Getting Organised

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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Quick wins

At work I have a laptop running Windows 7 and every lunchtime, as I lunch away from my desk, I lock the machine. Except what I should do is pause iTunes, set my IM status to Away, and then lock it but I forget to do all that most days and just bash Windows+L. However, I’ve found two small, free, applications that will now allow me to do all that with one mouse gesture, specifically it will pause iTunes, set my IM status to Away/Idle, mute the laptop speakers and turn off the screen. Hot Corners handles the mouse gesture (and allows you set to other actions), and MonitorES handles the media player, IM and screen actions. Simple and effective. …

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Windows 7 RC

Having installed the Release Candidate of Windows 7 a couple of days ago, I have to say I’m fairly impressed and it may even sway me to keep a Windows box in the future despite plans to move to Apple hardware/software completely. Let me tell you why.

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Twitter apps

So Twitter is all the rage. It’s NOW! It’s happening, if you ain’t on it, you ain’t got it! It’s hip to be square!! Ahhh, except it’s not. I’ve tried a few Twitter apps over the past few months, some have worked well for me, others not, but the latest one I tried just seems to wedge itself into my way of working without a problem, it’s a delicious slice of Twitter fun, whilst not forgetting all the topping features that every good Twitter app should have. The idea sounds daft, but it really works well. It’s still in BETA so there are some rough edges, but no square ones!! The basic premise is that (and I think this is …

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Muscle memory

As I slowly transition my home computing setup towards Mac OSX, the main thing that is slowing me down is my lack of knowledge around the keyboard shortcuts. Having used Windows for so long now, many of the keyboard shortcuts I use are now deeply ingrained and I my fingers find the correct combination effortlessly. Whether I’m moving a window (Alt+Space, DOWN cursor key, then cursors keys to move), minimising all windows to get back to that file I’ve left on the Desktop (Windows button + D), then restoring them all again (Windows button + D again), or just the basics of CTRL+V, CTRL+Z and so on (Cut and Undo, if you were wondering) the bulk of my time on …

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Recently Read

Text Preferences Survey What is the ideal text size to use on the web? What about line height and column (line) length? Most of the information in this area is based on print (at best) or anecdotal (at worst). A design agency in Brighton, Message, has decided to try and find out by carrying out a survey: “Our goal is to publish a report that provides hard facts about what constitutes ‘readable’ text on the web … We see this report being of value not just to our clients and their customers but to web users at large.” It only takes a few minutes to complete so go and take the survey. Why software applications need product blogs and why …

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Free Software

Just in case you’ve missed these, TechSmith are giving away free versions of their software. Admittedly they are older versions but you can upgrade them for less than the full price of the newer versions. Obviously they are hoping people will try them and like them enough to pay for the latest version: Get SnagIt 7.25 Get Camtasia Studio 3 TechSmith have another product, which will capture images and video as well; Jing is available for both Windows and OSX, but it seems to be primarily aimed at sharing the content online. What I’d really like is Skitch for the PC.

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OSX Help

Having recently upgraded my MacBook to run the latest version of OSX, I’ve been using the built-in Help to figure out how to configure things to the way I like them. It’s an excellent example of well designed and integrated help. Of particular note is the effect shown in the screenshot below. An excellent example of integrating user assistance with an in-built online help system. Don’t you think? Typing in your question to the text box, top-right of the window, dims the contents and ‘spotlights’ the items which possibly match what you are looking for. Smart, huh. There are many more examples of this kind of thing but this one caught my eye.

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[insert large cat themed title]

That is a “large cat” not a “large title” that is “cat themed”. Although that would work too I guess… Mac owners the world over know that tomorrow sees the release of the most important new piece of software for sometime. Just after Apple have released record figures which see them now positioned as the largest PC hardware manufacturer on the planet, tomorrow should add to the current buzz. Yes, that’s right, tomorrow will see millions of fans flocking to stores to get their grubby hands on Pro Evolution Soccer 7!! I can’t wait. I’ve read all the reviews and it looks good… Sure it will look better if you are playing it on a PS3 or XBox 360 but …

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apple insider

Apple Insider is doing a set of posts, in the lead up to the new version of OSX (Leopard), entitled “Road to Mac OS X Leopard”. So far they’ve covered the history of the Dock and the Finder. Despite the titles, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour do not appear.

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