I use my Mac, and its software, primarily as an aid to thinking about everything from what to buy at the grocery store to how to develop large healthcare systems (after all, nobody working for Secretary Sebelius is doing any thinking so …).
I do not need a word processor or a spreadsheet or a statistical program. Rather I need a thinking environment, a writing environment, and a visualization environment. And a bunch of utilities to enhance the “big programs” that never come with all of the bells and whistles I need.
This is what I like for the computing needs I have. Remember … the computing needs I have.
If I only could choose four of these programs, in order these would be …
Finally got around to buying an iPhone 5 to update my 4 last week. Genuine lifestyle light saber, star trek communicator and tricorder, and (information) toaster all in one. Works great. Who woulda thought in 1967 (when I watched Star Trek episodes when they FIRST AIRED) that a tricorder-communicator would appear on Earth within one’s lifetime. The voice of Siri reminds me of the computer voice on the Enterprise, although Siri works about as well as a computer on a Klingon bird of prey. Siri even sounds like Yoda. Awesome, it is. Good, life is.
Day One is a small Mac-iPad-iPhone for journaling. It is a very simple app that elegantly reminds you to make journal entries at time intervals you select throughout the day. It handles pictures very well (taking pictures with an iPhone/iPad or using images from the camera roll). I have tried dozens of these kinds of apps over the years including just adapting standard word processing programs.
This is the only journaling app that I have ever been able to motivate myself to use on a regular basis.
It strikes me that this could also be a very good program as a lab notebook or data analysis notebook in that major issues can be typed in with automatic timelines, pictures, etc. While it does not have a built in sketching routine, you can always do a rough sketch on a piece of paper and photograph it as part of the entry with an iPhone or iPad camera.
UPDATE: In December, Apple chose Day One as their app of the year for 2012.
UPDATE 2: February 6, 2013. I like this app more than ever. I frequently use the synching between Mac and iDevices and it works very well and seamlessly. It is possible to import old photographs and (if the photo has a standard date entry) the photograph will automatically land on the correct date page of the journal.