My eyesight must be failing. I find myself looking at two screens and yet everything I’m trying to read on it is so tiny. A lot of web sites have such small text that I’m resorting to zooming in to make it more comfortable to read. (To zoom in on any website using Google Chrome on Mac, just use CMD+). The same can be said for Word documents. Size 11 font looks fine on a printed page, but when opened on Microsoft Word, it’s close to impossible to read. This is because the page zoom level seems to always default to 120%. From what I’ve read this is supposed to figure out what the page would be sized at in real life based on your screen size etc so that if you hold up a piece of paper the size of the document on the screen should be the same size. For me, it’s not so I was constantly using the page zoom option to zoom in to about 150%. But surely there was an easier way?
This is a guest post by productivity guru and good friend, Daniel Gold.
Achieving a “mind like water” and “balance” as time management guru, David Allen suggests in his book, “Getting Things Done”, is sometimes a whole lot easier said than done. To truly achieve productivity bliss, it requires something much more than “the right app” – it requires dedication and unbridled tenacity to achieve your goals.
On October 26, 2012, Evernote announced a very big update to Evernote for Mac and just days later that update was made available as a beta. This update significantly changes how people use Evernote for Mac and this is a good opportunity to discuss some of those changes and how they may impact your workflow positively, and/or negatively. Finally, you can discover how to take the plunge and upgrade to Evernote 5 today!
Trello came to my attention about six weeks ago and, being a technology and productivity nerd, I quickly created an account and was eager to check it out. It’s always interesting to see how different companies approach task management and collaboration – whether it’s an obvious interpretation of David Allen Co’s Getting Things Done (GTD), or whether it’s a completely new way of looking at to-do’s. In any case, only those companies that strive to be unique end up making a mark for themselves and help the productivity of many people.
When I logged in to Trello for the first time I was a little confused. Each new account is given a “Welcome Board” to help guide you through how to best use the application. I was so used to basic lists that when these “boards” and “cards” appeared I didn’t know what to do. Where was the tick-box that would let me mark something as complete? How do I make something a priority? And what are all these columns anyway?
In past posts I’ve shared how to get in control of your money and how to plan your money for the future and hinted at the best system to help you get there is YNAB. Here I will share with you exactly what YNAB is, how it works and why I love it so much. The name YNAB stands for You Need A Budget and unless you’re already living the dream you probably need to manage your money some how. Many people (myself included) look to productivity blogs such as this typically don’t have amazing money handling skills. I’m a spender. I love technology, video games and gadgets, these are normally expensive items so handling my money was always a problem. I had tried budgeting before, but I could never get it to stick. I would spend an evening creating some average looking spreadsheet with expenses and then allocate an amount to each, but three things wouldn’t work for me:
- I would never open the spreadsheet up again
- The spreadsheet was never accurate
- I hate spreadsheets
If you’re using any kind of task management tool you have probably noticed a section for overdue tasks – tasks that you had set a date to complete, but for whatever reason you weren’t able to get to them. Without conscious action these overdue tasks will continue to multiply, like a virus, and the more they do, they more they distract your mind from what you should be doing as you begin to stress about them more and more. If you’re using the age-old pen and paper task list method then the overdue tasks are either whatever is left over each day and/or those tasks that you find yourself writing at the top of the list on each new day.
There are ways to handle overdue tasks and to keep their virus at bay, but first it’s good to understand how you work and how your tasks go from “upcoming” to “today” to “oh my god, now it’s overdue”.
If you find you’re spending far too much of your time trapped in your email inbox, here is a very simple tip to free you from its evil clutches. Many scores of people use Microsoft Outlook, or some other desktop email application. While web mail tools such as Google Apps are amazing, and should be adopted by many more business, there is still this fear of the “cloud”, but that’s a whole other store. That fear leads companies to continue to use systems such as Microsoft Exchange to handle email. Anywhere that Exchange is used basically means that all employees will be using a desktop email application, and it will most likely be Outlook.
Since I started blogging on productivity and technology and all that fun stuff I’ve been reading other blogs more and more. I’ve tried a couple of different tools to help me stay on top of the articles that I want to read, and at the moment I am very happy using Readability.
Readability is a bit like Pocket or Instapaper. You find an article you want to save for later and click the “Readability” button in the toolbar of the web browser. This captures the article and copies it to the Readability service so you can read it later from the Readability site, or from your mobile device.
There are three main ways I add articles Readability.
I am a big Wunderkit fan and user, so it is with a great deal of pain that I write this post. 6Wunderkinder, the people behind Wunderlist and Wunderkit have announced that they have halted development of Wunderkit to be able to focus exclusively on Wunderlist. This news comes eight months after the launch of Wunderkit Beta and when looking back at what’s happened during that time, it really is no surprise. 6Wunderkinder share their usage numbers citing that even though there are over 400,000 Wunderkit users, there are over 3,000,000 Wunderlist users and that number is vastly more significant.
While Wunderkit was being developed, Wunderlist, a very simple, powerful and beautiful task management tool, became stagnant – no significant enhancements were being made. 6Wunderkinder mention that of the 400,000 registered Wunderkit accounts, many of them were never used, leaving only a very small number of active Wunderkit users.
If you work for a company then chances are that you’re going to need to travel somewhere, some day, for something. And when you do you will typically be able to claim back work-related expenses that you’ve incurred.
So often you see people getting back into the office after coming back from a meeting, with a taxi receipt in their hand and then stash the receipt somewhere in the back of their desk drawer. Then, when the accounts people start hounding everyone to submit their expense claims this same person is floundering around digging through piles of notes, junk, cables, dust and a half-eaten Vegemite sandwich from last week looking for any old and faded receipt they can find. And it’s normally a bonus if they can find all of them.