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Brett’s Favorites 2022 - Personal Projects

Here’s a rundown of the personal projects I’ve focused the most on in 2022. A lot of heart and soul (and manic energy) went into these. If any of them prove useful to you, monetary support is always welcomed and appreciated!

Bunch is my text-based Mac automation app. Think DOS batch files or AppleScript with simplified syntax, all launched from a handy menu bar item.
Bunch saw a ton of updates this year. Improvements to conditional logic, tagging, heredoc support for embedded scripts, and more new features than I can mention. Check out the changelog to see all of the updates.
Doing is my command line time tracking app that helps you remember what you were doing last, what you’ve done, and how much time you spent on it.
Doing saw more updates than I could possibly list. It’s become a very full-fledged app at this point, with great time tracking and expansive display options. If you have doing installed, you can see all the changes from 2022 by running doing changes --lookup "> 2.0.10".
Gather is my command line tool for “markdownifying” a website, converting it to Markdown for archiving in your notes. It was a chance for me to learn more about Swift, and became an obsession for a little while. It turned into a very useful utility.
Howzit is a command line utility that allows you to take notes on a project in Markdown, and embed runnable commands in it. You can query your notes for a specific topic, and then run all of the commands for that topic automatically. Like a Makefile for your projects, but with better descriptions and notes.
Howzit was originally a self-contained script, but this year saw a complete reworking of it as a Ruby gem that can be installed with gem install howzit. If you want to see the development progress, check out the Howzit changelog. Everything from version 1.2.0 on is the progress from this year.
Not Narcotics Anonymous, but Next Action. It’s a tool for command-line interaction with TaskPaper files, allowing you to store per-project todo lists in every directory and immediately see what needs to be worked on next.
This year saw NA packaged as a gem as well, and added the ability not just to parse and display actions, but to add and modify them. It’s now fully qualified as a way to work with TaskPaper files without ever leaving the command line.
I maintain that this is the most useful tool I’ve ever made. It allows you to write very simple syntax in a Markdown file and link text to the right web page without ever switching to your browser. It’s amazing for podcast show notes and blog link lists, but also handy any time you need to include a URL for something.
This year saw quite a few bug fixes and updates, including support for Hookmark bookmarks.
Marked 2
Marked is my Mac app for previewing and converting Markdown files. It’s been my only “commercial” project for the last decade, and I’ve continued to keep it updated.
I didn’t spend as much time on Marked this year as I have in years past, but a significant amount of time went into ensuring its compatibility with new OS releases and updating it to optimize for Apple Silicon.
You’re wondering by now where nvUltra falls into all of this. I’ve promised the update to nvALT for years now and still haven’t released it. Well, the beta is going great, and about 1500 people are using it daily. We’ve had some delays due to personal lives and their various complications, but we’re on the final stretch (still).
If you’re just dying to try it out and sick of waiting, feel free to send an email to this address and request beta access. We’re not batch adding people from the mailing list anymore, but I add individual requests all the time.

If you’ve used/loved any of these projects, feel free to show some support or make a one-time donation:

Web Excursions for November 25, 2022

Web excursions brought to you in partnership with Udemy. Learn Anything.

Has it really been over four months since I published a one of these roundups? Automation failure, sorry. Here’s a bunch!

By the way, if you’re looking for the Black Friday software deals, check out Michael Tsai’s list. And if you want 30% off of Marked 2, just use the coupon BLACKFRIDAY22 at checkout.

neovide/neovide: No Nonsense Neovim Client in Rust

This is a simple graphical user interface for Neovim (an aggressively refactored and updated Vim editor). Where possible there are some graphical improvements, but functionally it should act like the terminal UI. Adds some nice animations, blurred floating windows, and remote TCP support.

marcusbuffett/pipe-rename: Rename your files using your favorite text editor
A great CLI to rename your files in batch using your favorite text editor.
PopClip extension snippets
PopClip can now create extensions with YAML, just type it, select it, and watch PopClip do some magic. Check out this video from my buddy Jay Miller.
yuya-takeyama/jr: jq like JSON processor for Rubyists
I know Ruby isn’t the most popular language these days, but it’s what I’m fastest in for scripting. This command line JSON processor lets you use Ruby to create queries and maps for parsing JSON on the command line. I like it.
A curated directory of 700+ Mac menu bar apps. Small apps to help you become more productive and maximize your workflow with MacOS. (Just in case your menu bar had some room left in it.)
Theme Redone is a custom WordPress theme starter/framework with its own Gutenberg blocks solution and a CLI that speeds up the block creation process. It’s been a while since I was motivated to build my own WordPress theme (since I switched to Jekyll), but I run the Overtired website on WP and have been itching to improve the layout. This seems like a great way to scaffold a new theme when I get around to it…
“Dendron is a note taking tool that helps technical teams organize and reference any amount of information.” Interesting knowledge management solution leveraging VS Code. Hat tip to Jay Miller.
charmbracelet/gum: A tool for glamorous shell scripts 🎀
A clever bunch of functions for prettifying your shell scripts. Nice inputs, menu selections, option filtering, and more. I’ve implemented support for these in a few of my CLIs, including na.
Find anything you’ve seen, said, or heard. All recordings are stored locally, and all speech recognition is handled locally on your Mac. Seems like a legit way for ADHD types to keep track of massive amounts of information without giving up privacy.
OWC Express 4M2 4-Slot M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure w/ Thunderbolt3 Ports
One of these bad boys combined with one or more NVMe SSD drives will be the fastest external storage your Thunderbolt 3/4 machine has ever seen, or at least that I’ve found. 2TB SSD cards are $50 off at Amazon right now…

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Brett’s Favorites 2022 - Mac Apps

I’m getting an early start on this list this year. This will be some of my most used apps, with a special emphasis on apps that have seen significant updates in the last year.

I’ll follow this post up with a couple more: definitely one for my favorite personal projects in 2022, one for hardware, and maybe one for iOS apps of note. There may even be a followup to this post if I have some honorable mentions or an app gets a major update before the end of the year. Watch for those in December/January.

Apps available on Setapp will be noted. As I mention frequently, Setapp is a great deal at $10/month for 100+ excellent apps. If you’re a Setapp user, you should always try to use the Setapp version of your favorite apps to make sure the developer gets a piece of your subscription!


Affinity Photo 2
Just out last month, all three Affinity apps from Serif have seen a major upgrade. I covered some of the new stuff in Photo on Overtired #307, but suffice to say they made significant changes that made some amazing apps even better. Photo especially is now a true contender for Photoshop.
My favorite diff app changed hands again, this time to some indie developers who have shown it some real love. It’s expensive, but if you know you need an app like this, totally worth it.
Another app stole Curio’s name this year, but I’m talking about the one from Zengobi. Curio gets very regular updates and has put out some major versions this year alone. With the number of features it packs into a brainstorming/research/project management app, it’s amazing that there are even new features left to add, but George always finds a way.
Just a mention of what is still my favorite Regex pattern tester. I’ve mentioned it many times before, so I won’t bore you, but I use it so often I’d be remiss to leave it off the list.
CleanShot X Setapp
Holy cow this app is crazy good. If you take screenshots, you need CleanShot X. I couldn’t begin to list all of its features in this post format, but let me say it does everything you could hope for in the most elegant possible ways. Just try it. Seriously.
If you like TaskPaper, check out the new outliner from the same developer. Simple, elegant, great keyboard shortcuts, and portability to a variety of useful formats.
A great new terminal app that adds a lot of unique features, including AI command suggestions, great autocomplete, terminal sharing, and the ability to copy blocks of output with keyboard shortcuts.
CleanMyMac X Setapp
This app just keeps getting better. In addition to cleanup and optimization, it also does malware detection/removal, secure file deletion, and thorough app removal.
It keeps all your Mac apps up to date, notifying you of updates, providing release notes, and offering one-click updating of everything on your system. Top notch.
DaVinci Resolve
If you want to edit video but don’t care to shell out hundreds for Final Cut, you’ll be amazed that this app is free. Pro-level features, zero money down.
HoudahSpot Setapp
The best way to find files on your Mac. If you think Spotlight is handy, wait ‘til you see what HoudahSpot can do.
A lot of similar apps have come out in the last few years, but none have done as good a job as Choosy, in my opinion. If you use multiple web browsers and want to decide in which one to open any given link, make Choosy your default browser. Popup browser selection, plus “rules” for handling specific link types.
BetterTouchTool Setapp
I don’t think I need to tell you how much I love BetterTouchTool. This year saw many new features, but most significantly Andreas added Stream Deck support and my Stream Deck has never been this useful before.
Hookmark Setapp
Hook rebranded as Hookmark and joined Setapp this year. If you want to create stable links between any two or more elements on your system (web pages, documents, images, even deep linked todo items and notes), check out Hookmark.
I’m not sure anything will ever pull me away from MailMate. It’s my email tool of choice. Power without compromise.
iThoughts X Setapp
Still my favorite mind mapping app on the Mac. This opinion hasn’t changed for years, and I love that Toketaware has released a Setapp version.
Dash Setapp
Dash puts documentation and cheat sheets for all of your favorite programming languages, APIs, and tools on a hotkey with great search and keyboard navigation. A daily app for me.

Marked 2 and Hookmark (nee Hook)

I released a new version of Marked 2 this week, featuring integration with Hookmark (formerly known as Hook).

First, I’ll explain the Hook-to-Hookmark name change.

Hookmark 4.0 was released this week as a rebranding. The verb and noun “hook” (as well as the adjective “hooked”) are all used to describe the bidirectional links that the app creates, and there was confusion when talking about it as to whether you were referring to the app, or to one of the links it creates. It’s like the mistake I made calling Bunch “Bunch,” but also calling one of its files a “Bunch.” The rebranding to Hookmark simply allowed the app to be talked about separately from the connections it creates.

So what did Marked add? You can now add hook:// links as images in a Markdown document and the referenced resource will be resolved when previewing the markup. That’s especially handy in notes where you’re referencing a local image that might move in the future… just grab a Hook bookmark for it and use that in your notes. The image will continue to display properly in Marked even if the original file is moved or renamed.

This works perfectly with the Copy Markdown Link to New Screenshot Shortcut for saving a screen grab and generating a hook link in one quick step. You can take a screenshot, then paste the result directly into a note and… you’re done.

I’m still working on fixing some of Marked’s features that rely on Python and/or Ruby in the wake of macOS removing those languages from the default install. Most issues can be solved by installing the Command Line Tools, but I’m making an effort to remove the need for them (by converting the scripts to Swift, mostly). This affects CriticMarkup and Scrivener rendering, primarily. Watch for a new version soon.

The latest update is available via the Mac App Store, Setapp, or with Marked->Check For Updates for direct customers. See all the changes in the changelog.

na with a global file

One more round of updates for na. I got a couple of questions about whether na could work with one centralized file. The answer was, at the time, “not really,” but I’ve made some changes to facilitate that.

Get the latest version using gem upgrade, or do a fresh install by following the instructions on the project page.