When Will I Learn?
I lost some information in a program called Infobase. When you stop laughing, I'll tell you how I got it back. Are you done? Okay, so, I've been testing Infobase since late January, 2022. It's clunky and weird, but I liked having my notes in a single window for reasons. Whenever I'm doing research, I open a plain text editor to paste links and jot notes. I will save the text file until I have time to clean it up and store it in Infobase. After I move text file contents, I often keep the...
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Psychological Benefits of Decluttering
Disclaimer: This is an unscientific opinion piece. I could be full of beans.It turns out that, exactly one year ago, I was hand-wringing my way through a major transition from Evernote to Standard Notes and the issue then was the huge volume of notes.This evening, I uninstalled GloboNote after importing just two dozen random notes. What a difference a year makes! So, in celebration, let's look at the psychological benefits of decluttering.Don't Put Off Until Tomorrow ...One of the biggest declut...
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Infobase to Replace Globonotes
Digital clutter is not just about the mess of files, folders and storage devices overwhelming us. It's also about the visual clutter on our monitors and laptops. Personally, I can only take so much. That's why I'm happy to have found a freeware app called Infobase, thanks to Deanna McElveen, at OlderGeeks.com.The main issue I have with the otherwise excellent Globonotes is that, if I choose to keep my notes visible, each one is an individual "sticky note" on my secondary monitor. I could hide no...
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Thanks for the Memory Sticks
This is going to be short and sweet.Over the years, I have acquired more than half a dozen USB keys (flash drives, memory sticks, plastic thingies.) I just ran most of them through a secure eraser app.They've been retired to a little plastic box, just in case ...Whatever will I do when I need to transfer a huge file?Dropbox. ...
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Digital Diet 2022
With the new year comes my usual resistance to resolutions. I have nothing against those declarations; I merely refuse to regurgitate the same list of unsustainable objectives that I failed at 25 years ago.But, my resolve to declutter my digital world has gathered steam. I'm happy to expound on this topic for the benefit of the five people who read this blog.First, I had to define the parameters of decluttering. Bookmarking, File Maintenance and Email Management represented the three major sourc...
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Destruction of Filters
What if we attempted to live a filter-free digital life? I'm not talking about artistic filters or cigarettes, though the latter would probably be a really bad idea. No, I'm talking about Gmail filters.Some filters in Gmail are downright useful. Being able to delete unwanted email, sight unseen, is a time-saver. However, the filters that "move" incoming email from the inbox to arbitrary labels seem to invite us to spend more time clicking from label to label than just reading the emails one afte...
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Crumbling Cookies
I use a service that helps me keep my websites GDPR-compliant. In early October, 2021, the service alerted me to changes in the GDPR that mandated logging cookie consent.Remember Sarbanes-Oxley? I'm sure the financial institutions have come to grips with it but, when it first came out, businesses complained that it was too onerous.Well, this latest GDPR requirement seems entirely too onerous! Obviously, I'm not set up to do my own logging, otherwise, I wouldn't be writing this. The issue, for me...
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Wiki? Wacky!
Digital clutter is in the eye of the beholder. One man's heap is another man's folder. Mo' software, mo' problems. If you need 10,000 hours to master something (spoiler: you don't), you would need a decade to master just ten programs! During that span, nine of them would have become obsolete and the other one would have become so far removed from its origins that you still wouldn't be able to use it to its full potential.The solution, of course, is to master the art of creating a wiki. Not just ...
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Facing Down the Gnarly Beast
I just realized that the key enabler for Shiny Object Syndrome is curiosity. While that may seem obvious, I promise you that I hadn't considered it until just now. Curiosity is not a bad thing, nothwithstanding its relationship with "morbid". I think that it simply needs boundaries.Rule #1: Don't Give Scissors to a CatIf a tool is not useful, why have it? Unless you are a collector, you should save your money and closet space for other things.Rule #2: If the Cat Must Have Scissors, Choose Plasti...
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A Magic Wand Called "Unsubscribe"
I tend to make too much of relatively trivial things. It's a mindset thing, so I am not going to bore you with why. Instead, let me bore you with a brief discourse about the most mundane tool in the Digital Diet's arsenal:UNSUBSCRIBEThe ability to unsubscribe is tempered by the phantom Fear of Missing Out. I've remained on lists in hopes that the content would someday be life-changing. I've stayed in forums to nurture imaginary relationships. Bah! Unsubscribe.Shiny Object SyndromeSince impulse p...
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Workona vs Pinned Tabs
Since this is not a review post, here is the tl;dr (411):Workona wins!Workona has workspaces, within which I can save tabs as well as bookmarks called resources. Whenever I switch to a different workspace, the open tabs are swapped out with whatever tabs I had open the last time I viewed the workspace. That's nice and all, but I have a few tabs that I would like to be available at all times.This goes against the core philosophy of Workona, which aims to enhance focus by removing distractions. So...
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Demote Evernote
Ugh! I can't bring myself to delete my account. Luckily, I don't have to. I'm just going to stop paying for it. One of these days, I may actually close it. For now, I don't need to make a hasty decision, since Evernote basically can become free cloud storage:This is the key bit, from the Evernote Help & Learning Center:Your subscription won't change until your current billing cycle ends. Once your subscription runs out, your subscription will be canceled, and your account will automatically ...
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Install Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office is a glorious suite of productivity software, supported by the same clown car that swerves over everything that Microsoft owns. Let's see who the clowns are, crammed into the 1990 Volkswagen Beetle:Accounts - I have personal and business accounts, each with it own, MS enforced email addressCrapware - It's not exactly crap, but most laptops come with a trial of some version of OfficeAuthentication - This is actually good, but causes confusion, because both accounts authenticate t...
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Deliberations are Self-defining!
That headline is a bit of wordplay: considering things at length is actually the opposite of liberating. Essentially, it leads to analysis paralysis. That's where I am this summer.First of all, I bought a new laptop. I wanted something more modern. I have a 2 TB solid state drive. From my understanding, SSD's have some disconcerting properties. Since I may be misguided, I will not repeat my thoughts here. Suffice it to say that I am hesitant about loading it up with software.Secondly, I'm in the...
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Ditto: The App that Made Me Go "Hmmmm..."
I was just talking to my friend, Mitch Mitchell, about clipboard replacement apps.This is not going to be about clipboard replacement apps. Do your own research. LOLNo, what I want to mention is that I may have yet another tool in the Digital Diet arsenal. During our conversation, I noted that I used to use Quick Cliq then switched to Ditto. In the very next sentence, I said, "But I must not need it, because I never reinstalled it."There. Try turning off a program or two and see if you can get b...
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Digital Sticky Notes
I need a new sticky note application. Globonote is great, but... [note, I found a solution!!]Warning! If you have multiple displays, Globonote might not be for you.At first, I loved Globonote. It replaced my physical Post-it notes with little windows. I used it for everything from reminders, to-do's and blog post notes to webinar notes and my ever-changing Johnny Decimal Index.Every once in a while, Windows 10 forgets that I have two displays. Or it switches them. When this happens, application ...
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Note to self - Getting Started with Johnny.Decimal
You can ignore this post, unless you are interested in learning about Johnny.Decimal.I posted in the Johnny.Decimal forum, sharing my intention to use TiddlyWiki for my JD Index.A JD Index is a vital component of the Johnny.Decimal system. With it, you are able to track your numbers, which means that you'll always know the next available number in each AC (Area / Category)Here is part of the thread, where I expanded on pre-pending the AC.ID to each file:Thanks for the clarification. I do have se...
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The Essence of a Digital Diet
I was so impressed by an article that I feel compelled to write about it.First, here is the article: How I Got Out of Idea DebtI consider myself to be a creator, with all the god-like omniscience that implies. Games, programs and stories. Lately, I've been focusing on puzzles: the Venn Diagram intersection of those three interests.Over the years, I have outlined more than a dozen puzzle concepts, even to the point where a whole series of interconnected challenges were set up, just waiting for me...
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The Great Folder Debate
Okay, so the debate is taking place only in my head. Let's listen in (no affiliate links in this post):Elby is analytical and into efficiency. Arby is whimsical and full of creative ideas.Elby: So, this cabinet metaphor is creaking under the weight of information overload.Arby: The forest metaphor isn't much better. I like contextual searches.Elby: I ain't got all day for that! Every document should be two clicks away.Arby: That's over a mile!Elby: Stop playing around. We need to find a better w...
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Shingle
To the extent that our web hosting and Internet service providers allow it, our domains and websites are the ideal "storefront" upon which to hang our shingle. The irony in that, of course, is the flaw in the analogy. In cyberspace, no one sees our shingle. there is no Main street.Instead of a shingle, we need a bullhorn. Most folks use Google to shout, "Look at me!" Some folks piggyback on popular platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Whatever bullhorn we use, the experts tell us...
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The Simpler Days
Everything is trying to become the tag-end for the ubiquitous phrase, there's an app for that. In so doing, companies are forcing its customers away from the desktop and traditional browser-based connectivity.You can call AAA Motor Club and navigate an insane, computer-led menu or, you could download the app before you need help.You could call a taxi and wait forever or, you could use the Lyft app.You can call your local pizza shop and hope the order-taker correctly transcribes your request, or ...
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Cloaking Devices
Sorry, Trekkers and Harry Potter fans, I'm going to be talking about URL redirects.Many years ago, when I still believed that I was going to become an Online Money Mogul, I joined a membership site called WealthyAffiliate. (Kyle and Carson, are still at it, bless their hearts.)One of my favorite features of WA was the ability to create those cool links that--when you hovered over them--looked like this:www.mysite.com/go/productyoumustseewhen you clicked one of those links, you would be redirecte...
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Passage of the Week
I don't plan to make this a thing because then, it would become a chore. One of the coolest things I've read this week comes from David Weliver, of MoneyUnder30.com:I could give you 800 pages on the mechanics of personal finance— how to budget, pinch pennies, use snowball techniques to pay down debt, and perfectly allocate your retirement portfolio for age and risk tolerance. Most of you wouldn’t read it. Why would you? That stuff’s boring as hell. Let’s face it, some of you would read it and co...
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Burner Mail Saved Me Some Money (LOL)
I just got an unanticipated bonus from Burner Mail. A few days ago, I signed up for access to "An Important Report." I used a Burner Mail mailbox, so that the emails would not be forwarded to me.Then, I promptly forgot about it.When I finally logged in to the mailbox, I discovered that the report was attached to a subscription offer at 75% off. Also, it expired last night.Oh well!Burner Mail just might be the cure for Shiny Object Syndrome! The urge to click can be satisfied, guilt-free, as long...
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Email Filter Shmilter
Over the past two weeks, I've noticed a wonderful side-effect of using the Burner Mail web service: I get so little email directly, that new, unfiltered stuff no longer overwhelms my default inbox in Gmail! Why is this a big deal? Well, it means that my email workflow has stabilized. Here is the significance:I can be sure that I will not miss anything important in my filtered emailsI no longer have to update those filters to add new addressesI can get through my Inbox in less than a minuteFilter...
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Forget the Cloud!
Cloud storage is neat. I love having a way to collaborate with clients and to see random spreadsheets created by number-crunching gamers. On the other hand, I hate OneDrive. LOL. I feel like a broken record on that note, but whatever.I suspect that people who suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome love all the free storage on offer. But, unless you have a business need for cloud storage, I believe you're better off using iDrive to backup your most important stuff and then buying some large, portable ...
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Instability is the Norm
The developers at Standard Notes did a thorough review of my account activity from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5th and confirmed that no modifications were made to it. So, my blog posts were not saved on the server. In addition, the sync issues I was experiencing kept the account disconnected from the server.The good news is that the developers are making note of my case and working on a solution that can prevent data loss if a user has to re-sync with server. I don't know what any of that means for real, f...
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Consolidated Cloud Contraptions
I got an email from AppSumo Pixelied. The main topic was their roadmap. Dawood Khan, CEO and co-founder, had some interesting bullet points:Hey Mitchell,I've been told Sumo-lings love transparent roadmaps.In case you didn't know, we have our public roadmap with all the important features and updates that we will be rolling out in the next coming months. Check out our roadmap HERE. Here are some of the important highlights from the roadmap:3D & Realistic MockupsLogo CreatorLive Collaboration ...
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Scrapping with Standard Notes
This was probably my fault. Let it serve as a cautionary tale for those who like to back up personalized settings (AppData and its siblings, cousins and distant relations.)Usually, when I reinstall Windows, I restore Appdata before I install the software that uses it. 90% of the time, the reinstalled software carries on as if it had never been violently ripped from its non-contiguous hard drive sectors.Standard Notes appears to be that one out of ten programs that don't play that shit.I managed ...
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Evernote Rollback
After a good night's sleep, I woke up with a burning sensation. Ha-ha, not that one. I wanted to know how to download older version of Evernote. A nifty video came up on a Bing search results page:How to Revert Back to the Old Evernote - Downgrading from Version 10 (Latest 2020 Evernote)In less than 90 seconds, Amy shows the speed difference between Evernote version 10 and legacy Evernote version 6. She provides the download link in the description, in case you're interested. (If you are interes...
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Patience is a Virtue
As I continue to recover my data from offsite backup, I keep thinking of ways to make the latest instance of my laptop environment better. One idea is to duplicate the offsite backup locally. I'm an impatient person.iDrive has an option to backup files locally. I'll do a couple of practice jobs to ensure that I set everything up properly. If all goes well, I can have local backups from which to restore...next time. Because, I'm impatient.If you use iDrive, here's a tip: be patient. During a larg...
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Bazooka vs. Mouse
I'm sure everyone has a nightmare tale of laptop meltdowns, unrecoverable backups and precious data lost forever. I do too, but this is not one of them.After having been burned by my own incompetence, I put many protocols in place to mitigate the next, inevitable disaster. The protocols were activated this past weekend, when I stupidly decided to cave in to Microsoft's Ransom Note:Windows UpdateYour computer needs to restart so we can hose your system. When's a good time for you?[ ] Now   [ ] Ri...
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Total Annihilation!
My wife got a new laptop and I gleefully offered to blow away the hard drive on her old one. This is the ultimate digital purge! In the old days, the most dangerous command you could give your computer was: Format C:\Ah, so innocent, weren't we? We had no clue that data could be recovered from hard drives after such a catastrophe. The simple truth was revealed to us when Peter Norton released his Norton Utilities.Anyway...In light of the revelation, the next logical utility class was DeleteShitF...
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Support Your Local Friendly Developer!
One of the joys of finding products by startups and solopreneurs is the opportunity to directly impact future development. Over the years, I have developed relationships with WordPress plugin authors, DonationCoder developers, Excel developers (not Microsoft, just "little guys" making add-ins and custom utilities), half a dozen specialize utility developers and even an InDesign add-on creator!If you've ever been a beta tester, you know what I'm talking about. Nowadays, I'm more likely to interac...
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Data Storage Woes
Before the Digital Diet, I was obsessed with finding the perfect file management system. In the late 20th century (it's fun to write that, instead of the more mundane 1998), software was wedded to the Cabinet, folder and file paradigm. I suppose it follows that, since the operating systems used hierarchical systems to store information, software would piggyback on those systems. Of course, our brains don't work like computers (thank goodness!)Leaving aside questions of preference, functionality ...
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Importing Merged Notes From Evernote
[To distinguish pasted content from my rambling, all rambling is italicized.]With less than nine months to complete the export from Evernote to Standard Notes, I figured I'd better start trying to hack that 50 note limitation!With over 4700 notes still remaining, I decided to see how merged notes look when exported. I've always liked merged notes for several reasons:A great way to archive a closed projectA stylish format with clear delineations between notesThe opportunity to compile a "story" i...
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Gravatar May Not Like BurnerMail
Whoops! Something went wrong!Don't worry, this is surely our fault. We've just logged this error and someone should be checking on what happened soon!That was the message I received after attempting to add my BurnerMail email address to my list of Gravatar's addresses. Until it gets fixed, I shall remain a gray ghost on WordPress.com. I don't really care, though.The main function, getting those notifications out of my main email Inbox, works quite well. I can read the blog posts when I get free ...
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Kindle for PC: Bah!
What a frustrating hour. I bought a couple of books on game design last night. the file formats are .mobi and .epub. I have used Calibre and Kindle for PC to read these files. I preferred the latter, because I could also download content from my Kindle.That was then, this is now. For reasons known only to gremlins and software engineers, Kindle for PC will not launch. It's a thing, apparently. I tried to use the older version from BTGR (Before the Great Reset) and that won't launch, either.Don't...
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BurnerMail is Good
The WordPress switcheroo worked. I had to change me email address in WordPress and, I wasn't sure if the domain would be treated like a regular domain or like 10minutemail.com (which a lot of places summarily reject.) As I mentioned in Disposable Email Addresses, WordPress.com did accept the email.Today, I got my first WordPress.com email delivered to my BurnerMail mailbox. I lost my Gravatar but that's okay! (In fact, I think Gravatar has an option to link the same image to multiple addresses. ...
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Disposable Email Addresses
By the time spammers invaded the Internet, it was too late for most of us. In our innocence, we followed the tenets of establishing our online credibility by using real email addresses. The more savvy among us knew better than to post our home addresses online, so we invested in a private mailbox (PMB).Belatedly, we tried to thwart spammers with naïve tricks like using a clickable image of our email address, or obfuscating it as mycompany (AT) myrealdomain (DOT) com.Talk about locking the barn d...
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Silicon Footprint
So, I shall continue to mix metaphors horribly, in hopes that the jarring connotations trigger the feelings I'm trying to convey. This time, I'm thinking of my footprint on the web. My friend, Holly Jahangiri, mentioned that she was keeping her profile on a social media platform so that no one else grabs it.Unlike the dreaded carbon footprint, it's not immediately obvious that we should strive to reduce our silicon footprint. That is, should we be more visible or less? For historical context, I ...
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Workflow: Getting Evernote Into Standard Notes
Let me start off by saying that I do not recall if Evernote always had a 50-note limit on selecting them. This will cause a headache for importing a large amount of related notes. However, it may be a nice way of enforcing mindfulness during the process.So, "vanilla" Standard Notes treats tags the way one might treat folders, in that all notes with the same tag will be retrieved at once. I like this because it makes sense and, it allows me to create new notes based on the current tag.Anyway, I'm...
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Yabba Dabba Do!
Yabba: Yet another blog begins anewDabba: Dumb acronyms, back-formations banal associationsDo! : Daily obligation!This is the "Hello, world!" post. While the title admits to some amount of exhilaration, it hints also to a suspicion of indulgence. Ironically, the theme of this blog is Digital Diet: Every Byte Counts.I'm struggling with information overload, mentally drowning in an ever-present sea of manifested electrons. From Netflix to RSS; from email to browser bookmarks; from Kindle e-books t...
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