Easy coupon storage and purging

Bryan Villarin at All Narfed Up has found another use for the Zipster, coupon storage:

Using the Zipster template, print the tab cards and create one for each month. Store the coupons in the month that they’ll expire. When each month passes, and you can easily trash the unused coupons.

Nice idea Bryan!

Link: All Narfed Up - Easy coupon storage and purging


I'm a doodler

I'm a hopeless doodler. My notebooks are full of small, weird drawings in the margins. My friends call it my personal "Screensaver". When I relax during a meeting I will unconciously start to doodle. So you can imagine my notebooks from school...

I have saved a lot of notebooks through the years mostly for the doodles, but a couple of months ago started to clean out my desk and cabinet. I scan the best doodles before throwing away a notebook, and so far I have collected about 50. My intention is to make a digital gallery of them in the future.

So it was happy surprise when I stumbled upon DoodleArchive, it's not open yet but it will be a website for the sole purpose of showcasing and documenting the art of the doodle. Until it opens you can order DoodleCards on which you create a doodle and return to the archive. Of course I want to participate, so I have ordered mine.

Many people doodle in meetings, when speaking on the phone, during seminars. Why? It doesn't seem to have anything to do with drawing skills, a doodle can just be a collection of circles or decorating the phonenumber that was just written down. If I were to approch these people and ask them to make a small drawing they would decline, "I don't know how to draw!". So doodling seems to be something you do unconciously when you are relaxed and happen to have pen and paper at hand. Some kind of brain feedback through the eyes? Whatever the reason, don't feel bad that you doodle, it shows that your brain is fully functioning and that your creativity is flowing.

Link: DoodleArchive.com


Make a Fliptop Hipster PDA in 2 minutes

Inspired by Wynia's Pierced Hipster PDA (which, by the way, was slightly inpired by Zipster) I got the idea to use a DuraClip® Clear Front Vinyl Report Cover to make a fliptop hPDA. DuraClip has a smart plastic lock that you slide over your documents to keep them in place. Slide out the black lock and the papers come loose again. Quick and easy.

How to: Get a DuraClip or similar, cut it up to size with a pair of scissors. In my example I cut a A4 down to approx. A6. Done.

Here it is with a page from Douglas Johnston's D*I*Y Planner, Hipster Edition.

Titanium wallet

Just when I thought my aluminum wallet was cool... Meet The Sammy, a titanium constructed wallet manufactured by Gary Scott. It's made of titanium and military grade aluminum rivets. But über coolness comes with a price, $320...

Gary Scott USA titanium and aluminum wallets


Smartcaze revisited

To answer a few questions regarding Smartcaze:

The Smartcaze brand is only sold in Scandinavia, however when I looked inside the Flipover case I saw a trademark. Searching the net I found the manufacturer in Taiwan, Symnova. So I suspect that there is other online stores selling "aluminum wallet" or "metal wallet".

Update: There is one retailer in USA, Pocketpaq, that seems to carry the same products (Thanks Mel)

How does it handle money bills then? Fold it and insert it in a pocket. Coins? Forget it. The Smartcaze is very credit card oriented and that suits me since I mostly shop with plastic. Anyway I was looking for smaller wallet so I wouldn't be able to fill it with a lot of unnecessary stuff.

My wife made me stop putting my wallet in the back hip pocket years ago. It ruined the jeans (she said) and it was ugly (she said). One of Smartcaze good points is that I can throw it in my bag without it opening up and spilling its content as the soft leather wallet tended to do. I have also done some unscientific tests and found that wearing the Smartcaze in a hip pocket works surprisingly well. Best is of course the Luxury Curve that slides down like a hot knife in butter. They are not heavy at all, and I would in fact say that the Flipover is better then my old fat leather wallet.

More details when I have used my Smartcaze some more.

Notebook note holder hack

First of all, I dont experiment on my precious Moleskine (as seen in the background). It's a much cheaper softspine notebook thats is my Frankennote.

As a sidenote, I have recreated the Moleskine paper wrap with the aid of a color print-out and a bit of clear packing tape.

This idea came to me a week ago. By folding a paper in a zig-zag pattern and flatten it you'll get two, three folds that can be used to keep notes available and readable without falling out of the notebook.

The more pieces of paper you stick into the folds, the better. Even when I shaked the notebook vigoursly nothing fell out, not even when there was a single piece pf paper in the holder.

Its made of regular copier paper and fastened with scotch tape. I think this is a good alternativ to Moleskines accordion pocket, and you can keep loose notes in the notebook without having to use clips.

Smartcaze, a review

I received my Smartcaze yesterday, kudos to Stylebird online store for their quick delivery.
I bought two of these, the first one is Urban FX Flipover Gold. It can hold up to 10 credit cards and looks like a tiny Samsonite briefcase.

Inside there is 7 plastic pockets that fans out when the wallet is opened, thus making it easy to find the card you need. You can fit more then one card per pocket, but the upper limit is about 10 cards. It has a snap-lock that keeps the wallet securely shut. If it had a rubber seal it would properbly be water-proof.

My business card is slightly higher then a credit card, and it could barely fit into the Urban FX so it is really as small as you can make it.

The other Smartcaze is a Special Edition Luxury Curve Leather (ooo, me like long names). Now this one is even smaller on the outside than the Urban FX.

Inside its shiny chromed exterior (decorated with fake leather) you'll find even more shiny chrome. This is what I would call a "party wallet" because you can only fit one or two cards plus a drivers license. Smartcaze says it can take 5 cards, but I doubt that.
It has a small ring in one end, so it seems that you could add a strap (like one for mobile phones) and hang it around your neck. Why? I don't know...

For the time being, the Urban FX Flipover will be my wallet of choice.

All in all, the quality in both wallets is really good, my only worry is the plastic snap-lock on the Flipover that may wear out in time.

As for using these as luxury Hipster hPDA? I don't think so, they are to small. Maybe if you are one of those who use business card sized Hipster hPDA, but the wallet is too thin so you can't carry around that many cards.

More about the Smartcaze later when I had time to use it.

Make magazine goes digital

Starting from issue #3 (which is distributed now) subscribers can read a digital, multimedia enhanced edition of Make magazine. It's really neat, and works just like Zinio (which I also use) but it's all done in the browser. Zinio on the other hand uses a special reader. The technology comes from Texterity and uses SVG and XML. The only bug I found was that the multimedia refused to work in Firefox, in Internet Exploder all was well. You can also share articles with friends, and print out drawings and projects. Two thumbs up Make magazine!


Streamlined @Inbox capturing

Another insightful post from Douglas Johnston regarding the capturing of the information that collects in the Inbox.

...the primary challenge is often in the streamlined capture and movement of your task-related materials.

I have tried several different ways to implement GTD, and they have all failed one way or another. I discovered that the problem was the different ways I receive information into my Inbox at work or at home. The more complicated it was to move that info into my GTD system, the more likely it failed.

At work I receive almost all information via e-mail. If I were to use a paper GTD system it would mean that I had to write manually from e-mails into my Hipster hPDA. On the other hand, at home almost no information is received electronically. If I were to use some smart software, I would have to run to my computer everytime.

The best solution for me (so far) is to have two GTD systems, one for work and one for home. At work I use Lotus Notes, and with a simple click I can copy an e-mail into my Notes To-Do list which I have setup with GTD like categories. At home I'm going 100% analog instead, paper and pencil is alwas available.

It is also a blessing to separate work from private life, this way I can better concentrate on whats relevant depending on the situation. Besides, my paper GTD is in my bag so I can access it at work, and my Notes is synchronized into my Palm PDA so I can check it at home.

Link: a million monkeys typing. The Paper Planner Inbox

RepliGo, my favourite PDA software

Often when you surf newsgroups, RSS feeds and webpages you stumble across interesting articles that you want to read but don't have the available time at that moment. One trick is to bookmark it in del.icio.us with the tag "read_later". I tried that and it didn't work for me, because when I have time to read I'm not in front of a computer.

The solution is the brilliant software RepliGo. When I find a webpage I want to read later it is just one click, and the article is on my Palm PDA after next synchronization. RepliGo documents keep the original appearance, fonts, graphics, and formatting intact and provide a reflowed text view for easy reading on small screen devices. RepliGo is also installed as a printer, so you can print to your PDA from any software. I have done som unscientific tests, and RepliGo produces smaller document files then Acrobat PDF.

My PDA is almost always available, so with RepliGo I can catch up with my reading in the bus, at home or in bed even.

RepliGo reader is available to Windows, Palm OS, Pocket PC, MS Smartphone, Nokia Series 60 and Symbian UIQ.

Link: Cerience, RepliGo


Smartcaze, a better wallet?

In an earlier post I talked about my bag, and how I cleaned out the stuff and streamlined it. One of the things in my bag is my wallet. I felt that it should get some kind of modernization too, but I didn't quite know how. But now I may have found a product that fits the bill.

With the catch phrase "A big wallet isn't cool", Smartcaze market sleek, hard shelled wallets made of epoxy, metal and/or leather. They have a ton of different designs, ranging from outrageous to business. I have ordered two different designs and will come back with a review as soon as they are delivered. I will also check if a Smartcaze can be used as a luxurious Hipster PDA.

Unfortunately they only sell to countries in Scandinavia, at least for the moment.

Link: Smartcaze Scandinavia


Zipster update and Programming my Life OS

As previously promised, I have added three Zipster cards (Day, Month and Year) that will form a small Tickler file. The new set of cards can be downloaded from the Zipster guide page.

One blogger who recently discovered the Hipster PDA and the Zipster made a comment regarding the time spent twiddling with paper systems instead of actually doing something, and found it laughable. It is so true. I'm still twiddling with my GTD setup, which has moved from complex digital Laptop/PDA combos, back to 100% analog paper and pencil, and now a combination of both laptop and analog. The problem is that is so darn fun. As an old programmer I remember how fun it was to program and how easy it was to continuing making small improvements instead of just deliver a result.

As a GTD geek I am programming my life's operating system so it will perform better, and that is more fun then just letting the system operate. Fun, but not productive, so I try to minimize the time spent GTD hacking by scheduling it.


Wi-Fi in planes, MAKE testing it

Been there, done that. I traveled to Detroit in May with SAS (Scandinavian Airlines). Their planes were the first with Wi-Fi on board, and naturally me and my friend had to test it. Somewhere above Greenland we fired up a laptop, and after wrestling for a couple of minutes with Connexion's payment options we were online. A copy of Skype was downloaded (or uploaded? We were after all above Greenland?) at 45kbs, not bad. After installation my friend placed a Skype call to a landline phone in Sweden and chatted with his pal. Worked like a charm. Two thumbs up.
We were very close to geek nirvana, because the contact in Sweden is working with installing Internet access in trains. That day he was supposed to test a network on a moving train, so we could have placed a computer to computer Skype call from a passengerplane to a moving train. Oooo, the mind boggles...

MAKE: Blog: Wi-Fi in planes, MAKE testing it 7/19/05!


What should NOT be in my bag?

I have mentioned earlier that I suspected that my bag contained way too much stuff. Looking at photos in flickr with the whatsinyourbag tag it seems that I am not the only one. Cleaning up and organizing my bag is one thing that I have kept on my Someday list, but when I had read Celsius1414's article Zen Pockets I felt the inspiration coming and started the project.
  • First I emptied my bag and all my pockets, everything that I carry back and forth to work every day. It's amazing how much technical stuff we geeks carry around like chargers, TP-cables, several USB-memory sticks, headphones, flashlight and multi-tool.
  • Next I made a list of all the things I had in front of me, everything from credit cards to laptop charger. It became an embarrassing looong list.
  • Then I had to analyze the list and identify the objects that I really needed to have at hand at all times.
  • All the things that was left was distributed between work/office and home. For instance, I don't need to carry around an extra network TP-cable every day. I have Wi-Fi at home, so I left the cable at work. It goes into the bag when I leave on business trips. And I don't need to carry around spare glasses everyday so I leave them at home. If I need them I know where they are.
  • Now I prepared a place at home, a docking station, where I could leave all my things that was previously in my bag. Everyday when I come home I empty my pockets here, and every morning when I leave I pick up the stuff I need for that day. Here is also my cellphone- and laptop-chargers.
Today I bought a new and much smaller bag to use daily because I never carry around more than I need and I never have to search for my things because they can only be in one place, my docking station.

My list of objects that I really need to have at hand at all times is:
  • Cellphone
  • Palm T3 PDA
  • Wallet
  • Moleskine
  • Zipster
  • Pens
I feel that I am in control of my bag now, and it is much much lighter.

My 15Mb of Internet fame

It seems that I just had my 15Mb's of Internet fame. The Zipster is showing up on blogs like 43Folders.com, Papierkreativ.de, lifehack.org, hackr.de and L.S. Russel. Also del.icio.us/popular and Digg.
In the description of the Zipster I mention that it could also be used as a portable Tickler file, so I have prepared new Day, Month and Year cards that I will publish next week (yes, really next week John, I promise).
I have also been informed that there are third-party Zip disk cases made of flexible plastic. I have not yet managed to google up any, but if they are usable you could safely carry a Zipster in your back pocket.


Zipster in Make Magazine blog

Joy, the Zipster is mentioned in the Make Magazine blog. Well, to be honest I suggested the link myself, but obviously Philip Torrone found it interesting enough to include it in the Make blog. Thanks Phillip!

MAKE: Blog

Someone comes to town, someone leaves town

I have just finished Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone leaves Town.

It's only natural that Alan, the broadminded hero of Doctorow's fresh, unconventional SF novel, is willing to help everybody he meets. After all, he's the product of a mixed marriage (his father is a mountain and his mother is a washing machine), so he knows how much being an outcast can hurt. Alan tries desperately to behave like a human being--or at least like his idealized version of one. He joins a cyber-anarchist's plot to spread a free wireless Internet through Toronto at the same time he agrees to protect his youngest brothers (members of a set of Russian nesting dolls) from their dead brother who's now resurrected and bent on revenge.
(Publishers Weekly)

The book takes of as a rollercoaster, first we meet Alan that is moving in in his new house were he intends to write his book. All is normal until we learn that his mother is a washing machine and his father a mountain. The switch between storylines was so sudden I had to read the first paragraph about Alan´s childhood two times before I could wrap my brain around the concept.

After a great start the storyline about free wireless Internet takes off and the book looses speed dramatically. There is a large segment in the book were nothing significant happens, and characters introduced in the beginning are just left on the side. The wireless internet storyline feels more like a filler and doesn't move Alan or anything else in the book forward.

I was disappointed, what started off so excellent wasn't carried all the way to the end. The main character Alan and his neighbors are so interesting that it would have been more than enough for the book. Some characters are sketchy and some events are left without explanation. The end of the book feels like it was written in a hurry. Doctorow could use a good editor.

I wouldn't recommend buying it, but do download the free e-book version.


Zipster, the guide

Yes, you read it. The guide is here! At last. A complete set of eight different Zipster cards in PDF format plus a short description.
If you wonder what the heck a Zipster is, read my previous post. Zipster is a Hipster clone with integrated stand for desk use, made from a old Zip-disk.

Comments are welcome.

Read more: Zipster, the guide


Wired: GTD - A New Cult for the Info Age

Wired Magazine have found the Cult of GTD.
A holy book for the information age is turning stressed-out worker bees into members of an unlikely new cult obsessed with keeping an empty inbox.
Wired News: GTD: A New Cult for the Info Age

Techniques To Manage Procrastination

Quick ways to stop procrastinating and get on with your life. Several of these tips aren't new to the GTD community, but it is a nice comprehensive list of the best way to avoid procrastination. Maybe something to print out and put in the Hipster PDA (or equivalent)?

read more | digg story

Doing The To Do List

I just listened to this radioshow from BBC Radio 3, Between The Ears - Doing The To Do List: Whether it's a nuclear submarine commander remembering his medals, or a poet sorting out the polystyrene under the sink, or the comedian just trying not to lose it, 'Doing The To Do List' taps into people's need - sometimes their obsessive need - to put order into the threatening chaos of their lives.
It was very interesting to listen to these professionals who were anal obsessive about their lists. The show doesn't answer any questions about how to use list, it's more about the attitude to "The List". In some cases, just creating a list were enough to get a peace of mind. Other got a rush from checking items on their list.
However, one comment that I found thoughtful was that, creating a list of things to do in the future were a way of buying another day of immortality. Since we have decided make this things happen in the future we must be there. Right?
Listen to it, it's just 18 mins long. Actually, I recorded the audio stream using PodProducer and listened on my Palm T3.


Hello, I'm back

I'm back! Woohoo! Why hasn't I been blogging for months? Lots of things, all pleasant. More about this later.
Meanwhile, you may have noticed in the previous post that I linked to Digg. Digg is a new way to gather and publish stories. It's like Slashdot meets Del.icio.us with a rating system. Me like, so expect more blogging with Digg links in the future.


First Screenshots of Mozilla's "Lightning" Project

The first screenshots of Mozilla's "Lightning," an integrated calendar/to-do list for Thunderbird. This is interesting for us GTD nerds, especially if it can be combined with Portable Thunderbird, and you can have the whole package in your USB-memory.

read more | digg story