Archive for July, 2009

23
Jul
09

Ubiquitous capture


Sometimes our brains don’t always give us the answers we need when and where we need them. The solution for that project your working on pop’s into your head while brushing your teeth or that gift idea for your spouses birthday comes to you while walking the dog. If we all had photographic memory’s this would not be a problem but for most of us this is not the case. What we need is a quick and easy way to capture these thoughts as they arise. One of the best ways I’ve found is with what Merlin Mann calls the Hipster PDA. Basically a pen and a pile of index cards held together by a bull clip. My greener version of this is to use scrap paper which has previously been printed on one side and cut into convenient size bundles. I keep one in my car, one in my coat pocket and a number of them scattered around the house in strategic places. That way when an idea pop’s into my head I can write it down before its forgotten. These notes can then be sorted and dealt with when and where they are required. Voice recorders and cellphone cameras come in handy as well when needing to capture information for future use. Another idea is to use Evernotes, a unique cross platform application which supports adding and accessing notes from your cellphone, web browsers and desktop. This free application just might be the closest thing to a universal capture tool next to the pen and paper.

21
Jul
09

OpenOffice.org


No discussion of open source productivity would be complete without talking about openoffice.org.
This full office productivity suite contains everything you need for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, graphics, databases and more. Available as a free download for Windows, Mac and Linux in many different languages.

16
Jul
09

Repeditive Stress Injury (RSI)


If your jobs like mine you spend many hours a day working at your computer. This puts you at risk of
Repetitive Stress Injury’s (RSI). Workrave is a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of these injury’s. Workrave alerts you to take micro-pauses and rest breaks at regular intervals. It also provides you with easy exercises you can do at your desk during the breaks if you desire. All the functions are user adjustable to suite your individual requirements. Available for Linux & Windows.

09
Jul
09

Rainbow Folders


Rainbow Folders is a free utility for Windows systems that tweaks your folders by using a multitude of colors and the ability to change their shape to classic, XP or Vista style. This allows you to distinguish different files on your desktop or in directory’s by color and shape. A wonderful tool to speed up finding & sorting through hundreds of folders for your most important stuff.

07
Jul
09

Egg Timers

Personal productivity often requires a single minded focus on a given task. When our days are filled with any number of conflicting items all requiring our attention it can prove difficult to stay focused on one thing at a time. I find that creating a false deadline forces me to concentrate solely on the task at hand. This may be as simple as telling myself that the project due next Monday needs to be done by this Thursday. Or that one thing that has been eluding me today is due in the next 10 min.. To this end you can use something as simple as an egg timer on your desk or what I use is a simple little program called “TimeLeft”. This little desktop widget can be programmed for any number of time lines. Give it a try. It is available as a free download at http://www.nestersoft.com/timeleft/

02
Jul
09

Email Etiquette

A great article by Marci Alboher on improving email etiquette.