hjertnes.blog

My e-mail setup.

18.01.2014 01:00

E-mail is crap. Sorry, but I had to say it. I have tried it all, There would be at least two home screens full of e-mail apps on both my iPhone and iPad if I installed them all. And I would spend a fortune if I had an active subscription to all of the cool and interesting e-mail hosting and related services that I have tested.

My current setup is quite simple. I host my email account at FastMail.fm and I use MailRoute for spam filtering. And I use the standard Apple Mail.app applications on both iPad and Mac.

I don’t use the because they are the best, but because they are good enough. I found out something interesting when I moved from a few a bit prettier and fancier apps to then stock ones, last year. And that was that I spend far less time, “doing e-mail”, if I used worse apps.

You need to find out what works for you.

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Tagging

14.01.2014 01:00

I have been thinking a lot about tagging during the last few days, both about how to do the actually tagging and what I need to have to actually use it. Close to any type of information management app and or service have some kind of tagging these days.

Lets start with what I need to have, to actually spend the time to do the tagging. First and foremost, I need to be able to export the data I store, including the tags, to a format that I can parse with a scripting language. I will never invest the time, if the tags is just something that is, and will continue to be stuck inside that container.

I do also need good tools to manage it all. How do I add, edit and delete the tags, these are all important questions for me. All of this need to be both simple and easy to use.

And last, the tools for searching the tags need to be in place.

Types of tags. My opinions is that there are two kinds of tags, these days. There are native tags, like you will find in Evernote, Simpletnote and Mavericks. Its an integrated part of what ever system you are using. And then you have the hacky way. I have used tags in nvALT in a weird way during the last years. I just wrote for example @blogdraft somewhere in a blog post draft, to be able to search for that string, with anything that had full text search.

The end result is often bettter than what you have in Mavericks today. Because that would work on anything. Something the built in os level tagging wont.

There are three places I use tags in my day to day life, today. I use them in Day One, where I just assign one tag to each jounral entry. This is more like a category system, than tagging.

And then you have how I now do it in Simplenote, as native tags, and used to do as a “in the text”-keyword or tag in nvALT(nvALT support the same type of tagging, but dont have any good way to search them).

And I also use, a few Mavericks tags. These are tags that I apply to certain files, with hazel, at certain locations, to signyfi that I have to do some kind of processing on them.

Like clearing out my Downloads or Desktop folder.

One of the most important things about any tagging system is that you need to have a purpose. I never tag stuff, without having a real reason for them. I do it in Day One to be able to find everything of a certain kind of journaling in a simple way.

I dont tag most of my notes. But I do tag notes like published blog posts, drafts for blog posts and other kind of writing that is not a draft but something that is either in draft form, or is pubished / sent etc.

Remember find a real need before you go crazy with any kind of tagging.

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The 1Password audit-review – every week.

13.01.2014 01:00

One of my intentions for 2014 was to do the 1Password Audit, every week. I’ve always had this as a regular task, but it was more on the monthly, every three or six months basis. And there are many reasons for me not recommending that for anyone.

Here is what I have realised when it comes to doing reviews of your passwords. You need to do it often. And here is why: – People often just sign up to services with their old “default” password without realising it(Yes, I do it too) – It’s more secure – It’s easier to do and complete a practise where you change 5-10 items once a week, and take the rest later, than to do it all in one day. The latter alternative is baffling, boring, and I ended up skipping it half of the time.

This is by the way a great chance to check out the new iOS 7 re-designed Habit List

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The new Simplenote.

13.01.2014 01:00

I have been playing around with Simplenote tonight, it’s very cool!

It’s been a long time since the last time I used Simplenote, it was around the time when everyone moved from using Simplenote as their go to sync service for their nvALT database, to Dropbox.

They now have apps for: – OS X – iOS – Web – Android / Kindle

I have played around with all except for the Android version, and they are pretty great. The thing I really like about them is that the whole experience and design is close to identical on all platforms; at least as much as they should be.

Why did I do this? Just for fun.

I’m going to write a longer post on all of the different apps I use for writing on various devices after I’m done with another large post, I’m working on.

One of the key reasons I started playing around with Simplenote was to have a good, simple plain text note solution that I could point non-geeks to. And simplenote is just that. I can’t tell them to download nvALT, change various settings there, install dropbox and then to install Notesy on their phone. That would be too much. But I could tell them to just install Simplenote everywhere.

I was a bit sceptical, but the fact that they have a export tool that can export everything you put into Simplenote – including tags, got be to at least give it a chance.

What’s to pro and cons here?

Pro: – Beautiful and well designed apps – Very fast sync – Simple. – Tags. The tagging support in the sync, and how it is implemented in the apps is very cool!

Con: – The search is not as fast, as what you find in nvALT – No Markdown support. – Less third party apps. – The sync converts spaces to tabs. Don’t put your TaskPaper files into Simplenote!. – No premium accounts available at the moment…

Check it out here

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Three times in a row, poff, gone.

10.01.2014 01:00

I used to listen to a lot of different podcast, I mean a lot! And I still do, don’t get me wrong. But I have realised during the last six months that I need to cut down on the listening, to get through the amount of reading and writing I need and want to do each day, week and month.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love podcasts, and I would love to spend more time listening to podcasts. But I don’t work as a full time developer anymore, and I found a lot easier to combining debugging, writing code and sysdmin stuff, with podcast listening.

I use Day One to keep track of stuff. And this was no exception. This is what I do. I open Day One, when I skip a show, I add a new entry “Skipped podcast so and so, episode number that.” and add a few tags like for example “podcast”. Now, I will unsubscribe if I see that I have skipped the last three episodes of a show. Let’s face it, there are show I listen to every single time without exceptions. While there are show that I listen to most weeks. And then you have the shows I really like, but I don’t have the time anymore. There are of course also shows that have changed a lot since I started to listen to them.

One last note. There are shows that I want to keep track on, so I keep them in my RSS reader instead of my podcast client of choice. The reason for this is that it is a lot easier to scroll past a few pages on rss items, than to download and then remove podcasts. And if I see some episode that I want to see from a past show, then I can just huffduff it.

Huffduffer is awesome

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My iPad experiment.

09.01.2014 01:00

The spring semester is starting tomorrow. Which made me think, should I try to see for how long I can cope with just using my iPad, notebook and iPhone outside my flat. I have tried this in various contexts and with varying degree of success is the past.

There are a few reasons for trying this out. For one, I always tell people that they should just get an iPad instead of a laptop. And I hate to get the question “Why don’t you do it?”. The two other, and better reasons for doing it is that my iPad takes up far less space in my bag, which means I can bring more books. And the last and most important reason is focus. There are far less things and distractions going on when I write in either Editorial or Notesy on my iPad, than when I use my mac.

I will not go into one of those silly “One month without my Mac” or similar cheesy games. But I wont bring my Macbook Air with my anywhere, before I need to do something outside of my flat that is far less efficient on iOS.

Lets see how it goes!

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Converting markdown list to headers.

07.01.2014 01:00

I finally got around to it. I wrote something!

This might be the year I get my act together and start contributing more to public git repos, I might even release some app in 2014; I don’t promise anything!

This is just a simple script that takes any kind of markdown containing a list, either with – or *, and and it will convert those to headings. I also looks after tabs and adds on extra # for each tab.

I often start out with a outline in this form in task paper,nvAlt or notesy when I’m writing something, and then I convert it into headings and start writing it. There are many great outliners out there, like OmniOutliner. But they are often too much for what I need them to be.

This script solves this issue at least for me. I can just start writing the outline in nvAlt or Taskpaper, you can even write text below any list item(the script will leave it alone) and mark the text, copy it to the clipboard, run the script and paste it into where you want it.

Example:

Input:

- Header Write some cool intro - Pro Write something about why - Con Write something about why note

Output:

`

Huffduffer

06.01.2014 01:00

Huffduffer have been one of the services I have meant to check out for a very long time. And I did, for a long time ago, but I have finally gotten more into it.

The basic principle is that you create your own curated podcast feed.

The service itself is what you expect. You install a bookmarklet in your browser of choice; and you click it, and follow the instructions to add a podcast to your huffduffer account.

And then you just add that RSS feed to your podcasting app of choice.

One of the things I did during December was to clear out a lot of podcasts out of my list. I had huge amounts of them. Some of them were interesting at some point, while others were some show that Merlin or Marco appeared on at some point. So, I got rid of them.

My old workflow used to be: – Merlin is on some podcast that I don’t listen to – Subscribe – Listen to that episode – Check out a few others – Either: listen to the whole back catalog, or “mark all as read”.

New workflow: – Merlin is on some podcast that I don’t listen to – Huffduff that episode, and a few others if it looks interesting

I don’t think Huffduffer is for everyone, and I don’t think Instapaper or Read it later services is for everyone. But if you are the kind of person that subscribe to a show just to listen to some or very few episodes, then huffduffer might be something for you.

The service works great, most of the time. I have seen that it don’t detect the audio file URL sometimes. But other than that: great service.

Check it out

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Twitter clients

05.01.2014 01:00

I didn’t expect this, but I changed my twitter client on both iOS and OS X from tweetbot to twitteriffic.

The basic story is that I joined twitter in 2007. But I didn’t get into the native app game before early 2010. There is basically three sets of twitter apps I have used for longer periods of time. Twitteriffic, Tweetbot and the official ones.

I used Twitteriffic for OS X and iOS from 2010 – 2011, and the official for a short period before moving over to tweetbot when it was released for the iPad, and then OS X. I used the official Twitter client on Android, while I had a android device.

I got the Twitteriffic 5 for iOS when it was released. It was a very good, fast and pretty client, with the same level of “cuteness” as Tweetbot 1 and 2 had. Twitteriffic looked vert fresh, while Tweetbot started to look more and more dated.

iOS7 happened. I actually waited to see what Tapbots decided to do with Tweetbot and iOS7, I used to old and dated Tweetbot 2 all the way until they released version 3. It was good, and I used it for a while.

I replaced the old Tweetbot for iPad with Twitteriffic somewhere between when Tweetbot 3 was released and early December. I could not stand the old and dated app anymore.

And I started to see these small details that I liked better, and better. We need to face it. Tweetbot and Twitteriffic is very similar, in how they look. There is just one place to divide them two; all the minor details.

First I started to really like that cute bird. Something that made me realise something. Twitteriffic is an app that managed to do something that Tweetbot didn’t. They managed to have the same level of cuteness as Tweetbot had in the Skeuomorphic design, in their “flat” Twitteriffic 5 design.

Then I realised that I could change the font, to Avenir; a font I have fallem in love with, while using Day One during the last few years.

I also think the built-in browser in Twitteriffic looks way better than Tweetbot’s. The colour and look of the icons on the bottom in Twitteriffic is just an amazing piece of design.

But the final push happened when I finally got how brilliant the unified timeline is. The fact that I can scroll through my main timeline, and mark @-replies as read in the @-mentions tab as I go past them is amazing.

There is one thing I don’t like about Twitteriffic, and that is those weird symbols they put in the Push Notifications. I get why they are there. But they look weird and out of place.

Anyway. I would be happy in both apps, and Twitteriffic is the best one for me, for now. The OS X version of twitteriffic is kind of dated, and is close to a major version behind the iOS app. I still think it is the best one for me.

__I’m finally back to twitteriffic after a few years. __

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One intention for 2014.

03.01.2014 01:00

Most of my new years intentions is something I keep to myself, mainly because I don’t think they are not that interesting to anyone except for myself. But, I decided to make one of them public, just this moment; while making some coffee.

My creative process is based around some idea. Like this one. And then I either just write it down, either as a title, or a few paragraphs. Sometimes I write the article right away, while other times I leave it there, and write it later.

When it comes to the writing part, there are the texts that it is very easy to write. The article ends up with a nice flow and I feel like the thing I wanted to say is clear. In other words, it was easy, and the result is something I am proud of.

While other times the writing of something is very hard. I have to write them many times. And some times I never end up with something that I want to put my name on. One of my intentions for 2014 is to work hard to make sure that as many as possible of the good ideas, no matter if they are hard or easy makes it out there.

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