Quick question: what is the One and only most essential tool for any productivity fan?
You guessed it – the calendar.
There are many reasons why you’d want to use Google Calendar for your time management: first of all, it’s free; second, it’s online(you can access it from everywhere). Third, it has SMS alerts, which is probably the single feature I use most. The one major downside of Google Calendar has is… being an online tool; a less than perfect user interface, less than instantaneous responsiveness. Luckily, this all is in the past as of today:
Google announced CalDAV support for Google Calendar in Apple’s iCal(version 3.x – on Mac OS X v10.5+ ). In layman’s terms, this means seamless bidirectional synchronization of calendar events. No more awkward emails, no more missed meetings(actually.. this isn’t such a good news, as we all know it – meetings are productivity killers).
I never really managed to get GTD working for me. The basic concepts of the GTD (Getting Things Done) method are really easy to grasp and pretty useful:
Write stuff down instead of trying to remember it, do the easy tasks quickly to get them out of your way, divide projects into smaller tasks and review your tasks periodically.
However, just like so many things in my life, turning a nicely put “method” into a productive habit is… really hard, at least for me – my attention span lasts at most a couple of weeks, as if I were related to the common goldfish.
I used to be a pathetic iPhone user with only a few tricks down my sleeve. Really now, I even hated listening to music on it, since I had to get it out of the pocket and unlock the screen every goddamn time I wanted to go to the next song.
However, all of these changed in the last couple of days when I learned a lot more about this toy. Enough to turn me into a peaceful and happy user.
If you don’t know them already, here’s a nice list(I knew some of it already):
Google just released Google Visualization API, which is a really cool great way to generate and embed beautiful charts into any webpage.
Easier done than said, actually. Just take a peek at this nice chart attempt:
Here’s what you have to do:
- Open up a Google Docs spreadsheet
- Fill in some data: the first column contains the labels, the second contains the data
- Click on the “Create a Map, Chart or Table…” link
- Select the chart type, data range and extra options
- From the drop down menu that appears when you click on the arrow on top of the gadget, select “Publish Gadget”
- Copy the html code that appears in any webpage you want.
I mentioned it already: I love Firefox’s feature of “Manage Search Engines” (Internet Explorer 7 has
copied a similar one as well). Simply love it, and the reason for it is that it saves me lots and lots of time.
Quickly, tell me the web browser you use most frequently.
What? Do I hear anything other than Firefox? You’re most certainly way behind on our Productivity 101 lesson.
Quickly, tell me what’s your most frequent way to google or search stuff online.
If you tell me you click on Firefox’s address bar, type www.google.com then Enter, then you’re definitely not making good use of your time and fingers. There’s a better, faster, easier way to google from Firefox – the quicksearch field on the right-top corner. Just type Ctrl+K (or, on Mac, Cmd+K) and you’ve changed focus to the quicksearch field. Type what u want to search for, Enter, and Google opens up with the results.
On the 1st of January I had a skiing accident resulting in the injury my right arm – actually my right shoulder. After about two weeks of waiting for the pain to go away, I got the guts and visited a doctor who didn’t think twice before putting my entire right arm into a tight bandage and forbidding me to use my right arm for the upcoming 10 days.
I spent the day before yesterday cleaning up my MacBook hard drive and reinstalling anew my Tiger operating system.
Sure, OSX is a very powerful system, but even it gets cluttered after months of intense usage and hundreds of apps installed. So.. nothing like a fresh new install to get rid of all unwanted apps, documents, archives or garbage.
Remember I promised I’d show you how to do your basic computer stuff from within Quicksilver? Well, it took me a while but I finally pulled myself together and wrote this tutorial – a beginner’s guide on doing all kinds of nice and useful stuff with Quicksilver.