Small Business Help

Second Gear shifts into Overdrive just in time for Halloween

Joseph Patterson | October 13, 2008

Note: Second Gear is currently available for Mac OSX users only.

After football, Halloween is my second most favorite thing about Autumn.  I think Halloween might possibly be one of the best holidays of the year.  Christmas certainly ranks #1 in my book, but Halloween comes in at a close second.  It’s the time of year when children get to dress up as their favorite superhero or villain, and a chance for the adults to simply dress up in silly costumes and pretend to be something we’re not.

But what does dressing up as something you’re not have to do with productivity?  Well.  Umm.  Ok, you’ve got me there.  BUT…one of my personal favorites in the way of mobile productivity, SecondGear is running a 20% off Halloween special.

In my last article, I spoke generally about how a smartphone can help your business and what you need to think about before committing to the program.  This week, I want to focus on a specific application that I use on both my laptop and iPhone.

I’ve been using SecondGear’s Today for about 3 months now, and wouldn’t go a day without it.  Granted, there are a wide variety of ‘to-do’ lists out there, but Today is the only one that I know of this is built on a mac, for a mac, and by a guy who develops only for mac.  In other words…it works, and it works very VERY well.

Today is an event and task management application for Leopard.  Using the same engine as Apple’s iCal and Mail programs, Today lets you see everything at a glance.  Sure, you could keep iCal open all day long, and work it manually, but Today puts a wide range of tasks and to-do’s at your fingertips with a simple point and click (or keyboard shortcuts for über productivity folks).

While Today is a standalone app, it is basically a power plugin for iCal.  Today makes browsing your calendars a snap with color coding and is 100% customizable.  Let’s say you use green to mark your home calendar, blue for client A, red for client B, and orange for client C.  Maybe your home calendar remains relatively untouched, so you wouldn’t really need it showing up each time in Today.  No problem.  Click, click…gone.

Maintaining a focus on productivity and no second left behind, Today works both ways.  Not only can you view your day/week/month at a simple click, you can also use Today to schedule events and manage multiple iCals.  If you do happen to create or change an event in iCal or AppleMail, Today’s got you covered and will automatically update the changes.

Going Mobile

Now here’s where things get really interesting.  Today not only just for your laptop, but automatically syncs any and all data with the calendar app on your iPod Touch or iPhone.  This comes in particularly handy when meeting with various clients within one day, or managing multiple events while on the go.  Upon installing and using Today, I actually even found some notes to myself within iCal that somehow were buried in a to-do event that I’d scheduled back in September.  No worries, I remembered to do it, but the note was worthless buried in iCal.  No so with Today front and center.

If you’re plugged into Macs MobileMe, multiple Mac synching just got even easier.  This type of cross computer sharing is incredibly handy for any professional on the go, with the ability to select which calendars and events to share to to whom.  Prior to using Today, matching up the wife’s calendar with mine was a long drawn out process of manually entering data and then sharing it across the network.  Using MobileMe, anytime I enter an event, Today automatically picks up on the it and syncs it to both my iPhone, work laptop, home tower, AND shares it with the wife’s mac.  I haven’t missed a dinner yet, and thanks to Today, even got the notification that her parents are coming next weekend.  I guess I’d better add ‘Rake the Yard’ to the to-do list before Saturday.

Today, available from SecondGear normally clocks in at the low cost of $15, but with the Halloween special you can snatch up the ultra handy, stationary or mobile event and to-do list reminder app for Mac OSX at $12.

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