Monthly Archives: February 2009

My New MacBook Pro – How I Migrated

I have been quiet this week due to being very busy with work and also receiving my new 17″ MacBook Pro on Wednesday evening.

MacBook Pro

I am just about done with the migration and though I would share some of my findings for anybody wlse who is moving from an old Mac to a new one.

I could have used the Migration Assistant and sucked my old laptop to my new one. I used this when I rebuilt my old laptop and upgraded the hard drive and it worked amazingly. As my old laptop was three years old, and had been used to test a lot of software I decided to opt for the manual approach.

Being an organized person, my data was all organized under my Documents folder. This made it pretty easy to move my Documents to my NAS, and then to my new Mac preserving the same structure as I had before.

I did a bit of pruning before the copy and got rid of old information that I no longer needed. I also archived some of it off to DVDs to go into the Someday/Maybe drawer that I use to good effect.

The data was the easy part. I then had to migrate Mail and all my media such as my iPhoto Library, Aperture Library, and my iTunes Library.

Let’s start with the media. I did expect problems when moving my media due to the customizations that I have done to my media including tagging etc. Well, to my surpirse, I copied my Aperture and iPhoto libraries to my new machine and they all worked fine. I then deauthorized my old laptop from within iTunes, copied the iTunes folder to my new laptop and all went smooth.

I was using iLife ’09 on both my old and new Mac’s so everything was very easy to migrate. iPhoto and Aperture both use a Library. These are package files that contain all the other files and represent themselves as a single file within the Operating System. Sure does make copying easier!

Now onto Email migration. I have a few mailboxes that I use on the client built into the Mac Operating System. My main mailboxes are IMAP through Google Apps so these were as easy as setting up the new mail accounts on the new laptop.

I have a few old POP accounts and for these I created the POP account on the new laptop and archived the old mail onto one of my USB disks for storage and the ability to search through this at a later date if needed.

All smooth so far. Now to re-install some of the applications I use. There are a few killer applications that I use and could not live without. These are my core apps that I installed and I decided that if I need any of ther other apps on my old laptop then I would install them as required.

My core apps are:

I downloaded the latest version of each app and used my serial numbers where applicable that I always store in Evernote. This is a great use of Evernote and I have been storing my software licenses in it since I got it.

So, all migrated and working good. The new laptop is amazing. So much faster than the old one and I cannot wait for the dual link DVI connector to arrive so I can hook it up to my 30″ Display.

Had a real busy week this week and my head has been all over the place. I have been doing some testing for customers and my home office currently looks like a junkyard from PC World. I hate it when my office is cluttered and I am finishing this post to go and declutter!

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 22nd February 2009

Hope you all have had a great week. I passed my exam last Monday that I had been studying hard for over the past few weeks. I made some great Mind Maps that sure did help with the retention of information.

I must write more about my experiences with Mind Mapping as they help me with so many aspects of my life.

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a another great post from the MindJet Blog about Getting Projects Done. This post looks at using Mind Manager 8, Google Docs, and Basecamp to streamline your project process. These great posts keep on coming out of Michael Deutch, well done!
  • My second link is a link to a post outlining 69 Great OS X Time Savers. Being a Mac User and somebody who loves saving time I found this a great little list. I do most of the items on the list but I did pick up a few new tips.
  • My third link is a link to a nice little post about Ubiquitous Capture with regards to GTD. I have written a few posts myself on Ubiquitous Capture as they in my opinion, are a key to success with GTD
  • My fourth link is a link to a nice little post about Mind Mapping and GTD. This is from a blogger who luckily attended a Making it All Work seminar in Amsterdam.
  • My fifth and last link for this week is an Introduction to GTD for Fashion People from the Ann Ching Wang blog. Nice read from somebody with a different perspective.

I attended another Northern UK Bloggers meetup on Friday. Another great meeting and great to share ideas and thoughts with fellow bloggers.

Wishing you all a productive week, as always!


Tracks – Ruby on Rails GTD Application Review

Tracks GTD is a Ruby on Rails web-based application that is meant to serve as a hub for users to organize their life and work within. The system is an open-source (hence, free) program from the Tracks team of developers and is an impressive platform which offers relatively immediate accessibility for anyone new to the application.

Tracks GTD

Tracks GTD looks great and is easy to get running as the installer even includes the WEBrick Webserver. The program runs smoothly on Windows and Mac operating systems alike.

There is a bit of clutter to get used to but nothing is so bad that it will get in the way of day-to-day use of the system. Everything looks very clean with functionality having obviously been placed as a priority of the design contributors working on Tracks GTD.

The homepage for the application isn’t too pretty but this shouldn’t be much of a deterrent for most users as it isn’t necessary to view every time the program is run.

Considering the level of in-depth coding which has gone into the Tracks GTD platform, the design does a great job of highlighting significant aspects of the program while stepping out of the way enough to ensure quick, smooth load times.

Tracks GTD

The interface hosts a lot of great features and represents a solid array of the organizational plans or tools set forward by David Allen in the Getting Things Done Methodology. Everything is extremely customizable, a fantastic trait for users who wish to play with the system and tweak it until it’s set up for the model that can provide them with maximum efficiency.

The system automatically refreshes new data entries and allows for quick updating of various categories and sub-categories (including GTD staples like Projects, Tasks, Next Action, and Someday/Maybe groupings) along with different geographical contexts (like at home, at computer, at phone and so forth).

Tracks GTD

Users can receive RSS, iCal and plain text feeds as well as highlighting and display options which pop-up tasks scheduled when they are chronologically relevant.

There is also a stat feature which displays your productivity over a set period of time through a visual display, a feature which isn’t really important but that still provides a bit of satisfaction for having achieved set goals and projects.

Some of the options are fairly unnecessary but, just the same, Tracks GTD doesn’t have any glaring flaws that should hold anyone back from giving it a try.

One of the best aspects worth mentioning in an overall review of the system is that of Tracks GTD’s ongoing development.

The open-source nature of the application makes it encouraging for feedback and new designs to be submitted to the Tracks team from those who have adopted the platform as part of their organizational process. This level of user interaction fosters a sense of community and encourages even better versions of Tracks GTD to be released in the future.

Tracks GTD

While there are other GTD organizational systems worth looking at, Tracks GTD is one of the best, downloadable options out there for those looking into implementing a GTD app in their daily life.

The platform is fairly unorthodox in terms of information input and display but Tracks GTD is also one of the most unique and deep programs currently available.

For that feature alone, it’s a good idea to take it for a spin yourself and see if it’s the right productivity tool for your work and life style.

Be sure to check out this Tracks Screencast that is in Quicktime format and as always, I love to hear your comments!

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 15th February 2009

This week say my RSS Subscriber count hit 3000 for the first time. It is a bit lower right now but that is normal for Feedburner on a weekend. Hopefully it will bounce back and always be above the 3000 mark.

Yet another Sunday hitting @home. I have been fitting taps today in the bath and seem to have pulled my back, great with a busy week ahead!

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a Mind Mapping website that I found out about from a blog comment here on my blog. The website is IQMatrix and they provide a really cool collection of Mind Maps. Check them out.
  • My second link is a link to a post about Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety from Sid Savara. We all know the anxiety posed by public speaking and this post does a good job in breaking the fear down in order to manage it.
  • My third link is a link to a new time management system called AutoFocus. I always like to read these new time management systems and compare them to the GTD Methodology. Worth a read.
  • My fourth link is a link to a review of Ready For Anything. This was David Allen’s second book after Getting Things Done and before Making it all Work. I must admit that I started Ready for Anything and never finished it. I will, just not high priority for me and it is in my system!
  • My fifth and last link for this week is a review of that previously mentioned third book from David Allen, Making it all Work. The review is from Genuine Curiosity and the review is a pretty good synopsis of the book.

I have got some interesting ideas for this week and I have to get some review posts edited and posted on the site.

Wishing you all a productive week, as always!


3000 RSS Readers wanting to Get Things Done

Just a quick note to thank all my readers and subscribers as I have just hit my last goal which was to get to 3000 RSS readers.

If you do not already subscribed to my blog, I would love you to do so. This way you receive all the latest productivity and motivational posts in the RSS News Reader of your choice.

Click on the rather cool and very large to grab your attention RSS Icon below if you are not already subscribed.

Subscribe to my blog

Next target is 4000, let’s see how long this takes me!

Nozbe iPhone Application – GTD On the iPhone

Nozbe iPhone App

Just a quick post to let you all know that the Nozbe GTD Application is now available for free download from the iTunes Store.

Nozbe has been up to now a web based application without any desktop client. The launch of the iPhone App has made Nozbe mobile, and surely appeal to a much wider audience.

Now, I do not use Nozbe myself, and the main reason has been due to the lack of the iPhone client. So, maybe now I will take a proper look at Nozbe as I do like the idea of having a Web App front end to my GTD system and this is what is currently missing from my OmniFocus set up.

OmniFocus is App based and I use it on my Mac. I would welcome the use of a cloud based web app and will try to get Nozbe working for me.

Full review of the iPhone App will follow. Check out the review of Nozbe I did a while back whilst I get the iPhone app review ready.

Note, I am an affiliate with Nozbe so these links will earn me money if you decide to sign up with Nozbe.

As always, I would love to hear any experiences you have with Nozbe or the Nozbe iPhone App.

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 8th February 2009

I have had a really big report to finish this week for a client, probably the largest I have ever done so my head has been busy and I have not had much time for blogging.

I am happy to say that I finished the report but I do not like having a piece of work that totally consumes your time. I feel trapped with this type of work and try my best to avoid it at all costs.

I have a lot going on and when I have to focus on a sole project like this for a whole week it does upset my rhythm. Surely something I need to look at and blog about!

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a link to a post from fellow productivity blogger Dragos over at eDragonU about using Travel as a Personal Development Tool. I love to travel and I have been fortunate enough to travel to travel to many countries and I agree that if used right, travel can really help with personal development.
  • My second link is a link to a four part series (and growing) on Evernote and GTD. I love Evernote and use it in my GTD setup along with OmniFocus. I picked up some good little tips from these posts so check them out.
  • My third link is a link to a post from TXFX about why Things is not a GTD App. I found this through a link to my blog in the post and the post certainly makes interesting reading.
  • My fourth link is a link to a post from the Daily Herald titled Its High Time To Get Organized. Being a GTD Advocate and Productivity Blogger I couldn’t agree more so what are you waiting for!
  • My fifth and last link for this week is a link to a nice little review of Tracks, the Ruby on Rails GTD App. I have done a review of Tracks which I aim to get posted this week.

Don’t forget that if you have a great post that you would like me to link to, the best way is to link to me in your post as I pick up all trackbacks and usually respond in kind.

Alternatively, leave me a comment on one of these posts or contact me via the contact form.

Hope you all have a very productive week ahead. I know I will!


OmniFocus iPhone App Updates to 1.2

The OmniGroup have today released version 1.2 for their iPhone OmniFocus application.

I have been using OmniFocus both on my Mac and iPhone since beta versions of both products.

I have had my gripes with OmniFocus on the iPhone, mainly due to the speed and I am glad to say that v1.2 definitely feels snappier, but still there is still some room for improvement before that annoying lag is removed from the application startup.

Here are a list of new features in v1.2 of OmniFocus for the iPhone.

  • The Nearby view now displays each context as soon as its distance is determined, rather than waiting to figure out the distance to each context before showing any results. It also scrolls much faster.
  • Checkboxes are much easier to touch.
  • When creating a new action, the keyboard appears immediately rather than sliding in after the screen.
  • On the home screen, Settings have moved to the Info button in the bottom right corner.
  • The Reset Database button in Settings will now reset the saved sync password in addition to the database, and will then take you back to the original welcome screen.
  • Syncing automatically compacts the database on a regular basis, but when syncing is not enabled there’s now a Compact Database button in Settings. (There’s also some text there indicating how many tasks are stored in how many zip files, so you can tell whether your database could benefit from compacting.)
  • Added underlying support for the new autocomplete settings for projects and groups which are coming in OmniFocus v1.6 for Mac.
  • Actions without contexts are no longer considered unavailable

Version 1.6 of the desktop app has just gone to Sneaky Peak so that will hopefully be due out soon, bringing with it improvements.