It’s been some time since I wanted to write about my little computer helpers. Thus, without further ado I present (in alphabetical order):

Caffeine

During a seminar my colleague¬†Bob Reuter and I gave, he switched on this little program to avoid having his Mac fall asleep. As I had 15 3-hour workshops during the past month, I came to value Caffeine. Previously, I had to make sure that my screensaver was disabled or the computer screen didn’t go into sleep mode (which I frequently forgot). Now I just activate Caffeine and the screen stays on and on and on, and the projector does not have to look for its input source or switches off entirely.

Evernote

Well, this is actually not just a little helper, but a big one. Many people have already written about Evernote lately, e.g. also Alan Levine in “More than notes in Evernote”. You can copy text from a website, use the browser plugin to convert it into a note for which the source URL is saved immediately, you can tag the note and put it into a folder in Evernote. The great thing is that you can sync your notes with the Evernote server and get all your stuff on the iPhone as well.

I usually use Evernote to take notes during an online event or while reading a text. Occasionally, I send a tweet to my Evernote account for save keeping or take a photo if I don’t want to copy the text.

Currently, a bit of a bummer are two things for me, but I guess, the Evernote team will get to them some time:

  • You cannot edit a note on the iPhone when it includes rich text like bullet points, bold, italics etc.
  • Shared notebooks don’t show up under “Notebooks”. You have to hunt for them.

Jumpcut

This little software is marvelous. As I do a lot of “copy & paste”, I depend on Jumpcut a lot. I can copy as much as I want (currently, I let the program remember 40 copied items), and then start pasting the text where I want to have it. Beware: as every text is copied, if you copy passwords, they also appear in the history. However, you can always clear the history.

Skitch

It is already easy to take screenshots on a Mac with the built-in snapshot functionality, but Skitch has some added value.

  • You can decide where you want to have your screenshots saved -> no more moving of files to the final folder.
  • The file format can be changed for each image.
  • The files can get individual names after grabbing (a portion of) the screen.
  • You can drag & drop your images wherever you need them.
  • The images you saved on the computer are also placed in a history from where they can be recalled for further editing later on.
  • You can add text, shapes, arrows etc. to your image before saving it.
  • The image can be saved on your computer, the Skitch server, MobileMe, FTP, WebDAV or flickr account.
  • You can take timed snapshots. They are particularly necessary when you want to show a dropdown menu.

Except for Evernote, my little helpers are exclusively for Mac.

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