Essential Keystrokes is…

where I share my favorite tips, tools, reviews and commentary on web design, marketing, blogging, new media and related topics. For more about this site and the voice behind it, check out my About page.


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Archive for Mac

essential toolsOne of the blogs I discovered while riding the Technorati train, is Adam Kayce’s Monk at Work. Adam’s goal is to not only help you get things done, but get the right things done. How? By helping you develop your intuition, increase your productivity, and deepen your spiritual connection. Dogma-free.

Adam is a die-hard Mac lover – even after having to “make do” with a Dell PC for a time. He is sharing his favorite tools for productivity while working on an iMac G5. Since I have one of those in my office, I am really excited to get some new ideas!

Camino: an OSX version of Firefox, it’s tighter, cleaner, and faster (so they say).

Curio: Adam’s go-to program for all kinds of tasks; planning, some graphic work, project management, etc. He loves it, and highly recommends it!

Fireworks: Adam’s graphics solution. From Macromedia, the Dreamweaver people. (Right here with you on this Adam – I have been using Fireworks and Dreamweaver since version 1.0)

Mellel: word processing. Adam uses TextEdit for most things, but Mellel is what he uses to write books and handouts for classes.

Quicksilver: a launcher, and then some. Some people like LaunchBar (he used to) and others like Butler (never tried it). Quicksilver is lean, gorgeous, and if Merlin Mann swears by it, it’s gotta be pretty good.

TextExpander: Talk about a productivity booster and finger saver! Allows you to program “snippets” that automatically expand when you type them. For example, if Adam types “akM”, it instantly becomes “Adam Kayce : Monk At Work”. This one alone will save you hours — and it even keeps track of how much time it’s saving you!

VolumeLogic plug-in for iTunes: If you’re a music lover, this is a fantastic plug-in; it boosts the sound levels of your iTunes music to sound as if you’re right there in the studio (or stadium). Last Adam checked, it was disabled by iTunes 7, so he’s running iTunes 6 still… but it’d be worth checking to see if they’ve got the bugs worked out. He listens to music constantly while working, so this is a 24/7 bonus.

CSSEdit: An indispensible tool for working with CSS; CSSEdit is the cleanest, easiest to use CSS editor he’s ever seen. (I may have to check that one out!)

There you have it Mac fans! How do you like Adam’s selection? Even if you are not a Mac user, go check out Monk at Work – there’s lots of good stuff there.

Previously featured: Ponn Sabra (Empower Women Now), Easton Ellsworth (Business Blogwire), Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei (Cottontimer), Daivid Airey (Creative Design), Wendy Piersall (eMomsAtHome), Randa Clay (Randa Clay), Ingo Scheusse (stixster), Jason Kaneshiro (Webomatica), Ben Yoskovitz (Instigator Blog), Phil Gerbyshak (Make It Great), Jason Alba (Jibber Jobber), Tony Clark (Success from the Nest), Gayla McCord (MomGadget), Mike Sansone (Converstations), Jennifer Hadorn (Bloggertunity), Robyn Tippins (Practical Blogging), Liz Strauss (Successful Blog) – you could be next – just drop me a line at charlene [at] keystrokes [dot] net!

Categories : Essential Tools, Mac
Comments (16)

Essential Tools – Webomatica Style

Posted by: Char | Comments (3)

Essential ToolsIt’s Wednesday and it is time for another Essential Tools feature. One of my favorite daily reads is the blog of Jason Kaneshiro at Webomatica. Jason is an instructional designer in the Bay Area, California. His blog Webomatica covers technology, movies, music, and bottle caps.

Jason works on a Mac and his short list of applications he uses almost daily is made up entirely of freeware/shareware with the exception of Adobe Photoshop. This is great news for me – I have an underutilized Mac and these will give me some inspiration.

  • NetNewsWire Lite: A free desktop feed reader, which is great for finding new blog posts to read (and link to).
  • TextEdit: Jason uses this Macintosh application to draft posts. He waits until he is in WordPress to add links.
  • Grab: This is a screen capture utility that comes with OS X. It’s great for grabbing images of websites he reviews.
  • Firefox and Safari. Jason alternates between the two to make sure everything is showing up properly. Sometimes Safari is useful because it doesn’t support the WordPress WYSIWYG editor, so he can hand code the post HTML.
  • WordPress: Webomatica runs on WordPress, which itself runs on pHp and MySQL. It just updated to 2.1. He’s found it to be really reliable, very extensible using various plugins, with themes that are infinitely modifiable using just a text editor and a basic image editing program. It also uses CSS, so if he wants to change a font here and there it’s totally doable. You basically do your writing right in a browser.
  • TextWrangler: A free basic text editor. Although a lighter version of BBEdit, it still supports find and replace. Jason uses it for tweaking the pHp files that WordPress uses to determine the look and feel of his blog.
  • Adobe Photoshop: Jason uses Photshop for image editing. He has created several custom actions for cropping, resizing, and adding borders, and saving to particular folders on my desktop, where I can upload them.
  • CyberDuck: A free FTP client.

All you Mac users – let me know what other tools you have to be essential! My Mac is looking to get equal time to its PC office mate.

Categories : Essential Tools, Mac
Comments (3)


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