It’s Okay to Leave

One of the great things about Google+ is the ability to join various communities and share with others that are of a similar mindset. Of course, over time, your interests change and you may want to prune your list of communities so that it only includes those you are interested in.

So how do you leave a community?

1. From your computer click on the Home button in the upper left hand corner of your browser and select Communities.

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2. Select the community you wish to leave.

3. Click on the gear icon and select ‘Leave community’

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4. Confirm you want to leave the community. Remember you’re only leaving the community the posts you’ve made in the system will still be visible – unless you delete them yourself

leave-community-confirm

Now it is possible to leave a community from a mobile device but I’ve found it’s just much easier and quicker to handle it from the computer.

How often do you prune your communities list?

Cut Down on Email Notifications with Pushbullet and IFTTT

IFTTT recipe with Pushbullet If you’re anything like me you get a ton of email everyday and while there are ones that you want to look at and respond to there are a lot that can wait until later in the day to deal with.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to get notifications just for the ones that you want and not be bothered for those you don’t? I thought so too so I rolled my own notification setup with Pushbullet and If This Than That (IFTTT).

To make this work you need a Gmail account (it’ll work with a Google Apps account as well), a Pushbullet account, and of course an account at IFTTT.

I set things up in my Gmail account first.

  1. Setup a new label to flag those emails you want to be notified of – I used notify (I know, really original)
  2. Create a filter in your Gmail account to add your new label to emails from the specific address you want to be notified of (I also flagged it to never to be sent to SPAM just to be safe),

After that was done I then switched over the the IFTTT website and setup the recipe I needed.

  1. For the trigger I selected any new email that has a specific label, in this case my ‘notify’ label
  2. For the action I choose Pushbullet and then selected, Push a note.

At this point you can select any ingredients you want, in my case I like to know who it came from, the subject of the email, and the body of the email.

Now you might be wondering why I chose to do filtering and labeling instead of just setting up a recipe based on the email address of the sender. To be honest you can do that but then you have to create a new recipe for everyone you want to be in your notification group, by using filtering and labeling I can better control the flow.

If you’d like to use my recipe for this, here’s the link.

For those that have rooted your Android phone, pick up Light Manager and you can setup the notification LED on your phone to flash when your note comes in. With that setup you can then shut off notifications form Gmail so only the important ones trigger the LED.

 

Goodbye Evernote, Hello OneNote

OneNote over EvernoteLong time followers of this blog will know that I have been a huge fan of Evernote, so much so that at one point it was my goto tool for everything. I stored my task list in it, clipped articles to it to read later, I stored photos of receipts in it, I even forwarded voicemail and newsletters to it.

As of today though that’s all changing.

Earlier this year there was a blog post by Jason Kincaid where he called out Evernote on their product and it generated enough of a buzz that Evernote CEO Phil Libin acknowledged it.

In that post he mentioned that they had improved the stability of the product and were going to be working to improve all of the clients. Unfortunately for me, I haven’t had that experience. In fact, tonight I was presented this:

20140731_Evernote_Last_Straw

That’s right, you’re seeing a notebook that says it has two notes in it but the display shows that they are none to show. I triple checked that I didn’t have a filter going and verified that the notes exist in both the web and Android clients.

Did I open a trouble ticket? Nope, and I’ll be upfront as to why. In every case I have opened a ticket the resolution has always been the same – remove the software and install it again. The last time I had an issue not only was this the instruction of tech support but they also directed me to install a beta version of the software with no clear, “this will resolve your issue,” explanation.

When you couple that with the issues I’ve recently had with being unable to remove tags from the Windows client (not see in the Android versions) and an issue where the sync setting on my phone kept turning off – I’ve had enough.

So today I decided to cancel my premium subscription (I was a subscriber for over two years) and move to OneNote.

I know that some will see this as a radical move but when you can’t trust a product for something that’s supposed to be a core function it’s time to change.

I’ve been using OneNote for about six months at work and have not had a single hiccup to date – hopefully it will hold up just as well with everything else I’ll be throwing at it.

 

Just don’t sit there, Spartan Up!

Spartan-Up-Book_300x250This past week I was given the opportunity to take a look at the soon to be released book written by Joe De Sena, Spartan Up!

Let’s get one thing out of the way up front, I’ve never run in a Spartan race but I have great respect for those that do. If you’re not familiar with them you should definitely look them up.

So why would a desk jockey like myself read a book like this? I asked myself the same question as I started reading and to be honest I’m glad I did.

This isn’t a book about tips and tricks, how to write a better “to do” list, or even how to set up your email account so you can get to “inbox zero.” This book is about driving forward, facing the obstacles that are ahead of you and driving through them.

In writing this book, Joe takes the approach of sharing experiences from his own life as well as from the races themselves and it makes the book that much more interesting to read. He takes those examples and uses them as lessons to help you question your comfort zone, to get you to pick action over sitting still, to get you to see the Spartan way and adopt it.

I know the above sounds a lot like a sales pitch, and to be honest I will be receiving a copy of the book when it’s released in May, but I honestly feel this book would have been on my reading list anyway. I’ve grown tired of seeing the same ideas and thoughts recast so that another book can be written and sold. Spartan Up! is different and I think is worth your time.

Don’t just take my word for it though, here’s Joe telling you why you should Spartan UP!

Use a home screen shortcut to access Evernote notes

2 steps to create home screen shortcut(Tested on Android 4.1.2)

If you’re like me I have notes for a lot of different things in my Evernote account and sometimes I need to access one repeatedly (phone access codes for example). You can open up Evernote, and search it out or create an in application short cut but for even quicker access add it to your home screen.

After finding or creating the note in question
1. Select the menu button at the bottom of the note.
2. Select ‘Add to Home Screen’

 

 

At this point you should have shortcut icon on your home screen which give you one touch access to the note.

An Evernote shortcut on the home screenDon’t have an Evernote account? You can get one here (referral link).