OmniPlan and Nisus Pro

A couple of news items in the world of Mac applications that I wanted to alert you to, as they come from companies whose products I like a lot.

OmniPlan 

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OmniGroup is my favorite software application company. I use most of their major products: OmniGraffle Pro (daily), OmniOutliner (hourly, + KGTD), and OmniDiskSweeper (every 6 months).

They recently released OmniPlan, a “light” project planning application. I’ve been using it in Beta form since last summer, and bought a personal copy for myself for use at work once it went 1.0. Visually it’s a huge improvement over MS Project (not a high bar), and is very fluid to work with. Like all Omni apps it is an interactive treat, inventive, intuitive, and strikes a balance between tightly focused features and depth of capability to make it a tool for the long-haul. It has some limitations (projects don’t link, and more importantly for me you can’t share resources across projects, and have to re-enter them each time). But overall it’s quick to work with, quick to make adjustments in, and, very importantly, highly effective at communicating the project plan and intent.

It costs $150.

Nisus Writer Pro 

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Nisus Writer has been my word processor of choice for many years, and Nisus has just announced a Pro version as a step-up from their current Express version.

Why Nisus Writer? Because it focuses on writing, not trying to be a page layout application. It has a streamlined interface that is elegant to work with and visually pleasing and non-distracting. It doesn’t try to think for you. It is not bloated with features. In case such things matter to you, Seth Godin switched to Nisus a little while back.

Many people like it because of its multi-lingual capabilities and its very powerful find/replace feature. While I don’t use the former and am a rank amateur with the second, I appreciate the focus that Nisus puts on text and writing. Its visual presentation of the text itself is beautiful - the character rendering, the kerning and so on are all perfect (Word by comparison is surprisingly bad at this, particularly kerning).

Nisus can read/write .doc files, though its native format is RTF. However, currently it lacks the very useful reviewing/commenting capability of Word, which is probably a deal-breaker for many. At work I use Word because of this, but for writing that I do for myself, it’s Nisus all the way. If you’re serious about writing, you should give it a try.

Nisus Writer Express is just $45. Nisus Writer Pro’s price hasn’t been announced yet. It adds table of contents and index automation, more footnote/endnote capabilities, bookmarks and cross references, and other features.

(I’m not affiliated with either Omni or Nisus, just a happy user.)