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TextExpander 6 & Alternatives

Date: 13th May 2016

Duration: 39:26

Show ref: SCOM0557

Text expansion is one of the best ways to increase your productivity. Just type abbreviated keywords and have them expand into words, sentences, paragraphs or whole pages of text. Expand into images or formatted text, or use fill in snippets to prompt you to complete boilerplate text. These are just some of the options available using TextExpander and other text expansion utilities.



In this episode, we take a look at the newly released TextExpander 6 as well as some other alternative apps.


Ulysses is a fantastic plain text editor for the Mac, iPad and iPhone. It allows you to create plain text documents or “sheets” and use markdown formatting to control the final look and format of your writing. PDF, ePub, HTML, Text, DOCX and even publishing to Medium are all included in this great app, giving you ultimate control of your writing.

As well as a wealth of formatting and exporting capabilities, Ulysses takes away the pain of managing your documents across all your devices. All your sheets are contained in a single Ulysses library, that syncs amazingly well with iCloud. It will even allow you to edit external files from a multitude of sources.

Please note that Ulysses has moved to a subscription service as of August 2017

Ulysses is a fantastic text editor for the Mac, iPad and iPhone. It allows you to create plain text documents or “sheets” and use markdown formatting to control the styling of your documents, allowing you to export them in a multitude of formats. 

It's really simple to export to PDF, ePub, HTML, Text, DOCX and even publish direct to Medium from the Mac, iPad or iPhone. 

As well as the wealth of formatting and exporting capabilities, Ulysses takes away the pain of managing your documents across all your devices. All your sheets are contained in a single Ulysses library, that syncs amazingly well with iCloud. It will even allow you to edit external files from a multitude of sources.

This first episode focuses on the basic principles of Ulysses and we will follow up in the next episode with a look at some of its more advanced features.

Update: As of August 2017, Ulysses has changed to a subscription model.

Notability is a fantastic note taking app for the iPad, iPhone and now the Mac.

It has excellent stylus support for hand-written notes and typed notes, including a unique "Zoom" feature. You can sketch drawings and annotations, type notes, and even audio record lectures and other events that stay timed with your notes. 

Editing your hand-written notes is easy because they're all vectors. This means with the swipe of an eraser, you can erase large or small sections of words or sketches, and moving or changing colour and line thickness is a snap.

An iPad Pro with Apple Pencil is not required, but it makes Notability even more natural and useful.

And now with a new Mac App and iCloud syncing, you can now access all of your notes across all of your devices.


In this episode I cover the basics of Copy and Paste.

Starting with the basic built in keyboard commands, to an easy way to copy and paste using the Mouse or Trackpad with PopClip, finishing off with a look at one of the best clipboard managers I’ve seen for a long time - Copied.


Airtable is an amazing cloud based database app that runs in your browser as well as natively on your iPhone and iPad (with an Android app on the way). Being cloud based, it’s truly cross platform and updates are synchronised almost instantaneously across all platforms and devices.

Best of all, there is a generous free version, it’s really easy to use and it’s extremely powerful!

Together 3 & Together Mobile

Date: 4th March 2016

Duration: 45:31

Show ref: SCOM0547

Together 3 for the Mac, and Together Mobile for iOS are apps that allow you to collect and organise all your stuff - together!



With a multitude of capture and organisational features, Together 3 acts as a repository for many different types of files and documents. With the App Store version, it allows you to store your Together 3 library in iCloud, allowing you to sync it across your Macs and also your iOS devices using Together Mobile.

It takes a lot to impress me, but I’ve been blown away by Airtable! 



Airtable is an amazing cloud based database app that runs in your browser, and has native iPhone, iPad Apps (with Android apps on the way). Being cloud based, it’s truly cross platform and synchronises across all your devices almost instantaneously.

There is a fully featured free version, it’s really easy to use and it’s extremely powerful!

Trello - Visual Task Management

Date: 1st January 2016

Duration: 44:26

Show ref: SCOM0538

The first episode for 2016 and I take a look at a great tool for organising and planning - Trello.

Time for an update on two of my favourite productivity applications - TextExpander 5 and Keyboard Maestro 7

2Do Task Manager

Date: 14th August 2015

Duration: 35:56

Show ref: SCOM0516

Still trying to find your perfect task manager? We all have different priorities and methods of working. so it’s not always easy to find the the task manager that’s just right. 

In this week’s episode, Todd Olthoff takes us through 2Do, a simple task manager with hidden depths!

2Do for iOS

Date: 14th August 2015

Duration: 20:22

Show ref: SCOI0230

Still trying to find your perfect task manager? We all have different priorities and methods of working. so it’s not always easy to find the the task manager that’s just right. 

In this week’s episode, Todd Olthoff takes us through 2Do for iOS, a simple task manager with hidden depths!

Managing multiple Macs is so much easier than it used to be.

Whether you're swapping between a couple of desktops or a desktop and a laptop, there are numerous cloud based services that will synchronise your files and information. 

In this episode, I demonstrate the various services I use to enable me to swap between using my Mac Pro and Macbook as seamlessly as possible, either at home or on the road.

Following on from looking at the basic features of SaneBox last week, I take a look at even more features designed to allow you to manage your email overload effectively.

Email can rapidly become overwhelming, unless you put steps and processes in place to manage it effectively.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone stepped in and started to organise your email automatically, allowing only important emails into your Inbox. Even better, imagine someone constantly monitoring how you process email, learning as it goes and stepping in to help you out.

That’s exactly what SaneBox does for you. 

Clear for iOS

Date: 5th June 2015

Duration: 14:39

Show ref: SCOI0220

Whilst the more complex task managers have their place, sometimes you just want to create a simple to-do list. 

Clear is a simple application designed from the ground up for creating and checking off lists. Available for iPad, iPhone and the Mac, Clear is simple to use and gesture based. The iPhone App even has an Apple Watch app included.

Fantastical 2 for Mac

Date: 8th May 2015

Duration: 35:46

Show ref: SCOM0502

Fantastical 2 is a terrific calendaring app for the Mac, previously only available as a menu bar application. Now it has been re-vamped and relaunched as a powerful desktop application (and yet is still available from your menu bar).

Todd Olthoff takes us through a tour of the enhanced and improved features of this new version of the application, a credible alternative to the OS X Calendar app.

BusyContacts - Part 2

Date: 17th April 2015

Duration: 23:36

Show ref: SCOM0499

BusyContacts is a great new contacts management application that integrates with most of the popular online address book systems.

With customisable views, rich support for customisation plus integration with Mail, Messaging and Social Media, BusyContacts is well placed to be a flexible and easy to use CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) suitable for both business and personal use.

BusyContacts - Part 1

Date: 10th April 2015

Duration: 26:24

Show ref: SCOM0498

The Contacts application (or Address Book as previous known) is fairly basic in OS X, with limited functionality and integration. BusyMac have tackled these limitations with the release of BusyContacts, a great new contacts management application that is able to replace Contacts, as well as integrate with most of the popular online address book systems.

Things 2 for OS X

Date: 27th March 2015

Duration: 38:51

Show ref: SCOM0496

Things 2 is a fully featured task manager application from Cultured Code. Since we last covered it, Things has had many new much requested features added, most importantly cross platform syncing.

In this episode, Todd Olthoff brings us up to speed on the main features of Things 2 and explores some of the new features.