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 are provided on an “AS IS” basis with NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.
  • LIMITATION ON LIABILITY: Neither 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:

Good luck, and happy coding!

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 »

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 »

MyLifeOrganized – Automatic Synchronization

I am trying out a new task management software package called MyLifeOrganized, or “MLO” for short. I have looked at MLO before, but only casually.  What got my attention this time is that there are some nice mobile apps available as well as a new “Cloud Sync” service.  I thought I would give the desktop app a serious try.  I’ll have more posts in the near future on how I am using it.  For now, I’ll just start with some tips for automating the sync feature.

After setting up your data file, go to File > Synchronization to create your sync profile.  Click the “Add” button to add a new profile.  Another dialog box will open to allow you to define the profile.  You can choose to sync via the MLO Cloud service, via FTP, via USB, or to another local file.  Just be sure to check the box at the bottom of the window that says “Add this sync profile to quick synchronization”.

Once your sync profile is defined, test it out by pressing the F9 key, or by selecting Tools > Synchronize on the menu bar.  Check the data in both locations, and sync back and forth a few times to make sure everything is working.

Once your sync profile is working, you are now ready to set & forget.  The automation is done by using the built-in Windows Scheduled Tasks feature, and MLO command-line functionality.  First you will need a Read the rest of this entry »

DROE Tool 0.5 Alpha01

As promised, here is an update to the DROE Tool.  I am calling this an alpha release since there may still be some rough edges, and this includes only about half the list of planned fixes and improvements.  Here is the summary of what is included in 0.5 alpha 01:

  • Hopefully fixed all compatibility issues with OneNote 2010 and Outlook 2010, including launching the DROE page, and using the “Quick Cat” hotkey to open categories dialog box.  Users must specify the 2010 versions of these apps in the INI file.
  • MAJOR NEW FEATURE: TEA encryption…  Users can quickly encrypt & decrypt selected text in place in any edit window with WIN-SHIFT-e and WIN-SHIFT-d.  Thank you to Laszlo and tic for their code in the AHK forums that became the basis of this version.
  • MAJOR NEW FEATURE: Hotkey definitions can now be completely customized via the newly added DROE_Hotkeys.INI file  Read the rest of this entry »