Sparrow Mail App – “Quick Reply” is my favorite feature

UPDATE (07/24/2012):
Google has bought Sparrow. The Sparrow Mail app will no longer be developed. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Further details from TUAW:

Back in 2007 I switched over to using Google Apps for my email. Since that time I’ve used its online interface almost exclusively. The advantage of using the same interface to check my email anywhere far outweighed any negatives that came from not using a desktop mail app. What’s more, as the Gmail interface has matured, I’ve come to prefer it over any desktop clients I’ve used in the past. So, when I first heard about the Sparrow for Mac, I wasn’t too interested, but after picking the app up on sale this past weekend, it has become my goto email client because of one simple feature: Quick Reply [Read more...]

Shop Once a Month for Groceries and Get Back 12 Hours Per Month

Early in our marriage, my wife and I realized our weekly and sometimes daily grocery shopping was a major source of frustration and tension between us. We were both busy with our jobs, and we didn’t have time at the end of the work day to figure out what to cook for dinner. Planning ahead and shopping for a whole week’s dinners on the weekend helped, but the time that took was frustrating as well. Eventually we solved this problem by developing a system where we plan out a month’s worth of meals and purchase all their ingredients on the same day. [Read more...]

App Watch: Great Apps for iPad, Mac and iPhone

Here’s a couple of apps that have caught my eye recently. Whether you use a Mac, iPad, iPhone or some combination of the three, there’s something in here for you:

The Civil War Today | The History Channel – This iPad app curates public domain content from the Civil War period to create a daily newspaper chronicling the events of this day in history. It looks to be an excellent way to study history as it offers an immersive experience of the day-to-day goings on during the Civil War. Here are some screen shots:

HazeOver – If you find yourself working on your Mac with many applications open at once, the utility of this app is immediately apparent. It “dims out” any applications not in focus letting you focus on your current task. Watch this video to see it in action:

iMovie for iPhone4 – This app has been around since last fall; however, as I only got my iPhone4 a couple of months ago, it is new to me. iMovie for the iPhone is a great little video editor that lets you edit video shot with your phone. You can edit clips together, add titles and add music. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate its capabilities is to show you this quick little video I made of my daughter:

Managing Our Finances on a Mac

The wife and I are big on keeping track of our family finances. We have a monthly budget with over twenty categories that cover all of our expenses. Prior to switching from PC to Mac, we used Microsoft Money and a Google Spreadsheet to track our spending habits. Though workable, this process involved a lot of manual data entry and switching back and forth between MS Money and the browser. [Read more...]