Tagged: review

TWSBI medium notebook with Franklin Christoph Model 02 (click to enlarge)

TWSBI notebook review: superb paper, questionable construction

After I went down the fountain pen rabbit hole, I quickly realised it was time to find a better notebook. I’d used Moleskine notebooks for years, but the paper isn’t exactly fountain pen friendly. This post details my experience with the medium-sized TWSBI notebook1 as a potential replacement. Pros 240 pages of off-white paper that works beautifully with fountain pens. A well-presented softcover notebook that lays flat. Concerns Flimsy elastic closure strap. Binding was shoddy on this particular notebook. No hardcover option. Appearance and first impressions The notebooks have a soft, black, leatherette cover stamped front and back with the...

Roadmap Planner banner

Roadmap Planner v2 introduces iOS app, syncing and new features

Things can change quickly with software. A few weeks back I reviewed Roadmap Planner from KeepSolid. They’ve been hard at work and have just released: Roadmap Planner v2; Roadmap Planner for iOS; a sync service; and a new business model. Roadmap Planner for macOS New features Roadmap Planner v2 fills several gaps I discussed in my earlier review. The export function has taken a big step forward. Version 2 adds JPG and PNG export to version 1’s PDF format. Exporting is more flexible. You can selectively export project bands and nominate a date range if you don’t need the entire...

Roadmap Planner: project schedules don't have to be ugly

Roadmap Planner review: project schedules don’t have to be ugly

My day job involves taking the ideas of visionary leaders and turning them into reality. Gantt charts are one of the tools I use to coordinate all the moving parts. As a communication device, a Gantt chart showing the entire project is terrible. Stakeholders will either slip into a catatonic state for the rest of the discussion or suddenly remember they have another meeting to attend. Most stakeholders want to know that someone has thought about all the tasks and interdependencies but have little interest in the detail. Showing the major phases and a few key activities is all you...

Magic Keyboard and iPad

Hey Apple, the Magic Keyboard needs improvement!

If anyone can make a keyboard that works well with an iPad you’d expect Apple to be the company to pull it off. The Apple Magic Keyboard and iOS combination is more frustrating than magical. Apple hasn’t pulled a rabbit out of a hat, but they have made important functions disappear. Background I’ve struggled to do much writing lately. Other priorities have restricted the time I can put toward it. Much like exercise, writing is a high-inertia activity. It’s easy enough to sustain once you get going, but getting started is hard work. Sometimes a change of scenery is all...

photo credit: yomo 13 via flickr cc

Are you absolutely sure you’ve processed all your inboxes?

New systems can be wonderful for helping to manage our complex lives. But they can bring yet another channel for potentially relevant and meaningful input. The more inboxes you need to process, the more likely you’ll overlook one of them. The impact can range from inconsequential to disastrous depending on what you missed. David Allen has often said, “you can only feel good about what you’re not doing when you know what it is”. You can’t get a complete picture of your options if there is stuff1 lurking in an inbox that you’ve forgotten to process. Fortunately, this is easy...

Spark icon

Spark: the innovative way to fly through your email

You’ve just finished a brutal day of back-to-back meetings, only to find a burgeoning inbox that you’ll need a machete to hack through. That was an all-too-common scenario for me. Mailbox was my preferred tool for thinning out the backlog. But Mailbox is no more. It’s the latest in a growing list of popular but ultimately unprofitable applications to be killed off by their creators. Since the February 26 shutdown was announced I’ve test-driven various iOS mail clients in the search for a suitable replacement. What I liked about Mailbox: swipes and snoozes Mailbox may not have been the first...

Project Management For You (Cesar Abeid)

Review: Cesar Abeid’s “Project Management For You” (plus a special bonus)

For much of my career, I’ve managed projects. At first they were simple solo gigs but have progressively grown in complexity, size and cost. When I started my career there were people called project managers in the construction industry, but that was about it. Projects have become more important as knowledge work has played a larger role in the economy. Today it seems like nearly everyone manages some kind of project. But there is a gulf between the back-of-an-envelope planning and industrial-strength methodologies like PRINCE2 and PMBOK which are robust enough for space missions. Cesar Abeid aims to fill that...

Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 mechanical keyboard (photo credit: used with permission from Diatec Corporation)

Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 review: the quest for a Mac-compatible, wireless, mechanical keyboard

Lately I’ve been a little nostalgic about mechanical keyboards. Yes, those clicky-clacky keyboards that were common in the 80s and early 90s. After comparing various options, I ultimately purchased a Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 to use with my Mac. Strictly speaking, this is a Windows keyboard, but with a few tweaks you can make it (and most other Windows keyboards) Mac friendly. Finding a keyboard which met my needs took plenty of research. I thought it might be useful to others if I pulled my findings together in one article. If you want to find out more about mechanical keyboards,...

Eva Enveloop pen(cil) case

Review: Eva Enveloop — a refined wrap-style pen(cil) case

The Japanese seem to have a thing about stationery. Perhaps the cultural significance of calligraphy is behind this fascination. Whatever the reason, Japan produces many quality stationery products which are unusual, yet functional. The Eva Enveloop pencil case from pencils.jp is one of them. My requirements I don’t mind spending extra on products I enjoy using — especially things I use often. I prefer to take notes by hand and I’ve picked up a few nice pens for this job. Nothing outrageously expensive, but a lot more than the cut-price trophies you’re likely to score in a raid on the...

MindNode 2 for Mac

MindNode 2 for Mac review — a fantastic mind mapping tool

I started using mind maps years ago and found them particularly useful for planning projects, brainstorming, and planning written work. MindNode 2‘s predecessor, MindNode Pro, made it easy to create stylish mind maps, but there were a couple of features which I felt the product was missing. Before I switched to Mac I used Mindjet MindManager. It’s a richly featured mind mapping application but became more complex with each update. It’s also one of the more expensive alternatives and included a host of features I had no occasion to use. Mind maps are thinking tools to help organize your ideas,...