Online OneNote?

17 Sep 2009
September 17, 2009

While reading Ed Bott’s article about Microsoft’s partial preview of online office apps, this particular bit caught my eye:

Officially, Microsoft is positioning the new web-based offering as “online extensions to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.”

Intriguing! It seems the OneNote bits won’t actually be available until the launch, so too soon to get too excited, but it could be nifty.

Granted, just yesterday I admitted that I haven’t really gelled with web-based notebooks (or GTD) systems… but still, maybe I just haven’t used the right one yet.

Back to OneNote

16 Sep 2009
September 16, 2009

OneNote image

It took me a couple months of indecision (first pondered in July) but this week I took the plunge.

A year ago I whimsically decided to abandon my reasonably fine and working OneNote based GTD (Getting Things Done) system and move to Evernote. I’m not entirely sure (anymore) what my motivation was, but I can theorize that it was based on the fact that I could Evernote on my Windows Mobile phone, Windows PCs and from a web site. That and I’m a total squirrel and waste too much time chasing new shiny things…

So now, one year later, I’ve moved back to OneNote. I am using my old system which was heavily influenced by the 7Breaths “GTD with OneNote” series of articles. I have a few bits to iron out, but after just two days I already feel back in control.

Why the switch? A few reasons really.

  1. I never used the Windows Mobile Evernote client. While I thought it was a wonderful idea, it turns out the support for checkboxes is useless.
  2. I never really got into the web interface (and I think there were checkbox issues there too?)
  3. My GTD “system” with Evernote just never gelled. I lost track of too many items (this is totally my own fault). I was a chagrined at how many forgotten items I turned up while migrating back!

As you can tell by points 1 & 2 I really like checkboxes!

I’ve stored my OneNote data files in my Dropbox account so I have access to them from all my machines (although only two actually have OneNote installed). So far this is proving to be a painless and simple way to keep everything in sync. I like it.

GtdagendaI should mention that I spent a month or so with the Gtdagenda site last winter when I first realized that my Evernote system wasn’t quite working.

Gtdagenda is a web based application aimed squarely at the GTD aficionados. Probably my favorite web based GTD app that I’ve played with over the past few years. However, it turns out I’m not quite ready for “web only” though – not for this sort of stuff. If I have to load the browser and site first? Well, I probably forgot what I was about to write or do…

The switch back to OneNote ought to hold me for a while. Or until my next urge to (once again) switch back to Linux… then I’ll be sad!

Gantter: THE online MS Project Clone

05 Sep 2009
September 5, 2009

Gantter is a web app that just blows me away. It is the closest thing I’ve seen to running Microsoft Project in a browser.

Gantter Image

Simply incredible! I can’t speak to all the fancy stuff the MS Project can do, but I can tell you that it does all the sorts of things I do on project plans. Importing/Exporting to MS Project files is a really cool touch as well.

Check it out (free) at There’s also an about page up with more information and some online help.

Next time I need to put together a plan I’ll reach for this instead of reloading my crufty old copy of MS Project ‘02.

A bit more info, from the site:

Gantter is a free (gratis) web-based project management tool. You can think of it as a web-based Microsoft Project. It helps you to:

  • plan and estimate your project (duration, work, cost) by splitting the project into a number of tasks
  • review you plan using Gantt chart
  • manage project resources (work or material) and assign them to tasks
  • manage project calendars (set working times, add holidays etc)
  • manage resource calendars (working times, vacations etc)
  • control your project’s progress by setting % complete values to each task
  • review critical tasks

Just like in MS Project you start by adding tasks, setting dependencies between them (Finish-to-Start, Start-to-Start, Finish-to-Finish, Start-to-Start), indenting them to create summary tasks. Then you add resources, modify their calendars if necessary, assign resources to tasks.

Another Play with Puppy Linux

26 Aug 2009
August 26, 2009

Puppy LinuxIt has been almost a year since my last look at Puppy Linux so I dusted off the old ThinkPad 600e laptop (pentium 2!) and had a look at Puppy 4.2.1.

Initially it would hang while booting from CD. After some searching I learned to give the “acpi=force” argument at boot and that got things going.

Once again, I’m blown away by how fast apps run on this old machine when using Puppy. Apps just “pop” onto the screen after launching them! Very cool. Well, the browser (SeaMonkey) didn’t really “pop” though – Once again, I must observe that modern browsers are not the friends of old hardware… but that’s not Puppy’s fault.

First issue I hit was that my PCMCIA controller – and subsequently my WIFI card – wasn’t being detected. Apparently, that’s based on that acpi=force thing. Not good… I tabled the project for a bit while pondering my next move.

While pondering, I installed Puppy into a virtual machine. Never hurts to have a fast loading / low resource *nix laying around, right? For that one I did the hard drive install (instead of the normal boot from CD thing) and noticed the boot sequence was a bit different. In fact, It seemed like the stuff the ThinkPad had been hanging on was no longer an issue.

Tonight I fired up the ThinkPad again and installed Puppy to the hard drive. Rebooted and … sho ‘nuff! I now had a functional PCMCIA WIFI adapter. Let the surfing commence.

Web browsing was great right up until I visited some of the more modern and script-laden sites. Heck, just typing in a twitter update with that little character counter slowed down the whole system.

Here’s the deal: If I needed to setup an old machine to be used for working on documents, spreadsheets and general productivity stuff I think Puppy would be just the ticket. It really brings the old machine back to life. Looking for a machine to primarily browse the web? For that my hardware is just a bit too old. It’ll do the job, but you sure have to exhibit extra patience.

I think I now remember why I had shelved this laptop last spring… but since it is out, maybe I’ll toss Windows 2000 back on it ;-)