Setting Contexts

Yojimbo – An Awesome Personal Information Manager (PIM)

I’ve tried a number of Personal Infromation Managers (PIMs) – Journler, DevonThink Pro among them – and have donated or bought them. I had tried Yojimbo before, but had decided on a different option. Now I’m back.

Yojimbo collects and organizes all of my documents, serial numbers, PDFs, web archives and passwords. It takes pretty much anything I want to put in it.

Yojimbo features (from website)
* Effortless to install, learn and use
* Reliable and secure—it’s built using core Mac OS X technologies
* Store almost anything in Yojimbo—text, rich text, images, PDFs, even serial numbers and passwords
* Location independent access—use .Mac Sync Services and enjoy the same Yojimbo satori at home and at the office
* Organize your information any way that suits your style, from “everything in one spot” to “organized to the extreme”
* Instant Spotlight search
* Sync notes via The Missing Sync 3.0 for Windows Mobile

I’ve switched back for a number of reasons. One – I love the ease and the interface (the different entry points: the easy input field, bookmarklet and the Drop Desk). It’s a real Mac look and feel app. Two – it has an active forum community. Three – the ease of encription – you see nothing I don’t want you too.

I can organize, tag and create smart folders – all about GTD!

I just feel very much at home.

Merlin Mann on Inbox Zero

Posted in 43Folders, GTD, MerlinMann, productivity by jquig99 on July 30, 2007

I was able to watch Merlin Mann’s presentation at a Google Tech Talk from Last week (7.23.07). At Inbox Zero, you can download the actual presentation, watch the video of his actual talk, as well as the article that make up the series.

This is a great resource to keep going back to and refining you own GTD process. I review these every couple of months for a refresher (and a reminder – my email habits can go downhill fast!). I’m going to share this presentation and video with a couple of my GTD-minded co-workers.

BTW – if you’re on Facebook, join the Merlin Mann Fan Club!

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All Things :: Twitter & Taking Info Overload Seriously :: June :: 2007

Posted in GTD, Twitter by jquig99 on June 16, 2007

All Things :: Twitter & Taking Info Overload Seriously :: June :: 2007: “”

Twitter & Taking Info Overload Seriously. New tools like Twitter & GTD apps needed to cope.

(Via All Things and Gordon Vaughan)

If You’re in or Around SF…

Posted in GTD, OmniFocus, OmniGroup, productivity by jquig99 on June 11, 2007

From the OmniFocusMessage of the Day

“Anyone attending WWDC or is in(around) San Francisco is invited to join Ethan Schoonover, Merlin Mann, and the OmniFocus development team for an informal gathering on Wednesday evening. We’ll be meeting from 6:15pm-7:15pm in the “Commonwealth Room” at the Westin Hotel, one block from Moscone.

Please RSVP to omnifocus-wwdc@omnigroup.com so we can let you know if details change again (or if we need to find a bigger space), and we look forward to seeing some of you there!”

I’m stuck in NY and completely jealous. It would be amazing to see Merlin Mann and Ethan Schoonover walk through OmniFocus and how it fits into their own workflows. Hopefully (please!) some of the attendees will share as it doesn’t look like their will be any video/audio.

Share, people!

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What I love about the OmniGroup

Posted in Beta, GTD, OmniFocus, OmniGroup, productivity, Quicksilver by jquig99 on May 17, 2007

I beta test a lot of software and services. Most just assume that people know how to write up a bug or crash report. People don’t. Yesterday, the OmniGroup’s blog (The OmniMouth), posted exact directions, in light of the first beta build of OmniFocus, a detailed how-to.

It got me going – I couldn’t wait to participate. Oh well. So far, no crashes, no bugs. I’m backing up my database each day, with no need (so far – but I live in hope!).

What I’ve done so far – put in all of my projects and set my contexts. I’ve dumped everything in my Inbox, processed, assigned tasks and published to iCal. I’ve used the “Quick Entry” box, but haven’t tried the Quicksilver action yet. I’m also getting used to the keyboard shortcuts.

I have to say – I’m loving this app. It’s intuitive and simple. Great first few days.

What’s next is figuring out how to work with my email.

OmniFocus – First Thoughts

Posted in Beta, GTD, OmniFocus, OmniGroup, productivity by jquig99 on May 15, 2007

My first impressions about OmniFocus, after a limited time, is that it lives up to the promise (hype!).

Without looking at either of Ethan Schoonover’s movies (here and here) I was able to quickly set up some projects, contexts and assign tasks to each.

In lieu of looking at the videos (which I plan to do this weekend), I followed the “micro-manual” that was included with this beta download. It’s a visual guide that walks users quickly through the basics of OmniFocus.

Again – I didn’t have a lot of time to dig into this application in more than a surface way. But it has been pretty impressive so far.

Screenshots tomorrow.

OmniFocus

Posted in Beta, GTD, OmniFocus, OmniGroup, Online Productivity, productivity, Software by jquig99 on May 15, 2007

Last night I was one of the lucky few sent my username and password for the initial look at OmniFocus. I had a quick email exchange with Ken Case (CEO of the OmniGroup), who said he doesn’t mind me blogging about my experience as long as I strongly reiterate that this is a WORK IN PROGRESS!!!

So, in the coming days (and weeks), I’ll be putting my experiences and impressions (screenshots, etc) here. I’m really starting to dig into this app, so I expect a bit of adaption time. And will it really cause me to leave Actiontastic completely (which I intend to still use during this beta period).

I’ll post initial thoughts this evening.

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I’ve fallen in love….

Posted in GTD, MacBreak, productivity, SmileOnMyMac, TextExpander by jquig99 on April 29, 2007

…with TextExpander.

TextExpander, by SmileOnMyMac, allows you to use customized abbreviations to insert text that you use frequently (like email signatures or form information) into any document. The impact to anyone’s productivity would be huge and immediate.

I’d been trying to adapt this into my system for the past two weeks (while still acclimating to my new job). What really opened up this application for me was watching the MacBreak podcast (that I’d downloaded in February) where Leo Laporte and Merlin Mann (I’m such a fangirl!) walk through TextExpander.

Features: (from the website)
> Save thousands of keystrokes by using short abbreviations to insert frequently-used phrases and images
> Insert standard greetings and signatures — including formatted text and pictures
> Insert the current date and time in any format you prefer
> Add common typos to your snippet library–TextExpander will automatically correct them for you!
> Type special characters without having to launch a special characters palette
> Import snippets from other typing utilities, including Textpander, TypeIt4Me and > Typinator
> Trigger snippet expansions automatically by typing the abbreviations you specify, or use any one of over 30 delimiter characters as a trigger
> Position the cursor wherever you want in your expanded snippet.
> Programmers: make editor-independent code templates

The SmileOnMyMac website has a number of great resources including a FAQ’s, Online Help and a couple of pre-fab snippet files (Autocorrect snippets and HTML code snippets). There is also a chart comparing TextExpander to two of its competitors.

Now that it’s a part of me I don’t see what I ever did without it. Download TextExpander here – it’s well worth the $29.95.

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Recent Implementation – NewsReaders

Posted in GTD, NewsFire, productivity, RSS by jquig99 on April 16, 2007

I love my MacBook Pro. And I love Safari, especially that I could have all of my RSS feeds in my browser where I could click on them as soon as they were received. Not very GTD – compliant(especially with over 80 feeds).

I’ve been using NewsFire, developed by David Watanabe. While there isn’t a lot of documentation to help with the initial setup, it was easy to feel my way through.

It wasn’t easy to get accustomed to this at first – instant gratification is a hard habit to break – it really has been incredibly helpful during the first few weeks of my new job.

NewsFire features: (From the website)

> NewsFire is the first RSS reader to use animation to alert you to news and convey meaning. Watch your feeds and groups swoop around as news streams in.
> NewsFire takes feed organization to the next level, letting you create smart feeds that match whatever criteria you want.
> NewsFire lets you group and label your feeds, so you control the news reading experience.
> Search for news, blogs, and podcasts everywhere directly in NewsFire and save the results as live feeds. Even cooler, NewsFire articles show up in Spotlight.
> If you run your own blog and use an editor like Mars Edit or ecto, you can easily post articles you come across in NewsFire. It’s just as easy to bookmark links with del.icio.us.
> Hand-crafted from sheet metal and plastic gel, NewsFire exudes sex appeal.
> And more…

So while it hasn’t been easy to adapt to NewsFire…it has definitely helped support my GTD system and keep me on task!

Quick update – MailTags and Pukka

Posted in Code Sorcery Workshop, Del.icio.us, GTD, MailTags, Pukka by jquig99 on April 15, 2007

This weekend, updates to two applications that I’ve previously blogged about, MailTags and Pukka, have released updates.

MailTags 2.0, now at Beta 10, released it’s new update yesterday (see changelog here). Besides an number of bug fixes, there are a couple of new features.

> Auto Save to IMAP settings
> Color codes tags to see which are/aren’t saved to server

I love MailTags – with my new job I’ve been forced back into the PC realm (although I’ve brought my Macbook Pro each day to do my real work, then transfer it to the ThinkPad), so I haven’t figured out how to get my new email into Mail.app. And I miss how easy my setup was – my system was tweaked so that I didn’t have to think, only do. Now I have to think more.

This makes me crazy – especially when I read my favorite blog, Tim Gaden’s HawkWings.

The other application that’s been updated this weekend is Pukka: (from Version Tracker)
> Many memory optimizations have been made, which should result in a faster startup time as well as lower overhead while running.
> Pukka is now much more adaptive to the bookmarking API in order to avoid connection problems.
> Preferences have been greatly reorganized and optimized, making it easier to find what you need as well as see all of the options available to you. [Pukka -> Preferences…]
> A new option has been added to bounce the dock icon upon successful post. [Preferences -> Interface]
> A new option has been added to quit immediately after a successful post. [Preferences -> Interface]
> Two options have been added for the dock menu: turning on or off the showing of account names and turning on or off the tag and bookmark menus beneath them. [Preferences -> Interface]
> More

These are two applications that I (have) used everyday. In fact, Pukka has made it easy to bookmark any and all things that interest me, which then feeds from del.icio.us to my Tumblr, where I can then read at my leisure (as well as share with others).