Posts tagged ‘productivity’

Throwaway macros and snippets

It’s funny how you sometimes have to relearn the lesson you thought you learned years ago. When I first started using TextExpander, I was a snippet miser, but eventually I learned to loosen up and create snippets that might be needed for only a single day. Despite seeing how useful it is to make these…


The Siri data logger

I’ve been taking measurements professionally—forces, lengths, times, temperatures, speeds, voltages, etc.—for over half my life. Sometimes I’ve been lucky and the measurements have been collected and recorded automatically, but usually it’s been me with a pen and notebook, writing the numbers down by hand and then typing them into a computer later. Since getting an…


Leveraging little lab labels

I’m starting a long series of tests at work involving many different parts exposed to a variety of chemicals. Devising the test setup was interesting, and I expect analyzing the results to be interesting, too. But this middle section—actually doing the tests—is going to be pretty boring. Lots of bookkeeping, not much thinking. This is…


Back in my pocket

Back in the pre-iPhone days, I was a big Hipster PDA user. If you go spelunking in the HPDA section of the 43 Folders Wiki, you’ll find several links to posts here at ANIAT. The iPhone ate away most of my HPDA use cases, and I went a few years without carrying anything in my…


OmniOutliner 4

I’ve never been much for mind mapping, but I do like a good outline. When I returned to the Mac in 2005, my iBook G4 came with OmniOutliner preinstalled and that’s what I’ve used ever since. It wasn’t the ideal outliner, but it was good enough, especially after I updated to the Pro version. After…


My report writing workflow

Blame Kieran Healy for this. Last night he posted a nice account of his writing workflow, with flow charts, lists of tools, examples of input and output, and, most important, a cogent explanation of how and why he developed his way of working. If you haven’t already seen it, go there now—I’ll wait. ♫ Tall…


Open Recent macro for BBEdit

One of the things that frustrates me about BBEdit is that the File‣Open Recent menu item has no keyboard shortcut. This morning, I fixed that with a Keyboard Maestro macro. BBEdit has its own builtin preference system for assigning keyboard shortcuts to menu items, but the Open Recent item isn’t available for assignment. Hence the…


Speedier Acorn filter with Keyboard Maestro

I used to use Acorn’s Motion Blur filter to obscure personal information in screenshots, but I often couldn’t find a combination of settings that would be blurry enough to be unreadable while still looking like something other than a bunch of thin, streaky lines. And when I did find settings that worked reasonably well with…


A free distraction

The recent dustup over Information Architects and their new Writer Pro application reminded me that I’ve been wanting for some time to write a post about “distraction-free writing tools.” As you might guess from the quotation marks, I don’t think much of them. I’m sure that certain kinds of writers and certain kinds of writing…


Dropbox/bin

It’s so easy to see the inefficiencies in someone else’s workflows, but so hard to see them in your own. When you do finally root out some clumsiness in your setup—no matter how small—and replace it with a more streamlined system, it’s a cause for celebration. This is a small celebratory post. I’ve kept my…