How many envelopes have you wasted scribbling on the back of, desperately trying to work out some everyday calculation on? Im guessing its quite a few, and if it is, Soulver could be your answer (see what I did there). Soulver combines the experience of using a spreadsheet with that of a text editor to create a workspace in which you can perform calculations using a combination of words and numbers. This unique feature makes it super quick to do everyday calculations, and allows you to work with numbers the way you think of them, not as a complicated series of digits in boxes, but just as you would expect to see them on paper.
The Digital Workspace
Unlike any other calculator you have ever seen, there is no number pad, just an area for you to type in and an area where Soulver will show you the solution to your calculation. The left half of the window contains the calculation entry section, where you can type in your problem as you would on a sheet of paper, and the answer will instantly be shown in the right-hand-side of the window. The way in which Soulver can interpret what you are saying is very useful, creating a unique way for numbers and words to be used in the same sentence, yet still obtain a mathematical answer. In the blue area the individual answers to the calculations can be seen, but Soulver will also keeps a running total of all the calculations and display this in the footer area of the window. There is a version of Soulver for iPhone and iPad, but where we can see real differences between the two versions is in the menubar section. Here we can see that you have the ability to hide/show the line numbers on the left hand side window, show/hide the format bar (which is not shown on the first image, but can be seen on the advanced features window further down the page), open the number settings window, display the current answer full screen (its ridiculously large) and insert the answer from the current line into the next one, this is know as using an answer token. There is also the option to hide/show the answer palette. The answer palette displays some useful information about the currently selected line, such as handy conversion rated and other details (such as the number in binary format). Some more advanced features of Soulver include basic trigonometric functions, as well as options for doing calculation in hex and binary. Much like popular software packages used by engineers, such as Matlab, Soulver can store and reuse variables in multiple calculations.
Soulver can offer the not so technically minded individual a way to escape the world of the spreadsheet, and allow them to use common sense to answer most mathematical problems. Although Soulver is slightly pricey in my opinion, it builds upon the built in calculator that we are all so sick of and makes doing those boring calculations that little be more fun.