Productivity Status Early 2016

I broke one of my new rules today by tweeting out more than politics snark or sports and briefly outlined the direction I’m moving with my productivity this year. I’ve been toiling the past year or so trying to shoehorn my brain into Omnifocus to no avail, so at the beginning of the year I started exploring other methods. About 2 weeks ago, my brain just started to work in regard to using TaskPaper. If you aren’t familiar with TaskPaper, it is a plain text method of tracking todos that has tools built around it to filter by tags and projects. I’ve owned the app for awhile, but not until 3.0 was in beta did things begin to click within the app organizing projects. I always wanted (wrongly) to keep separate files for each project. Maybe that is one thing I learned using Omnifocus was structuring projects. Now everything personal is one single text file. I do have a separate one for the free lance work I’m doing because that’s a different mode. I don’t want to be distracted by anything when I’m trying to mow through items for work.

The other element of my productivity was how to keep and better use Reminders.app and Siri. I knew TaskPaper had Applescript support, so that was the first place I looked. Sure enough, I found a script that would import from Reminders to TaskPaper. Unfortunately, TP3 changed it’s scripting method to new JXA, so the old Applescripts were not compatible. Luckily, someone did the work before I fried synapses trying to learn more advanced methods of JXA. A thread in the support forums,
Using Siri covered exactly what I wanted.

From there, I devised the idea of having an “Inbox” for Siri and a corresponding list for TP. I also have a Grocery List and my main reminders is for timed items. I prefer Apple’s reminders because it’s nag is truly a nag. If something must be done on a certain day, it will sit on the lock screen of my phone. I can snooze it for an hour if it’s not time sensitive, and if it really can wait, I can put off until next day.

Now I can say, “Hey, Siri, add build a robot to my inbox” and she will. Later, I can run the script which will migrate (including deleting) the reminder to an Inbox in TaskPaper, which I can move to an appropriate project or create a new one if it is warranted. My next goal is to set up a cron job on the always-on iMac to run the script every night.

For iOS, I’ve tried a few different apps for TaskPaper, but it seems Editorial is going to stick. Also, I’ve not given up on Omnifocus for long term project tracking or potentially work related where contexts and due dates might be necessary, something OF excels at. An upcoming update to Omnifocus for iOS will vastly expand on the URL schemes, and there is already a demo using WorkFlow to build projects in OF from TaskPaper formatted lists in Editorial. Sounds snazzy.

All in all my new system isn’t that fancy or original, but again, that’s the trap of chasing productivity, apps and systems. They become complicated and burdensome to the point you abandon them for the next shiny object, never truly doing the stuff you really wanted to keep track of in the first place.

I hope when I visit this in the fall, I’ve not made many changes and can focus on what I’ve accomplished over the summer.

Solving the Mysterious Relaunching iTunes

I had been plagued by an issue on my Macbook Air the last couple of months where iTunes would relaunch mysteriously. Not random relaunch mysteriously, more like, as soon as I quit, it would relaunch. I tried force quit and restarts. I trashed cache files and rebuilt the library to no avail. I filed bug reports and feedback to iTunes. Finally I reached out to @AppleSupport on Twitter. Right after (mind you, I DM’ed the account as they asked and so far no further reply) my internet friend @shep linked to a blog post of his from 4 years ago with his own saga of iTunes relaunching. I read through, and while I didn’t have headphones plugged in, I have dozed off a few times with my headphones in, and maybe, as he read about the microswitch in the jack, maybe, just maybe the headphones pulled out slightly & not depressing said microswitch. So I forcefully inserted some headphones and quickly pulled the plug out of the jack. I quit iTunes and so far, iTunes hasn’t relaunched.

Did I mention @AppleSupport hasn’t followed up yet?

New but Not New Laptop

My late 2010 Macbook Air had run out of hard drive space. It was a never ending battle to find space, constantly cleaning caches and removing large, mostly unused apps. Something had to give. Then on Twitter, an internet friend @jptoto mentioned he was adding an SSD drive to his MacMini. When I looked at OWC, where he linked to, I discovered there was an option to upgrading the SSD in my Air. I have no complaints about the 4 year old Air, other than the regret I didn’t get a larger SSD drive to begin with. Buying a new laptop was not in my budget, and save for more RAM and faster processor, which I don’t really need, didn’t make sense. If Retina display was an option for an 11” Air, I might have rethought the option.

Once I decided that I was going to upgrade the SSD hard drive in my Macbook Air, I had to decide how I was going to go about setting it back up after the upgrade. The instructions on OWC walks through migrating your old content back via the enclosure as part of the kit I purchased . However, after 4 years, I was ready for a clean start.

I had to decide how I was going to back everything up. Well, I already have all important files/data backed up, but I needed to run through what I was doing to make sure my bases were covered. First, I use iCloud for all of my contacts, calendars, Safari day-to-day bookmarks (I use Pinboard for most of my bookmarks) and surprisingly more and more app data. Second, I use Dropbox religiously, so all of my text notes are synced inside Dropbox (as well as with SimpleNote). Additionally, all of my work files are saved into Dropbox, as well as other misc files. I may revisit my organization of Dropbox once I have the extra 180 GB of data on my laptop to work with.

From there, I use 1Password for all of my, well, passwords, but also software licenses that are not bought through the App Store. Which is another is another method of backing up software these days. It really is a convenient way of having your apps just there. I followed that up with a full backup using SuperDuper. And not to be outdone, I did a Time Machine backup to an external hard drive.

The result? Complete success. I did a clean install of Lion, loaded up the App Store and upgraded to Mavericks. Easily added my iCloud credentials, downloaded Dropbox (I did have to reference that password via my iPhone which also has 1Password installed. I needed Dropbox to load my 1Password keychain.) After Mavericks, again using the App Store downloaded said 1Password and selectively installing apps I know I’ve been using. It is easy enough to go back and add one already purchased when needed, but the goal was to start clean. There were a few things I didn’t think about directly such as ssh keys for Github/Bitbucket and my VPS, but since I had redundant backups of my entire system, I simply copied those over to my home directory. Certainly I could have generated new keys, but this was obviously easier. I also had to copy over my Hazel license, as I do not use the email address it was registered under, but I had already looked into that prior to the upgrade.

So far it has been liberating starting clean, as I was carrying over more than 4 years of cruft from this Air; I migrated the user account over from the Powerbook I upgraded from. I am looking to use this momentum to carry over to other areas of my technology world, most specifically in my task management. I tried to be an Omnifocus convert (from being a half-assed Things user), but the delays in a desktop update slowed my enthusiasm for the suite of apps to the point I wasn’t using it any longer anyway. Perhaps the beta will drop soon and I can revisit it, but I’m now looking at some of the Task Paper options on the table.

The one area I am still on the fence on is for development. I thought I’d use Vagrant and Virtualbox, but the closer I looked into it, the more I wasn’t sure I really needed to get that deep. I hack for fun now (mostly, I do have a company website I’m building), and MAMP really does cover my local development needs. I can always play with Vagrant at a later date, if for instance I really wanted a local dev environment to match my VPS. But for general hacking, and to get down to it, I’m thinking I’m sticking with MAMP for now.

If you can’t do a clean install of your computer, I highly recommend a strong spring cleaning. It just might get you focused on other aspects of your life.

Transmit & Textmate No Longer Sitting in a Tree

For years, my work tools/flow has primarily consisted of using Transmit for for (S)FTP, and TextMate for all file editing save for CSS files, for which I use CSSEdit. It worked like a charm. I could be on 3 different servers, jumping from issue to issue, project to project, and never miss a beat. Now I know my hard core programmer friends will say I should be using something like VIM, which I’d love to be that guy, but my skills at modifying PHP would never allow me to work like that. I like the code completion, syntax highlighting, and pretty GUI of a desktop app.

So this little work flow had become second nature. I never really thought about it anymore. For those not familiar with TextMate, associated files in a project open in tabs, ala browsers. Otherwise, they are simply each a new window. Originally I was using the Muffin Research tutorial on how to get the temp Transmit files in a TextMate project. With the excellent update to version 4 of Transmit, a new tutorial surfaced dealing with the new way temp files were handled. I followed along, things worked great. Until now.

After a recent update to Transmit, I realized the temp files were no longer opening as a project in TextMate. I tweeted about it, and soon after someone from Panic asked me to send a support email. I enthusiastically did, hoping I had missed something. Unfortunately, the reply was:

Hi Michael, unfortunately I can’t guarantee that this functionality will return. It’s not something that’s supported by the ODB Editor suite. Really, this is a feature that needs to be added to TextMate in the same way that browsers can be told to open new windows in tabs.

I politely replied that TextMate does have that feature, the associated files just need to be in a project. Once again, the response was that I should open a feature request ticket with TextMate that files open as tabs regardless of being associated with a project, followed by

We fixed a legitimate bug with editing files in BBEdit and this was an unintended side-effect. However, it’s unfair of you to claim that this was a supported feature of Transmit as it relied on accessing a hidden cache folder in order to function.

There was an additional suggestion along the way that I could mount the remote servers using the built in MacFUSE technology as folders on my desktop. I’m not inclined to use that for my work server however.

Additionally, I was offered a refund if rolling back to 4.1.1 wasn’t an option. Certainly I do not want to be stuck with that version forever, but in the meantime I’ve rolled back so I can continue on my current work flow, while investigating other options. I’ve downloaded Panic’s Coda application, which is an svn client, FTP and file editor all rolled into one (plus terminal). I had tested it on its initial release, and didn’t find it anywhere near my existing setup. I’ve not used it enough in its current form to know if it’s mature enough to compete. Certainly I’m not a heavy programmer, so a lot of times TextMate can be overkill. I look forward to testing it further.

In an ideal world, there would be a simple way for Transmit to store the temp files as in the past where TextMate can easily find them as a project. Or TextMate 2 drops overnight and has built in support for opening files unassociated with a project as tabs. I’m certainly open to suggestions.

Lastly, let me be clear. I did not mean to imply this was a “supported” feature, rather it just worked. James, the Panic support person who corresponded with me over this issue was nothing but professional, polite and honest. Refreshingly honest. They make a great product, one that has almost seamlessly fit into my system without even noticing it most days. I sincerely appreciate their offer of refunding my purchase. That was never my goal. I’ve gotten far more value out of my purchase of that application to ever accept the refund, regardless of my ultimate direction. I just want the perfect marriage back.

Transmit & Textmate No Longer Sitting in a Tree

For years, my work tools/flow has primarily consisted of using Transmit for for (S)FTP, and TextMate for all file editing save for CSS files, for which I use CSSEdit. It worked like a charm. I could be on 3 different servers, jumping from issue to issue, project to project, and never miss a beat. Now I know my hard core programmer friends will say I should be using something like VIM, which I’d love to be that guy, but my skills at modifying PHP would never allow me to work like that. I like the code completion, syntax highlighting, and pretty GUI of a desktop app.

So this little work flow had become second nature. I never really thought about it anymore. For those not familiar with TextMate, associated files in a project open in tabs, ala browsers. Otherwise, they are simply each a new window. Originally I was using the Muffin Research tutorial on how to get the temp Transmit files in a TextMate project. With the excellent update to version 4 of Transmit, a new tutorial surfaced dealing with the new way temp files were handled. I followed along, things worked great. Until now.

After a recent update to Transmit, I realized the temp files were no longer opening as a project in TextMate. I tweeted about it, and soon after someone from Panic asked me to send a support email. I enthusiastically did, hoping I had missed something. Unfortunately, the reply was:

Hi Michael, unfortunately I can’t guarantee that this functionality will return. It’s not something that’s supported by the ODB Editor suite. Really, this is a feature that needs to be added to TextMate in the same way that browsers can be told to open new windows in tabs.

I politely replied that TextMate does have that feature, the associated files just need to be in a project. Once again, the response was that I should open a feature request ticket with TextMate that files open as tabs regardless of being associated with a project, followed by

We fixed a legitimate bug with editing files in BBEdit and this was an unintended side-effect. However, it’s unfair of you to claim that this was a supported feature of Transmit as it relied on accessing a hidden cache folder in order to function.

There was an additional suggestion along the way that I could mount the remote servers using the built in MacFUSE technology as folders on my desktop. I’m not inclined to use that for my work server however.

Additionally, I was offered a refund if rolling back to 4.1.1 wasn’t an option. Certainly I do not want to be stuck with that version forever, but in the meantime I’ve rolled back so I can continue on my current work flow, while investigating other options. I’ve downloaded Panic’s Coda application, which is an svn client, FTP and file editor all rolled into one (plus terminal). I had tested it on its initial release, and didn’t find it anywhere near my existing setup. I’ve not used it enough in its current form to know if it’s mature enough to compete. Certainly I’m not a heavy programmer, so a lot of times TextMate can be overkill. I look forward to testing it further.

In an ideal world, there would be a simple way for Transmit to store the temp files as in the past where TextMate can easily find them as a project. Or TextMate 2 drops overnight and has built in support for opening files unassociated with a project as tabs. I’m certainly open to suggestions.

Lastly, let me be clear. I did not mean to imply this was a “supported” feature, rather it just worked. James, the Panic support person who corresponded with me over this issue was nothing but professional, polite and honest. Refreshingly honest. They make a great product, one that has almost seamlessly fit into my system without even noticing it most days. I sincerely appreciate their offer of refunding my purchase. That was never my goal. I’ve gotten far more value out of my purchase of that application to ever accept the refund, regardless of my ultimate direction. I just want the perfect marriage back.

Note Taking Nirvana?

notebook collectionLike most, I’ve struggled with note taking and mind dumping solutions. I’m easily caught up in chasing the productivity pr0n, looking for the perfect system (hell, I gues by writing this post, I’m still doing that). At first glance however, with the discovery of my most recent set of tools, I believe I’ve found the most streamlined, cohesive solution yet.

My most recent excursion in a single note taking solution was EverNote. Certainly versatile, perhaps too so, and it never felt like the right fit. It was just too something. I wanted a no frills solution that I could easily access my notes from my desktop, laptop and on the go (currently using an iPhone). Certainly EverNote fits that bill, but again, too cumbersome and too busy.

A little while ago, I stumbled on a Habari plugin, SimplyNoted, which interfaced with an iPhone app SimpleNote. Quite an elegant little app/plugin, I could take notes on my phone and be able to pull them up in a Habari Silo, and turn them into a blog post, etc. Nice, but my iPhone isn’t the only place I take notes or want to do a brain dump. So it’s lingered on the second page of my phone, starring at me, taunting me to use it. Then the other day, the always with a great idea Merlin Mann, resurrecting his invaluable 43folders website, posted a screenshot and short post about his workflow.

Wait, did I just read about something syncing with SimpleNote? Sure enough, Merlin was espousing the virtues of an app he’d been using, and how it now syncs with SimpleNote. Notational Velocity is a no frills, desktop application (is there a mobile, I didn’t look) that snycs with SimpleNote, quietly saving behind the scenes,with plenty of keyboard shortcuts but no fluff. It gets out of the way and makes it easy to just jot notes, brain dump, or I’m sure in the hands of someone like Merlin, far, far more. But for this simple guy, it was the missing link to being able to have an app on my Macs that did all the things that SimpleNote could do.

So far in two days of using it, it’s been more usable than any other system I’ve tried. I was able to bang out some thoughts before bed on my laptop, both gather links for this post as well as some outlined thoughts (yeah, this was actually thought out), as well as some ideas for some work I had to do today. I was able to grab those notes when I hit the desktop this morning without doing anything, add to them, and then pick them back up on the laptop later in the day to finish up the writing I needed to do for my new job. After dinner, I was able to then login to the admin of the blog, start a new post, open the SimplyNoted silo, and bang, all of my links and notes were there to write a post. I can’t count how many events I’ve been to the past year that I took notes at either in EverNote or with TiddlyWiki, but never got around to copying them over to writing a post. I look forward to this being the missing link between thinking about blogging, and blogging. Time will tell.

Alternative Icon for Shredder

FIXED Thanks to Michael for pointing out the broken link on the download. Now fixed.

Mail_TB_web.pngYesterday over at Hawk Wings they posted an entry on how to roll your own custom Mail.app icon, with a link to a .psd template. I personally don’t use Mail.app, rather I’ve been running the nightly build of Thunderbird 3 for quite some time. The nightly is actually called Shredder and is, quite possibly, the worst icon in the world, so when I saw the Hawk Wings post, I jumped at the chance to customize my icon.

I’m not sure anyone else would care to change their icon up, but you can download my alternate Thunderbird icon. Hawk Wings has a link in that post on how to change icons in Mac OS X for those new to Mac.

Calendar Syncing: Lightning, Google, iCal and Nokia e62

syncI’m still railing against signing a contract with a cell carrier, so I haven’t purchased a new phone in some time, but the bigger need to have a more robust cell phone these days had me revive my Nokia e62. All in all, it’s a pretty good phone, with a decent built in browser (based on Webkit if I recall) and works well with my existing pay as I go plan. I even managed to coax an unlimited data plan out of AT&T. The e62 also plays pretty well with my Macs—bluetooth syncing of contacts and calendar, the Nokia Media manager will sync an iTunes folder directly to the phone, so a 2GB card gives me a decent amount of music for on the go.

Anyway, I recently began using Thunderbird 3.0, aka Shredder, which is still pre beta. That meant to really use it, I had to use the nightly build of Lightning, 1.0pre. As with any Mozilla alpha product, you can expect most extensions to not work, which certainly is the case with these two. I really like the combination, despite the occasional glitches, and wanted to find a way to sync Lightning with the phone. What an adventure that turned out to be.

Everything I found searching the web suggested using an extension for syncing the Google Calendar with Lightning, which obviously wasn’t compatible with these versions, and even testing it with the stable releases, I couldn’t get it to work, so off I searched for another way. Enter GCALDaemon, something I’d seen written about on several ocassions but had never quite investigated.

Using the Mac OS X installation guidelines (installing in Applications vs usr/local/sbin), and being sure to use the the shell script config-editor definitely is the simplest way. I’m certainly not a black belt in unix-fu, but following the instructions for syncing with Sunbird/Lightning and the config-editor even I was able to get Lighting 1.0pre synced with a Google Apps calendar fairly effortlessly.

The next step was to sync iCal (or so I thought) with the Google Calendar so I could then sync it with my phone. I briefly toyed with GCALDaemon for that too, however my impatience led me to give Google’s Calaboration tool a spin. Fortunately it was quick and painless, and I was soon syncing the same Google Apps calendar with iCal that was synced with Lightning.

However (there’s always a but, isn’t there), I soon found out that you can’t sync from the phone’s calendar to a network calendar. So anything I were to add to the phone, would need to be transferred to the network calendar. I’m pretty lazy as it is, so adding a step like that seemed like a recipe for losing an important date. For iPhone users, this also seems to be the case. So now what?

Another search turned up this post on syncing a Nokia calendar with iCal and Google, and suggested Goosnyc. I wasn’t keen on using a 3rd party service, but I figured I’d test it out at least, and see where it goes. Their SMS to automate the sync settings never arrived, so I followed the Nokia e61/e62 manual syncing instructions, which were spot on (once I figured out that I needed to look in “Office” for the Sync settings), and within a few minutes, my Nokia e62 was synced to my Google Apps calendar which was synced to LIghtning and iCal.

I still need to sort out a few minor issues with the phone now syncing with iCal, as I had some holiday calendars and what not synced to the phone, which then added the dates to the Google Calendar, so in iCal I was getting the same holidays showing up multiple times. That’s easily remedied by not displaying those calendars, but conveniently gives me all of the holidays on the other calendars. I also need to make sure that when I sync the phone to iCal, I don’t get duplicate entries in the local calendar, but again, I think I can get around that by simply creating a “phone” calendar, and hiding it in iCal.

Goosync does require a manual sync to Google Calendar, but that’s less of a hassle than migrating entries from one calendar to the other. All in all, I’m quite pleased now that I can add items directly from an email into my calendar, or right into my phone, and it will conveniently appear in all of my calendars.

If anyone knows of a more seemless method, I’m all ears.

Mac SVN Monitoring Widget

SVN Notifiier is a handy little Mac Dashboard widget that, using Growl, will notify you when a local working copy is out of date. I’ve not quite gotten the “sticky” notice to work, but I just might need to edit the actual Growl settings.

Still, it’s nice to be able at a glance check your dashboard, or see a little growl notice pop up.

Apple Drivers in VMware Fusion

I think with the help of a google search and Scott Gruby, I’ve figured out how to use my bluetooth keyboard in VM.

Finally, I found a reference to inserting the Leopard DVD while in Windows. I tried this and when I did, the BootCamp driver installer came up and installed my drivers. Perfect; why couldn’t VMWare say something about this on their website?

Thanks Scott and I agree, why isn’t this documented somewhere.

Edit 8/1/08Seems you also have to disconnect the USB Bluetooth Host Controller to get it to work. Something about only one OS can control the device at a time, so the machine gets confused when the two are both connected. Disconnecting the controller, shutting down the XP install, then restarting VMware Fusion finally got it working.

FireFox 3 beta

Testing out b2 of FF 3 (Mac OS X Leopard), and it seems snappier, though none of my normal extensions are available for the beta, so that might be part of it. Certainly can’t use it for everyday browsing because of that reason. It seems kinda odd using the native OS X theme, with Safari like buttons instead of the standard FF HTML buttons.

I kinda like the Smart bookmarks feature, though the recent bookmarks isn’t really useful to me. I’ll be curious how that might be tied into del.icio.us bookmarks (however, seeing as Yahoo! is in turmoil, I will be exploring other bookmarking services, including checking on the status of scuttle, a GPL script for hosting your own bookmark library ala del.icio.us). Any suggestions for similar services welcomed.

Another feature I’m not keen on just yet is when I click on the favicon, normally that would highlight the entire URL in the address bar, now it gives me some odd identity information. Definitely a PITA. I really use that feature for copy and pasting URLs, though there might be an easier method for that.

I’ll continue to run FF 3 on the laptop, and keep 2 on my main desktop, I understand a beta3 will be out Monday, and hopefully sooner than later a RC will be around, with most of the extensions being updated around that time. I understand extension developers not trying to keep up with alpha and beta builds for official downloads, but at some point, they should be offering some kind of indication to users whether or not the extension will be available for the new version. Nothing worse than upgrading only to find out your favorite extension isn’t being developed for the latest release.

Installing Ubuntu on my Mac

The “blogosphere” has been abuzz the last few weeks with news of the latest release of Ubuntu, 7.10, Gutsy Gibbon, and curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to see if I could install it on my mac mini, since I didn’t have another machine to try it out on. I’m quite happy with Mac OS, but it never hurts to be familiar with other operating systems. So I thought aloud on the Habari IRC channel if I could use Virtual Box, which I use to run Windows XP, only so I can test websites in Internet Explorer 6. Survey said, “why not”, and I gave it a go.

First step was to download the installer disc from the Ubuntu site, which is in the .iso format. There are many ways to create an actual CD from this, or a .dmg file, however I didn’t want to bother with that step, so after another question to the IRC channel, my friend Christian said Virual Box should load from the .iso, and quickly found a Flickr image showing how to set the VM to load from the .iso. (After you’ve created the new VM, click the settings button, then for CD/DVD-ROM, check the mount CD/DVD-ROM, then check the ISO image, and find the file you downloaded.) I haven’t gone through the steps to setting up a new VM in Virtual Box as I just used their wizard for a new VM. I did give a bit more RAM for the VM than the default setting, as I’ve got 2GB, and won’t be using the VM that often, so figured I could spare some. I’m sure I did the same thing for the XP install as well.

Now that the VM is set to run off of the .iso, I started the VM, and Ubuntu quickly loaded, with a prompt to Install/Boot from disc (I think that’s what it said), hitting enter, Ubuntu booted up. You can run just off of the CD image, if your curiosity is small, however, you can actually run the installer from the icon on the desktop, to get the full experience.

Clicking on the installer walks you through the basic installer, not unlike installing Mac OS or Windows. The installer took just under an hour in the VM from the CD image, I’m not sure more RAM or an actual CD would have sped the process up or not. After the installer is done running, you will be prompted to restart, with a notice to eject the CD, so that you don’t run off of the CD. Since Virtual Box is set to use the ISO, you will need to shut down the VM, change the setting to use the host CD/DVD-ROM, and restart the Ubuntu VM. You should be prompted to enter your username and password that you set up during the installation process, and Ubuntu should now be running in your VM.

My initial reaction to Ubuntu 7.1 is that it’s a mix of Tiger and Windows XP in feel, maybe 75% Mac, 25% XP. I haven’t explored much more yet, but have looked a bit at a tutorial for the “perfect desktop”, and will certainly poke around. I think I’m more interested now in exploring virtual machines, and other operating systems than I am with playing with Ubuntu, however, I don’t see myself leaving Mac OS any time soon. Feel free to comment if you have any problems with Virtual Box, though I only have a basic understanding of it, but I’ll try to share my experience.

Nokia e62 and the Mac

Recently, a friend with a slightly larger budget than I, bought an iPhone. Subsequently, they gave me their “old” Nokia e62. I’ve been a big fan of Nokia, simply because most of their phones that I’ve owned were well constructed, worked well with Cingular, and, just worked.

So quickly I discovered I can now sync my address book and iCal with the phone, which is nice. I then sought as many means as possible to use the phone with my mac. One downfall with Nokia, is they do not have a native Mac desktop interface, as they do with PC, but at least they’ve recently added a Media Manager, which allows for the addition of a folder in iTunes and iPhoto , in which anything added to that folder is added to your phone. I won’t be using the phone much for these purposes, but it’s a nice addition. Perhaps I can see myself using it for taking a podcast or two with me for listening to while out and about.

Another, not so familiar utility, is the Bluetooth File Exchange application in the Utilities folder. When I was given the phone, I didn’t get a USB data transfer cable, so I was having difficulty adding applications to the phone. One in particular, was a fix for sending SMS messages. They were taking forever to send. After discovering the File Exchange app however, I was able to navigate to the file on the harddrive, send it to device, chose the phone, and the app showed up as a text message. Opening the application allowed me to easily install apps or add new themes (even with the new phone, I’m still suffering from iPhone envy, so I found an iPhone theme, which I actually like much better than the default theme, or any of the other included themes on the phone).

OmniFocus

I just got my invite for the alpha testing (yes, alpha, not beta) of OmniFocus, and I can say with certainty that I love it, and am ready to buy it now. It just seems to be intuitive enough with just the right amount of features (and it’s not done). I certainly hope that the main interface doesn’t get clogged up like many other GTD apps have done trying to be too many things to too many people. I especially like that you can group projects. I’ll blog more once I’ve really had a chance to dig into it a bit more, but if you are Mac using GTD’er, you really should sign up for the beta-announcement list, especially if you are not happy with the other options out there.