Incredible time-saving tip for Google Reader users

At the top left is a link labelled “All Items” followed by the number of unread posts you have.  It’s right under the “Home” link.  Click it.  Then click the “Mark all as read” button at the center of the page.  Click OK when your browser prompts you if you really want to do this.  Ta-da!  You’re up to date.

Of course, you should only doing it after reading all the posts on The Cart Blog. :)

ABW – Always Be Writing

4×6 notepadThis is a 4×6 notepad. Available at any stationer, office supply store or general retailer. Buy a pack, and keep a few pages with you at all times, along with your favorite style of ball point pen. Then write. Everything. Obsessively. Universal Capture is what David Allen calls it – “getting things out of your head.” It’s the essence of 43 Folders. Your brain has only so much energy for thinking up new ideas, and any energy it wastes holding old ideas just slows it down … so free yourself from the burden of having to remember everything, and just write it down.

Try it for 30 days.  Before long, you’ll feel naked without a pen and paper.

Moving to a Mac-based PIM

I took the jump this month and bought a MacBook so I’d have a small computer to travel with that came with Linux tools. I wanted to migrate my Outlook Notes to a similar application on the Mac. I installed trial versions of

I looked and but did not install

Of course, first, I had to move my data off the PC.

Outlook offers a variety of export formats for notes, but when a group of notes are selected, a single output is produced. Selecting 10 notes and choosing to output in RTF, say, creates one big RTF file. Probably not what you want.

Another option is to select all notes, use Edit/Copy and paste them into a folder. They come out as .msg files, which can then be opened (using double click) and saved as .rtf files. Probably manageable if you have a small number of them.

The most scalable option is to export all notes as an Excel spreadsheet, and then use AppleScript to generate an entry per item from this spreadsheet.  This can be done in DevonThink Pro (but not DevonThink Personal Edition) and probably in OmniOutliner. This post on the DevonThink forum was instructive in this regard.

I’m leaning towards DevonThink  – I like the SOHO Notes interface, but the web is replete with horror stories about Chronos and SOHO Notes.  I’ll keep you posted!

The Dymo Labelwriter 400

Labelwriter 400The Dymo Labelwriter 400 is without a doubt the greatest thing since sliced bread. (What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?) Seriously, this thing will save you time and ensure your mailings get out promptly. I don’t use it to print postage – I just use it to save myself from the tedium of having to hand write an address on an envelope. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference.

The other interesting thing I found was that I was using this device in parallel with (rather than instead of) my Brother PT-1950 P-touch Labeler, which prints a much smaller label that’s ideal for labelling file folders. I was surpised to see the 1950 is not stocked by Amazon anymore; it has been replaced by the Brother PT-80 P-touch Electronic Labeling System.

What prompted me to write this review was a nag email from Dymo to review their product on Power Reviews. I like the idea of Power Reviews; having a third party host your product testimonials is probably perceived as more free of tampering than hosting them yourself. And the fact that you can shop through their review interface should yield more conversions than forcing shoppers to go to another site to read reviews, then hit the back button 100 times to return and buy. Their story and partner information are very impressive; this is a site you should watch.