Posts tagged Tips

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 »

Simple Coin Toss

Here’s a cute trick.  This is a bit old, but since I have actually used it a few times in recent months, I thought it was worth sharing.  (Click the image below to view full size.)

I can’t remember if I first found this on Lifehacker or on the Minimal blog, but both seem to be re-posts.  Based on the image tag I think it came from this blog on Tumblr (now inactive).  If I’m mistaken, please post a link in the comments.

You can’t think about it too hard, or it won’t help.  Enjoy!

“When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin.  It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for.”

Configuring Google Voice as a Jott / reQall Replacement

I’m a big fan of reQall, Jott, and the various other voice-to-text services out there.  I currently have a reQall Pro account and use it on a daily basis.  Naturally, the first thing that came to mind when I heard that Google Voice was going to have voice transcription capabilities was using it to augment or maybe even replace my current tools.  After some trial and error, here is the method I came up with to configure Google Voice for this purpose.

By the way, if you would like an overview of the Google Voice service, there are some nice articles on


  1. Create a Google Voice account.  Until it’s open to the general public, you’ll need to request an invite here.
  2. Go through the basic setup following the instructions to add your home phone number and create your account.
  3. Once your account is created, click the Settings link at the top of the page and go to the General tab (see screenshot below).  Make sure that Notifications are set to go to your desired email address.  Optionally, you can disable the “Send a text (SMS) message to” checkbox.  I disabled this because most of the messages are ones that I leave to myself, so I don’t need a text message telling me that I just left a message ;-)
  4. The Call Screening, Call Presentation, and Caller ID settings will not really matter for what we are doing.  Set these however you wish for your other callers.  Do check to see that the “Transcribe Voicemails” box is checked, and save your changes.


The idea here is to create a greeting that mimics what you might hear when dialing into Jott or reQall.  This greeting will only be heard when dialing in from your cell phone.  There are several ways Read the rest of this entry »

Backup All Outlook Contacts to VCard in 3 Easy Steps

For some reason, the Microsoft Outlook developers never really embraced the vCard format, and did not provide adequate ways to import/export to this format.  The “File > Import and Export…” menu only has ways to import vCards, and no options to export them.  Because of this, various tools and add-ins have appeared that allow you to backup/export your Outlook contacts to vCard, and some of them even cost money!  Why should you have to pay to back up your contacts?

Well, you don’t.  It turns out there is an easy (but non-obvious) way to do this in Outlook without any additional tools or add-ins.  Here it is in 3 easy steps:

STEP 1: Select all contacts in your Outlook contact folder (CTRL-A).

STEP 2: Select “Forward as vCard” from the Actions menu.

Forward as vCard


Handy Outlook Attachment Reminder Macro

Have you ever had one of those “oh shit” moments where two seconds after sending an email you realized something was missing?  And you know, by using the Outlook “Recall Message” feature, you’re just going to draw even more attention to your mistake.  It’s like a highway accident… people will open recalled messages before anything else in their Inbox just to see what you might have screwed up.

Here’s one easy way to prevent that from happening: use this Outlook VBA macro to automatically scan your outgoing messages and stop incomplete emails & invites before they get sent.   This macro will check for missing attachments on messages & meeting invites where you probably meant to attach something.  It will also check for blank subject lines, as well as blank locations in meeting invites.

Read the rest of this entry »