Tag Archives: Mobile

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).

Evernote for Task Management

evernote_logo_center_4c-lrgOn Friday I mentioned my latest endeavor, Project Reboot, and how I was going to start digging into starting today.

To be honest I started a bit early – one can’t complete a project unless you know what needs to be done to do that I needed a tool to track it all.

Up until now I’ve been using the todo.txt setup that Gina Trapani first mentioned on Lifehacker. The tool has evolved a bit since then and now has both Android and iPhone clients and is being actively developed. It is a great tool and I can say nothing but good things about it.

Unfortunately for me, I started to notice a bit of friction with using the tool. This is nothing against the tool, just the way my workflow has begun to develop and change, and if the tool causes friction you won’t use it so I started to look for a replacement.

Enter Evernote.

I’ve been singing the praises of Evernote for quite a while now and I use it for a number of things but never really looked to it to handle my to do or task list. So when I took a few minutes and looked at it I saw it definitely had the potential.

  • It’s available on my desktop and mobile platforms and I can access it from the web if I’m on a machine that it isn’t installed on.
  • It’s got check boxes to I can easily mark things done.
  • I have the ability to group all the tasks for a project in a single note

Looks like a winner to me.

So I’ve begun to track things in my Evernote system. I have a master note that contains a list of all stand alone tasks and project that need to be completed. For those items that are projects the task item is a note link to the note that contains information about the project (which could include links to other notes) and the list of tasks that needs to be completed.

For those that are followers of the Getting Things Done (GTD) system this does allow for an easy weekly review of outstanding projects. A global search for notes that have unfinished tasks in them give a listing of all the projects and the master task list all on one screen.

I’ve only begun to work with this system but so far it seems to be fitting my style of work and as it’s a tool I already have open most of the day and am familiar with so it makes it that much easier to use.

That’s one small step for Project Reboot, next up my social media networks.

What do you use for task management?

GQueues for Android Released

gqueuesIf you use Google Tasks as your task manager than you many just want to take a look at the release of GQueues for Android.

The product brings the GQueues website to a native app which should improve the experience.

From the Play Store:

GQueues is a full-featured task manager that helps you stay organized, be more productive and reduce stress in your life.

Whether you’re new to GQueues or already have an account on the web you’ll find the GQueues app for Android is the perfect tool for managing your tasks on the go.

Please note that you will need a GQueues subscription ($25/year) to use this app. New users get a 2-week free trial when you first open the app.

Get GQueues from the Play Store.

Moving to mySMS, sorry Google Voice

mysmsOne of the hardest things for me to deal with since I made the decision to diversify my online tool bag is what to do about Google Voice. The service is extremely useful and I definitely like everything the tool has to offer but it really feels like there’s just too much riding on this one tool. My biggest issue is that if you don’t have a data connection you can’t make a call – yes, I still make a phone call with my phone believe it or not.

So, after much consideration I decided to split the difference and move my texting away from Google Voice and move the family and close friends back to my direct phone number. I still have Google Voice for my non-family contacts and still use the service for voice mail. Remember this exercise isn’t about leaving Google, just diversifying the tool box.

The one thing I really liked about Google Voice for texting is that I could keep and archive of my text messages. I’ve frequently have had to look back to find a piece of information like an account number or a phone number I needed to call. I didn’t want to loose that functionality and after looking at the different options I settled on mySMS.

The service has been working without issue for me for almost three months now. Like Google Voice instead of selecting the native texting app on my Razr I select the mySMS app and text away and the system either uses the mySMS system, if the recipient uses it or, as the case so far, my providers network (not an issue given my unlimited texting package). It’s seamless to me and the best part is that I have it set up to archive my text messages to my Evernote account so I have them available to me no matter where I am and they are fully searchable.

I also have to mention that there is a web interface so, like when I used Google Voice, I can have a window up on my screen and be sending and receiving messages without the need to pull my phone out. A handy option when you’re sitting in meetings most of the day!

At this point I’ve shifted my browser, my primary search engine, and now my texting tool, not all have been without growing pains but I have to admit it does feel nice to not have everything tied to the same provider. I’m not sure what else I’m going to move away from Google, if anything, but I’m definitely going to keep my mind open to other tools.

Do you use Google Voice or mySMS for text messaging? What about voice mail? Why not sound off in the comments below?

Duck, Duck, Good-bye Google

duck-duck-goAs I’ve already mentioned, I’m in the process of diversifying my online tools. In my last post on this topic I talked about changing my default browser to Opera from Google Chrome and so far, with a few minor challenges, things are going well on that front.

After making that switch I decided that it was time to change my search engine and after considering the various options decided on duckduckgo.com.

One of the biggest reasons I decided to go with duckduckgo.com is that they don’t track you; they don’t save your searches, and they don’t pass along that data to the site you click through to. I also have to admit their results still point me to what I’m looking for and the list includes sites I may not have already seen.

That was something that I had started to notice with Google, my searches had a tendency to hit the same sites over and over. I don’t think it was because they were pushing those sites but instead it was because their search algorithm had, over time, learned that those were the sites I preferred – all the more reasons to shift away from everything in one bucket.

The challenge was on the mobile side of my life as duckduckgo.com can’t be configured to be your default search engine in a mobile browser. So I’ve added it to my list of links on the main page of my mobile browser of choice, Dolphin, and shifted the default browser to bing.com (the lesser of the evils).

Do you use a search engine other than Google? Why not share your choice in the comments below?