New software

I’m incredibly picky about software I buy. It has to be well designed, easy to use and simple. I’m usually not looking for programs that will do everything under the sun. Those tend to become too bloated and hard to figure out. I want ones that do exactly what I want, when I want with no hiccups. I don’t often add new software to what I use daily but with the purchase of the new iMac I decided to try some new things.

Photography Post Production

I added Photo Mechanic on recommendation from my friend Zack. The user friendliness isn’t as high on the list as I’d like, but it does what I need it to. And that is to cut my photo editing time down. It allows me to preview all the photos I take from a shoot almost instantly. I can then very quickly sort them and grab only the usable ones. Then I import that smaller subset into Aperture for actual editing. Not only does this cut down time spent sorting, it also limits the number of photos I’m dragging into Aperture. That means a smaller library which in turn means much needed speed for Aperture, which is a resource hog.

Writing

I also started using Storyist for some of my writing. I decided to get more serious about writing some of the story ideas I’ve been jotting down for years. Storyist also has some usability quirks I’m not a fan of, but after a few nights of writing, I’ve learned my way around relatively well. It handles all the heavy lifting when it comes to formatting the manuscript so I can focus on research and writing. It also has great ways of tracking things like characters and locations which is easy to refer back to. This is essential. I’m two chapters in and I’ve already spent hours researching things (like the French word for hospital for instance) and it’s nice to have a centralized location to keep all this.

I wanted to be able to sync my Storyist files between my various computers so I can work on it anywhere. For that I’m using Dropbox. I just saved the Storyist file to Dropbox and now it syncs across all my machines. And here’s hoping for a Storyist app for the iPad sooner rather than later.

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