Will technology ever catch up?

Archive for the ‘GTD’ Category


Posted by cascadehush on January 10, 2007

Here is a list of recent stories I have found noteworthy but don’t have the time to blog about specifically. Call this a bit of a trial-run; most of them are Lifehacker articles but next time I’ll try to mix it up a little.

Highlight overused phrases with the Cliché Finder – Lifehacker

The Cliché Finder leaves no stone unturned in the hunt for overused phrases in your writing.

Create smart sets in Flickr with SmartSetr – Lifehacker

Web site SmartSetr lets you create smart sets for your Flickr account based on predefined criteria, like tags, text, date taken, or date uploaded.

Download of the Day: Ophcrack Live CD – Lifehacker

The free, open source Ophcrack Live CD is a Windows account password cracking tool designed to help you recover lost Windows passwords.

Download of the Day: Docsvault (Windows) – Lifehacker

Windows only: Organize, manage, search and archive all your documents with Docsvault Home Edition. Reminiscent of the PaperPort document-management software that used to come with Visioneer scanners, Docsvault helps you organize saved and scanned documents using a simple cabinet/drawer-style filing system.

How to Change the World: The Art of Schmoozing

The key is to establish a relationship before you need it. And this is why I’d like to provide the art of schmoozing.

Web Worker Daily » Blog Archive 20 Different Ways to Manage Your To Dos «

How many ways are there to manage your task list? Almost as many as there are people with tasks to do.

Geek to Live: The command line comeback – Lifehacker

But I don’t use the command line, you say. Oh but you do! Let’s take a closer look at this surprising “circle of life” right back to the trusty old command line with some examples of CLI in modern personal computing.

Track your reading trends with Google Reader – Lifehacker

Google has added a Trends feature to Google Reader, allowing you to track your reading and subscription trends in Reader.

Boot Linux from a flash drive – Lifehacker

you can boot the Linux distro Knoppix right from your USB flash drive. A simple new tutorial shows you how.

Mac Switchers Tip: Remap the Home and End keys – Lifehacker

details on how to remap those keys to behave the way they do on other operating systems.

What Does 200 Calories Look Like?

Each of the photographs below represents 200 calories of the particular type of food; the images are sorted from low to high calorie density.

Free e-book teaches Ruby programming – Lifehacker

Mr. Neighborly’s Humble Little Ruby Book, a new e-book that teaches the basics and then some.

Posted in Freeware, General Knowledge, GTD, Links, OSX, Photography, Productivity, Software, Windows XP | Leave a Comment »

OSX: Journler – The Perfect Program for GTD

Posted by cascadehush on November 2, 2006

ok scarfone: Journler: The Perfect Program for GTD on Mac OSX:

Journler is an excellent choice for GTD

Yes it is.

I’ve tried a lot of outliner, organiser and note-collector style utilities, and Journler is clearly the best and it’s free. It can be used as a blog tool too, but I still prefer ecto for that.

Ok Sarfone’s page is a nice tutorial for using the program for GTD.

Posted in GTD, Software | Leave a Comment »

GTD: How to be an expert

Posted by cascadehush on October 23, 2006

Creating Passionate Users: How to be an expert:

Most of us want to practice the things we’re already good at, and avoid the things we suck at. We stay average or intermediate amateurs forever. Yet the research says that if we were willing to put in more hours, and to use those hours to practice the things that aren’t so fun, we could become good. Great. Potentially brilliant.

One of the key points of this article is that we tend to work on a new skill until we no longer suck, but very often that becomes a comfort zone and so we never progress to true proficiency. The expert is willing to overcome difficulties, progressing to higher levels of ability.

I must say that being an amateur can be fun. I am an amateur inline-skater. This means I don’t fall down, enjoy the exercise and can go or stop without much concentration. I don’t really want to risk the inevitable injuries which would come with any progress to a higher level of expertise.

I am an amateur OSX user and an expert Windows user. I fix PCs for a living and most of it involves lots of time in the deeper bowels of the XP operating system. Frankly I don’t want to know more about OSX than I absolutely have to. I’d rather be productive and learn how the applications work, than worry about the intricacies of the underlying OS.

But on the other hand, I’m learning the flute at the moment. For a number of months I have been content to twiddle around the lower octave using only about 10 notes. This is easy and a nice way to pass half an hour on a Saturday afternoon. But now it’s time to learn all those other notes, and move into the upper octave. It’s hard. It’s like starting all over again. But I have to do it.

I’ve promised myself that if I can learn all the notes properly, then I can buy a Saxophone.

(For those who don’t know instruments, a saxophone costs about 7 times as much as a flute. I’ve always wanted a saxophone, but I’ve forced myself to go through the discipline of learning a comparatively cheep wind instrument first. It’s not an entire waste of time. Much of the fingering is the same, and you get to practice your breathing.)

Posted in GTD | 2 Comments »

GTD: 6 powerful “look into” verbs (+ 1 to avoid)

Posted by cascadehush on October 22, 2006

6 powerful “look into” verbs (+ 1 to avoid) | 43 Folders:

Like a lot of you, I’ve struggled with how you turn “thinky work” into physical action widgets, but here are a few of my favorite task-verbs to get you started in the right direction.

This is a nice little refresher course on how to turn the abstract into the concrete, to avoid confusion and procrastination.

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GTD: How to choose achievable goals – Lifehacker

Posted by cascadehush on October 20, 2006

How to choose achievable goals – Lifehacker:

There’s a tendency for people to fanatically over-plan their goals. This creates a sort of smokescreen that helps hide the fact that you’re not actually doing anything. I’ve been guilty of this for many goals, until I eventually found out that there was a tangible sense of relief from removing goals that I didn’t want to do, but merely wanted to want to do. Most goals don’t need a list of next actions, progress meters, line graphs, and customizable excel spreadsheets. Really! The sign of an achievable goal is that it wants to be worked on immediately.

Food for thought for those of us who are trying to find that useful balance between planning and acting, deciding and doing.

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GTD: Priority is A factor, not THE factor.

Posted by cascadehush on October 5, 2006

GTD: Priorities don’t exist in a vacuum | 43 Folders

A nice reminder of the four criteria for deciding what to do next.

Posted in GTD | Leave a Comment »

OSX: Get your hands on Mail 3.0 now

Posted by cascadehush on September 28, 2006

Hawk Wings » Blog Archive » Get your hands on Mail 3.0 now:

You don’t have to wait until next year to get your hands on the new features in Mail 3.0. The third-party apps and plugins that may have inspired the new features are available now.

About a week ago I would have been really excited about this, but I’m finally over my ’email as GTD platform’ fantasies. Nevertheless, it’s a nice page for anyone who wants the features of Mail 3.0 now.

It also proves, once again, how grassroots developers are solving real-life problems for real-life people in simple, practical ways only to have their ideas ripped off by large corporations who put them forward as innovations.

And it also demonstrates how the best applications are simple but extendable. This is why Winamp was so fantastic until it became bloatware crippled by DRM. It’s why Firefox is not just the best web browser, but probably the greatest application of our time.

Posted in GTD, OSX, Rant, Software | Leave a Comment »

Working with PDF files under OSX

Posted by cascadehush on September 15, 2006

I have recently started keeping PDF copies of important web pages. I generally find bookmarks to be a waste of time because it usually ends up being a dumping ground of stuff that I never get around to re-visiting. (I almost always type urls and use the autocomplete feature to get to just about any website, and use google for the rest). Keeping a reference collection is part of the GTD philosophy. So if I see a page with useful info, I want to keep a copy.

For those of you who are Windows users or new to OSX, you can print directly to PDF from any application since it’s a built in feature of OSX.

Ironically it was my use of Quicksilver that caused me to have a second look at Spotlight, and to discover that any PDF files I have are indexed as well. This led me to find out if I could copy text from a PDF, and that search reveale Apple’s guide to PDF on Mac OS X.

Preview (the OSX PDF viewer) always annoyed me because it forces you to view one page at a time, and use the next/previous page buttons. But now I’ve found you can turn off this behavour and just scroll down through the document. Excellent if you have an Apple laptop with the 2 finger scrolling. Just select View->PDF Display->Continuous.

I wish the toolbar was down the side, instead of across the top, but at least you can minimise its size by going to View->Customise Toolbar and at the bottom select Icon Only and tick Small Size.

You can also add annotations to PDFs or draw little ovals around thing you want to draw attention to.

It just shows that spending 10 minutes getting to know a piece of software can be well worth it even when it’s such a basic utility.

Posted in GTD, OSX | Leave a Comment »


Posted by cascadehush on September 14, 2006

I’m currently on holidays, but it’s a kind of a self imposed working holiday, trying to get some personal stuff like housework, excercise and hobby projects back on track.

I’ll be getting rid of some stuff, so It’s good to see EBay Sellers Go Back to School: 10 Tips.

I have been reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done and scanning through 43 Folders and Lifehacker for ways to implement this technique in software. I already own Circus Ponies’ NoteBook so I’m hoping to use that. There are some tips on their Forum.

Whilst I was doing this, I discovered a nice video of how to use quicksilver, the mysterious tool for OSX that lots of people rave about. Since I could never actually work out what it was, I never bothered to try it. (There was a time in my life when I downloaded all and any new app or utility and try them all, but I’m older and wiser now and like to know what I’m getting before spending the time and bandwidth.) For an excellent demonstration on quicksilver, check out this TWiT Podcast with Leo Laporte and Merlin Mann. I have found it revolutionary, and I’m only using the basic launch features.

So now if there are less posts to the blog than usual, you know why.

P.S. In Australia “Getting Things Done” is called How To Get Things Done. I got my copy from Borders in Brisbane because they were the only bookstore I could find that actually had it in stock. The Australian paperback edition is only about $27. Some stores have the American edition for about $35.

Posted in GTD, OSX, Software | Leave a Comment »