Category Archives: Work



Travelling to London next week and its an amazing city despite the grit, the grime and the fact I used to spend a lot of time there travelling the underground. Even in the city centres you can find good pubs and places of interest. I am hoping to get a chance to see some of the exhibitions but who knows


Mind Mapping – the written word


I am currently running the trial version of Scapple from the guys at Literature & Latte who also brought us the excellent writing tool Scrivener.

This is a hybrid mix of mind mapping tool and free form note pad and you should give it a go to test if it works for you. Its available at the Apple Store for £10.49

For me the whole process of mind mapping is good and I enjoy the free thinking that it creates. I don’t really get hung up with structure or presentation in the early states of a map as I focus purely on the contact and getting what I want to get down.

Scapple takes that idea and gives an air of free form expression that I guess standard mind mapping may lose.

I do like the concept and it has many of the features of a £10 mind map but I have found it hard to operate without some recognisable boundaries and lost my train of thought a few times. I also struggle a little with the end result, I like a lot of order but just can’t seem to get it with this app.

However today was a bit of a breakthrough: I wanted to got some ideas around a major move I wanted to do and broke the workspace into 4 areas: Options; Planning; Questions and RAG status. It really worked and I felt in control.

So after a week I think I may have actually cracked the code and have a sense it may be one of those apps you go to when you feel the need to jot ideas down and link them. The fact that it exports rot Scrivener is a real bonus and I am going to test that out next so will do an update later in the week.

Strummerville 27 May 2013 17:49

Manchester Trip a lesson in iPad love

Sitting on Virgin train going very slow and full of screaming weans I’m relying heavily on the uber brilliant and always handy iPad. It’s amazing how this versatile and always ready bit of kit saves so many situations especially when you are on long journeys or when you are stuck for for something to keep you sane.

For example…

I start by getting the earphones on and jacking up the sound and get some Black Keys going. The ipad has an amazing sound, as good as any iPod variant and the Black Keys bass heavy rough and rumbling sound from the 70s is just perfect for a busy train and to really power up and keep out the howling bairns.

Early doors I really needed to sort out my itinerary for next week I have so much to do and so much pressure on my time. The blackberry is just useless for setting out the week, in fact it doesn’t it just gives you a daily linear view, useless. so I fire up Pocket Informant and have a quick look at my open actions then get down to typing in my itinerary, colour code it up, set up my tagging for future reference and even send out some invites to friends to meet up later. Simple, so simple it takes all of 5 minutes to get myself a bit more organised and a little bit more at ease that I have some spare time next week to actually do other work. So starting to chill just a little and as if the pad knows that it plays me a couple of songs of Alison Krauss live with Union Station, excellent bluegrass music.

Next up I need to bring my diet diary up to date. Hitting MyNetDiary up pop my previous entries synced across from my iPhone and within a minute I have updated my food diary, checked how many calories I have left and patted myself on the back by looking at the summary of the day and everything is a thumbs up. Again the sixth sense of the Pad joins in the celebration by playing me Dave Edmunds Girls Talk, decided that to dance up and down the train aisle at this point would be a bit stupid.

Ok time for some R & R, so Go into Videos, pause the music and watch half an hour of The Girl Who Played With Fire, fine stuff in Swedish but not as good as the first film so far.

Time for research, I’m keen to review some time recording apps. So I turn on The Early Edition wait for it to update my RSS feeds and spend a good time following some interesting lines that it throws up saving the web pages into Instapaper for off wireless reading. Meanwhile Adrain Moffat is throwing broad scots shapes in my ears with his debut solo album How to Get From Heaven From Scotland, bitter, edgy but redeeming at the same time. Perfect

Before closing off work for the night I load up Omnifocus and add 5 or so new tasks to do from today’s emails and some personal stuff for the weekend. Omnifocus syncs right across to my IMac at home and the into the iPhone too so I’m totally in sync everywhere. Smashing and being totally chilled now on comes Cat Power singing to me her bitterest song Good Woman, chilling but so powerful a bit like Omnifocus.

Then onto my personal mails. Easy reading and deleting them. one from Apple saying the new MacBook had arrived but delivery missed, no problem I knew this last night and made alternative arrangements for delivery to a neighbour, and got a mail from UPS confirming the mac was delivered and it’s waiting for me at home. Superb what joy. Finally the Pad let’s me down by playing a sad song by Alison K rather than bit of Bobby Bland or even ABC Look Of Love, jeez. It’s not PERFECT then.

And now enough I just want a bit of rest so Im about to watch an episode or two of The Inbetweeners and il roll into Central station chilled, educated, entertained, up to date and ready for the next week.

Ah iPad I love you.

Why Mondays are not to be liked

Monday mornings spent almost continually on the phone, tele conferences and mobile going mad.

Bloody hell what were these people doing on the Friday that means they wait till Monday when it could all be done before the weekend. Let me guess!!!!

Mondays are tough enough without lazy gits making my life miserable with their poor personal time and work management.

Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties. ~Doug Larson