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Build. Hack. Play. It's just what we do.

That MacBook is finally here - now I need some apps

I bet you thought I would stop talking about my MacBook now that it's here, but I find myself totally lost. I thought I knew what I'd do with it, and while I do know these main things, I find myself unprepared for the other options I have now that I have a laptop that can actually do things without running out of memory or battery. I've been using a Windows desktop as my main computer for the last 2 years, so I don't even know what the best of Mac is, so I find myself begging the internet (mostly Liveschedules' fault again) for help.

I've been browsing the Lifehacker Mac Apps directory, but I was wondering if anyone has suggestions/ringing endorsements for free and almost-free apps in particular areas. Cross-platform compatibility is a plus, but since this is a laptop and I can take it with me, features matter more to me.

  • Journaling. I want an app that will allow me to design a template, similar to that of the Five Minute Journal, that I can just fill in every morning and evening, and is easily browsed. I could have sworn there was one featured on StackSocial, but it seems to have disappeared. I know there are kludgy extensions to Evernote that will let you do this, but I was hoping for a single app. ETA: I think I've settled on DayOne with TextExpander, but I'm curious if anyone knows a good way to randomly select one prompt from a database of prompts that I create somewhere and dump it into DayOne with a shortcut? DayOne's prompts are less affirming and more "this is what you should write about." I also have a low tolerance for sentiment, so I'd like to be able to pick and choose.
  • Text editor for coding - I picked TextWrangler. I used it the last time I had to code on a Mac. I really love Notepad++ so as close to that as possible would be nice, but I vaguely remember TextWrangler not having native support for syntax highlighting of R scripts.
  • I suppose I should use some sort of version control now that I am starting to get serious about coding. I would like something that makes this easy, since I don't know what I'm doing, and also private repositories (stored locally or on my cloud accounts).
  • Antivirus - Sophos Antivirus for Mac?
  • Backups - Time Machine or something else? I have a Seagate Backup Plus for Mac.
  • Note-taking apps. I use Notability on my iPad sometimes. Is it worth using on my laptop?
  • A lab notebook app that doesn't put things in the cloud and can export protocols and reports and such to pdf/word.
  • Productivity apps: Marinara Timer in app form, RescueTime or some other analysis app that doesn't just classify "Google Chrome" as any one kind of productivity.
  • Some software I can use to organize and tag and group pictures, specifically pictures of my clothes, which I will then group by type and tag with conditions in which to wear them. Ideally, this would be separate from whatever Photo organizing app I use by default, but if anyone has cool suggestions for using iPhoto to do it, I'm all ears. This one is probably something I don't want to pay for.
  • Anything else that would make life as a graduate student much easier.

Unrelated technical difficulties: how do you get the scroll bar to show up on Chrome without adjusting the width of the window and hovering? Are there shortcuts I can set for page up, page down, and end? This is all wildly inefficient. I am an idiot.


Thank you all.

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