App Reviews

Evernote GTD notes

I’ve been using Evernote for several years. A few months ago I started using an app called Zendone for my GTD workflow. This required a bit of an adjustment, because it has categories within the app which don’t actually correspond to Evernote tags or notebooks, and it uses the titles of your Evernote notes to create task items, rather than checklist items from your notes, which makes going back and forth between Evernote and the app a bit problematic. So, mostly it’s like its own app which happens to use Evernote as its back-end database. To top it off, they just started charging fees, and I don’t really think it’s a service worth paying for.

So I’m going to go back to using Evernote directly. I might utilize The Secret Weapon for some guidelines, but I’ll also rely on some techniques that I’ve developed over the years and adapted from other apps. Maybe I’ll standardize this workflow and publish it as an alternative to TSW, and perhaps even make an app of my own someday…

App Reviews, Programming, Work

The telecommuter’s whiteboard

So, when you’re working from home with a team scattered around the world, you don’t exactly have the same whiteboarding experience you’d have when discussing architecture with your team in person. But at least there’s a way to make it look like you do.


Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro app for iPad is an amazing tool, whether you’re using it to sketch out professional designs or to make some art. But it also works great for whiteboarding. In the example below I created some draft layers, which is a useful technique, but instead of hiding them when I was done tracing them I set their transparency to between 8 and 10%. Combining this technique with the soft eraser you can really make it look like you’re on a well-used whiteboard with an eraser that’s a bit too old. The different brush types also mean you can take liberties and mix things up with your “whiteboard” to get the kind of effects you can’t get on a real whiteboard without destroying the thing in the process.


Windows 8?

I spent the day trying to install Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 because my Amazon EC2 fees are too high. It didn’t work. The Windows installer said the partition created by Bootcamp wasn’t compatible. When I tried it on my wife’s PC, it said I couldn’t install Visual Studio because I didn’t have the .NET Framework version 4.5—even though I did. Same thing when I tried it as a virtual machine on my MacBook with Parallels.