Setting Contexts

Pukka – a Del.icio.us app (Mac)

Posted in Apple, Code Sorcery Workshop, Del.icio.us, Pukka, Software by jquig99 on March 11, 2007

A quick note about one of my (currently) favorite apps – Pukka (Code Sorcery Workshop). This handy application easily post links to your del.icio.us account(s) and more.

Features: (taken from website):

> Fast & lightweight
> Handles multiple del.icio.us accounts
> Remembers bookmarks and warns on duplicates
> Bookmarks available in the dock menu
> Auto-completes tags
> Support for private bookmarking
> Full AppleScript support* (there’s a great script for posting to del.icio.us and Yojimbo)
> Stores passwords in the keychain
> Accesses del.icio.us over SSL
> Bonjour auto-discovery of local Pukka users
> Drag URLs to window or dock
> Fast and efficient keyboard navigation
> Can install a bookmarklet for fast posting from any browser
> Use as an external weblog editor in NetNewsWire and NewsFire
> Growl integration
> Dynamic display of notes length while typing to stay within limit
> Compatible with .webloc and .url files
> Able to post in the background
> System service for sending a URL from other applications
> Self-updating with Sparkle
> Universal application

There now a Pukka screencast, which tells you everything you need to know in about 5 minutes. I’ve used Pukka since January and don’t know what I’d do without it. For those with a Tumblelog via Tumblr, it makes it very easy to post to my del. account which then posts to my Tumblr. I’ve traded emails with the developer on a couple of tips and requests and he has responded both quickly and graciously.

*BTW – I’m looking for a script to send to del.icio.us and DEVONthink Pro. If anyone sees anything – please comment! Thanks.

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37Signals

Posted in 37signals, Backpack, Basecamp, GTD, Online Productivity, Packrat by jquig99 on March 9, 2007

I’m a big fan of 37Signals. They have killer products, which include Basecamp (a collaborative project management system which I’ve used with my team for 2 years), Backpack (a space where you can create your to-do lists, gather ideas, notes, files… online. Also collaborative.) – I used this as my GTD system for awhile, Campfire (Instant group chat) which is great for remote teams and can integrate with Basecamp. Their next release is a CMS product named Highrise (coming soon!).

37Signals also has a very active blog, Signals vs Noise, which talks about their products and the industry at large. It’s one of my (endless) feeds that I read each day and one that always gives me something to add to my del.icio.us account.

I started using Basecamp at the urging of one of my Art Directors. My team was growing quickly and we needed to implement a more robust project management system. It fit our bill for a number of reasons:

> Functions as an Internal and/or Client Extranet
> Schedules Milestones and ToDos by Team member
> All interaction tracked by project and email
> Tracks time
> File sharing

It really gave order to chaos pretty quickly and as they have pretty flexible pricing plans, our Basecamp was able to grow as we did (during this time frame – 2 years – we grew from 2 people to 12). We’ve tried to implement other agency-wide systems with no success. Great flexibility, great price, great product.

The other product I’ve used from 37Signals for the last year is Backpack. To me is a more personalized productivity tool.

Features:
> Makes ToDo lists
> Adds Photos
> Set reminders
> Keep a calendar
> Send email to Backpack
> Tag Pages
> Keep it private or share!
> Plays well with email
> Send alerts to your cell phone

After I read Patrick Rhone’s great article (listed below) I started implementing GTD on my Backpack system. I made a page called “Inbox” where everything was dumped and then created pages for each of my actions (@calls, @email, @work, @mac, etc.) and then individual project pages. The project pages were shared between team members and I could also send items back to my computer to integrate with Basecamp.

While this has turned out to not be my GTD system of choice, I still like the product and still use it. Again, flexible payment plans, great flexibility, great price, great product.

Links I’ve found useful for Backpack GTD:
> What’s the Next Action
> GTBackpacked
> Backpack: New GTD Implementation Ideas by Patrick Rhone
> Packrat – a Mac Widget

MailTags – 2.0b8(Beta)

Posted in Apple, GTD, Mail Act-On, MailTags, Software by jquig99 on March 9, 2007

I received this update on my VersionTracker feed about an hour ago. MailTags (by Indev) works with Apple’s Mail.app to add metadata (comments, due dates, projects and priority) to messages for classification and easy searching (with Mail’s built in Search or your Mac’s Spotlight). I’ve been using MailTags in conjunction with Indev’s Mail Act-On (which builds Mail rules sorting through simple keystrokes) for about a year and it really has changed the way I’m able to work throughout my day. In a typical day, I receive over 150 email. These 2 applications allow me to quickly sort through my Inbox in minutes, and get it back to zero.

New Features:
> IMAP tagging and indexing of IMAP messages
> Coordinate your metadata in your workgroup
> Create multiple iCal Events and To Dos

MailTags also plays nice with Actiontastic – which I will illustrate with some screenshots later today.

MailTags will cost $29.95 once it’s officially released (During the beta – $25). Scott Morrison (the developer) is extremely responsive and works very quickly on updates and upgrades. I’ve been quite impressed in any email exchange I’ve had with him and I encourage anyone who uses this software to buy (or in Mail Act-On’s case – Donate!)

HawkWings.net – Getting Things Done with Mail and iCal

Posted in Apple, GTD by jquig99 on March 5, 2007

Tim Gaden’s HawkWings, is a blog featuring Apple’s Mail.app and is, besides 43Folders, a leading resource on GTD. He has a great post today on Getting Things Done with Mail and iCal.

What’s great about Tim’s post is that he lists several links for people who are just getting started with GTD and might be confused on where to begin – or maybe for those of us who need a refresher!

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Actiontastic screenshots

Posted in Actiontastic, Apple, GTD, Software by jquig99 on March 4, 2007

I’m enjoying my experience with Actiontastic. Here are some screenshots of my process – feel free to comment with any questions.
First the Inbox – this is where I dump everything I need to get done:
Inbox

Second: This is how I process the Inbox: daily – 1st thing, noon and before I leave for home.
Inbox processing

Third: The Projects Window:
The Projects window

Last (For now): The Contexts Screen:
The contexts window

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Actiontastic

Posted in Actiontastic, GTD, Software by jquig99 on March 4, 2007

Actiontastic is a beta application that is a beautifully clean GTD application. In a market where much of the competition is feature/interface bloated, Actiontastic brings a refreshingly simple take on GTD.

Features:
> Clean interface
> Comes with preloaded contexts
> Syncs with iCal
> Smart-text Quicksilver integration
> The developer is accessible and really pays attention to comments/requests
> Integration with Mail.app and MailTags

I’ve been using this app for a few months and have really b een impressed. It seems to flow easily and lets me work without concentrating on the actual process. Perfect. The new smart text QS upgrade/MailTags integration has taken this app up to another level.

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