Categories
Work & Productivityaside

Inbox Zero and minimizing my email time

Last weekend I came across another Inbox Zero post. Well, I decided it was time to audit my Email usage. What struck me as surprising was how many minutes I logged on Monday.

  • Monday: 47 minutes
  • Tuesday: 30 minutes
  • Wednesday: 25 minutes
  • Thursday 17 minutes

Unsurprisingly, as the week progressed I dwindled that number down to by Thursday.

I already aggressively apply David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology to my workflow by automatically filtering emails to “buckets”  so I thought 47 minutes was pretty high.

As for the post referenced above suggesting you need four apps to automate your life. I can narrow that down to one app and pen to paper.

Choose your favorite email client, that’s it.

  • If you work in an organization
    • filter external email addresses to an external email folder, much of it will be spam anyway.
    • filter internal “all staff” distribution list emails to an All Staff folder
    • What remains in your inbox should be mostly actionable emails directed to you personally by a human.
      • Drag what you need to do to a Review folder
      • Drag what you don’t need to act upon to an Archive folder
      • Drag what needs review in the future to a Waiting folder, check it once or twice a week.
      • Reading or Reference material can go in either the Waiting or Review folder depending on the urgency
  • If you freelance
    • Add all your known client email addresses to a safe list and keep it maintained
      • You can then filter them directly to your Review folder or leave them in your Inbox for manual sorting
    • Filter known non-urgent emails such as newsletters, social media, and similar to a Casual folder and try to only look at it once a day
    • Anything that can’t be sorted should make it into your Inbox for quick manual sorting
  • Lastly Use a simple notebook or notepad for task logging, I like to use the Bullet Journal‘s core system. No fancy designed apps or notebooks here. Just a pocket notebook
Categories
Drupalaside

Taking a look at Drupal’s People management

I set up Drupal 8 earlier this week to kick the tires and get a better understanding of how it differs from WordPress. For starters it provides granular user controls. I imagine this could be a killer feature for anyone setting up an elaborate subscription site where various levels of users are granted additional access.

Drupal 8 People
Hmm, I think we’re gonna need more options.

Custom Roles

As a WordPress user I’m a little jealous of how easy it is to create, edit and modify user roles. I could see myself wanting to allow certain users the ability to edit their own menus in WordPress. Drupal allows that function without additional modules.

Drupal 8 Custom Roles
Easy User management for the win!

Hmm. I’m going to have to keep digging and see what other surprises I find.

Categories
Work & Productivityaside

Software I frequently use in web design

I use various Linux distributions while working on personal web design projects. Below is a list of my favorite software packages.

Desktop and Terminal

  • LAMP
  • WordPress
  • ssh
  • sshfs – (creates a mounted file of an ssh connection)
  • tar & gzip2 – (Manual backups via the terminal of my databasae and files.)

Graphic Design

  • GIMP
  • Inkscape

Audio and Video production

  • kdenlive – video production for cuts and transtitions etc.
  • audacity – audio editing, usually to clean up noise

Text Editors

This varies a little from distribution to distribution, I frequently favor what’s preinstalled with that system.

  • gedit – (never fails me when I need a good text editor, Gedit isn’t pretty but it’s reliable)
  • xed
  • Scratch – Elementary OS
  • Mousepad – XFCE Desktop’s
  • nano – Terminal

Note-taking

Besides a pocket notebook to contain frequently used commands I use the either of the following

  • Tomboy Notes
  • Notes for XFCE