January Certifications

Busy New Year

It sure has been a busy New Year so far.  January was especially hectic as we start to pack for our move to North Carolina in a few weeks.  In addition to this, I headed down to Orlando to get my Scrum Product Owner certification, which involved a two-day course in managing product development in a Scrum environment.  I’ve worked for several years as a product owner in agile development environments and I’m a Certified ScrumMaster, but this was a more appropriate credential to add to my resume. Read more

Productivity Image

The Not-to-Do List — 7 Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Productivity

I saw an article recently that hit home with me.  The article, titled The Not-to-Do List — 7 Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Productivity and Happiness , was written by John Meyer, Co-Founder and CEO of Lemonly.

Here are Meyer’s seven recommendations for things you should stop doing, along with my thoughts:

1. Touching emails more than once.

While Meyer calls it “only hold it once” (or OHIO), I’ve also heard it called the “touch it once” rule or the “one touch rule”.  I personally use the latter (OTR).  Lots of productivity sites tout this as a key aspect of reaching another concept called “Inbox Zero”, which suggests that you should empty your inbox each day.  I question the value of this since an empty inbox at 5PM isn’t necessarily in the same state 30 minutes later.  It’s always seemed to me to make more sense to just try to get through your email as quickly and efficiently as possible.  If you clear it out, that’s great.  If you don’t, who cares? Read more

1Password

Review: 1Password

I started using Siber System’s RoboForm Password Manager in 2007 after a colleague recommended it.  I tried their free version briefly and then happily shelled out $20 for a license.  Since then, I’ve had different passwords on sites and have increasingly made them more complex over the years.  When I decided to leave RoboForm, mostly due to wanting better mobile applications and a distaste for their subscription model, I test drove both LastPass and 1Password.  Ultimately, I ended up with 1Password and still feel like it was the right decision.  I liked their integration and over time, their one-time license fee is a better bargain than paying a subscription fee annually. Read more

OmniFocus dashboard

Using OmniFocus for GTD

OmniFocus ForecastI’ve been using OmniFocus for about a year now and it seems like the right time to post a comprehensive review of it and how it’s worked for me.  I’m an extremely diligent GTD (Getting Things Done) practitioner and frankly, both my personal and professional lives would be a mess without it.  GTD is a time- and task-management methodology based on the book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.  I first read David’s book in 2006 and implemented his principles at that time; he released a second edition last year which I’ve also read. Read more

Automated Website Backup

Backup Your Web Site Automatically in cPanel

One of the services I perform for web clients is periodically making backups of their web site. This includes backing up the web directory (all of their HTML files including WordPress and any accompanying theme files and plugins) and taking a backup of their site’s MySQL database.

Rather than doing this manually, it’s easier (and more reliable) to just schedule the process in cPanel.  Unfortunately, if you’re using a reseller account like mine or if you have multiple sites, you can’t select a single web site in the native cPanel Backups module.  You’ll have to write a bash script and run it at your desired frequency through Cron. Read more

How to Delete Your Accounts

Deleting Unused Accounts

With the birth of our son a year and a half ago, my wife and I have started to take a look at “housekeeping” tasks that we didn’t really care about in the past.  No, not cleaning floors or dusting lamps, but things like putting a Last Will and Testament in place and executing an Advance Directive to ensure our wishes are carried out if we’re no longer capable of making healthcare decisions.

During the process of writing the things out, I stumbled across additional question, including:

  • Who takes care of our son if neither of us are able to do so?
  • Who takes our pets if we cannot care for them?
  • What happens to our possessions?
  • What happens to our data footprint such as sensitive documents and other files stored on our computers or accounts in which personal data is stored?

Read more

Personal GTD Workflow

My Task/Time/Data Management Process

I get asked quite frequently about my task management workflow in general, and specifically how I keep projects organized and quickly/easily refer back to discussions in meetings or emails from months earlier.  Here’s a look at how I have things set up.  And I’ll add some additional posts about the actual setup of individual tools at a later date and link to those at the bottom of this post. Read more

Sites with Security Hacks

How Many Times Have You Been Hacked?

Results: How many times have you been hacked?Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people.

The New York Times recently created a microsite that allows you to answer a few questions to learn which parts of your identity may have been stolen in some of the major hacking attacks over the last two years and what you can do about it. Not all attacks are included, and many attacks go undetected, so think of your results as a minimum level of exposure.

Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/29/technology/personaltech/what-parts-of-your-information-have-been-exposed-to-hackers-quiz.html

Karma Hotspot and MacBook Pro

How Not to Launch Your Product

I recently (well, not recently, more like 294 days ago) purchased a Karma Go wireless hot spot device for use when I travel.  My in-laws didn’t have wireless connectivity in their home (they used dial-up until when they switched to broadband last year, and finally installed a wireless router a couple months ago) and on more than one occasion I’ve had to drive around looking for a location with wireless because I had an emergency at work and needed internet access.

While I could get a wireless hot spot from work, I like the idea of having my own wireless connection and at $99, the device is tiny and fits in my briefcase or backpack.  More importantly, the data never expires and there is no monthly contract, so the fact that I would only use it as a last resort/contingency, makes the whole concept very affordable.

Getting the device was an adventure in and of itself. Read more

Connected Devices Map

A Map of Every Device Connected to the Internet

This isn’t exactly current (about a year old, actually) but I ran across a tweet recently by programmer and “Internet cartographer” John Matherly: Read more