Headlines for Friday:


Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AX@1030 Meet Stephen and the others at BA7172 : E-Mail from Neil Ernst (research)
BX@1200 Grab free lunch from MIE barbecue : E-Mail from Lorna Wong (social)
BX@1410 Attend Graduate Students Initiative
AX@1430 Attend TA training at MC102
BXFigure out how to send messages to tm5556 : E-Mail from notify (toast)


1. Notes from meeting with Stephen Perelgut, Neil Ernst and Alvin Chin

Categories: research#4 -- Permalink
We met at Bahen to talk about the upcoming IBM CASCON workshop on "cool technologies." Stephen gave us an idea of the kind of demand: we've got the biggest room, the best machines, and we're doing the workshop _twice._ I'm _really_ looking forward to evangelizing these insanely useful tools!

We talked about the structure of the CASCON workshop and how the topics would flow into each other:

Introduction of topics, how to post comments on blogs Stephen
Blogging Alvin
Aggregators Alvin
Wikis Neil
del.icio.us and social bookmarking Sacha
A good lead-in for the workshop would be to have participants add the following to an introduction thread for the workshop:

- Who are you? - Why are you here? - What do you want to get out of the course? - Link to webpage, etc.

This not only gives them a taste of how easy it is to respond to a blog, but also gives us plenty of feedback to work into the 3-hour tutorial.

We want to show them that blogging isn't just about personal journals. Getting them hooked on topic-related blogs and convincing them to use project-related blogs or boss-blogs to communicate with others would be a big, immediate win. Blogs are great as a personal lab notebook, and wikiblogs would be even more fantastic.

We talked a bit about the use of blogging in universities. The humanities people really caught on to the idea of blogs. In fact, most of the activity I'm seeing in the edublogging frontier comes from English teachers. Isn't that so cool?

For wikis, we want to emphasize the use of wikis for intranet documentation, because that's another immediately useful big win for them.

I'll get to evangelize social bookmarking. Yay! Yay! I'm a really big fan of using del.icio.us to discover new, useful sites.

Next steps: prepare content for the workshop, move the CASCON blog to the new server, and write content for the blog.

2. New planner tweak: sort tasks by time

I've taken to tagging my tasks with times, and here's some code to automatically sort tasks by time, status, and priority. I use it on day pages. My plan pages are sorted differently. =)

I could go on and on about how powerful customizable task sorting functions are. Kudos to Jody Klymak and John Sullivan for suggesting this last December! It's one of the things I love about planner. =)

(defun sacha/planner-sort-tasks-basic ()
  "Sort tasks by time (@1030, etc), status (_P>XC) and priority (ABC)."
  (let* ((info (planner-current-task-info))
         (status (aref (planner-task-status info) 0)))
     ;; time
     (or (and (string-match "@[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]" (planner-task-description info))
              (match-string 0 (planner-task-description info)))
     ;; status
      ((eq status ?o) "1")
      ((eq status ?P) "2")
      ((eq status ?>) "3")
      ((eq status ?X) "4")
      ((eq status ?C) "5")
      (t "9"))
     (planner-task-priority info))))

See my planner-config.el for my complete task sorting code and lots of other config stuff. =)

3. Personal productivity reading list

Categories: None -- Permalink
Dean Michael C. Berris commented on my blog: <blockquote> Great online PIM links! I've fallen in love with Ta-da and backpackit! :D </blockquote>

There's plenty more where that came from. Let me tell you how I get my productivity news so that you can catch the same wave.

- I learn about cool new sites through

del.icio.us, a social bookmarking service. Check out my inbox to see my subscriptions. I don't visit all the new sites every day. I usually page through a few screens, opening interesting or popular sites in background tabs until I feel I've caught up well enough. I don't worry about missing good stuff because I'll catch them when other people bookmark the sites again.

- I read many productivity blogs in my feed aggregator. I like

Bloglines because it allows me to categorize my subscriptions. I can read all the productivity-related entries in one go. You can check out my subscriptions.

- I get comments on my blog. Thanks for all the tips!

If you're just starting out in personal productivity, particularly geek productivity, here's what you should read:

- Danny O'Brien. One of the guys who started the whole thing. Check

out Cory Doctorow's notes on his talks about lifehacks. http://www.craphound.com/lifehacks2.txt looked at alpha geek habits. http://www.craphound.com/etech2005-lifehacks.txt .

- http://www.lifehack.org/ , a linkblog fueled by an active community.

http://www.lifehack.org summarizes and links to good posts from many blogs, but you might also want to add some blogs to your aggregator to make them easier to visit. Here's what I'd recommend:

- http://www.43folders.com - Merlin Mann's posts ripple through the productivity blogosphere - http://www.to-done.com - Clear writing - http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog - Longer, more reflective articles

Have fun, and happy lifehacking!

4. Planner for Eclipse?

Categories: research#5 -- Permalink
One of the things I really love about Planner is that my blogging and task tracking tool is built into my working environment. A task or note is never more than a keystroke away.

When Stephen asked me if there was a blogging plugin for Eclipse, I thought: hey, there should be one. Why hasn't something like Planner been written for Eclipse yet? It's insanely useful. A search for "blog" on the Eclipse plugin page turns up nothing promising.

Right after Stephen asked me about blogging plugins, Alvin remarked that it was too much trouble to switch to a separate application for blogging. _Exactly_ why I like Planner so much.

And exactly why a pluggable and hackable wikiblog like Planner would be perfect for Eclipse.

I wonder if we're on to something here. Building blogging and wiki tools into a development environment allows the blog/wiki engine to take advantage of rich metadata. We can make it easy for people to keep project blogs and personal knowledgebases. This would be Good Stuff.

And--more challenging--we can go beyond the line-number hyperlinking done by Planner. We can take advantage of Eclipse's semantic parsing to attach entries to pieces of code that might be refactored. How would that work? I don't know how to do that yet.

What do we get? A developer's notebook. This is good stuff. Time to find out if it's masters-level good stuff...