Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Personal Productivity

Since I’m going back to work starting on Saturday, I thought I’d try to look for ways to improve my productivity at work.

I’ve downloaded a few utilities that I can try at work to see if it can improve my workflow.

The first one is SlickRun. Basically it’s a Start -> Run replacement – press a predefined hotkey and a small command line tool appears where I can type shortcut-like commands. One of the features I liked while using Kubuntu was something similar – I think it was called Katapult. It sorts of automates an old trick I was using before, where I would put shortcuts to commonly used programs in a predefined folder that exists on the path. I’ll see if this is better than that one, since this one requires less effort to set up the shortcuts.

Second is an egg-timer type app, AleJenJes Countdown Timer – I don’t know why it has such a weird name. But anyway, it’s just a simple Stop/Go timer I can use for timeboxing.

Last is a Window WP right-click menu addon, FileMenuTools. Some nice common tasks can be added to the context menu, some I do regularly.

I’ve also looked at some a few PIM programs, but my experience is that I’m not very good at this sort of thing… the only one that’s stuck to me for a while was GTDTiddlyWiki, and I don’t even use that regularly anymore. I’m thinking I should find some way to integrate task management into my workflow. Maybe I could write the program myself, the requirements are simple:

  1. I want to be able to specify tasks that I want to be reminded of. As an initial example, maybe I could schedule daily, weekly or monthly tasks.

  2. At the start of each day, or when I boot up my computer (configurable), the program would dump all tasks for that day in the middle of my workflow.

– At the office, it could send me an email.

– At home, I could add a local web page to my Firefox tabs.

That’s basically it. I can add more features or bells and whistles later. I could probably put together a quick scripts + text files solution, similar to the


todo.txt series at lifehacker]5

– in fact, I’ll go read that first for ideas.

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