Fun and free things for your (Mac) computer

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My computer seems to be a lot better. Mind you, I haven’t tried working with Motion since I visited the Apple Store Genius. I am planning on trying out again tomorrow. But, right now, it’s performing like it should be. Streeessssssful.

Right now, I’d like to share with you some stuff that I’ve found on the internet that has helped me with enjoying 1.) my computer better; 2.) organizing my personal finance better; and 3.) using dashboard again.


1. For enjoying my computer better. One of things that I love finding is awesome desktop wallpaper. However, what I don’t enjoy is LOOKING for awesome desktop wallpaper. There is so much out there that is digitally rendered sunsets and dolphins, space themes or half-naked ladies. I want wallpaper that is designed well to inspire the graphic designer in me. I found a pile! One useful place is Flickr, and search for wallpaper. You’ll find a lot of gorgeous ones - but yes, you’ll still have to wade through a bit in order to find those special ones. Another place that I found today, which is really the jackpot for me, is at www.veer.com, a stock photography website, but they have a lot of interactive features on there. Yeah, you have to sign up for a (free) account, but it’s totally worth it. Then you’ll have to visit their wallpaper area. Lots of clever stuff!

2. For organizing my personal finances with joy! For the last couple of years I’ve been recording how we use our money in an excel spreadsheet, but frankly for the last few months I’ve stopped using it ‘cause, well, it’s a hassle. While managing personal finances will always be a hassle, for people like me, if it’s got a fancy interface, graphical reports and uses colours for categories, sounds like fun! I have been researching the internet up and down for a good and free program (for Mac OSX), and after a couple of days, I found it! iCompta is good and pretty simple (you’ll have to orient yourself a bit). You can set your budgets, enter recurring bills and income, export and import files among others. We’ll see how it goes over the next few months.

3. Dashboard widgets. When Mac OSX first introduced widgets, I downloaded a whole bunch that I thought were pretty cool, but they were more fancy than useful. Shortly thereafter I stopped using widgets. With my new computer, I decided I wanted a timer that was simple enough that I could use to track the time while I work at home. I was expecting a lot of interruptions once Sofia was awake, and I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t get up from my computer to attend to her so I could get my hours in, but also didn’t want to feel like I was ripping work off by not working. ChronoTrack is nice and simple and easy to use. There were other ones that could track by projects, etc., but I just wanted to keep track of my day. I also needed a checklist to keep me on track as I am pulled in a thousand directions. Checkmarker is awesome. I keep multiple lists, prioritize some, and of course, check off tasks as I finish them. iCal events is nice; to show me a summary of my events for the next three or so days. Twidget is fun – keeps me updating, but doesn’t waste my company’s time by going to the Twitter website. Just get my thoughts down and go.

Hope you find something useful in there!

2 comments:

  1. Man! Thanks for doing all the research! Definitely going to look into that budget thing - Laura and I were just talking about that because she found a great program too (can't remember the name of it) and she's all Miss organized now!

    And veer IS a great site. I get my wallpapers from there for my phone and computer :) Also bought a great zip up for Keith that says "Kern". And aren't their fonts GREAT?!? Except you have to buy them...

    Merci Beaucoup!

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  2. Now I feel like writing a blog titled, "Fun and free things for your (Personal) Computer" :-)

    We should start making our own "Mac vs. PC" commercials, though I don't think I'd be anywhere as good as those actors!

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