Mac utility applications are on a roll. There are more than ever, they do more than ever, yet they don’t cost more than ever.
Take what I’ve got in my bag of tricks today. It may be the last bag for awhile. How so, Alexis? Another baby is on board (me) but the laws of gravity are about to kick in. Or, out. Baby #2 is due this summer.
All this sitting around and waiting gave me something to find, something To-Do, and something with an alarm and timer.
An alarm and timer? That’s something I can use, and there must be twenty eleven timers of one kind or another for Mac OS X.
Mac360’s founding femme fatale, Tera Jean Patricks, had the hots for Mori organizer, and found a timer called Clockwork. A timer? Big whoop, right?
Except Clockwork is actually cool, works as advertised, worth every nickel (did I mention it’s not free, but nearly so?), and does more than one thing at a time.
Clockwork looks like an odd Mac OS X stopwatch, and it is. Click start and you get a stopwatch. Click stop and it stops being a stopwatch.
Click ‘mode’ and Clockwork becomes a countdown timer. Enter the time, say, 10 minutes, click ‘start’ and Clockwork starts counting down. Big whoop, Alex.
There’s a few touches that make Clockwork unique. There’s the alarms. I like any kind of timer that makes a little noise and Clockwork can do that. Beep, beep, beep… adnauseum.
Then there’s the ability to multi-task. Clockwork will run multiple countdowns at the same time. Enter a name, enter a time, click start. Enter another name, enter another time, click start. Repeat.
You can have a whole list of countdowns going at the same time. Cool. Don’t let the name Hog Bay Software fool you. This is sweet.
Second on the list today is a to-do list. We’ve had so many articles recently on personal organization on your Mac that I’m sure that’s what’s keeping baby inside where it’s safe and warm.
What’s a to-do list? You list a project, then list the tasks assigned to the project. How hard can that be?
Daylite does it for $189 (with a few added features). Microsoft’s Entourage does it for about $200 (I actually don’t remember the price and I’m afraid to look; it might scare me and I don’t want to give birth while my Mac laptop is actually on my lap top).
Since a to-do list is simple, why not go for something that’s simple, works well, and costs less? After all, it isn’t all the bells and whistles, it’s the discipline to use a to-do list that’s most important, right?
Enter Omicron Software’s highly acclaimed To Do X for Mac OS X. Add a project in the left column, then add tasks assigned to the project in the right column.
Done. Well, mostly. To Do X has more than a few extra features, but those are what you’re after, right? You can print, drag and drop to link one to another, color code, attach notes, and import from iCal.
It does all that and it’s still simple. How cool is that? But wait! There’s more!
To Do X also comes with To Do X to iPod Notes, which puts your To Do list on your iPod. That’s free.
Also free is Mail to To Do X. Click and you can mail a task and message via Apple’s Mail. That’s free, too.
See? Alexis is not one to let you down, even when I’m bigger than you and the largest neighborhood kid. Together.
Finally, it’s time for fun. For those of you Mac users who have a larger than large screen, such as a 20-inch Cinema display, or a 23-inch Cinema Display HD, or, gasp! a 30-inch Cinema Display, then you know what the problem is.
Where’s your mouse pointer? Honestly, even with my 20-inch display, the mouse pointer gets lost when I sit back down to the Mac. I can move the mouse around but it takes a minute or two (or less; I have a timer now, you know) to find the pointer on the screen.
Enter Mouse Locator from 2Point5Fish. When you step away from your Mac or just leave the mouse alone and unmoved for a few minutes, Mouse Locator lets you find the pointer by placing a cool, bright set of concentric circles around the pointer.
Move the mouse; you can’t miss the pointer because it’s surrounded by the colored circles. After a few seconds, the circles disappear. That’s nifty. No more straining what’s left of my pre-mommyhood eyeballs trying to find a mouse pointer while I’m rapidly moving the mouse back and forth (thereby making my search that much more difficult; ‘duh’, Alex).
Leave the mouse alone for awhile, move the mouse, find the mouse pointer in an instant. Did I mention that Mouse Locator is free! See? I’m not one to disappoint.