Essential Mac Apps for Productive Journalism
Essential apps and habits for the aspiring Mac journalist – A list.
Quicksilver makes finding things fun, and also makes it easy to focus on your work since you never have to have your hands leave the keyboard in search of your mouse. It kind of reminds me of the good old days when computers didn?t even have mouses; when you think about it, peripherals are really just more in the way. The more that you can reduce your peripheral use, the more productive you are bound to be, especially if you are typing long entries and trying to change music or movies in the process without interrupting one stream of the creative flow.
Nocturne makes doing anything fun in the dark. Sometimes, the white light from the background of whatever typing application you are working in can be quite blinding, and Imo sure that you all agree with me there. Nocturne inverts all that light and makes the text glow – a neat effect, but also a useful one that can save your eyes a lot of strain. When used in conduction with apps like VLC, it makes even watching movies in the dark enjoyable, as VLC can invert the colors that nocturne already inverted. Nothing like working in the dark to save your time, but Nocturne saves your eyes and makes the process rather fun.
If you’re going to blog, you are going to have to listen to music like all the other cool kids. Azureus is a full featured bit torrent client with a bit extra, as well. The infusion of Vuze software into Azureus makes the main window a little more intriguing, and actually fiddling with Vuze itself can make for quite an entertaining internet-TV experience. Azureus can also be used without Vuze if you configure it, and the advanced tab is nicely reminiscent of my favorite windows counterpart, uTorrent.
Most of the time, when you are inserting images into your journal/blog, you need to label those images that you are inserting. Most people already have photoshop, and granted it’s easier, but Pixelmator is just so much prettier. Plus, how does it feel to know that you are supporting a third party mac software developer that will probably churn out some really nice new software in the future to complement the already full featured pixelmator? Usurping Adobe?s power right underneath it?s feet sounds kind of neat, especially knowing that they are the same community of people that blogs and journals just like the rest of us.
VLC is something on which to play all those pirated movies that you got from Azureus. Fully featured in every way (you won?t even need Perian to run any video or audio on this bad boy,) VLC is a media powerhouse that is built to handle literally about every file that you can throw at it. With lots of advanced options for anyone that feels their video needs tweaking, VLC is the choice for everyone watching late night movies while writing posts about what kind of software to use to watch movies on at night. (haha.)
Hands down, there is nothing like writing blog posts in the dark. Also, the instant saving of everything that you write makes it really nice and out of the way when you need to write something down and then get back to doing something else without having to worry about saving. This basically makes things any other basic word processor completely useless, especially when you need to concentrate. Writeroom just provides that feeling of completeness, aloneness, and general cool that comes with the whole Mac experience. Writing in the dark? No problem. Turning your mac into one of those old, green text-on-black-background word processors? No problem. Writeroom has all your writing needs covered with its ridiculously simple interface.
Lists, lists, and more lists, there is no end to the ease of organizing with Mori. Kind of like a personal wikipedia. Linking features, tags, smart folders, and much more are packed into this free and ridiculously useful organizational tool. Cross linking from ?book? to ?book? within Mori creates a nice personal ?intranet? on your Mac as well, making sure that you are completely organized with everything that you decide to put into writing. File linking is supported within as well.
MacJournal is the best thing ever. Forget all about ecto – Macjournal should be included with Leopard simply because it’s so freaking easy to use. Everything is kept in “Journals,” which sounds a whole lot more professional than “blogs.” The interface is beautifully inspired by Apple interfaces, such as Mail and Calendar. Uploading is a breeze to WordPress and any other blogging service. This post was even written inside MacJournal complete with pictures. There could be a little more work done in the blog management department, as far as computer-to-server relations goes, but in general it?s very easy to use also allows for instant saving of all your blogs before you upload and while you write.
During all of this app usage, your desktop is likely to get cluttered. Don?t ever forget to use the most useful feature in Mac OSX: Expose. I?m surprised at how many times I really forget how useful it is.
So there you have it, journalists. All the apps that you will need to make those late night runs into the blogosphere complete, with an environment that will keep you savvy and coming back wanting to write more, instead of just viewing it as a task to keep your ridiculously large fanbase happy.