Best of 2017: Personal Projects

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See all the 2017 roundups!

As you may be aware, I publish a lot of projects. Mostly tools and scripts I give away for free, a couple that actually pay my bills. One yearly recap I never get around to actually finishing is a list of my own favorite personal projects for the year. This year I got around to it.

60 Mac Tips
David Sparks and I finished a new edition of 60 Mac Tips in time for the High Sierra release. We also updated volume 1, so all total there are 120 unique tips, with video demonstrations, all valid on the latest macOS.
Marked 2
Marked continues to be my primary focus. It was released at an opportune time when Markdown was finally getting a lot of momentum among writers and bloggers. It’s become a standard in its genre, and the further development of writing tools and integrations has made it a lot of fun to continue working on.
Far from my most popular project, SearchLink is still the one I love the most out of all of my free projects. These roundups would be impossible without the ability to automatically link text without jumping back and forth between the browser and my editor. This year saw the addition of new features and additional (easier) syntax.
My chart of features for all of the iOS text editors on the App Store continued to grow (and shrink a little, it’s been log enough that some are dying off). It remains one of the most consistently high-traffic pages on my blog.
As a side note, I’ve been rewriting the whole thing to use a database and dynamically generated chart. It allows more flexibility in searching and filtering, as well as easier addition of criteria (and potentially entire genres of apps). This kind of stalled, but I do hope to get back to it.
nvALT (and BitWriter)
nvALT got an update to make it work with High Sierra, which is good because I’d still be lost without it. BitWriter progress was slow, as anyone waiting for it knows, but it’s been getting more attention these last few months.
I made more shirts. My favorite new one is the Markdown-inspired **BOLD**, and I’m still partial to the I Wanna Be shirt from the Rock Paper series.
It was a great year for Systematic. I loved every guest I got to talk to, including Sal Soghoian, Shawn Blanc, Allison Sheridan, and Merlin Mann, as well as fascinating interviews with people you might never have heard of. Rabbi Eric Linder came back, and folks like Jai Bentley-Payne, Adam Wuerl, Steve Harm, and Stuart Turner (among many others) made it a pleasure to keep things going.
While the regularity of publication slowed down at the end of the year when Christina switched jobs, it was a year of delightfully weird conversations. A little dark at times, but that’s part of the point of the podcast for me. Very good topics on both sides.