A recent article on Lifehacker has me wondering if I’m using Evernote all wrong. I only have two main notebooks in Evernote: Work, and Personal. There are a few other random ones that are automatically created by apps, such as the notebook that Scanner Pro, an iOS app, creates. I also have an “Inbox” notebook where notes reside until they are moved into one of the other notebooks. But by and large, all of my notes go into my two main notebooks. Am I in the minority with how I use Evernote notebooks?Read more
Earlier this year, I asked you to let us know how many items you had on your desktop. Answers ranged from 0 to 79 desktop items. In a late reply to that same post, one of the commenters mentioned Rainmeter, a desktop customization tool for Windows. I actually started using Rainmeter a few months ago on the one Windows machine available to me, and it is pretty cool if you really want to geek out your desktop.Read more
Last year I wrote about SecretSync, an app that lets you securely sync files via Dropbox. SecretSync encrypts any file that you drop into your SecretSync folder, and then sends it on to your other computers via Dropbox. If those computers are running SecretSync (and you’ve set up the proper security key), the file will then be decrypted on those machines as well. I covered all that in my previous article, though, so why mention it again? After taking SecretSync for a spin last year, I stopped using it. I’ve just found a great new use, though, that makes SecretSync an integral part of my paperless document management system.Read more
Last week I wrote about the World’s Most Awesome Paperless Filing System, which lets you drop a document into your scanner and have it automatically renamed and then filed away into the proper folder on your Mac. That system used Hazel, a Mac app, to rename and file documents that appeared in a folder, based on the contents of those documents. As I mentioned in that post, I had chosen that system over previous systems, one of which involved Evernote. If you want to use the automation of Hazel to speed up your paperless system, but still use Evernote, then you’re in luck.Read more
If you have a paperless filing system, wouldn’t it be nice if you could drop a bill into your scanner, and have it automatically scanned, renamed, and filed in the proper place on your computer, with no effort on your part? And wouldn’t it be nice if you could have access to that document from any computer, with minimal security worries? With a combination of two programs on the Mac, you can do all of that.Read more
You and I have at least one thing in common. We’re both going to die at some point in the future. Before that happens, remember that digital data can be more important than real world goods. You take steps to arrange for the disposition of your physical possessions in the event of death. How about your email account and other online accounts? If you’re a Gmail user, the Backupify blog recently took a look at what happens to your Gmail account when you die. That article got me thinking beyond just email, to how to best make sure that your digital assets pass to your next of kin when you die.Read more
I’ll admit it. Until recently, I was a desktop slob. Despite my best intentions, the desktops on my computers were all jammed full, mostly with junk. If a program placed an icon there during installation, I never bothered to remove it. I typically would use my desktop as the destination for downloads, too. This resulted in an even bigger mess.
Recently, though, I’ve changed. I’m not sure what triggered it, but I’ve been on a tidy desktop kick lately. The desktops on both my work and personal computers are now pristine. Are my a freak now, or was I an oddball when my desktop was a mess? I’m curious. How messy is your desktop?Read more
When I began college, I was determined to keep track of all my homework, papers, tests, and scheduled activities. A staple of college scheduling is the syllabus, which lays out the due dates and assigned readings and homework for each class. However, syllabuses are just pieces of paper. I realized that it would be a huge pain to look up daily, from four or five different sources, what the assignments were for that day. I wanted to look at a single source and grasp all the work I had to do for that day, and for that week. More importantly, I wanted to keep in mind upcoming tests and papers several weeks ahead of time, in order to prepare time to work on them.
With this predilection for planning, I looked to my built-in OS calendar, iCal. There were many advantages to using it. I didn’t have to boot up Chrome or worry about web browsing. I could organize by color, assigning one to events, one to assignments, and another to work. I actually put my entire class schedule, as well as ordinary things like “lunch,” into iCal. I put not only due dates, but little reminders when certain benchmarks should be met in prep for those due dates. It was my lifeline.
However, little problems grew to be big annoyances.Read more
So, Pinterest… It’s received a lot of coverage in the past year — it’s even received in the realm of 37 million in funding — but I had trouble seeing the appeal. I wasn’t sure the world needed another social bookmarking site. I wasn’t sure the world needed another way to share, well… anything. I admit, most of this feeling had nothing to do with Pinterest, per se, it was really more about social media overwhelm. I’ve seen a ton of social sharing services go up and down over the past few years, and, as much as I love Google+, I think it maxed me out. Besides, you can do things similar to Pinterest using tools like Evernote and Springpad, right? Right?
Then my lovely wife — a person who has no real interest in tech, barely any interest in social networking, and who only got a smartphone because it was free and I “was bugging her about it” — was somehow inspired to try it out. No prompting from me, or anyone else — she came to it entirely on her own. Now… she’s obsessed. Seriously. For example, I see her awake at 3AM and think that she’s feeding the baby, or something — but no. What’s she’s doing is maniacally pinning and re-pinning things to her boards, and often giggling like mad as she does it. There is apparently a lot of funny on Pinterest…Read more
We’ve written a good bit about email overload, and given a few tips on how to deal with it. These tips included using Gmail to manage all of your accounts (and even how to avoid Gmail’s infamous delay in checking external accounts), and how to turn the managing of your inbox into a game. When it gets down to the nuts and bolts, how do you manage your account? Labels? Folders? Search?Read more