Archive for the ‘Linux Productivity’ Category

Server-based To Do List

Monday, October 24th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of myTinyTodo

Life is complicated, to be sure. Keeping track of what you've got to do can be quite a job, and if you're collaborating with others, that complexity can grow exponentially. Setting up complex collaboration tools can take a lot of time and effort, to say nothing of expense, making you wonder if it's all worth it.

myTinyTodo is a tool you can use to share scheduling information. You set it up on your web server and hook it to a database back end, and you're off to the races. You can enter and edit tasks, add notes and tags, and even assign due dates and priorities to them. And since you can keep track of multiple to-do lists, each project can have its own list to work with. Add passwords to keep your data secure and you can get going. Now everybody's reading off the same page, and that's got to help make everybody more productive.

myTinyTodo is a free download. Your server needs to be running PHP 5.2+ and either MySQL or SQLite.

Download myTinyTodo

WYSIWYG ebook editor

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Sigil

It used to be that if you had a used paperback or two, you were all set for a trip to the beach or maybe a quiet evening in front of the fireplace. But that's so old school; now everybody's got an ebook reader. With that reader, you need something to read. You can buy ebooks, or you can download them for free at places like Project Gutenberg. Or maybe you can "roll your own", whether it's for your own use, or because you've written the next great American novel and want to share it. Either way, it might be handy to be able to create your own ebook.

Sigil is a WYSIWYG editor that lets you create and format EPUB documents for ebooks. Starting with a plain text file, or some other version of your publication, Sigil lets you format your document so that it looks just right for your readers. Add images, insert page and chapter breaks, create a table of contents, format text, and more. Now you can be the author and publisher all at the same time.

Sigil runs under Linux, Mac (Intel only), and Windows.

Download Sigil

Track your hours with Kapow punch clock application

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Kapow

How busy are you? You know that you're pushing yourself to get as much done in as little time as possible. But how much time is that? If you're working by the hour, or if you're on a tight deadline, there are important numbers here to keep track of. And if you're splitting your time between multiple projects, it's even more important to know how much time you're allocating to each project.

Kapow is a punch clock tool to let you keep track of how you're spending your time. Click the Start button, do your work, and click the Stop button, and your time's all recorded. Forgot to clock out when you took a break, or didn't clock in until you'd already been at your desk for half an hour? Just go back and edit your numbers and you're back in business. Along with tracking individual sessions, Kapow also tracks total cumulative time, so you can see how much time you're spent in total on this project, as well as how long you've worked since the last time you billed your client.

Kapow is a cross-platform app. It's available for Linux (several packages are available for popular distros), Mac (OS X 10.4 "Tiger" or better), as well as Windows XP and later.

Download Kapow

High powered note taking and outline tool

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of MindRaider

Everybody's always trying to make a better note-taking and organizing tool. After all, a lot of what we deal with in life is little bits and pieces of information. When the back of an envelope can't serve any more as your note-taking platform of choice, there is no end of little notepad apps and big deal outliners that are available for you to use.

MindRaider is a personal notebook and outliner. Instead of keeping several different lists of the stuff you need to take care of—including the inevitable list of the lists you are tracking—just stick it all in MindRaider. Enter your notes, important URLs, and more, with whatever annotations will help you to better remember and understand what you're talking about. Once entered, you can locate your information by drilling down through the outline structure or by using its robust search functionality. It supports several different views, which can help you to organize your data, as well as learn about relationships between different elements.

MindRaider is a free download. It's available for Linux and Windows, as well as a Java version, making it Mac-friendly as well.

Download MindRaider

Become your own cloud

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Tonido

Working collaboratively is all the rage. Whether it's sharing files, teleconferencing, or more, working with people across the country or around the world is becoming more and more common. Of course it's easier to share information and resources with somebody in the next room than in the next state, but there are an increasing number of tools and services that can manage the heavy lifting for this, letting you focus on the work rather than the nitty-gritty of how it all gets done.

Tonido is a tool that lets you share files and more, all from your own computer. Rather than having to upload your data to servers that somebody else controls, with Tonido you share files directly from your computer. Install their app on your machine and create an account, and you can start sharing your files. You get a unique URL that you can share with others, or access yourself from a remote location via your laptop or even your smart phone. Your data's encrypted while in transit, and if you want to just share files in your own home or just within your network, you never have to worry about your data out on the 'Net. And there are no arbitrary limits on storage capacity or bandwidth, because all of the data is on your machine.

Tonido is available for free. There are versions available for Linux, Mac, and Windows, as well as apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and more.

Download Tonido

Distraction-free word processor

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

runs on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of FocusWriter

It's easy to get distracted. Email, telephone, co-workers, and more—everything is vying for your attention, but you've got work to do. Sure, you can take the phone off the hook, and if you're lucky you can close the office door (or move into the conference room to hide from everybody), but there's always the problem of the computer itself. Email, Twitter, and the latest viral video will always try to distract you. That's where you need a tool to help keep them all out of the way.

FocusWriter is one such application. When you start it up, it fills the display, effectively hiding all that other stuff on your desktop. While it's a full-featured text editor, supporting rich text as well, by default is has a minimal user interface—as in none. Move your mouse to the top of the screen to get toolbar and menubar functionality, go to the bottom to see status updates, or to the right edge to get a scrollbar. At all other times, it's just you, your thoughts, and that little flashing cursor. With all that other stuff out of the way, your productivity is sure to soar. Or at least maybe you'll finally get that report finished.

You can download FocusWriter for free. It's available as source code (for the adventurous), as well as Mac and Windows binaries and several Linux packages.

Download FocusWriter

Press Release Templates

Monday, May 16th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Press Release Templates

Everybody's got a story to tell. Whether it's talking with the kids about how the day went, or sharing some juicy bit of gossip over the back fence, we all want to pass the word on what's happening to all the folks around us. If you run a business or are part of an organization, you may have higher aspirations in terms of getting your message out: for you, there's the mass media. And the best way to get the word to the media is with a press release.

Press Release Templates has a dozen easy-to-use templates to help you draft your own press release. Whether you need to publicize an event, a new product launch, or even a book you've just published, there's a press release template for you. And along with the templates, there are several articles giving you tips on how to approach the process and write your own press release,

You can grab a press release template for free. They're all in Microsoft Word DOC format, so once you make your selection and download it, you can open your template, edit it, and print out your personalized press release. And who knows—maybe they'll even let you yell "stop the presses" when you release your information to the media.

Download Press Release Templates

Free Project Management Software

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of jxProject

Sometimes a project is just a little bit of this and a little bit of that—the stuff you need to do to get your work finished for the day. Other times, it's an enterprise-wide undertaking that involves all kinds of people, resources, and the complex interaction between them all. For the simple stuff, a legal pad may be all the project management tool you need, but for the bigger jobs, you can't beat dedicated project management software.

jxProject is designed to support the most complex projects. Define tasks, allocate staff, track dependencies, and more. Look at things from a high level, or drill down as specifically as you need to. You choose the units that make sense for you, whether it be seconds, weeks, or years. Drag and drop lets you rearrange tasks without tediously re-entering data. And its reporting capability helps you to see what's really happening, and to spot bottlenecks before you start missing deadlines.

jxProject is a free project manager. It's written in Java, so you can use it on Linux, Mac, Windows, or any other platform with a current Java runtime.

Download jxProject

Note taking tool

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Tomboy

With all the information that comes across our desks over the course of a day or week, it can be a real challenge to keep track of it all. While there's certainly a lot of stuff that isn't that important, there's plenty that we really need to keep an eye on. If Post-Its and odd scraps of paper just don't cut it any more, maybe you should check out Tomboy.

Tomboy is a straightforward note-taking tool. Scribble your notes down to keep track of appointments, contact info, websites you really need to visit, and more. In addition, Tomboy supports wiki-like linking between notes, and those links are updated even if you change the names of your notes. Now rather than having just an electronic stack of individual notes, you can develop a system with built-in cross references, making your notes much more powerful. It's also got built in search functionality, as well as a table of contents that lets you browse your notes in the order they were last modified. In addition it also supports several different plugins to give it greater functionality.

You can download a copy of Tomboy for free. It runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows systems.

Download Tomboy

Business Plan Templates

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Business Plan Templates

If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when you get there? When you sit down to read a book, you know what your goal is: to finish the book. Cooking a fancy dinner? You'll recognize the yummy stuff on the plate and the look of contentment on the face of the diners. But what about your business? Do you just open the doors and start selling stuff? But what kind of stuff, who are you selling to, how much business can you expect? Sounds like you could use a plan.

Business Plan Templates can give you a hand with figuring just what you need to do to make your first million, or at least with getting your business off the ground (the first million is up to you). Check out their "how to" articles on why you need a business plan, what to include (and what to avoid) in your business plan, and different types of business plans. Along with generalized generic business plan templates, they've also got business plan templates for specific businesses, like restaurants, retail stores, daycare centers, and more. In addition, they've also got a bunch of forms that can be helpful to you in writing your business plan, like Start Up Expense and Cost Analysis worksheets.

The Business Plan Templates are available as Word DOC files, and many of the forms and worksheets are available as Excel XLS worksheets as well as Word DOCs. And they're all available for free.

Download Business Plan Templates