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How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 3)

How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 3)

Welcome to the final part of our series about note-taking for writers (or anyone else). Today we’re going to look at getting clippings and bookmarks into Evernote, to be stored and accessible alongside your scanned, paper-based notes (Part 1) and your text notes grabbed on your iPhone or Mac (Part 2).

We’ll use a few apps and services to get this done – EverClip, Mr Reader, IFTTT and Pinboard are the main ones.

As ever, you could just do much of this using Evernote and its web clipper, but this only works in Safari and Chrome on the desktop. In 2014! Clearly that’s no good. Let’s see how we can do it better.

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When your Mac slows down, give it a tune-up

Mac Tune Up

Tune up your Macintosh, and clean out the cruft

Macs are solid machines, but just like their owners they have a tendency to get lethargic as they age. Launching and switching programs takes longer, simple tasks become arduous, and the dreaded beach ball of doom appears more often than it did when your machine was new. The operating system just starts to feel crufty, and can get worse over time. I see these issues in my IT consulting business regularly.

You may be asking, why does this happen? There are many reasons, but some are more common than others. Sometimes your hard disk (or solid-state drive) gets too full and interferes with normal computer operations. Crashes or misbehaving programs can corrupt the disk directory or application cache files. Remnants from old software may still be running behind the scenes, or you don’t have enough RAM to deal with your OS and workflow.

Is there some sort of tune-up you can do to sort it out? Your tech always tells you to just reboot the computer, but there’s got to be more than that. The good news: Yes, there are some things you can do. And, perhaps, adopt some more efficient computing practices for yourself along the way.

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Add GPS to your dumb camera photos using your iOS device

Add GPS to your dumb camera photos using your iOS device

Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apart from letting you quickly edit and share photos (and always sitting, ready to go, in your pocket), the iPhone camera has one other great feature: It geotags every photo and video you shoot with the place you captured the imagery. You might not care about that now, but in the future when you wonder, “Where did I take that naked self-portrait?” or decide to take a look at your old vacation snaps, you’ll love geotagging.

Hell, half the time I use a map to find a photo — I can usually remember where I was better than when I was.

Lack of geotagging is perhaps the main reason I don’t take my regular camera out as often as I’d like, so I decided to do something about that. I’m using a combination of the iOS GeoTagr app on iPhone and iPad, plus a Fujifilm X100S camera and a Garmin EDGE 500 GPS bike computer.

Let’s take a look.

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Salvage every last drop of your iPhone’s juice with these battery-saving tips

One of the biggest knocks people tend to make at the iPhone is its battery life. While we all have busy lives, it’s imperative for our devices to last the long haul with us. In today’s how-to find out how to save more of your iPhone battery with just five quick and easy tips.

Take a look at the video to see what to do.

Plunge out your iPhone’s sludge with these tidying tips

One of the best perks about having an iPhone is that it naturally does a pretty good job at running well. Although, after time many users have found that their iPhone runs slower and doesn’t perform as well as it used to. In today’s how-to find out how to help your iPhone run smoother in just five quick tips.

Take a look at the video to see what to do.

Wield your iPhone’s full messaging powers with these useful tips

Our iPhone’s have the ability to do so many things but the core of its purpose is to help us communicate through talk and even text. While it can be easy to simply type a message and send it off, the messaging app in iOS 7 is capable of doing so much more. In today’s how-to find out how you can take full control of the iOS messaging app and take your messaging to the next level.

Take a look at the video to see what to do.

How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 1)

How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 1)

I started writing stories this year – short fiction and a couple of novellas so far – and I’ve found I need to make a lot of notes. The iPhone is pretty great for this, as you’d expect, but not always: Sometimes it’s just not appropriate to tap away on a cellphone, and sometimes you might want to make little drawings, or maybe you just find it easier and faster to pull out a paper notebook or index card.

The biggest advantage of iPhone notes is that they are sync-able and searchable. Paper is neither. But using a combo of apps, old-school paper hacks and an easy-to-maintain “workflow”, I came up with a simple note-taking system that keeps paper and pixels together, both equally searchable, sync-able and usable.

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Unlock Siri’s superpowers with these 5 brilliant tips

While Apple’s personal assistant Siri may be irritating to use at times it comes stocked in iOS with thousands of uses. In today’s how-to find out how to usefully use Siri in your life with 5 quick and simple tips.

Take a look at the video to see what to do.

Give your Mac a speed boost with this quick tip

It’s totally irritating when you’re using your Mac and it slows down all of a sudden. While your computer is obviously doing what you’re focusing on, it can also be working hard on pointless tasks running in the background. In today’s how-to video, find out how to stop this and speed up your Mac in no time.

Sync your iOS Photo Stream with Flickr, Dropbox or anything else

Sync your iOS Photo Stream with Flickr, Dropbox or anything else

I have at least three apps set to auto-upload my iPhone photos whenever I reach a Wi-Fi connection. That’s three apps running in the background and using bandwidth to send my pictures up to the cloud, and they all run in addition to Apple’s own Photo Stream.

There’s nothing really wrong with this system: After all, bandwidth over Wi-Fi isn’t limited, and redundancy is good. But what if you could somehow consolidate all these services, and at the same save all your iPhone photos to a folder on your Mac? That’s what we’ll do today, with PhotoStream2Folder and a few other apps. We’ll take your Photo Stream, grab all the photos and save them to a folder on your Mac, then auto-upload them to Flickr, Dropbox and anywhere else you want.

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