Category Archives: Personal

GTD Software Solutions (Mac & Web)

One of the biggest trends to hit the tech world in 2007 is the new religion of “Getting Things Done”. The concept is really a time-honored subject and not new at all, just a bit stale for the times.

I was a heavy Franklin Covey user back in the 90′s and really loved it, but a change eventually happened- the more my life became my “Digital Life”…the Franklin process became old. Writing down, by hand, your daily to-dos became bothersome and time consuming. Email programs like Outlook came into the picture, giving users the ability to create a task directly from an email. And we thought, “Cool”. We started using software applications to manage our daily to-dos, but that process was also broken because it wasn’t as easy to carry around like a planner was. Then companies like Franklin Covey started producing software for your email program, based around their GTD methodologies. We now have a mix of software and printing our lists out…argh! oh yah, the PDA, oh the PDA!

We now have three different areas where our daily info lives. The PDA, Desktop machine, and the printed out pages for our planner, because we really like the feel of having that book in our hands. The main problem is syncing the data so that whatever you look at remains current. That never happens so there are issues with keeping our lists straight….hmmm. I don’t think that is what GTD should be about.

Fast forward about 6-7 years, to a vast array of GTD web applications, desktop applications, and mobile applications. They all have their own philosophies of how we should organize our day-to-day lives. They all have learning curves. These new apps also have the “Is this really current?” question that surrounds them. The solutions are webservices that allow users to sync their data to a master database and have all their applications work with the master. I think we are getting closer to having a true digital workflow without roadblocks. If we still need a planner, then grab a Moleskin and jot down observations from time to time. Or you could transpose from Moleskin to digital if that keeps things a little more solid for you. I am interest in what others have to say, Please Comment!

2007 GTD Applications:

Notebook 2.1 (Mac)

Together 2.0 (Mac)

SOHO Notes (Mac)

Things (Mac)

Spanning Sync (Sync iCal with gCal) (Mac)

Anxiety (Mac)

DoBeDo (Mac)

Yojimbo (Mac)

Google calendar (gCal) (Web)

iCal (Mac) (Mac)

Remember the Milk (Web)

BackPack (Web)

Shovebox (Mac)

Sidenote: Some of these new applications go to the extreme and are really MORE then GTD apps. They are more like “Thought Buckets” and collect everything from to-dos, notes, pictures, projects, to the information about the warranty for your kitchen sink. Hey users! Throw it all in here and forget about it. If you just need a place to throw everything so your bipolar or OCD stays in check then the EXTREME GTD apps will work. I don’t know if a person could actually get anything done except give their minds some relief…kind of like a data dump.

PhotoSharing Solutions

I am researching online photosharing solutions because Yahoo has drop Photos! This hurts because the only Yahoo! alternative is a Flickr unlimited account that costs money. The following are solutions I am checking out:

  • Photobucket
  • SmugMug
  • Gallery (self hosted)
  • Picasa
  • Webshots
  • ImageShack

I think there are probably many others….I just have to do “The Google”. Any suggestions?

technorati tags:, , , ,

Coming around again

I’ve had a long hiatus from posting to my site but in my defense a lot has changed in my life over the past 10 months. I was a little overwhelmed and had to take a step back to compose myself. I have done that and am able to get back into the fold.

What changed in my life you ask? Well, my wife and I moved from Massachusetts, where we have lived for 10 years, back to Connecticut where she grew up. This was harder on me then on her. The move happened in June and I ended up commuting 120 miles back and forth to Boston for work. YUK! That equates to 3600 miles and $700 a month in gasoline. The total commute was 5 hours a day plus my 8 hours in the office. This scenario took about 120% of my time so my side projects had to give. This went on until October of 2006.

During this same time period, we were holding two mortgages because the condo in Mass. hadn’t sold. I was completely stressed out to say the least. Having the second house caused extra trips to Mass every other weekend to keep up the other property. I am really lucky the winter was extremely lite.

Fast Fwd: I landed a job at CBS here in CT and the house sold in December. I am finally getting my life back so here I am :)

Must be logged in to comment

I have finally changed my blog preferences to “Users must be registered and logged in to comment”. I am tired of dealing with 200 spam comments a day. The problem just keeps getting worse and I make no money from my personal blog. If people get use out of my site, gain insite into tech problems, or use code I have written, then registering to comment shouldn’t be a big deal. The people who don’t like this policy will just have to live with it.

Spring Cleanup

Well it is that time of year again, the leaves are budding and the flowers are blooming. I spent some time this weekend giving the yard a quick cleanup, or what I thought would be quick. I raked up about 10 thirty gallon bags of pine needles and leaves. And this was just from the yard.

The wife helped with the flower beds. I did the fast raking of the beds while she did all the detail work. I think she got every leaf from under every bush. And she uncovered all the flowers starting to push through the ground. We made a great team.

I have a little work left in the back yard (this weekend). And I still have to do some patch painting on windows and doors but all looks good around the Villines household.

Best Wishes go out to Gabe Holley

Gabe Holley (the son of my best friend) was diagnosed with Leukemia on July 16, 2005. Gabe turned 7 this year and I have not actually met him. I met him while he was still in his mother’s tummy and that seems like a lifetime ago. I have seen pictures and heard how great he is from his father. I am very sorry he is sick and wish him well. Please leave any supportive comments on Gabe’s website.

Procrastination Sucks

I can’t believe I have had my blog up for 3 years?!?!!

I still don’t have my static content in place. I have to fill in the About section with a small bio. I have to complete my links section ( I have tons of links from the past nine years). I also need to add a contact form and resume. I have been bogged down with helping other people. I think it is time to help myself a little bit. I am finishing these areas before October ’05. You mark my words…

If you want to help me out just keep sending email every couple days as a reminder.

Reflecting on 35 years

I turned 35 today and said to myself “How did I get here?”. That question alone spawned many other questions and then memories of where I have been. I don’t think I am the ordinary 35 year old. Or at least I wasn’t the ordinary kid growing up in small town U.S.A. I have lived in 12 states and move 22 times in my life.

States Ken Villines has lived (in order):

  • Oklahoma
  • New Jersey
  • Indiana (2 moves)*
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Tennesee (2 moves)*
  • Missouri
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas (3 moves)*
  • Missouri (2 moves)*
  • Connecticut (3 moves)*
  • Massachusetts(3 moves)*
  • * this total includes the original move to the state

While growing up my social skills had to adapt to fitting in very quickly. Children can be cruel especially to outsiders. I gained skills other people didn’t have and knew how to get people to like me. If I had a list of the people I have touched in my life it would probably fill a room. This is going to be the first entry in the Chronology of Ken Villines. I really need to find trace where I have been and where this life has taken me. Keep checking back if you are interested.