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Category Archives for "Productivity"

Review: Reference Tracker

Until now, many assignments have left college students with a pile of books stacked upon their desks; sticky notes popping out to mark places of importance. In the twenty-first century this really shouldn’t be an issue. And now for Mac it isn’t thanks to Reference Tracker by Maklinware.

Getting Started

To start using Reference Tracker you simply open it and click on the bright green “New Reference” button. From there you get a drop down menu which allows you to select the appropriate text that you are going to reference. There are a whole host of options to choose from varying from a chapter in a book to a article in a newspaper. Of course there is a generic “Book” option if you can’t find the exact template for your needs.

Bookmarks

Below all of the information that you enter is the cited text field. So if you have some quotes that you think you will use in the essay or paper that you are writing, you can drop them in such that they are easily accessible at a moment’s notice. Sticky notes are an added bonus as well. If you have something that you need to remember but have no special place to put it, just open up a sticky and place it wherever you want it in the window.

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Get Organized with Evernote

Alright, let’s face it. Not everyone has time to use every feature in those GTD applications you see everywhere. Some people don’t even have time to use the basic features! And that’s where Evernote comes in.

So What Exactly is Evernote?

Evernote is a note-taking application that organizes and syncs your notes between numerous devices including your PC, Mac and Mobile Phone. Your notes are not only stored on your devices, but also up in the Evernote server ‘cloud’ for safe keeping.

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Five Reasons To Use Google Docs

Over the last couple of weeks, I have added a new tool to my writing arsenal. Google Docs. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s Google’s latest attempt to gain space in the Office market. It’s a free web based Office suite entailing a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation app. It is currently still in BETA (would you expect anything else from Google?) and it originally was formed from the purchase and collaboration of the web app Writely.

Since then Google has added both spreadsheet and presentation functionality.

But what makes it so great?  Why should you uninstall Microsoft Office from your Mac or PC and embrace Google Docs? – here are five reasons.

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First Look: RapidWeaver 4

Back in 2004, Realmac software released the first version of its popular RapidWeaver web development software.  Since its initial release, it has won many awards from Mac publications all around the globe, and still continues onward with that trend.  Just a couple months ago RapidWeaver 4 hit the streets, and is already changing the way consumers create websites.  From its more professional iWeb-like templates to its ease of creating pages, RapidWeaver 4 is sure to be an instant hit for people who want a simple way to create professional looking websites.

Make a Site.

It couldn’t be any easier. You simply click file > new project, and a new project will form. Once you complete that, whenever you want to add another page, you simply click the button in the top left hand corner.  It will ask you what kind of page you want – From Blog and Photo pages, to Blank and Contact pages as well. Simple as that. You can now choose from the abundance of themes that RapidWeaver has to offer, or you can download more themes form the Realmac website. Editing your site is also very easy and straightforward. You simply hit the edit button to edit the photos and text on the current page, and if you want to see a preview of your site, just click preview to see a version of your site as it were already online.

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Rescue Your Time

Ever wanted to know which applications or websites you spend the most time on? Well, look no further. This handy service can help solve your problems.

Rescue Time (for Windows and Mac), is one of the simplest, easy to use, online services, helping you see what your biggest time suckers are on your computer. You first have to download the free software, which runs as an application; basically monitoring your every click.

Analyze.

Once you have logged onto their site, you can then get access too all the data it has collected, laying it out in simple to read bar graphs.  This allows you to see the apps/sites you are using the most and also, how much time you’re actually spending on your computer.

Process.

You then have the ability to go back throughout the day and see exactly when you were on your computer and what you were doing. There are also charts for the day, week, month and year to help you look back at those productive and unproductive days, weeks and months. Tying into that, there is a tab labeled goals and alerts where you can set up reminders to yourself for general things in life, or to remind yourself of the apps or sites you are using a little too much.

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Keeping Your Life Pure & Simple

Take Away The Unnecessary

Keep asking yourself, does this “something” add anything to my life? If you have to think about an answer to the question for more than a few seconds, it doesn’t. Remove it from your life. Throw it away. Clear out the space visually and mentally.

There’s no use keeping around a piece of digital material (RSS feed, song, file, bookmark) if it’s not adding anything to your life, or helping you in any-way. Try to simplify things down and keep only the essentials, both in the material world and the evolving digital world.

Moving from a desktop computing setup to a notebook based setup comprising of a MacBook Pro helped my digital cleanliness propagation a few months ago, I migrated over 1TB of data into under 100GB.

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Do It And It’s Done

Sometimes people can get too caught up in a GTD mindframe. Each and every task which comes in they will write down on their to-do list, and take the appropriate steps to complete it. However some tasks can be done right away, avoiding stress at a later stage.

For me, if something actionable will take less than 5 minutes to do I will do it right away. The task does not get added to my to-do list. Instead, it gets done as soon as it reaches one of my data collection points, and it doesn’t cause me to procrastinate – which means no stress.

However, some tasks are too large to apply the “Do it and it’s done” method to, which is why I enjoy publishing productivity related posts – to help you manage these larger projects and tasks and get them done in an efficient manner.

Do it and it’s done. The phrase to keep in mind – I recommend you print it out and stick it on the wall behind your workstation.

How My File System Is Organized

Reader Christian Kuttruff sent me an email a few days back after my post, How Does Your Mac Look?

He wanted to know how my file system was organized on my Mac because he was looking for the perfect way to sort his.

My file system is perfectly organized, I know where everything is, and can bring up anything in seconds using then Finder, let’s take a look with a few screenshots of the folders in my home folder.

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