Covered topics: life in general, personal productivity, life hacks, organization, software development, technology, etc.

The Christmas Box

Her present


GTD Collection Phase

The Collection phase is where you get everything in one place--out of your head and into a central mechanism (usually an inbox). This page aims to offer tips and ideas for effective use of the Collection Phase.

Outlook Life Hacks Gone Bad

Well, I tried to make Microsoft Outlook work for me, but it's giving me fits. On two separate occasions, I've received email from frustrated coworkers complaining that they are receiving unwanted or reminders.

Please let me know when I have important email!

The first thing I tried to do was set up a rule to automatically forward email from my company to my cell phone so I would know to check my account. Well, Outlook (or maybe Exchange) automatically notifies the meeting organizer when someone forwards a meeting request to someone else (or in this case, my phone?!). Every time someone sent me an invitation to a meeting, Exchange was, unbeknownst to me, tattling on me and displaying the private nickname for my cell phone's email address. Eventually, my manager complained to me about the messages. And for some reason, he didn't think my suggestion to "just delete them" was funny. So now, I can't be automatically notified when I receive mail.

Or so I thought!

Give Post-its a home

A Post-it fits just right on a 3"x5" card. I stick some in spiral-bound card book.


My latest GTD capture device

This 3x5 index card folio from Mead is something I picked up from Wal-Mart's stationery department for under $3. The original cards that came with the folio were part of Mead's "Collections by Cambridge" product. Online it goes for $3.45, but I found it for about $2. I didn't like the flowery index cards it came with (not manly enough), so I swapped them out for a plainer-looking spiral bound set. Add another $1 for the replacement cards, and you're still coming out pretty cheap. The pen is a Pilot G2 mini.

Having it with me is great for jotting quick ideas. It's more robust and durable than a pack of Post-its, and besides, Post-its don't come in a spiral bound format with a cover and room for a pen!

Google@Work seminar, JotSpot, and Wikis

Google continues on its "parallel-universe" path to (friendly--not evil) world domination (parallel to Microsoft's attempts, that is) by expanding its reach into the Enterprise application space.  In a recent free seminar held in Columbus, Google demonstrated some of its offerings in the enterprise, including:

  • Google Maps for Enterprises - Provide the power and functionality of Google's web-based mapping technologies in internal websites and critical applications that require support. With Google Maps for Enterprise, organizations of all types can integrate data and seamlessly create a high performance web-based mapping experience.

    Ideal for applications such as workforce management, operations/logistics and CRM, Google Maps for Enterprise provides fast performance through the Google Maps API which is recognized for helping spur the web mashup phenomenon. Users benefit from the ease of use that people love about the consumer Google Maps offering, and satellite imagery provides detailed views of the Earth. Google Maps for Enterprise also features enterprise-grade support and service.

  • Google Earth for Enterprises - Explore geographic information with the power of Google Earth Enterprise, a 3D visualization of the earth that integrates, organizes and publishes your enterprise's location data.  Host your data locally and then overlay it on top of Google's.  Your employees use a specialized Google Earth client to access your local datasets and study them through Google Earth's fluid 3D interface.
  • Google Apps for Enterprises - includes Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Docs & Spreadsheets
  • Use a Bank Bag for Loose Items In Your Work Bag

    Does this count as a "man purse?"


    Firefox Add-ons

    Some useful add-ons:

    • Bookmarks - integrates with your so you can post new bookmarks easily from any page, as well as browse/search your existing bookmarks
    • LeechBlock - helps control time-wasting by blocking certain sites for a given time of day
    • MeeTimer - MeeTimer logs where you spend your time online, grouping it into activities, and actively discouraging time wasting.

    SQL Server

    Tips and Techniques

    Change your default database

    sp_defaultdb [ @loginame = ] 'login', [ @defdb = ] 'database'

    Note: the above has been deprecated in favor of the ALTER LOGIN statement in SQL Server 2005.

    Did you know?

    UDF's and temporary tables

    SQL Server 2000 UDFs can't access temporary tables.


    I use Microsoft development technologies in my day job, including the following:

    Other Microsoft tools that I use:

    Getting Things Done

    Getting Things Done (often called GTD) is a time/life management approach described in a book by David Allen entitled "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity."

    GTD topics

    Thoughts and Tips for the 5 Phases of Workflow

    Beware of adding columns to stored procedure results

    Since INSERT INTO...EXEC requires the use of a CREATE TABLE statement with an explicit column list, adding a column to the stored procedure called by the EXEC portion will break the calling procedure. Who knew?

    Super Home


    It's neat to explore what you can do at home for entertainment and family organization purposes.


    Ideas that might fit here:

    World Wiki


    This area of the site will allow me to share information that may be useful to others. While it is primarily a personal repository, the information contained may appeal to a wider audience.

    I'm a geek, so a lot of this will deal with technology. Here are a few topics:

    Here are some new topics I'm working on:

    Time/Life Management Books

    I have read (or at least purchased) a few books in my lifetime about managing time and being organized. Here's a partial list:

    How I Cope: Staying on Top of Life

    This "book" (in Drupal terms) includes content described by a number of phrases, all of which apply, at least in part:

    I'm cataloging this content here as an experiment. Partly with Drupal and partly with a non-wiki publishing format.

    Donatos caters a 'party' of one!

    Yes, I'd like to cater myself a party!


    Fa<t>s pitch softball??!!

    Do only fat people play?

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