Ommwriter - be calm dear typist

I'm writing this in Ommwriter, one of a number of uncluttered work space writing applications that are out there. It's available right now to download as a free beta release. Normally I use WriteRoom, I like the simple old school black background and retro green lettering filling my screen with nothing else to distract me from just writing.

Ommwritter however goes a little further, and a lot more Zen. Moving the mouse reveals the menu and scroll "line" which is  simply beautiful in it's spare elegance. I have the option to toggle playing ambient background noise over a gorgeous simple screen background. As I type I hear my key strokes playing back like soft rain drops, underscoring the very gentle trance music, that I can select from a few limited options, or choose to turn off entirely. Formatting options are very lean, a  couple of fonts and sizes, there's no underscoring or flagging of  my terrible spelling.......I'm just typing in a rather serene environment. Add a save button, and well, that's all there is.

I can either save as an Ommwriter file to come back to at a later time, or as a generic .txt file. I tend to cut and paste into Word to tidy up spelling before actually using, as with this blog entry.

I may be kidding myself, but I like writing in plain unfussy environments as it feels like all I'm doing is letting my mind be creative about what my fingers type on the screen. And, well, it just looks, and sounds so cool.

A great writing tool for chilled Mac (only) users  who just want to "zero in", and productively /creatively write, without the bother or distraction of the usual screen real estate noise.
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Airset; it's Free!

Building “fast and dirty” web publishing solutions has been exercising me of late. At the Paddock we invested in a lovely website; looks good, shows off who we are and what we have done, ( It is professionally produced and maintained by a great local web designer, external to our company. I guess this is a common set up for many small firms.

We do a lot of work with emphasis on community projects & one-off participatory events. When we embark on a new project or event, we have a real need to have an online presence that is a fast, direct and convenient tool for us to relay and share information with potential audience & project participants. Aside from the cost of paying our web-mistress to keep content updated, I’m continually frustrated with the inevitable time delay of sending copy and images to update our site.

The time lag really bothers me.

In the fast moving environment of theatre or events, an ability to update and publish changing content quickly is important.

I decided I wanted to create project "micro-sites". assessable from our main web presence, but acting as a hub for our immediate project needs. Once the project has finished all the "good stuff" we upload to the micro-site will get re-edited and re-formatted into our main site. The main site becomes our permanent glossy archive / “brochure”, with sign posts to our “dynamic” ( I hope!) project pages.

I could have just used iWeb on my mac, or RapidWeaver that I use for my personal site. Crucially however I want a solution that puts the application "in the cloud" so that my colleagues can also update and upload new information as and when the need arises at a time and place that suits them, usieng software not located on any one machine.

I considered, and have used in the past, google sites. I find them OK as far as they go, but I don't much like the pre-packaged templates. I read loads of press about CMS options ( that I don't really understand!), and found I don't have the patience, or the desire to learn a whole new package like Wordpress, joomla, tumblr etc.

I've been using Airset primarily as a calendar app to run my life for some time now. The recent redesign came at a time that I was mulling over my web based options, and I have spent the last few weeks seeing if I can make the Web Publish application that is part of this incredible online suite of tools fit my needs.

So far, so good. Thats not to say I haven't had problems and issues, but, praise where praise is due, the Aiset team have quickly been answering my questions and giving real customer support.....another deciding factor for me. Whilst I might grumble about "counter intuitive design" and too much clicking to achieve "simple" things, I think it outstanding that a non-techie person like me can actually do so much within Airset.....and all for free!

In summary, a combination of no cost, immediate editing, multiple editors, and superlative customer support have made Airset Web Publish a really good choice for me.

I hope this little bit of feedback helps others in coming to grips with the minefield of web publishing options.

Calendars and organisational stuff.

I have taken down the calendar pages, pending a re-think on how I want to publish my diary information.

Having become addicted to the site they decided to make it a pay service, so I have withdrawn my custom! I am now in the process of looking for a suitable alternative and playing around with embedding my dates here on the site.

I have discovered the fantastic Remember the Milk site however. If like me you like you to do lists on line this site is a really good way of keeping it in one place and has a great interface for mobiles. And of course there is the ever reliable Backpack for lists and project planning.

Ive added a BackPack Link

BackPack, I just love it! Click the badge in the sidebar of my intro page to find out more. Along with trumba it a great organisational tool, especially for collaborating on shows and projects.

If you decide to join please consider doing so by clicking through my intro page , or here as this earns me some cash towards my monthly subscription!

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