BusyCal is on Setapp

As if there weren't enough reasons to subscribe to Setapp, the team have announced that the popular Calendar application, BusyCal is now available. 

BusyCal is a great application and fulfils a lot of needs for the Power Users among you. I love the way you can customise the views to suit your needs - the ability to change the number of days in a week to 10 is a real benefit! There are integrated to-dos, the ability to include Travel Time with your appointments and much, much more. 

Check out what BusyCal has to offer here.  The value offered by Setapp goes from strength to strength. 

Why I Love: TripMode

I’ve found myself tethering to my iPhone from either my MacBook or iPad more and more over the last month or so. 

I’ve got a very generous data allowance with my service provider, however, it’s still crucial that I don’t accidentally allow an application to use more data than I’m comfortable with. As vital as Backblaze is to my backup workflow, I don’t want it sending data whilst I’m on the train!

True, I could spend time in those individual apps and pause the syncing - Dropbox is another great example - yet a central application that manages this for me is what I need and that’s what I have with TripMode

With TripMode, no application can access your network connection without you explicitly saying so. It sits in the menu bar and monitors for requests to send/receive data. When an unchecked application makes an attempt, the icon flashes red, so you know that it’s working. 

Allowing applications is a simple process. Click the menu bar icon to view a list and click the check box to permit as you feel appropriate. You will also see the amount of data that an application has used in the current session - although this can be changed to show the totals for the day, as well as the current month. I’d love to see a weekly option here as well. I set myself allowances and targets on a weekly basis for data and it would be good to see how much data I have remaining for the week. Maybe in a future release.

 
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Another great feature of TripMode is the ability to create Profiles. A profile contains settings for allowed/blocked applications as well as your own personally defined data caps. 

When you run TripMode for the first time, a Default Profile is created and any changes you make from the menu bar icon will be reflected immediately in this profile. If you open up the Preferences menu for TripMode and click on the Profiles tab, you have the ability to switch profiles Automatically. I have activated this setting, as this allows TripMode to automatically switch profiles based on the network connection I am currently using. As you can see from the screenshot below, when I tether to my iPhone, I have set a weekly cap of 5GB of data to be transmitted. When the total reaches 4GB, a warning will pop up alerting me to this fact. It’s a weekly cap because I’ve set the renewal period as Weekly (there are also options for manual, daily and monthly). This is great because it allows me to ‘set it and forget it’ in true automation style.

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Next to the Monitoring tab is the Application tab and from here, I can define the applications that are permitted on the iPhone USB connection. The benefits to this are obvious on a cellular connection however if you look, you’ll also see that I have profiles for my current contracting clients network (CDP Guest WiFi) and my home network (LKSLA Secured 2 5GHz). Whilst I’m not as interested in the amount of data that is being transferred whilst on these networks per se, I am interested in ensuring that the correctapplications have enough bandwidth to do what they need to do. The CDP Guest Wi-Fi network can get very congested when there are lots of people in the office so when I’m using applications that have a very strong reliance on internet connectivity, I need to deactivate applications that may be getting in the way - so this profile only applications that I need to get that particular job done. 

Oh, and Apple Music. I need music to work.

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Within Preferences, there is also an Advanced tab that defines how you treat local traffic. By default, all data that enters and leaves your computer will count against the data totals. In the same vein, it doesn’t count loopback traffic (network traffic from your computer to your computer). If you are not fussed about monitoring all data that doesn’t pass through your local internet gateway/router, then you can change this behaviour by checking the Treat local as loopback checkbox. If you do have a concern, you can Block loopback traffic and add whitelisted application exemptions.

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TripMode is a great app if you regularly tether in order to access internet services or hop between different networks with varying bandwidth constraints. I can’t recommend it enough and It’s available as part of the Setapp subscription bundle.

Setapp - Why You Should Subscribe

I acknowledge fully that I’m a little late to the party, however, Setapp is, without question, one of the most value for money purchases I have made since I first purchased a MacBook Pro.

What Is It?

Setapp is the brainchild of those great people over at MacPaw. Subscription models for media consumption have been around for a long time now, with services such as Netflix and Spotify becoming staples in households around the globe. Setapp brings that subscription model to the Mac and some of the titles available are simply fantastic. Here are some that I use daily. 

Ulysses

Ulysses has now become my writing app of choice. I love the way I can organise my files and the ability to be able to combine both short and long form writing is great. The layout is beautiful which is important to me - I like to write in a nice environment. Ulysses ticks a lot of boxes.

Taskpaper

  • I still use OmniFocus as my main task manager, however, there are times when I like to keep a simplified, running list of tasks that I need to focus on during the day. Taskpaper is great because I can create my list in plain text, with certain code elements used to highlight contexts and projects. Suits my way of working.

CleanMyMac 3

CleanMyMac 3 keeps my Mac lean and mean. I have a weekly task scheduled in OmniFocus to run the CleanMyMac 3 maintenance routine and I never struggle with space or performance issues. 

iStatMenus

iStat Menus is a monitoring application that sits nicely in your menu bar. Monitoring everything from CPU usage, memory, battery status etc, it's invaluable for providing real-time statistics regarding your Mac’s performance.

Timing

Timing is a brand new release from Daniel Alm and it’s great to see it included. I use Timing to track what I am doing on my Mac and when which allows me to make data-driven decisions on how better to spend my time and make sure I am apportioning my time in the correct way. 

Other apps that are available that I use frequently are CaptoMoneyWizGeminiBe FocusediThoughts X (a great Mindmapping application), UnclutterSquashHazeOverScreensTripModeiMazeing and Marked. I’d use more, however, I just haven’t had the time to go through them yet (I’m using less than half of the apps on offer!)

For $9.99 a month, using Setapp is a real no-brainer.

To view the apps on offer, click here. There have been at least ten apps added since I took out my subscription three months ago and this is only going to grow. 

Get it now!