Podcasts

Reading time: 3 mins
I’m way way behind the curve on podcasts and I’m laying the blame firmly on my parents and their use of radio. I grew up in a house where music was the backdrop to most activities – my first hearing of Appetite for Destruction? My Dad loaned the cassette from the library and I walked in as Welcome to the Jungle kicked off, epic! – so I never really had much of a view of things like the Shipping Forecast, radio plays and so on. I’m sure my parents did listen to ‘talk radio’ on occasion just not when I was around so I’ve always associated radio with music. I won’t bore you with tales of recording the Top 10 …

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Tackling Tasks

Reading time: 6 mins
I have a terrible memory. I am aware of this flaw and rely heavily on a variety of systems to help me cope. The main things that help me remember to Get Shit Done is Google Calendar (should I be somewhere right now?) and a list of things I need to remember to do (what tasks should I be doing next?). I don’t follow any methodolgy for how I manage my to do list, I’ve read books, articles, and follow various productivity related blogs as I’m always happy to tweak my system but it’s important to note one thing, dear reader, before you continue; This is my system. It works for me. It may not work for you. Warning: I …

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Email

Reading time: 4 mins
Like it or loathe it, email is a fundamental part of most people’s lives. Managing your email account can be time draining battling and I’ve flirted with a variety of strategies to get to where I am today which is, for me, a practical way to keep on top of my email inboxes. I have two email accounts. One for work. One for personal use. The latter includes different types of emails for different purposes; emails about websites I maintain, personal emails from family and friends, notifications from online accounts and everything else that tends to fall into most email inboxes every day. How I use email The ability to receive email on multiple devices is seen as a boon …

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iOS Apps

Reading time: 5 mins
I’ve not indulged in a tech/gadget post for a while, so forgive me (or don’t!). The ever changing merry go round I’ve mentioned before my strive for ‘better’. It’s a constant part of my life and, considering that I spend a lot of my life using my iPhone, that means I’m always on the look out for better ways to get things done. Here’s my current home screen: There is some notion to the arrangement of my iOS apps, although it’s the one thing I tweak quite often; ideally I’d be happy if there were an ‘auto-arrange by usage’ option as that’s how I try and group things on my home screen. That said, I do put some apps there …

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Productivity and the clean broom

Reading time: 5 mins
One for the Mac users who like to have things kept neat and tidy, so they can focus on being productive. TL;DR version: If you are the type of person who is consistent with file naming, you can use an OSX app called Hazel to run rules on files and apply Mavericks tags making it easier to apply them to files currently in use, and legacy archive data. The arrival of tags Like many I upgraded my laptop to the newest version of OSX (Mavericks) when it was released a couple of months ago. There are a few nice features that made it worthwhile and, hey, it was free so what’s the harm? One new feature that Apple seem quite …

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How do you do yours?

Reading time: 2 mins
It has taken me a while to get the Spotify bug but as I can’t seem to escape it I’ve done my usual and leapt in at the deep end leaving my iTunes library mid-rebuild to explore Spotify and see how it fits with my needs. It’s good! I like a lot of things about it and I will happily admit it’s a much nicer place to be than iTunes which has meant that (as most of music listening is background stuff so I prefer things I’m familiar with) I’ve been going a bit playlist happy. There are a mixture of things that are driving my behaviour, but the ‘availability’ of a large set of music than I have in …

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Getting Organised

Reading time: 4 mins
I read some advice the other day that suggested that, instead of reading up on how best to be productive, you’d be better served actually doing the things you need to do rather than trying to figure out the best way to ‘be productive’. I guess the premise being that many people spend a lot of time researching methodologies, trying out applications and processes when, for most of the tasks they are tracking, they would be better to just do the damn thing already. I fall squarely into that group of people. I’m very guilty of spending too much time figuring out the ‘best’ way to keep myself organised, sometimes at the expense of just doing things. So, why do …

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iTunes / Airplay issues – FIXED

Reading time: 4 mins
“It just works”, they said. “Except when it doesn’t” they didn’t say. What follows is a bit of a rambling post about random playback issues I’ve experienced when using iTunes to stream music to an Airplay. Simply put, for no reason I can fathom, iTunes playback across Airplay will stop. The track is still playing in iTunes but there is no sound passed to Airplay. Searching for this issue has helped me narrow it down to the problem being iTunes, beyond that I’m stuck. Read on for some lessons learned…

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Going Paid

Reading time: 3 mins
Yes, I know, first world problems and all that, shut up… With the news that Instagram can now start selling my photos, something I didn’t agree to when I signed up, I’ve been looking at what services I use the most and wondering if I might be better to switch all my online/digital actions to only use paid for options. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for companies to make money and that offering services for free isn’t ever going to be properly scalable until you reach a critical mass (think Facebook and Google). What really irks me about the Instagram change is that I don’t have an option other than to stop using it and delete my …

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How to embed linked images in Microsoft Word

Reading time: 1 min
Have you ever shared a Word document with someone only to find the images it included didn’t get sent over? This is probably because the images you had were linked rather than embedded. You now have two options: ZIP the entire folder with the Word document and all the images (and hope that the links are relative and not absolute). I use 7Zip for such things (it’s free). Change all the linked images to be embedded within the Word document. The latter option will result in a larger file size, but means you are only sending one file. But how do you do it? Microsoft haven’t made it very easy but the key is locating the Links dialog. This shows …

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