DROE Tool Source Code (Finally!)

I can’t believe it has taken me over two years to get this code cleaned up and posted!  In that time I have changed companies, moved my family across the country, started a new job, bought a house, sold a house, and dealt with some health issues.  Even then, I can’t believe this has taken so long and I am sorry for the delay!

I realize that many people have probably moved on to other tools. Nonetheless, here it is (click here to download ZIP file). In this ZIP file you will find all of the AHK code that runs the current 0.5 alpha01 version plus some newer improvements, fixes, and mods that I have been using privately but never released. One of the major new features you will find in here is the ability to parse note text as it is submitted and automatically create tasks in Outlook. I was using this code for the better part of a year, but I haven’t tested it in a while since I am not currently managing tasks in Outlook.

Note that this ZIP file does NOT represent a fully tested or stable release of the DROE_Tool. This is simply a release of all of the source code that goes into the DROE_Tool for those of you that like to tinker with AHK code (and VBS code) and would like to customize the tool for your own needs. The normal warranty disclaimers apply:

  • NO WARRANTY: All software, information, and services provided by Manage-This.com are provided on an “AS IS” basis with NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.
  • LIMITATION ON LIABILITY: Neither Manage-This.com nor its proprietors accept responsibility or liability for damages or losses that may result from the use of this content. While every effort is made to test the content, it may still contain errors, omissions, or latent defects. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Note that this code takes advantage of newer features in AutoHotKey and must be run or compiled using a fairly recent version of AutoHotKey (formerly known as AutoHotKey_L) which is available here: http://ahkscript.org/

Good luck, and happy coding!

DROE Tool Plans

Just a quick update… I obviously have not had much time to maintain the DROE tool over the past few years. My original hope was that I could keep up with new features and new requests, but unfortunately that has not been the case.

My plan now is to clean up the source code, remove any personal information that might be there, then post everything to my blog. That way, anyone who has some experience with AutoHotkey can download the code and make any modifications that they wish. Stay tuned!


MyLifeOrganized Custom Status Icons

One of the modifications that I’ve made to MLO is to add some custom status icons so that I can scan the list and get a quick visual indication of what is going on with each task.  This is especially useful in the MLO Outline tab where I usually do not apply any filtering (see the screenshot below).  Some of these icons were inspired by the tool Tudumo which looked great with a clean UI but didn’t have some of the features I needed (e.g. mobile apps).  The other inspiration was the need to have a hard/strict status for each task which also helps me set up my views/filters.  In the MLO To-Do tab, I generally use custom views with similar logic to filter the tasks by state and create partitioned lists. (I will share more on To-Do views in a future post.)

For me, a task can be in one of a handful of states: [!] Hot, [A] Active, [H] Hold/Scheduled, [SM] Someday/Maybe, [WF] Delegated/Waiting For, [C] Complete, or [X] Dropped.  It can alternatively be designated as a [P] Project (i.e. not a “task”).  The hot and active states are fairly self-explanatory.  I generally follow the “active” definition used by MLO, and identify “hot” tasks with a star + a “NOW” context.  For active tasks, the icon is a green LED.  For hot tasks it is a red LED.

If a task is on hold, it gets a Read the rest of this entry »

B2W Bingo

I recently started listening to the Back to Work podcast that Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin started a little over a year ago. Those of you that miss the regular posts on 43Folders will find the Back to Work podcast to be a refreshing alternative.

Since I was doing a lot of traveling, I dug in and listened to the first 69 episodes (more than 90 hours!) back to back. To keep myself sane, I started a little game. Beginning with episode 1, I collected all of the catch phrases and recurring bits from the show. Initially I envisioned that this could become some sort of drinking game since there is a live broadcast of the weekly show.

I decided instead to take advantage of the wonderful interactive tool created by Frank Ledo and make a “bullshit bingo” card. Granted, a bullshit bingo card is generally reserved for boring meetings where attendees attempt to boil the ocean by using buzzwords in earnest. That’s not the case for B2W, but the bingo tool is just incredibly handy.  I’m sure you’ll find your own uses!

Click the picture below to access the playable card. Refreshing your browser will generate a new random card pulled from this list of phrases.  I would also recommend checking out the Back to Work podcast.  If you are not yet acquainted with the show, I’d suggest listening to the first 5 episodes, then sampling every 7th episode after that.  As long as you stick with prime numbers you should be just fine.



MyLifeOrganized & Desktop Search Launch Scripts (AutoHotkey)

I make frequent use of my label maker for all sorts of things around the house and office.  I actually bought the one that David Allen recommended in his 2001 book, although that exact model has probably been replaced with newer versions.  One of the more recent uses for my label maker is to create simple visual reminders for frequently used hotkeys on my keyboard.  The two that have been getting the most use lately are for Desktop Search and for MyLifeOrganized (see image below).

  I use the “Insert” key to launch my desktop search function, and the “Home” key to launch my task function (MLO). Pressing the keys by themselves launches a “basic” function, whereas pressing them along with the Windows modifier key launches a more in-depth function. For example, pressing [Insert] launches the Everything Search Tool, available for free from voidtools. This is an amazing tool for extremely fast/instant file searches. You can configure it to launch with the [Insert] key by setting the “New window Hotkey key” to “VK_INSERT” in the Tools > Options > General pane.  If, however, I need to perform a more in-depth search for text within a file, or within Outlook emails, or with special constraints, I press WIN-INSERT to launch Windows Search (for Windows XP) in its own window. Since I am still using Windows XP on some of my PCs, the AHK script below helps.

 For task management, I am still going strong with MyLifeOrganized. I shared some setup information for synchronization a few months ago when I started using MLO, and I hope to share a more detailed review of the app along with the ins & outs of my setup in the very near future. In the meantime, here is the launch script I am using for MLO. See the portion below the “;Hotkeys to open MyLifeOrganized:” comment. You can launch MLO using the Hotkeys that MLO supports directly, but I wanted a version that would also launch the MLO app if it wasn’t running. Note that the script below assumes that you have Read the rest of this entry »