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Stand Up Eight » Productivity
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Archive for the 'Productivity' Category

Information Overload

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

I wonder if researchers in the future will look back at this time in history and shake their heads in wonder at the barrage of beeps, bloops, and chimes that we subjected ourselves to. Most days I feel that I suffer from a self-imposed ADD–I can only focus on any given signal for a short period before I’m lured away by a new message or update in some application or another. I find it hugely comforting to use a program like Scrivener, a word processing application that allows you to block off everything else as it takes over the screen and presents you with its calming emptiness. Boy, it sounds like I need some therapy. Hey, look! Someone updated their blog…!

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Tying your shoes

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

On several occasions over the past few years I have been fascinated by the work of Ian Fieggen on his amazingly comprehensive shoelace site. A couple of weeks ago, I was wasting time…er…BROWsing through the site and came across a page Ian has written about the “wrong way to tie shoelaces.”

Now, tying shoelaces isn’t something I’ve really thought about for a long time. It only took a couple of minutes, however, to realize that all of the signs of an unsecure slip knot were exhibited by my hastily tied laces. Now, I’m not going to pretend that this caused me any large degree of angst, but I determined to learn the proper way to tie a knot and incorporate it. Piece of cake, right?

It boggles my mind how hard it is to UNlearn something as deeply ingrained as shoelace tying. I’m working on it, though, in part because it is so difficult. How do you tie your shoes?

GTD signal snapshot

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

I had someone ask for a picture of the GTD desktop signal in action, so here it is…

snapshot of the desktop signal

GTD desktop signal

Monday, June 27th, 2005

GTD Desk Signal thumbOne of the things I’ve found most challenging in my attempts to implement the Getting Things Done methodology is my annoying habit of tromping off into the land of Process/Organize/Review/Do while I’m supposed to be collecting (or any of the steps). To help myself remember what I’m trying to focus on, I made a little sign that I flip to the appropriate stage and leave in a prominent place on my desk. Here’s a PDF version of the file.


If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to provide the original Illustrator file as well.

Adding to Remind via Quicksilver

Saturday, June 4th, 2005

After reading about Remind and its various related apps on the 43folders site, I thought it was a natural fit for Marlin’s earlier tips about appending text with QuickSilver. When I tried to do this, however, I found that Quicksilver doesn’t display hidden files by default. I’m sure they are as ugly as ugly can be, but here are a couple of ways I hacked together to make it work: (you’ll need to read the above-mentioned links for the context of this comment)

1- Invoke Quicksilver and type in the line of text to send to Remind. (Typing a period after invoking brings up the text entry mode).

2- Hit tab and type APP to bring up the “Append to text” command.

3- Hit tab again, then to navigate to a hidden file, type the parent directory (in this case, your home directory, which is represented by the ~ character) then hold down the option key while pressing the right arrow (or /). This will list all of the contents of that directory. Since we’re after the .reminders file, you can type REM to select the file (if you type a period, you’ll go to text entry mode again) or navigate to the file with your arrow keys or [QS junkie shudder] using your mouse.

4- Hit enter and you’re done.


1- Navigate to your home folder in the terminal.

2- Create a link (alias) to the .reminders file by typing ln .reminders reminders.txt

This will create a visible file called reminders.txt that points to the invisible .reminders file used by Remind (somebody please yell at me if I’ve broken something by doing this…)

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