Tuesday: Keeping things organized
In order to see what's happening in the open source world, I use a lot of social media and newsreader tools.
For instance, when I find something in Safari, I use Instapaper to store the link so I can get back to it later. Instapaper is great because I can bookmark a link on one machine and then read the article on another, though I would be doing none of that this week.
My favorite newsreader isn't Google Reader, but rather an app that lets me plug into my Google Reader account: Reeder. Reeder is very useful, because when I find a article I want to share, I can email it (the link or the whole article), Twitter it, or sent it to a number of social services, including Facebook, ReadItLater, Zootool, or (again) Instapaper.
That helps keep my research organized. For communicating on Twitter, my primary social broadcast platform, I use Twitterific and HootSuite. I have the official Twitter app, but try as I might, I just like Twitterific better. But when I need to schedule tweets out, HootSuite is my preferred app; it lets me time broadcasts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
To keep everything else organized, I love using OmniFocus, a task manager that is based on the Getting Things Done project management system. OmniFocus lets me input a whole bunch of things to do as I think of them; every couple of hours, I sweep through the list and assign the tasks to projects, set up due dates, and specify the context in which I will complete the task. So, if I have a context for a task of "Errand" one day, I can quickly see if there are any other Errand tasks and hit as many as I can while I'm out and about. OmniFocus is my most expensive app, but I love it.
For calendaring, I tend to use SaiSuke, which has a sweet desktop organizer feel to it. It also syncs up with my Google Calendar account, which is perfect because I have all of my kids' calendars from their Google Apps for My Domain accounts in my account too. That means I can see at a glance any appointment they have set up for me to view. (They have learned that if they want a ride somewhere, they'd better share appointments with me as often as possible.)
With the writing and organizing all down pat, this week was looking pretty good so far.
Wednesday: Bumps ahead?
My personal website, where I post links to all of the articles I have written to date (including this one), runs on a Joomla! platform. A lot of my friends have tried to dissuade me from this, advocating Drupal or WordPress instead, but I really like Joomla! Except for that annoying exclamation mark in the name.
To post content on my site from my iPad, I used an app called Joomla! Admin Mobile, or JAM! for short. JAM! was simple enough to use, but seeing as I had already taken my iPad-only vow, there was one catch: To use the app, I would first have to log in to the site's backend and add a new extension. Fortunately, Safari was able to handle the task, and in just a short time I had complete access to my site's administrative dashboard and was catching up on my site posting.
Potential trouble then started when my client -- the one who uses Word and Office exclusively -- dropped me a line and asked for revisions to a training package I had put together for him last week -- a file I thought was done. I asked him to drop it in my public Dropbox folder, and then proceeded to pull it onto my iPad with the Dropbox app. I was worried, because this was a 100+ slide presentation with a lot of embedded images and presenter notes -- and since notes were what needed to be fixed, I needed to be able to access them.
I needn't have worried. The file downloaded flawlessly and opened in Keynote perfectly, and I was able to run through the presenter notes and edit them without a hitch.