My GTD Setup

My GTD Setup 4104n6me70l sl160My GTD Setup ir t rainblog 21 l as2 o 3 a 0142000280

I have posted a lot about a few of the scripts and tools I use but I wanted to wrap this up in order to give a consolidated overview of the tools and little life hacks that I am using on a daily basis. So maybe some of you find this interesting.

OmniFocus for Mac:

On the Mac, I use OmniFocus which is the tool that fits my needs the most. I have tried Things and it would be my 2nd best in the list but as of now, I prefer OmniFocus for a number of reasons.

I have a number of contexts such as :

  • Office
  • HomeOffice
  • Home
  • Errands
  • Car
  • Phone
  • a few others…

In addition I have projects which I group into personal and work related. There are quite a lot of tutorials and infos out there for OmniFocus which is why I dont want to spend too much time on this topic. If you are interested, leave a comment and I might go into more detail in a follow up post.

IMAP inbox + mail rule:

I have a dedicated IMAP inbox which I use to quickly post new tasks to myself. This inbox is hooked up with my modified OmniFocus Mail Rule so every mail I send to my todo account will automatically be added to OmniFocus once I turn on my Mac. I use this feature mainly when my mac is not around or also when I am on my iphone.

OmniFocus for iPhone:

On my iPhone I also use OmniFocus for iPhone sometimes. While I have paid good money for it I am not happy with it (I am actually working on an own iPhone app that will let me do similar things). The reason why I am not very happy with it is that its ridiculously slow. I mean it usually takes 20 secs or more to start the app and around 2 minutes to synchronize which makes it pretty much a deal killer for me. Anyhow if you can live with the delays then IMHO its pretty much still the best GTD app on the iphone so far (at least when considering the good integration with the desktop).

So when I just need to quickly capture a new task then I usually only use the email rule mentioned above. However, when I want to see what I have to do or organize some of the tasks on the go, then I take the time to launch OF on the iPhone.

Entourage script plugin

At work we use Exchange so until Snow Leopard is out I am stuck with Entourage on the Mac (which is the least terrible of the Office:mac apps but that does not say that I am happy with it 🙂

Unfortunately Entourage does not support the quick entry feature (since MS does not know how to write Cocoa apps) I have to resort to my modified Entourage script plugin. With this one you can assign a hotkey combination and whenever you hit it, it will add the selected mail to your tasks which is very nice.

So thats about it, I hope this will help whoever is interested in doing GTD on a Mac.

Meet Hudson: an awesome continuous integration server

I just wanted to recommend Hudson to anyone who is in development (primarily Java) and uses continuous integration for their process. In my company we have been using various products from freeware to commercialware in the past. Recently I stumbled upon Hudson and was seriously impressed by it. It supports SVN, CVS out of the box and can run shell builds, ant builds and a few others right out of the box.

It supports plugins for a lot of other projects (FindBugs, PMD, Emma code coverage, checkstyle, Ruby, …) and is an awesome tool to monitor and improve the quality of your software. The most useful feature is that it can aggregate all results and present them in a timeline (trend). So you can see how your unit test code coverage has changed over time, …

Screenshot of a typical trend view  Meet Hudson: an awesome continuous integration server mmc 2 hudson minefield 300x200
Screenshot of a typical trend view

The screenshot above illustrates some of the graphs and analysis that hudson can produce. I know that I have previously focused on mainly Mac projects but this one obviously also runs on a Mac, I use it at work and best of all: its open source!

TimeTracker OSX b12 bugfix release

TimeTracker OSX b12 bugfix release time tracker preferences 2 235x300

This is a minor bugfix release for time tracker. It fixes a problem where the app would start to behave weird when you have multiple projects with the same name or multiple tasks within a project with the same name.

Basically all I currently do is warn you when you try to choose a duplicate name. If you already have projects with the same name, then the app will change the project names (add a number after the duplicate name) so that the project name will be unique again.

In addition I have added a few more options to the configuration screen:

  • # of last tasks in menubar: lets you choose how many quickstart tasks are shown in the menu bar (you can quick start a task by clicking on the menubar icon and then selecting one of the most recent previous recorded tasks).
  • show time in menubar: if this is enabled then the duration of the current work period is shown in the menubar.
  • idle timeout (seconds): lets you configure the idle timeout in seconds. This basically defines how soon TimeTracker will prompt you whether you still want to keep on recording the time, default is 300s (i.e. 5 minutes).
  • Computer sleep detection: lets you define whether TimeTracker will attempt to recognize the computer going into sleep / standby. If turned on and TimeTracker notices a clock jump of > 60 seconds it will interpret this as standby mode and also trigger the idle warning. The default is on since at least on laptops that makes a lot of sense.

As always if you are new to my beta, be sure to read previous articles in my blog tagged with TimeTracker about data compability with public TimeTracker releases.

time-tracker-b12

Creating OmniFocus Tasks from Entourage, take 2

Creating OmniFocus Tasks from Entourage, take 2 entourage

This is a different solution to the previous entourage 2 omnifocus problem. This script will create an omnifocus task from an entourage mail message (I believe it will also store the attachments). I found it on the OmniGroup Forum and I like it better than the previous one, since it now also creates a back link.
latest, greatest Entourage to Omnifocus – Page 2 – The Omni Group Forums

The only drawback in my setup is that the mail is subsequently opened in Mail.app (which can be a plus too, depending on how you see it :). Most likely thats just what the default email app is configured to be to handle .eml files.

You can either use the script directly from the page or take my slightly modified version. The original script saves the file to the users folder where you have to actually change the file name inside the script to make it work for you. I have changed the path to /tmp which works fine for me and is independent of the user.

I also took the liberty to bring Omnifocus to the front which is quite nice.

download the script here.

Installation:
Place the script in your ~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Entourage Script Menu Items/ directory

You can rename it if you wish; I put an [OF] so it sorts to the top and groups with more OF scripts as they become available.

The script currently supports importing multiple emails: just select all the emails you want to import (you can command click them to select non-sequential emails), then hit the hotkey (control-O for me).

Entourage Hotkey:
I have also assigned it a keyboard shortcut of control-O for OmniFocus (which you can change by altering the last character in the filename, but be sure to beware of conflicts)

This has been tested with Entourage 2008 on Exchange messages.

Let me know what you think

Update 11.11.2008

I have noticed that my wordpress mangled up the filename of the script. Please rename it to

[OF] SendEntourageToOmniFocuscO.scpt

Update 17.11.2008

I have now placed a zip file for download so that you dont have to rename the script anymore.

In addition as already noted in the comments, in order to make OF open the linked mails in Entourage instead of Mail.app you have to assign the .eml extension to entourage. You can do this by

  1. drag a mail to the desktop (from Entourage or Mail.app)
  2. select the mail file (should be something.eml) and hit Cmd-I (to show info)
  3. then in the open with dropdown select “Entourage” and click “change all”

Update

this mail rule is out out date, please take a look at the newest posts tagged with „Omnifocus„, to find the latest version.

Create a secure Vista/XP Kiosk for free

Create a secure Vista/XP Kiosk for free Hide 20Administrator 20From 20Welcome 20Screen
I have been asked to create an internet kiosk and since I am an avid SecurityNow listener, I knew that  a good tool for that would be Windows SteadyState (http://www.grc.com/sn/sn-129.htm).

I had used a stripped down version of DamnSmallLinux (BoothCD) before but that didn’t work anymore due to incompatible hardware and I couldn’t be bothered to configure a new version.

The new computer already came with Windows Vista so I thought lets give it a spin. I was afraid that it would take a long time to setup SteadyState properly but the GUI is really quick and intuitive. So from download to finished setup it takes about 15 minutes (plus one reboot). You can configure the machine to not store any changes made by the kiosk user (which is what I used). The only thing that I had to do in addition was to hide my administrator user from the welcome screen.

Associated links

J2ME Bluetooth deployer task

J2ME Bluetooth deployer task bluetoothTech main Full
For people who develop j2me applications on a regular basis this nifty tool might be able to be very useful. It basically is an ant task that can deploy a j2me application via bluetooth automatically.
I am usually a little more conservative (and we do build multiple configurations where I keep switching between those) and I simply use Finder (select the JAD/JAR) and hit Apple-Shift-B.

Anyway check the tool out.

Javablog » Bluetooth Deployer