Monthly Archives: December 2008

Did I Get Things Done in 2008?

Here we are at the end of another year.

This has been a challenging year for me with some great things and some not so great thing been thrown at my by life. Business has been good, and my company is growing and looks forward to an even better 2009.

I feel like my productivity has really come on leaps and bounds in 2008. I am one of those people who have to be productive. Productivity is essential for me to keep my head above water and to give me the quality of life that I demand.

This blog has grown from 1000 readers to around an average of 2600 readers. I want to get this to 3000 in the New Year so please help me by subscribing via RSS if you do not already. I hope you have all enjoyed my blog over the past year and I hope to make 2009 even better.

I will leave you now with the top 5 posts of 2008, based upon readership.

Enjoy New Years Eve and see you all next year!

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 28th December 2008

Well, Christmas is over for another year. I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and you didn’t over indulge too much. At least leaving some space for the New Year Celebrations!

I had a great Christmas. Nice quality time with the family and it was the first Christmas that my twins really understood. Seeing it all through a child’s eye is what makes Christmas so special.

On Christmas Eve, the post lady delivered me a nice surprise, my copy of the new David Allen Book, Making it all Work. I have already started reading it and will be reviewing it as I read it rather than at the end. I may get the first review done today if I get the time as we are heading out to Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales for a nice walk and then some food.

Here are my collection of links for this week.

That is it for this week. I am working a few days closing down some projects and then getting ready for the New Year. I will try to fit some more posts in before 2009.


iXpenseIt iPhone App – Keep Track of Your Receipts

iXpenseitiXpenseIt is an iPhone application meant to help users to keep track of their daily finances through easy management of purchases and spending patterns.

By making excellent use of the iPhone’s built-in features iXpenseIt can help both organize your expenses and/or get you started on the path toward using any sort of money management tool.

The application keeps records of all inputted purchases and tracks the information in a number of useful manners. Users can choose to view their data through a variety of different displays.

iXpenseIt is capable of creating solid graphs of your spending patterns over whichever range of time you wish to see and thus provides a great manner of creating a visual representation of your finances.

Your data can be exported to your desktop as well, a feature which should help users to archive their spending information into monthly or yearly folders.

iXpenseIt also has the very useful feature of using the iPhone’s built-in camera to capture photos of your receipts so that they can be digitally input before being thrown in the trash.

At $4.99 the iPhone application may be a bit too expensive for some to warrant downloading but it’s a fair price for what the software does manage to pull off. If nothing else, at least the price of the program can be the first item entered into it!

Merry Christmas to All

Just a quick note to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas!

I am looking forward to relaxing over the next few days and being as merry as I can. My copy of Making it All Work by David Allen arrived today, so I will start to read it over Christmas and report all about it here on this blog.

Enjoy the festive season and get ready for the New Year!



How to Encrypt your notes in Evernote

Being a security guy myself, the storage of personal data on public servers is always a matter of concern.

Luckily, I have just come across a cool little video showing you how to encrpyt and decrypt your notes in Evernote.

I love little snippets of information such as this. Isn’t it great that we can get information such as this at our fingertips free of charge. Enjoy!

New Year Strategic Planning MindMap

The great folks over at MindJet have just released a Strategic Planning Mind Map that I am sure will help us all in taking stock and reviewing 2009.

Mind Map

The Mind Map is broken down into 5 steps:

  1. Preparation
  2. Where are we now?
  3. Where are we going?
  4. How will we get there?
  5. How will we manage the plan

I think this is a great Mind Map and something that we can all use for planning 2009. You can read the original post over at the MindJet Blog.

You do need MindJet MindManager to open this file as it is a MindManager Mind Map.

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 21st December 2008

It is the final countdown to Christmas now, 4 days till the 25th and I am sure that everybody reading this blog will be totally organized and prepared for the festive season 🙂

I have just this minute received an email from Amazon stating that the David Allen Book, Making it all Work, has been delayed by the publishers and not due into the UK until the 15th of January 2009. Looks like my Christmas Reading is limited to the Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp as that has just shipped and will be with me before Christmas.

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a link to a great post from A Wandering Mind that is about Picking a Tool for GTD. Josh from A Wandering Mind is a guy with an interest in Information Security, just like me!
  • My second link is a link to Spootnik is a web based system for synchronizing your OmniFocus tasks with Basecamp from 37Signals. I use both OmniFocus and Basecamp so I am going to try this. Although the system does look like you have to sync all tasks and it does not appear to give you the option of choosing which tasks to sync. I will provide more details
  • My third link is a link to a post about the OmniFocus Start date From MacSparky. This is anew blog I have just started reading via another blog and the content is very relevant to me.
  • My fourth link is a link to the Mind Depositor Index Card Templates – Nice little index cards ready for GTD for you to print. I know these have done the rounds on various blogs already but they are pretty neat if you use a paper based GTD system so check them out.
  • My fifth and last link for this week is a link to an article from the Times Online titled, Tough Times need a Cool Head and Clear Planning. It is a nice little article about surviving in these tough times and how productivity can help.

My next weekly links will be on the 28th of December when all the Christmas celebrations will be over and we will all be focusing on the New Year.

As it is the New Year, I will do a special New Year links section with all links focusing on planning for the New Year.

Hope you all have a very Merry, and of course productive Christmas!


iGoogle Procrastinator Clock

iGoogle Procrastinator ClockAlthough it’s a simple enough concept to grasp, setting one’s clock ahead to stay on time can be tricky to actually pull off.

The mind usually pulls through to help us remember that we have tried to trick ourselves and cancels out the entire intended effect which actually making things worse than they were in the first place.

Luckily the iGoogle Procrastinator Clock has been released as an easy solution for the endless quagmire of getting things done on time.

Instead of simply letting our brain’s trust that we have put a clock forward by five or ten minutes, the Procrastinator Clock plays constant tricks on the displayed time in order to ensure that users are unable to rationalize away being late by a few more minutes.

The add-on allows a manipulation period of up to fifteen minutes early to play within so that viewers can never be really certain that their computer clock is showing the correct time. Procrastinator Clock can work a charm for those who remember changing their own displays by ensuring that there is no possibility of knowing exactly how fast the clock really is.

Considering that it’s entirely free of charge, chronic last-minute panic victims really do owe it to themselves to at least take the iGoogle Procrastinator Clock for a spin to see what it can do for their deadlines.

Zenbe Lists iPhone App Review

Zenbe Lists
I have covered Zenbe in a few other posts on this blog and I do have a review of the full web based Zenbe ready to publish as soon as I can get it on the site. I just thought I would review the little cut down Zenbe Lists for the iPhone as this is a good list manager that syncs with a web based application.

Zenbe is one of the best productivity program developers currently at work and has justly achieved a certain level of notoriety for their dedication to multiple platform releases. Now the addition of the Zenbe iPhone application, Zenbe Lists means that the task-organizing and daily planning so many computer users enjoy is finally coming to the most popular mobile device.

The iPhone version of Zenbe Lists is a great option for both those who already make regular use of the application from their desks and users who are unfamiliar with the entire program. As to be expected from the name, Zenbe Lists allows users to make simple run-downs of their to-do items.

The best features are found in the level of customization offered however as Lists provides fairly substantial sharing and sorting options. Users can collaborate on their lists with other Zenbe subscribers so that business associates or roommates can keep real-time access to their shared items. Marking finished list items is updated immediately which makes Zenbe Lists an extremely effective tool for keeping track of the day’s work.

Zenbe has also made Lists accessible from their official website as well which allows for easy uploading of data to iPhones. The portability and in-depth functionality of the program makes it ideal for blog updates too, a feature which should greatly extend the user base of Lists past the GTD crowd.

Overall Zenbe Lists is definitely one of the higher ranking iPhone productivity applications available for download, packing enough worthwhile features and quality design to warrant a spin from just about anybody.

Here are another review of Zenbe.

7 Things About Me

I guess the prominence of my blog is growing as I have just been tagged in a meme game by Dragos from eDragonu.

Seems like a good idea to let all my blog readers know more about me as well as to get 7 more blogger’s involved so here goes.

First, here are the rules.

  • Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on my blog.
  • Share 7 facts about myself in the post – some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of my post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

7 Things About Me

Well, as the name suggest I have to tell you all 7 things about me that you may not already know. So here goes..

  1. I am 35 years old and my Birthday is in March
  2. I am married to Helen and have four children, Rosie (Age 9), Jack (Age 7), Tom and Poppy (Twins aged 2)
  3. I am the co-founder and Director of RandomStorm a Vulnerability Management and PCI DSS ASV.
  4. I am a published author with McGraw Hill and Cisco Press. I have written 7 books and 2 eBooks on Cisco Network Security. I am just working on another ebook for Cisco Press covering Router and Switch Security.
  5. My Hobbies include Mountain Biking, Running, Golf, and Wing Chun Kung Fu. When I make time to relax I like to grab a good movie or take my aggression out on the PS3.
  6. My favorite places in the UK are Northumberland and the Lake District. I try to visit both of these at least a week each year. Both have beautiful unspoiled countryside.
  7. When I was 11 I was on the national news and front page of all major UK newspapers for bringing a live hand grenade home from the World War One trenches in Ypres, Belgium. I had it at the side of my bed for 6 months before we found out that it was “potentially lethal”.

Now I have to pass this on to the following bloggers:

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Be sure to check out the blogs I have just mentioned as they are all on my blog reading list.