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Systematic use of a diary

At the end of May I received my new Moleskine diary. It runs from July 2008 to the end of December 2009. Here’s an image that I used back then:

Moleskine Unboxing 07

Look at those red fingers. Either I had sunburn, or I’m crap with photo editing software.

As you can see, the left hand page is divided horizontally into seven sections. The top one is basically unallocated, the next five are Monday to Friday, and the last one is divided vertically for Saturday and Sunday. The right hand page is narrowly ruled.

I’ve adopted the following system.

I use the top section of the left hand page for all-week reminders. For instance, if I’m on holiday that week, then I write it in there.

I then use the other sections on that page for appointments and tasks that need to be done on a certain day. I also use it to keep records of things like important letters sent or major purchases made on that day.

On the right hand page, I keep a todo list for non-urgent tasks. I start from the bottom of the page and work my way up. To the left of each item is a space for a tick (when the task is completed), cross (if the task is no longer necessary) or an arrow (if the task remains unfinished at the end of the week and needs carrying forward to the next week).

The space at the top of the right-hand page is then free for general notes and ideas.

This system is working out really well for me. Maybe you can use it as the basis for your own system! Oh, the pleasure!

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My bookmarklets

I used the Complete extension to assist me in posting to I could right-click a page, choose “Post this to” and a handy dialog came up, prepopulated with the URL, title, and description (populated from whatever text was selected on the page at the time). This was perfect for my needs.

Since upgrading to Firefox 3.0, it seems that the only compatible extensions are the ones that “integrate” your bookmarks in an intrusive fashion. I don’t want integration. I want the exact opposite. I want total disintegration. So I’ve gone back to using bookmarklets.

I basically use for two things. Firstly, I use it as a todo list. I post links with the “do not share this” flag set, and tagged “todo”, so that I can look at them later. This is the bookmarklet that I now use for this task:

Bookmarklet #1

I got it here. It’s not perfect though. It doesn’t seem to work the first time you use it in a session. I guess this is related to the fact that it uses https. It also pops up an alert at the end that says “OK, tagged as todo” whether it actually succeeded or not. I tried removing this alert, and the bookmarklet stopped working. Can’t fathom why.

On to the second bookmarklet:

Bookmarklet #2

This one is much more straightforward. It just opens a window containing a small “post” dialog, prepopulated in the same way as the old Complete extension. It doesn’t use https, so it never asks me for my login details. The window closes when you post it.

I just thought that I’d post these bookmarklets here, partly for my own reference, and maybe because someone else might find them useful at some point.

Useful Information

How big is a bacterium?

The largest common bacterium are 20 µm in length. This is 0.02mm, or 1/15240th the size of a large pizza. Trying to see a bacterium from a distance of 6 inches is like trying to see a large pizza from a distance of one and a half miles.

And that’s just the big ones.