Notebook Calculators Soulver and Calca

A notebook calculator isn’t something I knew I needed until I saw it. Writing math formulas and solving calculations using text is absolutely genius and has a slew of benefits. First, a notepad calculator is way to mix text and numbers in the same document. Yes, this can be done in spreadsheet, but spreadsheet formulas are very hard to translate into documents. For example, pasting spreadsheet formulas into a Jira ticket won’t make any sense to someone reading it. This is where notepad calculators like Soulver and Calca come in. You can create something like: Revenue=$34000 Expenses=$10000 Total=Revenue-Expenses = $24,000 Or Price=$100 Qty=10 Discount=5% Total=(Price*Qty)-Discount = $950.00 This is a live formula. So as you change Revenue or Expenses, the Total will change, the same as you would see in a spreadsheet. That is obviously a simple example, but the language is easier to follow. It’s also easier to follow $339-20% discount or 35% off 300k, without having to show […]

Setting up hot keys on the gamepad

Now that I have the gamepad hooked into Karabiner-Elements, it’s time to start putting it to work. Hotkeys aren’t exclusive to tools like Alfred and Keyboard Maestro. Plenty of apps, and even macOS itself, supports setting up hotkey shortcuts. One of the tools I use all the time is TextSoap. I use the cleaners to format text for blog articles. Articles are written in Scrivener, then pasted into WordPress. I use “1 Return to 2 Returns” to add line breaks to the text. I also use the opposite filter a ton, “Multiple Returns to 1 Return”. This is to remove empty lines from text and bring it all together. A third is, “Remove Duplicate Lines”. I previously selected these using the Text Palette, which is pretty awesome, but it does require me to find each one separately when I want to use them. However, under Preferences, TextSoap can assign a cleaner to a shortcut key. I now have those same […]

Adding Skim to the Efficiency Toolbelt

Most writing apps can create a PDF. Dozens of apps can read a PDF. But, when you want to highlight, create bookmarks to useful sections and create annotations, things start to fall apart. Plenty of apps can handle the task, but the features and price vary wildly. Some come with basic features that aren’t much more powerful than Preview. While others come with impressive options and a price tag to match. However, there is an efficient, feature rich, and low cost alternative called Skim, and after highlighting the heck out of a project management book, it has become my tool of choice. Skim is a free tool that offers great features for reading, highlighting and annotating PDF files. When a PDF is open, you can either use thumbnails or a Table of Contents for navigation. In the center is the document itself where you can easily change the zoom and page style. Then on the right are your notes. Working […]

More fun, and a gamepad, with Karabiner-Elements

After the initial success of using Karabiner-Elements with a keyboard I had laying around, I decided to move a step further by adding a gamepad to the mix and programming it with hotkeys. And it worked with great success. The gamepad of choice, or rather, the gamepad on sale, is the BlueFinger Gaming Keyboard, which is in essence the left side of a regular keyboard. Now, it's no Logitech or Razer, but I'm not going to use it that way. It's standard plastic all round, but it's got a decent size, feels sturdy enough and shows up as a generic keyboard. It was also $30, so many boxes checked there. Next, with the help of a very cool website-Karabiner Complex Modification, I was able to create a list of my own custom rules, which are loaded under the Complex Rules tab. Instead of pressing CAPS LOCK and then another key, I wanted one-click action. So, if I press A, I […]