a text box pops up in the center of your display, into which you can type the name of of any menu item on the Mac. The Mac already does something similar, just by typing Shift-Cmd-/. But Paletro is better–it does fuzzy search, so you don’t have to get the name of the menu item just right. It also remembers your most frequently used searches. A very nice app, for only $6.99, or included in a SetApp subscription.

Paletro is great for people like me who want to use the keyboard more, and mouse less, but have a difficulty remembering lots of keyboard shortcuts.

Feedbin – I got hooked on RSS when it first emerged nearly 20 years ago as a tool for consuming blogs and news. For several years recently, I used Inoreader, which is a great service. But I left Inoreader a few weeks ago because I do not like how it formats newsletters and twitter posts. Nowadays, my RSS reader is equally a newsletter and Twitter reader. I’m using Feedbin now, and like it. It looks simple, but it’s surprisingly powerful. And it does a lovely job displaying tweets and newsletters.

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