Paperless 2.3 – An important update for syncing with Dropbox

Paperless 2.3 will be released within the next few hours, and includes an important update related to backing up and syncing lists with Dropbox.

The new version of the app uses the newer Dropbox API 2… the older Dropbox API will stop working around the end of June September, as previously announced by Dropbox. So, if you want to continue to back up and sync your lists between devices you’ll need to update to this new version of Paperless.

In order to provide better security for your information, Paperless will now only have “app” level access – meaning that it only has permission to access its own folder instead of permission to access your entire Dropbox account. (Paperless only ever accessed it’s own “Paperless” folder before this update, but this should give people better peace of mind.)

This also means that lists from Paperless are now stored on Dropbox under “Apps > Paperless”.

When you install the update, you’ll get a popup asking if you want to enable backup and syncing. You’ll need to tap “Enable Backup & Syncing” to re-link Paperless to your Dropbox account and continue backing up and syncing lists – or you can do it later on from the Settings panel within the app.

How Do You Ikiru? – Managing Writing Projects

This guest post is the first in a series where people answer the simple question “How do you Ikiru?” – describing what they use Ikiru for, and how it helps them in their daily lives.

by J. Kevin Wolfe

As a professional writer, Ikiru is the task management app I’ve been searching for. I know Ikiru is—at it’s heart—a list app, but the features added that make it the next generation of Paperless allow me to easily orchestrate over 100 writing projects a year, plus track hundreds of smaller tasks. I now spend most of my day happily working in Ikiru.

The joy of so much organized space in one place.

A great thing I find about Ikiru is that I can keep most of my work in one app now. Previously I had an app for taking notes, an app for keeping lists, an app for tracking projects. All did their job well, but none integrated in any way. In addition to all the writing projects and tasks, Ikiru keeps a list of my meeting notes (and many have a whiteboard photo attached), cheat sheets for how to use various software and a checklist for posting to social channels. If a project needs to move into another app, I add a URL or iOS URL to the note. I can tap on this link and go directly to where the project has moved. It’s a comfort have Ikiru turn into a command center for my work day.

How I organize Ikiru.

Being a very flexible lists-within-lists app, there are many ways you can organize inside Ikiru. Since I have many regularly-scheduled projects like weekly blog articles, marketing emails, brochures and eBooks, I categorized my top-level lists by project type. So the blog article list contains all articles I’m currently writing and all notes future ideas. When a project is published, I just mark it completed and it sinks down the list. The swipe is so much more gratifying than the Paperless checkbox.

How I do Ikiru’s Due.

Over the years I developed a shorthand for the status of a project, which works fine in Ikiru. If a project is in my court, I use ! followed by what I’m supposed to do next. If it’s in someone else’s court for approval, layout etc, I use @ followed by who’s court it’s in And what they need to do. It’s a handy system to know where each projects sits, my next step and who I need to bump if things get snagged. At the top of the item I add the final due date, then use Ikiru’s Due system to remind me when I have to complete the next step by.

The Due list is definitely Ikiru’s killer feature. Just tap the clock icon from the main screen and you get one simple list of what’s due today, overdue from yesterday or on the horizon for tomorrow. It helps me to stack up my day and prioritize. I do find myself forever moving due dates to tomorrow or next week. You’d think this would be a hindrance, but since I’m juggling projects, some over a year out, I find it helps me to reassign priority to what really needs it at the moment and keeps things from falling through the cracks.

My take.

Within the few short weeks that Ikiru has been out, it’s been a great stress reliever for me. Projects that were getting lost and timelines that were getting ignored, aren’t anymore. Finding projects and ideas is now much easier. And all my lists and notes are finally in one place. Ikiru has managed to merge simplicity, organization and productivity all into one nice little iPad app. It certainly makes my day go smoother.

Want to share how you use Ikiru? Send your “How do you Ikiru?” submission to Submissions can be anything from a paragraph to a full page, and can include screenshots – or even a list you think others would find useful. Please specify whether you’d like your name included along with a link to your website, or if you’d like it to be posted anonymously.

Building a Better List App

It has been over 6 years since I first released Paperless on the App Store. It started off as an experiment, a simple list app mostly built for my own use, though it turned out that a lot of people besides me also found the app useful. Over time, hundreds of thousands of people have relied on Paperless to help them stay organized and keep track of all sorts of things. Some people have said it’s the most used app on their iPhone.

In addition, Paperless received high marks when reviewed by Macworld, AppShopper and others, as well as being included in Wired Magazine’s “Wired App Guide” in 2013 and promoted by Dropbox in an email to their many subscribers.

However, Paperless was the first computer program I made*, and I knew that it could be better. Over the years I’ve learned quite a bit about what people need and want in an app to help them organize their lives – but some of those things wouldn’t have fit within the existing structure of Paperless. So, a couple of years ago I started working on building a better solution.


Introducing Ikiru

Soon I’ll be releasing a brand new list app named “Ikiru” (ee-kee-roo) that borrows the best ideas from Paperless, further simplifies and refines them, and adds some big new features that people have been requesting for a long time.

UPDATE: Ikiru is now available!

With this new app you’ll be able to:

  • create lists within lists – now your “Travel” list can have a subcategories for “Places To Visit”, “Restaurants” and “Packing”… each with their own subcategories if you want
  • add a photo to each list item
  • add a due date/reminder to each list item, and view all items with due dates in a timeline
  • sort lists/items by dragging and dropping them, or automatically keep a list sorted alphabetically, by date created, by date modified, by date completed, or by due date
  • pick from over 2000 icons to assign to your lists
  • quickly and securely sync lists between devices via iCloud

Beyond that there are a lot of subtle improvements… things you might not even notice because they “just work”.

For example, in Paperless there’s a useful feature to “Uncheck All” items for when you want to reset the list and start working from it again. However, there’s a problem… depending on what order you checked the list items off in, the items might be in a different order within the list after the “Uncheck All”. Ikiru does a better job by having list items remember their original position within a list, so no matter what order you completed items in, you can easily reset the list to its original state.

As another example, Ikiru automatically detects URLs, phone numbers, web addresses and physical addresses to turn them into tappable links. You don’t have to switch between separate “editable” and “read only/detect links” modes like in Paperless.

Ikiru also supports more recent iOS advancements like split screen on an iPad, and includes a Today extension to quickly see items with due dates – along with an Apple Watch app to do the same.


This news is sure to bring up a few questions:

“But I love Paperless! Why didn’t you just add those features to the app I already use?”

The user interface changes needed to add the new features and further simplify the app would have required huge modifications to Paperless. I decided that it would be better to build a new app, rather than rip apart Paperless and try to mold it into something different.

I also wanted to give people a choice. Many people like Paperless for what it is, and would be upset with major changes. For people who still want to use Paperless, don’t worry, it isn’t going anywhere. I plan to keep updating and supporting the app as needed for as long as people are still using it.

“What about all of my existing lists? Will I have to type those into the new app?”

No! There will be an easy way to transfer your existing lists from Paperless to Ikiru.

“Okay, I’m interested. When will this new app be available?”

Ikiru will be released on August 9th. Ikiru is now available!

“Why is the app named ‘Ikiru’”?

The word “ikiru” (ee-kee-roo) means “to live” in Japanese. It’s also the title of an Akira Kurosawa film about a man who decides to do something meaningful with his life. Ikiru (the app) is my attempt at doing something meaningful with my life, and hopefully help others live meaningful and productive lives.

Over the years I’ve received emails and app reviews from many people who have found Paperless useful, from busy moms to airplane pilots doing pre-flight checklists to people who suffered a brain injury and needed a little help remembering things. I am humbled that Paperless has been useful to so many different people. My hope is that you’ll find Ikiru even more useful, and that it will make your life just a little bit easier.

Thanks for your support!

* not counting the extremely basic Mac OS 9 app I made that was just an icon of an orc from the game Warcraft II, which when double-clicked would play a random orc sound… “zug zug!

Paperless for iOS 7

Today I’m releasing a free update to Paperless that has been completely redesigned to better fit with the overall aesthetic of iOS 7.

When designing this update, I could have gone a couple of different ways:

  1. I could get rid of themes, and make the interface mostly white with colored buttons like many of Apple’s apps.
  2. I could keep the themes (including the colored navigation bar at the top and colored toolbar at the bottom), and make the buttons white.

I struggled over this for a while, but ultimately opted to keep themes in order to preserve the personality that Paperless has. Themes are something that many people have said they really liked about the app, and removing them would have been a disappointment to many.

Paperless for iOS 7

Paperless was certainly in need of some big changes though – and what I did borrow from iOS 7’s overall design was the clean flat look and thin lines. The heavy shadows and gradients in the bars at the top and bottom are gone, as are the shadows on the icons. Also, most of the user interface buttons have been made thinner, and some are completely different now in an effort to make it clearer what they are for.

There are now 30 themes available, and 24 of them are solid colors (for that clean flat look). I did keep a few of the old favorite patterned themes around though, and added a couple of new ones as well. You can see more here.

In addition to the design changes, there are some nice new features… you can now:

  • print lists and list items directly from the app to an AirPrint compatible printer. If your printer doesn’t support AirPrint, there is software that might help. I use Printopia.
  • post lists to Facebook
  • send lists via iMessage (you might be able to message lists to people not on iMessage as well, though depending on the cellular provider it may be split up into multiple messages if it’s over 160 characters)
  • copy a list as plain text into another app (perhaps you’d like to copy a list of things you did one day into a journaling app like Day One)
  • post individual list items to Facebook, Twitter, send them as text messages

There are many other small improvements as well. I hope you like the update, and if you do please take a moment to rate and review the app… your support will help ensure the continued improvement of Paperless.

Scout Camera Redesigned for iOS 7

A completely redesigned version of Scout Camera for iOS 7 was released today. While many of the changes are cosmetic – to match the distinct look of iOS 7, there are a few other nice improvements that make this a great update.

Scout Camera for iOS 7

The biggest new feature is a slider that lets you adjust the intensity of the current image filter. For most of the filters, adjusting the slider down will lower the intensity of the filter – bringing the image closer to what it looks like naturally (bringing the slider all the way down still shows some filter effect).

The “Pearl” and “Nora” filters behave differently though… for those, adjusting the slider down mixes the filter effect with a standard grayscale image conversion. For “Pearl”, that means a nice range between the high contrast black and white when used at full intensity – and a more standard black and white conversion. For “Nora” it gives a pleasing range of deep blue/gold to black/white tones.

That small addition to the app provides a huge array of possibilities, and I’m looking forward to seeing the great photos people take with it. On top of that, many of the filters have been improved to have a better overall look.

Scout Camera - Filter Select

Other improvements to the app include:

  • a nice new app icon
  • new “color blur” and “grayscale blur” crop border styles that match the blurred background style of iOS 7 (on iPhone 5, iPad 3, iPod Touch 5th gen and newer devices only)
  • a new layout for the flash and front/back camera select controls, which provides easier access to those controls on newer 4″ screen devices
  • larger thumbnail images in the photo browser
  • lots of user interface tweaks, and a couple of small bug fixes

I should mention that the app runs only on iOS 7 and up now… not a problem for most, but if you’re using an iPhone 3GS I’m afraid you’ll need to stick with the previous version of Scout Camera. Also, I’ve chosen to make it a free update rather than offer it as a new app in the App Store.

All in all, it’s a great update. If you haven’t purchased Scout Camera, I hope you’ll check it out… it’s fun to use, and might just be your new favorite camera app.