50GB free box.net account for iOS users

If you are an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch owner, you can grab a free 50GB (for life!) box.net account, with increased maximum file size upload (100MB instead of the normal 25MB).

There are some great collaboration tools available with box.net and, if you are an iPad user, you can connect to the box.net service via Goodreader to both upload and download files.

It’s free and very useful, what’s not to like?

To qualify, you need to download the latest box.net app and sign in (or sign up directly from the app). That’s it! Simple and free.

Have a read of the box.net blog for details.

I am @iCraigt on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.

Multitasking

Today I am home working. That’s all good, I’m used to it as I’ve done it for a long time. Thankfully over that time both myself, the wife and the kids have all become used to the routine. The kids know not to disturb me and I find my day more productive than being in the office as I get less distractions.

Today is a challenge though. It hasn’t stopped me getting a lot done but both boys are off school sick so are a little clingy, very snotty and occasionally a little noisy. My wife is at work so I’m multitasking between sorting the boys out and getting through quite a mountain of work.

Writing presentations with all the distractions is a challenge…. but possible.

Roll on 17:15 when I get to down tools for the day!

I am @iCraigt on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.

Measures HD updated to v1.0.1

The excellent Measures HD app for iPad has been updated to version 1.0.1. Along with some bug fixes there aree a few new units added into the mix.

If you haven’t tried out Measures and are in the market for a unit conversion app, I can not recommend it highly enough. I use it almost daily and can not fault it.

Full review to follow.

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I am @iCraigt on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here and Diaspora here.

What kills your productivity?

There’s only one thing that really kills my productivity, or at least reduces it. Tiredness. I don’t mean being a title tired, most of us learn to deal with that on a daily basis, especially parents.

I’m talking about proper tiredness, the kind that results from several nights of poor or too little sleep.

Today is one of those days for me. I couldn’t sleep last night and, as a result, I am absolutely knackered today. When I’m this tired I find it difficult to get motivated and certainly very hard to be very productive. My mood suffers too, if I’m honest. I am less tolerant of things, more irritable.

Over the years I have learned that if I don’t get 7+ hours of sleep a night I eventually hit a point like today where I am very tired and fall asleep within minutes of sitting down. I can go a couple of nights with less sleep but that’s about my limit.

It’s another good case for more flexible working and particularly home working!

What kills your productivity?

I am @craigt44 on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.

OmmWriter

I’m just trying out OmmWriter for the Windows desktop. OmmWriter is a writing application that allows me to work without distraction and even has some nice background music to boot. I really like it and think it could seriously grow on me.

I think I need to invest in the iPad app, although the lack of Dropbox support makes me pause before doing so. With Dropbox support it would almost be a no brainer.

The music included with the app is very well chosen, offering a very soothing and calming ambience to the room whilst working. It doesn’t intrude into your thoughts but distracts you enough fom the background noise, if that makes sense.

The interface is minimal and whilst typing there is nothing else visible.

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Move the mouse out of the writing area to the right and a column of circles appear, each with an icon to indicate what they are for. There are options to change the music track (there’s a choice of 3 tracks), text size, font type, background and keyboard as well as the obligatory save/upload options.

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Move the mouse to the top of the screen and additional menus appear which offer more options, such as export to PDF, search and text transformations (all uppercase etc).

Working from the desktop version, I guess the Dropbox integration doesn’t really matter as you can save to your Dropbox folders but from the iPad it absolutely matters, at least to me. Yes, I could use GoodReader to bridge the gap between OmmWriter and Dropbox but it’s an unecessary step.

Anyway, this is my first post using OmmWriter. I’m really impressed and think I might have to dabble with the iPad app. It’s a shame there isn’t a basic free version to “try before I buy”.

If you haven’t already, check out OmmWriter (Dana 1 is a free version for the desktop, the one I’m writing this on now). I may even have to upgrade to Dana II. Right now OMMWriter is available for the PC, MAC and iPad. Interestingly, the Dana II version doesn’t have a fixed purchase price. Rather, they let you decide based on your experience of OmmWriter Dana I. Very interesting pricing policy.

I am @craigt44 on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.

if this then that

If This Then That, http://ifttt.com, is a new (currently in limited Beta) task based service that allows you to fully customise your tasks based on channels (think Twitter, Evernote, YouTube, email, Flickr, text message), triggers (if “this” happens) and actions (then do “that”).

 

For a great write-up on how it works check out this post by Steve Rumsby (@steverumsby).  You can also read the “about” page on the ifttt website (hint: check out the URL of the about page!).

Suffice to say the conecpt is brilliant!  You can custom build tasks based on a huge number of different triggers and actions, making it a great replacement for a number of different services (specific tweets routed to Evernote for example or auto-posting to / from your blog, SMS alerts if the weather changes and so on).

I thought it would be a good idea to start listing down some of the combinations and uses that I have put together and am already seeing benefits from.

Twitter mentions to Evernote
if new mention of @craigt44 then create a note in Evernote


Tweets with specific hashtag post directly to blog
if Tweet hashtag #postit by @craigt44 then create post on Posterous / WordPress / Tumblr


SMS when weather changes
If current condition changes to snow then send me a text message at +447………)


Scheduled tweets
If every day at 2pm post a new tweet to @craigt44


Share your discoveries
If new delicious bookmark tagged “public” then create a post on Posterous / WordPress /Tumblr OR post a new tweet to @craigt44


Favourite a tweet adds to Instapaper or Read It Later or Evernote
If new favorite by @craigt44 then create note in Evernote / add to Instapaper / Read It Later


Post Instagram photos to Evernote / blog
If any new photo by you then create a note in Evernote / create a new post on …..


Blog archive: new post on blog is sent to Evernote
If any new post on WordPress then create a note in Evernote


Email attachment storage / archive
If send ifttt any email from email adress then create a note in Evernote or add to Dropbox at specified path


Send an SMS alert when I receive an email from a specific sender
If email sender is my fiance, then sms me


If tagged in a Facebook photo, store the photo
If tagged in a Facebook photo, create a new note in Evernote, store in Dropbox at a specified path


Stock price alerts
If stock price falls below / rises above set amount then send me a text message at +447………


Set Birthday reminders
Every year at certain date, send email with message body as “Its ‘person name’ birthday in 3 days! Post card/buy gift now.


Capture Foursquare checkins
If new checkin to foursquare, post to blog with image map URL

Alex (see comments below) raises a very good point in that some of the actions allow you to add HTML around the variables. So in the case of the foursquare checkin above it would be <img alt=”{{venuename}}” src=”{{whatever}}”>


Store tweets containing a specific hashtag, from any user
If New Tweet from search for #hashtag then create note in Evernote or post to Instapaper / Readitlater

Note: search is limited to 15 tweets per “check”.


Archive / store starred Google reader posts
If starred in Google reader then add to readitlater  / delicious / Evernote etc


If receive new blog comment, send chat via Google Talk
I actually trigger this from the email notification I receive from my blog when I have a comment to moderate.
If email from wordpress@……. then send me a chat at …….


Store Delicious bookmarks in Evernote
If any new bookmark stored in Delicious then create a new note in Evernote


Please feel free to send me more uses and I will add them to this list.  There are a huge number of combinations and uses for this great service and sharing our individual uses should help everyone to get even more value out of it.  Drop a comment or send to me via Twitter and I’ll add them in.

Also, check out these great ifttt blog posts for additional ideas:

http://tdalton.co.uk/2011/05/how-i-use-ifttt/ (@timdalton)

http://blog.christineyen.com/2011/05/how-i-use-ifttt/ (@christine_y)

http://web-mastered.de/post/4748705681/iffft-dropbox-update (@ysamjo)

Update 20-Jun-2011: After talking with both ifttt and Springpad over the last week, I am happy to report that ifttt have the Springpad API in their queue for addition as a channel “in the near future”.  I am definitely looking forward to that.

I am @iCraigt on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.