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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Your desk in the clouds

Desk In The Clouds is another way of seeing your Evernote notes. The German developer, who won the student price at 2011s Evernote Developer Competition, gives you the opportunity to range your evernote notes like sheets of paper on a desk. It satisfies those users, that require a more creative way of looking at their notes, that is not bound to a certain order.


How to use Desk In The Clouds


In a box on the right you can pick any note you want and put it on your main desk, additionally you can have one desk for any tag in your Evernote. Every note is rendered as paper sheet and can now be moved and rotated. All notes can be resized, so that only a certain part of it is shown.


I like that the developer has added some nice details. The tags offered vary in size depending on amount of notes related and every tag for which a desk was added is surrounded by a gloss effect.


How I use Desk In The Clouds


In the introduction video there are presented some use cases for Desk In The Clouds. For me, the application is the perfect solution for my goal planning. In Evernote I have notes for every goal I set for myself. In Desk In The Clouds I can now order them hierarchically to differentiate between short term and longer term goals and to underline which goal supports another. As I am able to color the notes, I can even track, which goals are in progress and which are finished.


In my opinion Desk In The Clouds would be a perfect tablet app, so I hope that this solution will be developed for iOS/Android devices soon. I do not understand, why Evernote has not integrated that function in the first place. I am glad that Desk In The Clouds fills that gap. It is one more example for the possibilities the Evernote API offers.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Codecademy

The  Codecademy offers a possibility to learn programming for free. I was just checking, whether I could forward it to others. Nevertheless I was really excited about the way the content is presented. It starts with very general programming concepts but dives deep into JavaScript language features quickly. I would recommend it as a great way to get a basic knowledge of programming, even in other languages. As there are only five courses today, I cannot predict, what is going to come.


My girlfriend, who has not much of a technical background, has begun working on the courses a few weeks ago to improve her programming skills and so far it worked.


In my opinion, to get a grip on basic web development is no harm. As a new course is sent every week, you should start today, if you are interested in learning programming.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Zendone-“a beautiful productivity tool for Getting Things Done®”

I am using the Beta version of Zendone for several weeks now and want to share my opinion on it.


The main concept of plaindrops, the developer behind Zendone, is "using the right tool for the right job" for the Getting Things Done® process.


Collect & Process


To collect data, Evernote is their tool of choice. Every new note in the default folder (the inbox) is shown in Zendones process inbox. In this view all your notes from your default notebook are rendered. You are not allowed to skip entries so you are forced to process all input from first to last. This helps me a lot to focus on every item at a time.


Another thing I like is that I am now really using the Evernote inbox. Every input that comes in my life is just put into my default notebook. No tagging, no folders. Then, when I find the time, I know, I am going to process it. Obviously I could have done this before, but there was no real reason for it, so I always collected and processed in one step, which did not always bring the best result.


While processing you can decide for every input, whether it is a task (which you can assign to a project), a date (which is then entered in Google Calendar) or reference material (then it is just stored in Evernote). It goes without saying that tasks can be marked with contexts and persons to delegate.


Do


Every task can be added to a project and marked as next. If latter the task will appear in the do panel. In this sections you see all the next actions of your projects.


Organize & Review


The third and last panel, the review&organize, is where you can see all single and project actions. You can put them in the order you want, add new projects and tasks.

There are two predefined areas of responsibilty, "work" and "home". At the moment it is not possible to edit these or create new ones. For me, that is fine, as I think, it is not necessary, to separate your tasks. I use this as filter for tasks at my customers site and anything else.


What's left to say

These are only the main functions, just to mention it:
- a quickadd area for tasks
- a note pad for input (is added to the process inbox)
- shortcut support
- filter by context


plaindrops call their application "beautiful". I would support this impression, as the application is pretty much fun to use, because of its nice design. The developers obviously have accomplished to create a very fast, desktop-like application. 

Conclusion


Although we are talking about version 0.72 of the application it is already in a very good shape, so that I am able to use it for my task management. The development team puts a lot of effort in finishing the application and meeting user requirements, e.g. a waiting for list was just implemented.


Additionally I am very excited about what comes next, on the top of my personal priority list (and as far as I know on their priority list as well) is the iOS App.