Near Real-Time Tracking

You can find out what I'm up to in near real-time via: Twitter (@sholden) or Google+. I also recommend checking out my AztecMedia.net produced sites: Chvrches Fan Podcast (@chvrchespodcast), Tech News Radio (@technewsradio), Air Gapped Networks (@airgapnet), Jersey Boys Podcast, and Veteran Stories.


Tip - Subscribing to Twitter Accounts in Google Reader

NOTE: As of October 16, 2012 the official Twitter API turned off RSS options per this article.  What I wrote here doesn't work anymore.

I personally like keeping track of some Twitter accounts (especially security related ones) using Google Reader.  Unfortunately, I've found lately though that Twitter keeps messing with RSS urls, and getting subscribed without errors can be hit and miss.

Here is my understanding of the current format as of this posting ...

If you have a Twitter account like @johnswayer that you want to follow in Google Reader.  Then take the following main URL (twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/) and add <twittername>+.rss -- for example:

"https://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/" + "johnhsawyer.rss"

Becomes:

 "https://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/johnhsawyer.rss"

And use that for the subscribe url.  I usually use a text editor to this (Notepad+ on Windows or TextWrangler on Mac).

Did I get this right? Did Twitter change this already? Is there a better way?  Leave a comment or send me email and I'll update this post.

 


Safer Browsing with Google Chrome - No JavaScript (Unless Authorized)

One of the lessons learned from attending DEFCON#18 was that as a FireFox user that running NoScript was a highly recommended tool. Many of the presenters who were talking about Internet browser vulnerabilities mentioned NoScript as a defensive tool to help mitigate the risks they were discussing in their presentations.

While I still use Firefox with NoScript a lot, I have also been using Google's Chrome browser more and more running on Mac, Windows & Ubuntu.  There is no NoScript version for Chrome but you can turn off by default JavaScript via:

  1. Options (aka Preferences)
  2. Under the Hood tab
  3. Privacy > Content Settings ... button
  4. JavaScript tab
  5. Do not allow any site to run JavaScript
  6. Close button

Once you have turned it off, there will be a 'no JavaScript icon' that will shows up in the Link Box on the far right-hand side of the box on the first site you hit with JavaScript:

Chrome-no-script-icon  

You can now click on that icon and allow the specific sites you frequent and trust to be in a trusted list. And you'll need to reload the page to get the exception registered so that the page will display and function as the publisher expected.  Here is what Hulu.com says if you go there without JavaScript turned on:

Hulu-no-java-script-message

IMHO, this is better than running JavaScript on every site you go to by default.  The best security practice is now to only allow JavaScript on sites you trust and know.  Not perfect but better than the alternative.

P.S. If you use Chrome's Incognito feature with JavaScript turned off then there appears to be no way to go turn on JavaScript for specific sites in Incognito mode except for those already in your approved list.


My GTD Weekly Review Dashboard

Picture 1 There was a recent tweet on Twitter #GTD from Emily Wilska (@OrganizedLifeSF) asking for a "status report" template that one might fill out after completing a David Allen GTD Weekly Review

While I don't have a status report template, I do have a personal Weekly Review dashboard hosted up on Google Docs.

Here is a link to my GTD Weekly Review Dashboard Google Doc spreadsheet that I created. [NOTE: Conditional coloring of fields & fonts may not transfer if you export to Excel or other spreadsheets.]

The basic idea is to track when you do the individual items of a review by placing the date in "Last Completed" column. The spreadsheet will then make a calculation based on today's date, and give you a GREEN, YELLOW, or RED status.  Most of the items are on a weekly (7 day) schedule, but some of them are on a monthly (30 day) schedule.  Here are some links for more information on how to implement conditional coloring of fields for Excel, Numbers, and Google Docs.  Feel free to customize to your own needs.

I started using this dashboard last summer when things were really getting out of hand at work.  I was finding my timing for reviewing Weekly Review items to be sporadic with some items being reviewed several times a day to some slipping a couple of weeks or even a month between reviews.  To keep sane, I adopted this dashboard for Weekly reviews (which I look at everyday) and also David Allen's My World Mindmap (which will be a post for another day). 

The key for me is knowing what I am doing and not doing, otherwise I turn into a crazy maker.

(7/15/2012) - Updated to fix broken link to Google docs.


Summary - Doing A GTD Weekly Review Via Twitter

I wasn't able to attend this event but I thought it was important to capture and share.

Kelly Forrister at the David Allen Company recently did an innovative event on Twitter (#GTD #Tweekly).  It was an interactive Getting Things Done Weekly Review.  Here is the sequence via 29 tweets that she posted:

  1. Hello everyone! Ready? We'll do this in 3 parts/11 steps
  2. PART ONE: GET CLEAR. Collect loose paper and materials. Gather everything that's loose into an Inbox, Tray or folder.
  3. You have 5 minutes for this step. Go...
  4. You all have one more minute on step one: Collect loose papers and materials.
  5. PART ONE-STEP TWO-GET CLEAR: Get In to Zero. Choose the inbox that can good progress on in 5 min--email? paper? VM? Go!
  6. a good way to process in is 4D's: Delete it, Do it (under 2 mins), Delegate it, Defer it (onto a list)
  7. PART ONE-STEP THREE-GET CLEAR: Empty your head. Open a Word doc, or grab and pad and clear your head for 5 minutes. Go.
  8. STEP THREE - SOME MINDSWEEP TRIGGERS: Family, health, meetings you've had, meetings you're going to have...
  9. SOME MORE MINDSWEEP TRIGGERS: Your direct reports, finances, 401k, the dog, your car, health appts you've been putting off...
  10. PART TWO, STEP FOUR-GET CURRENT: Review your Action lists (or maybe you call them Tasks or To Do's.)5 minutes start now. Go!
  11. 2 more minutes to review action lists--are they current? anything to mark done? anything trigger you to add?
  12. PART TWO-STEP 5-Review previous calendar info. Any triggers?
  13. Many times reviewing your old calendar (go back about 3 wks) catches things you meant to do. 3 more mins left
  14. PART TWO-STEP 6-REVIEW UPCOMING CALENDAR DATA - anything you should start getting ready for? Go!
  15. REVIEW UPCOMING CALENDAR TIP: if you find something you need to process, you can add to your mindsweep for now.
  16. if you don't get anything on reviewing your calendar, try going further out. Recurring Tasks are great for calendar.
  17. PART TWO-STEP 7-REVIEW WAITING FOR - if you've got a list review it. If you don't have one, what are you waiting on?
  18. WAITING FOR TIP: Review your email Sent folder. Usually some waiting for's hiding in there.
  19. PART TWO-STEP 8-REVIEW PROJECT LISTS. Projects are your outcomes that require more than one action step. Go!
  20. PROJECT TIP: Projects are typically completed within 18 mos. If you can NEVER mark it done, it's likely an Area of Focus.
  21. PROJECT TIP: Most people we coach have 30-100 current personal & professional projects. Don't be surprised!
  22. PROJECT TIP: If you are not willing to take any next action on a current project, are you sure it's not Someday/Maybe?
  23. PART 2-STEP 9 - REVIEW CHECKLISTS - birthday checklists? travel checklists? home mntce? Go!
  24. CHECKLIST TIP: Maybe you want to CREATE a checklist? Anything recurring that would be good? What to always pack for vacation?
  25. PART 3-GET CREATIVE!-STEP 10-REVIEW SOMEDAY/MAYBE: If you have one, update it. If you don't have one, create it!
  26. SOMEDAY /MAYBE TIP: S/M is not just a "fantasy wish" list. It can be a fantastic place to stage "not yet" projects.
  27. SOMEDAY TIP: You'll trust S/M list(s) more if you know you're actually going to review them again. Otherwise they'll die.
  28. PART 3-STEP 11-BE CREATIVE & COURAGEOUS! Any new thought-provoking, creative, risk taking ideas to add to your system?
  29. CREATIVE & COURAGEOUS TIP: What's REALLY got your attention in your job, family, environment? This is the last step!

It is my understanding from the GTD Virtual Study Group which did a quick review at the very beginning of their latest podcast is that the timing for this weekly review was limited to 1 hour with all the major items (11 steps) taking approximately 5 minutes each.  The big take away from many of the participants was that they were  amazed at what they accomplished in 1 hour.

Other recommended resources during the Twitter session were:

I've listened to the Weekly Review CDs and I personally recommend them.  The guides are excellent also, and I use them when I need references during GTD processing.


Making Coffee Better - Some Recommendations ...

Back in late 2007, Kevin Devin and I traded some emails and resources related to coffee storage recommendations and I summarized them in this blog post.

Now a recent article was published in the San Diego Union-Tribune written by Jennifer Goodwin entitled "How do I brew a great cup of coffee?"

The article is worth a read if you have the time, but here is my main next step for getting the best cup of coffee -- "brew between 175 to 190 degrees" with the brew time between "3.5 to 4.5 minutes."

The recommendations to do this include (links to Amazon):

I think I'm going to start with the French Press option and see what difference I can notice.


TSA Travel Woes - Post A Comment To Their Blog

I just found out that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now officially blogging (started Jan. 30, 2008) and is accepting comments on their blog posts.

The blog is called "Evolution of Security" and can be found at: http://www.tsa.dhs.gov/blog.

If you run into trouble or maybe have a great experience, then make sure you use this resource to give them some feedback.


Sorry - I Remove Jiglu.com Tag Cloud Widget

I just wanted folks who read this site via a web browser to know that I recently removed a JavaScript from Jiglu.com.

I installed the widget because it was suppose to create a tag cloud which is something I find intellectually very interesting from a knowledge management perspective.

The thing I didn't know was that it was actively tagging the content in the posts and articles.  Ugh!  Sorry about that.  I personally can not stand that sort of function, and I'm very sorry if I've ticked anyone off by adding it.


List Of Sites For Food & Dinning Out Reviews

The following is a list of food & dinning out review sites from an article in the Wall Street Journal published on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007:

The other interesting thing from this article was that restaurants are now giving away meals to bloggers in the hopes of a good review. 

So far according to the article it appears to be paying off with good rankings but bloggers that aren't transparent are playing with fire.


Recommended Podcasts To Listen To Via Google Reader

I have created a "Recommended Podcasts from sholden.typepad.com" site and RSS feed based on my research from my last post on this topic.

podcast, comment, recommend, podcasting, rss, technewsradio, google, readerIt seems to work pretty well for my workflow and it helps to be able to get links back to the individual podcast so I can put them into TechNewsRadio recommendation podcasts.

Only thing missing is a good comment option for myself on why I liked the podcast.  I'd really like to be able to add that as an option.