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Desktop app of the week: YoruFukurou

YoruFukurou icon

YoruFukurou is my favourite desktop twitter app. In most apps, it’s simplicity that I like, but YoruFukurou is one of the more complex, deeply customisable twitter apps. I like the fact that I can customise everything about it, picking colours carefully and getting everything just right.

Other twitter apps all seem to have something missing, or just don’t feel right for me. That said, if a desktop version of Tweetbot was released, I’d ditch YoruFukurou in a second. Tweetbot is an absolutely exceptional iOS twitter client that I use constantly and really love. But, having tried lots of different desktop options, it’s currently YoruFukurou that does it for me.

This 1,675th post was filed under: Favourite desktop apps, Technology, , , .

Desktop app of the week: Reeder

Reeder icon

I’ve used Google Reader for years. I find it a really useful way of managing the many RSS feeds I subscribe to, but I hate its online interface. This means that I’ve spent years using various desktop applications that work with it. I’ve tried lots of them, but the one that’s currently occupying a space on my dock is Reeder, which I also use on my iPhone.

Reeder has everything I want in an RSS reader. It allows me to manage my Google Reader subscriptions from within the app, which many alternatives don’t. It clearly shows my entire RSS inbox on the left, and the contents of each individual item on the right. The weblink to the full article is a click away, as is the Readability version, which I usually try first. It will allow me to tweet or email articles with a single click, and also has a button to send them straight to Pocket. There are built-in options for loads of other services too.

I think Reeder is brilliant, and I highly recommend it.

This 1,666th post was filed under: Favourite desktop apps, Technology, , , , .

Desktop app of the week: Papers 2

Papers 2 icon

I spent five years at university studying medicine, yet somehow remained completely unaware of the existence of referencing software. I don’t know how this came about, but I manually referenced every single assignment I did during my medical degree – and so did Wendy. How the existence of EndNote in particular passed us both by, I’m not entirely sure.

By the time I embarked on my Masters in 2010, I was aware of EndNote, but we were far from friends. The couple of times I’d tried to use it, I’d had nightmarish corruption errors, and had always quickly reverted to referencing by hand. With the prospect of a whole load of Masters assignments and a dissertation looming, I thought that there must be a better way. And I discovered Mendeley.

Mendeley is an excellent free reference manager. It stores your reference library in the cloud, so that you can (should you so choose) even access it via an iPhone app. I never really found a use for that feature, but Mendeley did see me through a number of Masters assignments. But Mendeley, like Endnote, has an occasional irritating moments of stubbornness, where it will claim that a document connection has become corrupted, or some such nonsense, and will require a bit of sorting out. Generally, copying and pasting the entire text into a new document did the trick, but the frequency with which this happened make me nervous.

Then, I discovered Papers 2. It’s completely brilliant. I actually don’t really understand how it works, but it doesn’t rely on flaky plugins, or any requirement to use specific word-processing software. It just works, has fully cite-while-you-write functionality with a global shortcut, and is a joy to use. It isn’t free, but does have a free trial, and offers a generous academic discount for students. It has an iOS app too, but I’ve never used it, as I still don’t understand why I’d want that functionality. It’s available on Windows as well as Mac, though I’ve never tried that version.

Before using Papers 2, I’d thought that the whole software category of reference managers was, by definition, flaky and unreliable. Yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen Papers 2 crash, and it has certainly never messed up the references in an actual written document.

Papers 2 is a total, total joy to use, both for organising papers, and for citing them. It’s an app I cannot recommend highly enough for anybody who does even vaguely academic writing. It’s completely brilliant.

This 1,656th post was filed under: Favourite desktop apps, Technology, , , , , , .




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