Beautiful New York City timelapse video

Ok, so I’m a sucker for timelapse videos. What can I say?

A simple and powerful todo list setup

Before I start – a disclaimer: this will be a bit of a geeky post and completely irrelevant for anyone not on a Mac. If you don’t have a Mac, well then hopefully this gives you yet another reason to want one.

This is the first of a couple of posts about how I’ve set up my Mac. Personally I’m pretty happy with the way it’s working for me, and I figured that it would be great to share some of the tools that I use (… as I expect that I’ve spent a little bit of time tuning my setup, I figured it can be useful for others too!).

The Todo List – Things
First of all, I use Things for my todo list. It’s pretty to look at (if you’re going to spend a lot of time with your todos, better have something beautiful), it’s efficient, it’s easy to use and all in all does what I need it to. Additionally it syncs with my iPhone so I can always access my todos.

Project Reference Materials – Things Folders

I use Things Folders to store project reference materials. Project reference materials are any files that are associated with the projects I’m working with. Things Folders create a filesystem that is automatically updated with all your projects. 

Project Reference Materials – Evernote

For project reference materials that are scraps of notes, bookmarks, webpages or links I use Evernote. Evernote is a great way to store just about any scrap of note or link. I have a couple of scripts that I modified from other’s sources that helps me sync my Evernote to Things. 

EvernoteLinks – This script runs in the background and whenever a note in Evernote is tagged with the same name as a project in Things a link is created in the “notes field” of Things. The script was originally from this thread and I modified it slightly to suit my needs. Original of the script came from here.

Evernote2Things – This script automatically creates todos from any note that is tagged “todo” in Evernote. I have a slightly modified version to allow creating notes from e-mail, as mentioned below. Original of the script came from here.



To have these two scripts start when you start your computer, unzip the files in to the “Applications” director. Then go to “System Preferences”, choose “User Accounts” and then select your own user account, click “Login Items” and then click the “+” and find the two applications Everenote2Things and EvernoteLinks and add them to your list of login items. 

Quick add of todos – via LaunchBar

Things have their own excellent feature for quickly adding a new todo (you can choose your own keys – but by default it is Ctrl+Space and Ctrl+Alt+Space), however since I use LaunchBar heavily, I can add items from LaunchBar directly (I find it’s just faster that way):


Quick add of todos – via eMail

I also like to forward and link e-mails to my todos. In this way, I can easily create a new todo related to an e-mail. I used to use Mailplane which integrated with Things so that Ctrl+Alt+Space would automatically link to the e-mail thread in question. Now I use Sparrow Mail which doesn’t have this feature, so I have used the above mentioned Evernote2Things to achieve the same thing. 

What I do is that whenever I have an e-mail that requires a Todo, I forward that e-mail to my special “Evernote secret mail address” which is provided by Evernote. I have a special notebook called “todos” and a tag called “todo”, so when I e-mail I simply append “@todos” (which instructs Evernote to store this e-mail in the notebook “todo”) and “#todo” (which sets the tag “todo”) to the subject line.

Once Evernote has synced to my local program (which it does within a minute) Evernote2Things mentioned above automatically adds a todo in Things.
Download this file
Download this file

A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy One: Scientific American

We spend billions of dollars each year looking for happiness, hoping it might be bought, consumed, found, or flown to. Other, more contemplative cultures and traditions assure us that this is a waste of time (not to mention money). ‘Be present’ they urge. Live in the moment, and there you’ll find true contentment.

Sure enough, our most fulfilling experiences are typically those that engage us body and mind, and are unsullied by worry or regret. In these cases, a relationship between focus and happiness is easy to spot. But does this relationship hold in general, even for simple, everyday activities? Is a focused mind a happy mind? Harvard psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert decided to find out.


What about the kinds of activities we do, though? Surely, the hard-partiers and world travelers among us are happier than the quiet ones who stay at home and tuck in early? Not necessarily. According to the data from the Harvard group’s study, the particular way you spend your day doesn’t tell much about how happy you are. Mental presence – the matching of thought to action – is a much better predictor of happiness.

So, according to these researchers, basically focusing on what you’re doing, being present and not distracted letting your mind wander is what brings us a greater state of happiness.

Crossed my mind that it seems like David Allen (“Getting Things Done”) is not only helping with productivity, but also happiness!

Best thing of being in a country outside your cultural sphere…

… you lack frames of reference, so provided that you choose to leave
your own at home everything tastes, feels, looks and smells great (at
least for a while until you’ve acquired new preferences, cow dung

First day of 2011

One of the traditions I’ve been putting in place is to spend some day in the beginning of each new year thinking about what I want the next year to be like, what I aspire to do and where I’d like to be. This year I decided to seek out some nice spot to do this reflection on, already on the first of Jan. I decided to head to Jodhpur in Rajasthan, and I found a nice guest house with a roof top (and not too many other occupants):

So, from now I’ll just eliminate all distractions and get some time with my laptop 🙂