Michael Koehler

Exploring the intersection of productivity, technology, and life.

Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Competition – I Love It!

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Today, Nozbe released their first beta of the official Windows Nozbe app.  So, I minimized the compiler where I was learning how to format a printed version of my projects list for the next version of ReVuDo and installed it.

As Michael says in his blog post, their current version is a beta, and I applaud them for releasing it at this point so we can all experience it, and comment.  That’s exactly what I wanted to see, and one of the reasons ReVuDo is being developed in public.  Despite being a beta, their app looks very good.   I like what I see and will try to spend a lot of time using it instead of the web application.

Ever since Michael announced that Nozbe was changing direction to native applications that sync with the cloud, I wondered if there would be any reason to continue work on ReVuDo.  With their first Windows beta in hand, I have no doubt.  ReVuDo is about seeing your Nozbe lists in a new way.  My focus right now is on printing, followed by exporting, followed by edit and sync.  Only that last item overlaps with what Nozbe has achieved, and it was the feature gaps that were always my main focus.

Congratulations to the whole team at Nozbe for their first Windows client!  I cannot wait to see the 1.0 release and hope that the web site is modified to look like the new desktop apps.  I’m sure that must be your plan.  In the meantime, I will do my best to support your effort with comments, and add to the Nozbe community with features in ReVuDo that you haven’t had the time to write yet.

Competition?  Not really, but certainly lots more options for everyone.  I really love that!

Written by mwkoehler

2011/07/15 at 9:04 pm

Posted in Nozbe, ReVuDo, Windows

ReVuDo 0.3.4

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I’m going slow on the version numbers, because I have so much I want to do before I hit 1.0, so I’ll call this release 0.3.4.

The first change in this version is a set of changes to stop ReVuDo crashing for some people. Thanks go to phusick and RobM for reporting the problem, and especially to RobM for letting me know that I had guessed correctly on the fix.

Bug fixing is fine, but we need some new stuff too.  For those who saw a previous version, this is the first version that has context icons!  Personally, I’m thankful for the addition of color, but this is really about functionality.  A context icon helps grasp what context is assigned better than the words alone.  And ReVuDo includes the words as well.

In addition to the context icons, the Next Action stars also make their appearance.  Overall I think it looks much better.

The columns that contain text will now wrap the text if the column is too narrow, so you can size the window as you please and all the words will still be visible.

The Contexts window is now only as wide as it needs to be.  Having it larger bothered me.

My next two goals are to add printing, and (or?) to add exporting to XML, JSON or CSV format (I’d really like to offer export to Excel, but the first go is really slow).

So help me out.  I have started to think about what I would want in a printed version of Nozbe.  So far my thoughts are leaning to a dialog that allows you to select printing your project list, your contexts, your next actions, and/or your due dates.  Select what you want printed, click print and go get something done.  Does this sound right to you?  What do you want to see?

For exporting, or if you like, creating a backup, my idea is similar.  Pick one of the formats I mentioned above and provide a file name.  Done.  Do you want something else?

Let me know in the comments below, or go over to the ReVuDo page, download the new version, and leave your comments there.  This is your chance to add features to Nozbe.

Written by mwkoehler

2011/06/30 at 11:14 pm

Posted in GTD, Nozbe, ReVuDo, Windows

ReVuDo 0.3

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It’s been just shy of two weeks since I posted version 0.2, and since then it has felt like a conspiracy has been trying to prevent the release of the next update.  I finally reached a point where I decided it was time to declare version 0.3 and let everyone see the changes. I think two weeks is my limit.

Changes in 0.3:

The installation program has been completely re-done.  It will now give you options for where to install, whether to create a desktop icon and other handy features.   It will even check if the required Microsoft .Net 4 is installed, and install it for you if it is not (a reboot is required in this case, but not otherwise).

I added an About button to the main projects window, which will display information about ReVuDo like the version and web site.  With a long stream of updates to come I wanted to give you a clear way to determine what version you are running.

I knew that options would be a big part of ReVuDo, so I added an Options button to the main projects window next to the About button.  There is only one option right now: to always open ReVuDo’s windows maximized.  I find this very useful when I am reviewing my projects as it gives me a clear view with no distractions.

Closing the main projects window will now close all the other windows you may have opened and close the program.  I have found that I can wind up with a lot of windows open and this provides a way to close everything.

In the contexts windows, if you double click a context, a window will open showing all the tasks for that context.

The change I like the most is visible when you are viewing a project’s tasks: a Prev (previous) and Next button at the top.  Clicking them allows you to move to the previous or next project on your project list.  This is great for weekly reviews.

If you are viewing tasks that are not all for the same project (Next Actions, Context, or tasks with Due Dates) the project name has been added so you know what project the task is for, and if you press Ctrl-Enter, or right click on one of those tasks and select Jump to Project, the view will switch to showing all the tasks for that project.

Get the latest version on my ReVuDo page, and let me know what you think in the comments!

Written by mwkoehler

2011/06/21 at 9:58 pm

Posted in GTD, Nozbe, ReVuDo, Windows

ReVuDo version 0.2

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I originally posted this on my ReVuDo page, but with many changes to come, I realized that this belongs on my blog.  So here is the short list of changes that made it into version 0.2 on June 8th, 2011.

Changes in 0.2:

I have added buttons to the main projects window to open windows for Inbox tasks, tasks that have a Due Date, tasks that are Next Actions, and a list of Contexts.

I also cleaned up the display of tasks and fixed a bug where completed projects and tasks were being displayed.

Written by mwkoehler

2011/06/21 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Nozbe, ReVuDo, Windows

How to see Nozbe in a whole new way – ReVuDo

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Almost two months ago I announced both the release of an open source .Net library for writing programs and scripts that access Nozbe, and something that I had code named WinNozbe until I could think of a real name.  My intention was to develop this Windows client for Nozbe publicly so that anyone could comment and steer its development.

Tonight I finally reached the point where the program was useful, even if it is so very far away from version 1.

Version 0.1 of ReVuDo is now available here.

So why did I name it ReVuDo?  First, I did not want Nozbe in the name.  That name is not mine and I did not want to step on someone else’s trademark.  I actually need to ask Michael Sliwinski if he will forgive Nozbe.Net’s name.  If not, I will need to rename it.

The second reason for the name was that I wanted the new name to be as unique as Nozbe’s.  Something that could be found easily in the vastness of the Internet.

Finally, I wanted a name that meant something.  What does ReVuDo mean?  The ultimate lesson of GTD: Review, decide, then do.

So, what should I enhance first?

Written by mwkoehler

2011/06/06 at 11:28 pm

Posted in GTD, ReVuDo, Windows

Preparing For Dark Clouds

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Jack Delano, photographer. Farm Security Administration.

In an earlier post I described how I had narrowed my GTD software options down to cloud based systems and chose Nozbe.  Amazon’s outage the other day highlights the risk of moving such a critical aspect of one’s work into the cloud: what do you do when the cloud fails you?

Michael Sliwinski talked about this on the Nozbe blog after a bug caused problems for many Nozbe users.  His main point was that Nozbe has been designed with problems, and recovering from them, in mind.  I applaud this, and I am glad that he took the time to describe what they have done to protect our data.  But, for me the right model is to have my own offline copy, ideally one that is more than just a backup.  It should be a copy that I can use.

Evernote does exactly what I want from every cloud based application.  They offer web access, apps for all the major mobile phones, and programs for Windows and Mac that will sync with the cloud, and allow you to work offline.  This means that if Evernote has a problem, as long as I have my laptop I have everything since my last sync (and everything that was ever entered using that laptop).  In short, Evernote could be down for a week, and I would just be inconvenienced.  I would still have all my Evernote data.

WinNozbe is intended first and foremost to solve this problem for Windows users.  It will connect to Nozbe, sync your information so both Nozbe and your PC are in agreement, and let you work offline.  Even if Nozbe is having a problem.  Even if you decide to leave Nozbe.  Even if you never signed up for Nozbe.

I know this is not coming quickly; is probably months away; but I am committed to making it happen.  And there will be some other goodies in WinNozbe as well.

Written by mwkoehler

2011/04/26 at 7:40 am

Posted in GTD, Nozbe, ReVuDo, Windows

WinNozbe Status

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Michael Sliwinski, the founder of Nozbe, has said that Nozbe would have been written much faster if only he hadn’t had to stop to learn how to do something so often.  I feel I am following in his footsteps.

When I started work on WinNozbe, I decided that I would use the project to learn Windows Presentation Foundation or WPF.  Not only would I learn something new, but WPF seemed to offer a lot of cool stuff that would make WinNozbe a better, more fun application.  Well, I am learning.  So far I don’t really regret my decision, as the promise of WPF is still there; but, it is really slowing me down.

At this point there is nothing to show you, but I have a stack of WPF articles to read and I hope to make a break through soon.  Sometimes you just have to put in a lot of upfront work before you can see the payoff.

Written by mwkoehler

2011/04/21 at 8:00 am

Posted in GTD, Nozbe, ReVuDo, Windows

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