Have you ever wanted to take a page from a web browser, or a Word document, or a spreadsheet, and draw on it, then send it to someone? Me neither. But now I do, thanks to Flying Meat.
No, it’s not like when pigs fly, Flying Meat’s FlySketch and Voodoo Pad do something that’s cool, works well, and gives you a solution to a problem you didn’t know you had.
This is really a review of two applications from the same, place—Flying Meat.
Since the dot.com boom began, I’m certain that some software developers come up with a company name because, 1) the domain name is available, and, 2) it’s a catchy name.
Flying Meat fits both of the basic naming requirements. Flying Meat Inc. was founded in 2003 by Gus Mueller to push his ideas out into the world.
As Gus says, “The goal is to create fun, powerful, but very usable software. Most software out there sucks, and it’s our goal to be better than anyone else at what we do.”
There are plenty of drawing applications on the Mac, but both of these from Flying Meat take drawing tools, and note taking, to a different level.
“VoodooPad is a new kind of notepad. It’s like having your own digital junk drawer where you can jot down notes, web addresses, to-do lists… Anything on your mind. VoodooPad automatically links each page together, to form a miniature world wide web, on your desktop!”
This is a remarkably intuitive organizational method to take notes, highlight phrases and words, and pull together links to folders, images, applications, browser links—so you can keep track of your thoughts.
Gus points potential users to a neat project called WikiWikiWeb so you’ll get an idea of the organization roots of VoodooPad.
Nevermind. Download VoodooPad and give it a try, because it’s, well, different. Neat. It’s another way to get more from Mac OS X if you’re in need of organizing both your thoughts, and all the information you find flowing through your Mac.
VoodooPad stores notes, and stores links to things on your Mac (web pages, documents, folders, whatever) that connect or should be connected to your notes.
What you save in VoodooPad can be searched in Spotlight. It can also be exported. Where? How? To your iPod, as Word documents, as RTF documents, as HTML (view as web pages), and plain old text.
A much needed feature is the “autocomplete.” Can’t remember a note you created? Select Open Page, start typing something close to what you think the note file is, and VoodooPad gives you a list of what it could be.
What does this have to do with ‘drawing’, Alex? That brings me to the companion Flying Meat application, FlySketch.
Think of this as a combination screen snapshot and drawing tool. You can take pictures of a Mac application’s window, the screen, a document, whatever, save it in FlySketch, draw on it, doodle on it, highlight something important (my favorite), then save it, export it, send it.
You have to think about this for a moment. You find a web page article that’s cool, and you want to send it to someone. That’s common. But sending the whole document is not.
With FlySketch you can capture the document, write on it, highlight a paragraph or text or graphic, save it, send it.
Even better, it’s easy. One of the problems most of us have is learning new applications. Since there’s always something new to learn, it’s easy to forget how, so we don’t try new things.
FlySketch, like VoodooPad, is so simple and intuitive, you wonder why no one thought of doing this before.
Also cool is that FlySketch is compatible with drawing tablets. I’m not advocating everyone run out and buy a drawing tablet to use FlySketch, but I’m hoping for a wireless tablet Mac to be introduced at Macworld, and FlySketch would be the perfect companion application.
As it is, the bundle of FlySketch and VoodooPad is a new way of using your Mac to gather information, store information, comment on the information, link information together, save it, export it, then share it with others.
Did I say “share?” FlySketch has a workflow folder which lets you drop in aliases of other apps or folders and they show up in the WorkFlow Menu. So passing along information has never been easier.
The combo from Flying Meat is just another example of the ‘think different’ mentality among creative Mac developers. I’ve now solved a problem (finding, storing, and sharing information) that I didn’t know I had.
And I get to write something like this: Click Here for Flying Meat.
Carol Mary Miller
How do you find these things, Alex? After trying both out, I’m very surprised that something like this isn’t already built in to Apple’s Pages or some other application. How unique.
Jack D. Miller
It must be a girl thing; saving and commenting on web pages, documents, and all that stuff. Carol, you collect enough for both of us.
This is another example of being able to communicate to others using an unusual but effective set of Mac applications. I’d like to see improvements on the Workflow, and make it a one click process to send things to anyone (Mail, drop box, whatever). Nice.