Rarely do I find software that is so wonderfully balanced between form and function that it becomes an instant favorite of mine. Recently, I’ve found three. Dropbox, which I’ve already written about, was first. The second was Burstn. Calvetica, an iPhone calendar, is the third such app. If you use an iPhone and you’re looking for an amazing calendar, I think you’re search ends with calvetica.
Not that I’m the most social person in the world, but once in a while even I am impressed by social networking apps. Burstn, a twitteresque photo-sharing service, is such an app.
Burstn runs on iOS (and, soon, on Android). When you start the app, you’re presented with a camera app. Once you take a picture, or pull one from your device’s album, you’re offered the chance to add a caption and some #tags. You’re also offered a set of popular #tags that you can just choose, which is nice because it’s rather hard to get to the # sign on the iPhone keyboard.
AutoFocus is a minimalist time management system by Mark Forster. It certainly has its merits, especially if you find that time management systems like Getting Things Done (GTD) are too complicated. While there’s all kinds of GTD apps for the iPhone, only recently have apps based on AutoFocus started to appear. A very interesting AutoFocus app is FocusTodo (n.b. the website seems nearly entirely in Japanese) by Syncreticworks.
I’m going to do a short review of FocusTodo and suggest some possible improvements. It’s a pretty cool app anyways, and I think that AutoFocus purists in particular will really appreciate it.
Sometimes it’s hard to make decisions. In my experience, a hard decision is one that involves multiple criteria the relative importance of which aren’t particularly clear. There exist methods to help you make such decisions. One of them has been implemented in an iPhone app called iDecide+. So I thought I would write about decision making, and briefly review the app, at the same time.
Consider a simple example: taking a vacation. You would probably want to spend as little money while having as much fun (however you define “fun”) as possible. But there’s more to it. You might want to go somewhere you’ve never been. You might prefer to distinguish between the costs of travel versus the costs of activities (beer, sightseeing, souvenirs, nightclubs, whatever). You might want to go somewhere with a particular climate. These are some of the criteria that would help you decide which vacation is probably the best for you. And these are just some of the possibilities; there are many others.
PTO is a very simple task manager, more suited to the AutoFocus crowd than the GTD folks. (If you’re already lost, try reading this.) But it goes about things in a rather novel way: rather than emphasizing the need to do things, PTO makes it easy to, well, just put things off. Each task can be deferred by a fixed amount of time with just one tap. The period to which tasks are put off can be changed in the app’s settings.
For a little end of the year fun (yeah, I said “fun.” So?), I thought I’d quickly summarize my favourite iPhone apps.
NoteMaster is my favourite writing app. You can write notes with embedded images, organize everything in folders, and sync your notes with Google Docs. It supports landscape mode for those who prefer it. It’s clean and simple and does its job. It’s not as fancy as, say, EverNote, and not as clumsy to use either.