Thanks to Aaron Dowd for sponsoring BrettTerpstra.com this week and promoting his new Successful Podcasting online course! I’ve known Aaron since Systematic was on 5by5, where he was the audio editor. He’s a pro, with a bunch of videos on podcasting to his credit and years of experience in both creating and producing ‘casts. Take advantage of his expertise!
My name is Aaron Dowd, and I love helping people make podcasts. The knowledge shared in the podcasts I’ve been listening to since 2010 have helped me find sanity and work I love doing.
I owe so much to the folks who have shared what they’ve learned in podcasts over the years; people like Brett and Merlin Mann and David Sparks and Katie Floyd from Mac Power Users. They’ve taught me so many amazing things and helped me connect with so many other awesome podcasters and people who are passionate about what they do.
I learned so much from them over the years, and I’ve always hoped I’d someday be able to help other people the same way.
This week I launched an online course called Successful Podcasting that I wrote and recorded (with help) in 2016–2017. I wanted to share everything I’ve learned so far about making podcasts to help anyone who wants to learn how to be a great podcaster.
The course runs online, and includes 9 Modules with 64 Videos. It’s normally $699, but right now I’m offering $200 off. You’ll also get access to Logic Pro X for Podcasters and Podcasting With GarageBand (screencast courses to help you learn these great app). Get hours of instruction and tips for $499!
Registration is only open until Friday, so if you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast, I’d love to help. Sign up today!
An AI-based notetaker for phone calls. You can tag a spot in the conversation as a marker, and get a summary of the call afterward. I would love to figure out a way to do this with podcasting, getting show notes and markers delivered to me automatically…
“I want the reader at the end of this book to feel like they’ve just spent a year on the road with Zeppelin with one day off, then six months with Guns ‘n’ Roses, with one day off and then five years with Bruce Springsteen. Exhilarated and exhausted.” -Neal Preston : Legendary rock tour photographer Neal Preston’s coffee table book. I haven’t bought this, yet, but it’s on my wish list.
Thanks to MightyDeals for sponsoring BrettTerpstra.com this week!
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Unclutter has been around for a while now, and it’s just as intriguing to me as it was when it was released. It’s a utility that combines clipboard history, interim file management, and a notepad all in one app with a clever (and elegant) interface.
(Oh, hey. If you already know about Unclutter and just want the sale link, here you go.)
To open the Unclutter panel, you just put your cursor over the menu bar at the top of the screen and scroll down (i.e. 2-finger swipe down, or a scroll wheel, or possibly a ball if you still like those mighty mouse things and the ball didn’t gum up on you years ago.) The gesture to open it can also be customized with alternatives like holding down a modifier key or having it just open automatically after a delay.
When the panel slides down, you have three panes across your screen. Clipboard, files, and notes. The widths can be configured and individual panels can be rearranged and be disabled, so Unclutter can fill just the functions you need without being, well, cluttered.
The clipboard pane provides a history of everything you copy. Text, images, files, etc., and you can choose items from the history to re-paste. I honestly don’t know how people survive without some kind of clipboard history (e.g. Keyboard Maestro, LaunchBar, Alfred, etc.). Having to constantly remember that you put something in your clipboard and it will disappear if you forget to paste it before you copy something else is agitating.
Unclutter’s clipboard history works perfectly for any standard usage, providing a visual overview of what’s been in your clipboard with any item clickable to paste it again. You can also star items to add them to favorites and keep an easily-accessible list of common clippings available.
The files pane is a primarily a temporary holding area. Like Yoink and the Dropzone Drop Bar, you can use it as a place to drag files to while you get to the place where you want to put them. Collect files from multiple places, switch Finder windows or apps, and drag them back out.
Unlike Yoink and other tools, Unclutter actually moves the file to an interim folder rather than using File Promises. Generally I prefer the “promises” method, but there are a few nice things about this method: files persist between app launches and reboots, and you can set the temporary folder to be in Dropbox, so you can actually have your “holding area” sync across multiple machines and devices.
Folders in the files pane can be dragged to, so you can create various organization systems. You can also hold down Option to copy a file/folder into the file pane, or hold down Command-Option to create an alias. Using an alias means you can have a permanent reference to a folder without actually moving it, so you can do things like alias your Documents or Applications folder (or any folder you move files to frequently) to make dragging files there easy from any application.
Files in the files pane can be searched by name right from within Unclutter. You can view them as a list or as auto-arranged icons, organized by name, kind, or date.
The notepad pane is similar in interface to nvALT and its ilk. Just a place where you can quickly take plain text notes and quickly reference them. Notes are displayed in a list, sorted by date added. The search feature is fast and full-text, so finding notes quickly doesn’t generally require a lot of scrolling. You can jump to search with ⌘F, but you do have to click in the pane you want to search before that will work. If you (like me) prefer nvALT’s more modal, keyboard-based interface, you can always disable the notes pane as well.
In summary, Unclutter is a great utility, combining 3 tools that would otherwise require dedicated apps or a more complex app with additional capabilities that not everyone needs. It’s also inexpensive at $9.99. And right now it’s on sale for $5.99 (40% off). I’m a little late in mentioning the sale, so there’s only one day left to grab it (sale ends Nov 17).
Thanks to TextExpander for sponsoring BrettTerpstra.com this week!
You probably have a marketing message in your email signature.
Let’s say you launch a new product or service. You’ll want to update everyone’s signature…
Without TextExpander, your marketing person would send an email with the new text to everyone, and maybe half your company would update.
With TextExpander, your marketing person edits the shared snippet, and it’s instantly available to everyone on your team, on all their devices. They didn’t need to do anything, the right person made the edits, and everyone is up to date.
That’s the power and the magic of shared snippets and just one example of what your team can do to communicate smarter with TextExpander.
SearchLink is one of the tools I’ve created that I use almost every day, so I’ve added a few bindings for it to my KeyBindings project. These will insert the basic syntax for SearchLink input, and you can add custom bindings for custom searches.
Once these are installed, you can use them in any Cocoa application. They’re all bound to ⌃⌘g (control-command-g), with the various search types bound to the next letter. So hitting ⌃⌘g and then typing g will wrap the selected text as [selected text](!g) for a Google search with SearchLink. Included bindings are:
SearchLink commands (⌃⌘g)
SearchLink Syntax: Google ([text](!g))
SearchLink Syntax: Amazon ([text](!a))
SearchLink Syntax: iOS App ([text](!itu))
SearchLink Syntax: Mac App Store ([text](!mas))
SearchLink Syntax: Software ([text](!s))
SearchLink Syntax: Twitter User ([text](!@t))
Here’s the code. You can also find this in context on GitHub:
As an example there are a couple I use for my own blog searches. It should be pretty obvious how to modify these…
Back in 2014 I created a little app that generates custom PopClip extensions. It broke on 10.13, so I’m updating it for the latest OS.
PopMaker was created in response to the number of requests I got for what were essentially the same extension. Either one to surround text with custom prefix/suffix, or to create a custom search extension to send the selected text to a search engine or a local url handler (Evernote, nvALT, etc.).
The new version still only creates search and text surround extensions. I started working on a whole system for custom script extensions, but ultimately it was too much effort that needed to go elsewhere. If you know enough about coding to write a custom script, you can probably figure out the rest.
I added a project page with details. See below for the updated download.
Because I’ve written about WALTR 2 previously, I wanted to mention it’s on sale with a 30% discount right now. WALTR 2 is the insanely fast tool for getting video and audio in any format (including FLAC and 4K) from your Mac to your iOS device’s audio/video collections. It works over USB or WiFi with just a drag and drop for automatic conversion and transfer.
Ooh, scary. The latest round of updates to iTextEditors saw a significantly higher number of deletions than additions. A purge of the chart to match The App Store Purge. Sad to see almost 20 editors go, but the list is trimmer now, and the good ones are easier to spot. Happy Halloween.
I haven’t had time to go out and dig for the latest additions, so if you have a new favorite that’s not listed, please submit it!
As part of my continuing “Bash Fun” series, I have a few more tricks for Terminal junkies. These work in Bash and Zsh, and probably elsewhere.
To use any of these, just put them in a file and source them from your login profile (~/.bash_profile, etc.).
Write a quick Markdown list
This first one is super simple. It just takes a tab-indented list from STDIN and outputs a Markdown bullet list in Terminal. It removes blank lines and maintains indentation using sed.
You can just run qlist and type the list in Terminal, ending input with ⌃d on a blank line, or pipe input in from pbpaste or a file.
The qlistpb alias at the end is just a shortcut for piping the output to the clipboard instead of STDOUT.
qlist: quick markdown list
Quickly list IP addresses for the current machine
Next, a function to quickly list internal and WAN ip addresses. It uses ifconfig for the local IP, and then dig with the OpenDNS resolver for the WAN address. It works just as well with icanhazip.com using curl -sS icanhazip.com instead of the dig command, but I have more faith in the OpenDNS method being futureproof.
Updated: Thanks to comments from Keith Rollin and Daniel Whicker the script now iterates through all available network interfaces to find one that’s active.
Lastly, a function to convert hex color string to RGB using printf. This one takes a 6-character hex code (e.g. #faf1cb) and converts it to an RGB string, (e.g. rgb(250,241,203)).
The leading hash (#) is optional and will be cleared out if it exists. The hex string is case-insensitive, so FAF1CB will work as well. If the input given is 3 characters, it will be automatically expanded, doubling each character, so #666 becomes #666666.
If you want to include a CSS transparency indicator in the output (RGBA), you can include a second argument that consists of a float between 0 and 1, e.g. 0.5. hex2rgb 010 .5 becomes rgba(0,17,0,.5).
If you want just the numbers without the rgb(), change the line local css=true to local css=. Then hex2rgb faf1cb returns 250,241,203.