2010 in review

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Below is what WordPress.com had to say about my blog for 2010.  I admit I see no rhyme or reason to which posts are more popular than others, and I wonder whether it’s the writing or just the topic that seems to make for a successful post. Thankfully, I don’t have to depend on this for a living, because obviously I still have a lot to learn.

Still, I certainly appreciate your readership!

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Calvetica: weird name – sweeeet calendar

the calvetica logo

calvetica: simplicity and style in spades.

Rarely do I find software that is so wonderfully balanced between form and function that it becomes an instant favorite of mine. Recently, I’ve found three. Dropbox, which I’ve already written about, was first.  The second was Burstn.  Calvetica, an iPhone calendar, is the third such app.  If you use an iPhone and you’re looking for an amazing calendar, I think you’re search ends with calvetica.

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An iPad Journey: part 1

I love my iPad

I love my iPad

I have bought an iPad. For a guy like me, who remembers with fondness using BSD 4.1 Unix on a PDP-11 that stood three feet tall and ran on a huge 2 MB of RAM and booted off of 8 inch floppy disks, the notion of a device the size of a small book with 64 GB in it that can do – if Apple is to be believed – anything, is a bit of a stretch. Still, the iPad presents me unique opportunities.  I thought it would be interesting to track my experiences with my new toy, from a designerly point of view. (UPDATED 21 August 2010)

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FocusTodo: AutoFocus for the iPhone


FocusTodo is for those who dislike GTD.

AutoFocus is a minimalist time management system by Mark Forster.  It certainly has its merits, especially if you find that time management systems like Getting Things Done (GTD) are too complicated.  While there’s all kinds of GTD apps for the iPhone, only recently have apps based on AutoFocus started to appear.  A very interesting AutoFocus app is FocusTodo (n.b. the website seems nearly entirely in Japanese) by Syncreticworks.

I’m going to do a short review of FocusTodo and suggest some possible improvements.  It’s a pretty cool app anyways, and I think that AutoFocus purists in particular will really appreciate it.

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Decision making on the iPhone

iDecide+ Logo

iDecide how to decide

Sometimes it’s hard to make decisions. In my experience, a hard decision is one that involves multiple criteria the relative importance of which aren’t particularly clear. There exist methods to help you make such decisions. One of them has been implemented in an iPhone app called iDecide+. So I thought I would write about decision making, and briefly review the app, at the same time.

Consider a simple example: taking a vacation. You would probably want to spend as little money while having as much fun (however you define “fun”) as possible. But there’s more to it. You might want to go somewhere you’ve never been. You might prefer to distinguish between the costs of travel versus the costs of activities (beer, sightseeing, souvenirs, nightclubs, whatever). You might want to go somewhere with a particular climate. These are some of the criteria that would help you decide which vacation is probably the best for you.  And these are just some of the possibilities; there are many others.

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A Cool Wallet

My Wallet

My Big Skinny Wallet

Good design can show up anywhere, and it deserves to be pointed out. I recently stumbled across a product that was a bit of a revelation for me: the Big Skinny wallet.

Okay; maybe my OCD is showing, but I have for years searched for the perfect wallet. I don’t carry much in my wallet, but it always seemed to me that whatever wallet I used was just the wrong size.  Or too complicated, or too weird, or too expensive.

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