Review – FreeCommander XE

This is a video of my review of this awesome software that I use as a Windows Explorer replacement.
Review
FreeCommander XE is a great GTD software. I have replaced my default file explorer with this, as a result of which I have been able to improve my productivity and efficiency.
Think of it as a file explorer, program launcher, file manager and even FTP client, all in one. In addition you have filters to home on to the sub set of files that you are interested in.
An awesome program, which I have been using for more than 3 years and am thankful to.

The link for the FreeCommander XE software is here.

HTML Resume – It is really productive

If HTML is just markup then it is as good a format for resume as any other, rather better. Why? Because you can have the same content shown in various formats, content remaining the same, using CSS. It also gets very flexible since some areas can be commented out as per our job application.

HTML Resume Print view

HTML Resume Print view

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Dropbox & Yahoo makes you very productive

yahoo_dropboxI use Dropbox extensively and I have 52 GB storage available there. (Thanks to my Samsung Note 2 purchase).

(# Edit: It is available only for two years and has been discontinued since.)

But using it along with my Yahoo mail makes it simply awesome. All my important communications like my Insurance Premiums, Bill alerts etc generally come to my inbox and all I have to do is to download it into the Dropbox and it is available to all my devices/computers including my Samsung/Blackberry etc. There have been more than one occasion when Dropbox has come to my rescue.

At one occasion, I needed a photo for a property related issue, and I was not carrying one. I just pulled it out of the Dropbox, and it save a big deal. Hence, productive.

On another occasion my wife forgot to carry her Photo ID proof while travelling on a flight. Dropbox came to my rescue there too.

I had gone to the bank regarding my home loan, inspite of all documents, they wanted to see a particular file reference. Fortunately, I had just made a copy of all important documents and kept it in the Dropbox. And I was able to pull it out and show it to the bank officials, saving me a full trip and a day.

Cool Text for Logos Fonts

Cool Text
You can get your logo made by professionals but that will cost you some, if you want a real nice one. The alternative is to create your own. That will teach you a lot and it is fun. You can decide on a load of options without have to bother about the cost. You can use softwares like GIMP/Paint and others, or there are online tools for helping you create one.

After checking many sites providing logos and fonts, most of them paid sites, I cam across http://cooltext.com/, a really wonderful site.

CoolText a real cool site to make any kind of logos or banners, with effects et al. It also has some great collection of fonts for the adventurous.You can check it out at the following link. The site is beautifully laid out and very nicely presented. Creating what you want is a breeze and you can keep testing a huge number of options and see the live preview of the changes and so create a real nice pieces of art.

http://cooltext.com/

Demo
Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

Enter Kanban

I have been thinking about creating some tool where I could have a big list of things to do and move it to some boxes as per priority or as per time available or some other manner.
Last week I attended a small seminar on Agile methodology, and there I was exposed to the Agile methodologies and also the Kanban Board. And what an eye opener that was. This was the kind of tool I was looking out for.
So I went out and got a white board and set out to implement the same. I also did some research and checked out what the Computer had to offer in this space.
First I checked out the ‘Windows’ based tool Portable Kanban created by Dmitry Ivanov. It was good but it was restrictive. I have one Windows machine, 2 Linux(Ubuntu) based ones, a Playbook and the Android based Samsung Note II. I needed to check something that was operable from all. I checked out the following web-based tools:-

All of the above tools are good and free with some restrictions and of course premium versions available. I have for the time being settled for Kanbanflow. Of course I will not let go of the white board yet.

kanban

Whiteboard Kanban

Review of Tata Nano

Excerpts from Ratan Tata’s speech at the Nano unveiling ceremony- a portion

Today’s story started some years ago when I observed families riding on two wheelers, the father driving a scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife sitting behind him holding a baby and I asked myself whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all weather form of transport for such a family. A vehicle that could be affordable and low cost enough to be within everyone’s reach, a people’s car, built to meet all safety standards, designed to meet or exceed emission norms and be low in pollution and high in fuel efficiency. This then was the dream we set ourselves to achieve. Many said this dream could not be achieved. Some scuffed at what we would produce, perhaps a vehicle comprising two scooters attached together or perhaps an unsafe rudimentary vehicle, a poor excuse for a car. Let me assure you and also assure our critics that the car we have designed and we will be presenting to you today will indeed meet all the current safety requirements of a modern day car.

Nothing could stop this man’s dream and today I am a proud owner of a Nano.

What a car! Small from the outside, yet spacious outside. The best in class AC. A small turning radius and can be parked in very small spaces. I am doing 90 kmph in the expressway on my way to MDI and I can ease it in and out of traffic in a way no SUV or Sedan car can. It gives me about 20 kmpl. What more can I ask for. There were some issues with the model which came out in 2011, but thankfully I have no reasons yet to doubt the 2012 model Nano .

[Edit: It is nearly 4 years I have been using this car and oh! how proud and lucky I was to buy this car. All my points above are still true and I have not yet spent a Re on its maintenance thanks to the 4 years comprehensive insurance I had bought alongwith the car.]

I see it as an efficiency tool, an optimal tool.

Getting Things Done (GTD): Chapter-wise Reading Notes

A great review of a great book.
Getting Things Done or GTD in short is one of the most productive book on productivity I have read. David Allen has systematically analysed all the various failure and success in his productivity journey and distilled it into a set of rules many of which are counter intuitive and unusual. Having read through the book I am convinced on the importance of getting all stuff off my mind into some tested and effective system so that we could break them down into smaller and smaller components, until we get to the next action that is required to be taken.

Very practical and doable in every way, thanks to it, I have embarked on the GTD journey and am loving the efficiency it is bringing me. It is also effective in reducing the stress related to the slipping away of time.

So many software have evolved around this concept and I am in the process of testing a large number to see what works. I have realized that you need to have a physical notebook backup of any computer or smartphone based system.

Getting Things Done: Chapter-by-Chapter Reading Notes.

GTD

I start using this blog today, for the first time, after I had installed it on 31 Dec 2008.
Today I set up GTD-PHP along with WAMPServer. Today I also imported all my pending task into my Blackberry from ToDoList (one of the finest free Organizing software). I had to export the list to a csv file which I later imported to Outlook.  I then I synced it to my Black berry. Since my list had 640 items it saved me a lot of agony  and time which I am using to write this blog. Of course I had to rework my recurring tasks,(about 250 in number 😉 ). I don’t know if there is any method to shorten that.

Yesterday I had my Blackberry eMail functionality activated . Let me see if I can update my blog through the email.

29 Apr 2009.

I have decided to purge my list and keep only a limited no of items in the to do list.  If I didn’t do that I tend to fritter away my valuable time resources and focus on the less important stuff (which is another method to procrastinate) .  Doing volumes doesn’t mean doing the important stuff. Now i try to achieve 3-5 important stuff in a day. Then I take out my list and do my other things. This too leads to the problem of some things that I want to keep track on a regular basis do not get done, but it is better than my earlier methods.