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snowpine
June 30th, 2008, 11:24 PM
Welcome friends... this thread is a "support group" for the disorganized, procrastinators, ADHD sufferers, Getting Things Done enthusiasts, slackers, absent-minded professors... or for the uber-organized looking to squeeze one last drop of productivity out of their day.

Here are a few of mine to get the conversation started:

1. Fluxbox (or other lightweight windows manager). I got the idea for this thread through my experience with Fluxbuntu (which bills itself as Lightweight, Productive, Agile, Efficient). I still use Gnome for a lot of stuff, but if I want to just get a project done with a minimum of distractions, I start a Fluxbox session and it seems to make me at least 10-20% more productive.

2. Multiple desktops/workspaces. Fluxbuntu gives me 4, Ubuntu 2. I always try to keep my "main project" on an uncluttered workspace. If I feel the urge to surf the web or otherwise goof off, I switch to a different workspace.

3. Using Evolution to organize email, calendar, contacts, palm pilot. I'm still working on this one, maybe y'all can help me. I waste so much time logging in to my various webmails (hotmail, google, yahoo, etc) so I'm trying to get Evolution set up to pull them all in and reply offline. I would also like to get this working with my Palm Pilot. My latest discovery was how to synch Evolution with Hotmail, I didn't think it was possible, but thanks to the Ubuntu Forums, I'm in business!

So how do you all keep your computer as a useful productivity tool rather than get swept up in a sea of data and applications?

rzrgenesys187
June 30th, 2008, 11:36 PM
As you mentioned multiple desktops and workspaces are one, if not, the greatest features of Linux.

Many may disagree with this but I find compiz extremely helpful for organization. The cube with 3d windows lets me easily see what is on each desktop (unfold is particularly good for this). The multiple ways of switching applications (alt+tab, ring switcher, shift switcher, scale, etc) let me operate many windows with ease

billgoldberg
July 1st, 2008, 12:09 AM
As you mentioned multiple desktops and workspaces are one, if not, the greatest features of Linux.

Many may disagree with this but I find compiz extremely helpful for organization. The cube with 3d windows lets me easily see what is on each desktop (unfold is particularly good for this). The multiple ways of switching applications (alt+tab, ring switcher, shift switcher, scale, etc) let me operate many windows with ease

I agree.

But I prefer the expo plugin to manage my workspaces (expo plugin binded to top right corner).

cardinals_fan
July 1st, 2008, 02:06 AM
A tiling window manager with nine workspaces makes things nice and organized :)

snowpine
July 1st, 2008, 02:30 AM
Here's another one: Pressing F11 in Firefox for fullscreen!

Foster Grant
July 1st, 2008, 03:16 AM
2. Multiple desktops/workspaces. Fluxbuntu gives me 4, Ubuntu 2. I always try to keep my "main project" on an uncluttered workspace. If I feel the urge to surf the web or otherwise goof off, I switch to a different workspace.

You can have as many desktops in Gnome as you wish. Two is just the Ubuntu/Canonical default (a significant mistake on the part of the dev team, because the normal default for that feature is 4 desktops). If you have Compiz Fusion running, you can set up your desktop so that as you scroll to the edge and "off the screen" of one desktop, the cursor will slide over to the next desktop as the cube the desktops are "mounted on" spins to present the next desktop to you.


3. Using Evolution to organize email, calendar, contacts, palm pilot. I'm still working on this one, maybe y'all can help me. I waste so much time logging in to my various webmails (hotmail, google, yahoo, etc) so I'm trying to get Evolution set up to pull them all in and reply offline. I would also like to get this working with my Palm Pilot. My latest discovery was how to synch Evolution with Hotmail, I didn't think it was possible, but thanks to the Ubuntu Forums, I'm in business!

Hotmail? Must check the calendar to make sure it's 2008 and 1998. And don't get me started on Evolution (version 2 interface grates on me).

mrgnash
July 1st, 2008, 03:48 AM
Evolution is a good one. I also like Tomboy.

doorknob60
July 1st, 2008, 06:10 AM
Kontact > Evolution, I've never really like Evolution all that much...although I still like it better than Outlook. Also using Kontact, for example, makes your address bookavailable to your other KDE applications.. Everything's integrated well, thats's one thing I like about KDE. I'm probably at least a little more organized since I made the switch from Gnome. I never use workspaces though :-P (Dual monitors though)

snowpine
July 1st, 2008, 02:49 PM
Well, I am using Evolution by default since it was bundled with Ubuntu. :)

What are some suggestions for other mail/calendar apps? We have one vote for Kontact already. It needs to be able to do the following:

1. Send/receive POP email (especially Hotmail using freepops)
2. Include calendar, contacts, and to do features
3. Synch with my Palm Pilot

What are some others I can try?

snowpine
July 1st, 2008, 02:51 PM
Evolution is a good one. I also like Tomboy.

I like the idea of Tomboy, but a couple of doubts are preventing me from using it.

1. Can data be easily backed up and restored? This is important if I'm going to make it a "trusted system" for recording my thoughts.

2. Can I synch my notes between two computers? What about to my palm pilot?

For the time being, I'm using the Memo feature on my Palm instead of Tomboy, but if I could figure out the above questions, I do like the Tomboy interface better.

quanumphaze
July 1st, 2008, 04:53 PM
Here's another one: Pressing F11 in Firefox for fullscreen!

I find that feature quite buggy on my system. Firefox has redraw problems when it shows tooltip things or I use the middle click autoscroll (In Compiz).

I find it better to set up a keyboard shortcut in System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts and under Window Management > Toggle Fullscreen. I used Crtl+F11.
This has the bonus of working in every program (KDE apps too) by just getting rid of the window borders and expanding it fullscreen.

justin whitaker
July 1st, 2008, 04:58 PM
A tiling window manager with nine workspaces makes things nice and organized :)

Preach it brotha, preach the gospel of the tiling WM. :D

cardinals_fan
July 1st, 2008, 08:17 PM
Preach it brotha, preach the gospel of the tiling WM. :D
Oh yeah :)

Lod
July 2nd, 2008, 08:36 AM
Two is just the Ubuntu/Canonical default (a significant mistake on the part of the dev team, because the normal default for that feature is 4 desktops). Why is this a mistake? I only use one desktop so in my opinion it's a mistake of the dev team setting the default amount to 2 instead of 1.

lisati
July 2nd, 2008, 08:42 AM
I like the "forward as attachment" feature of Thunderbird. It's useful for reporting junkmail to Spamcop, and is easier than filling in web forms to report spam.

urukrama
July 2nd, 2008, 11:39 AM
Here are some more things that increase my productivity, and help me in focussing on what I am doing:

Customize your desktop to exactly suit your needs. Use a window manager that allows you to do that.

Don't use a panel. Use alt-tab or skippy if you want to switch between windows.

Don't place any icons or launchers on your desktop. Use a right-click desktop menu if you need something to launch apps.

Use keybindings/keyboard shortcuts! Learn to use your keyboard to manage your windows, launch applications.
Use unclutter, a little application that hides the mouse cursor after a delay of a few seconds.

As mentioned before, use workspaces. Move all those apps that you want to keep open, but don't use to another workspace. Out of sight, out of mind.

shifty2
July 2nd, 2008, 11:48 AM
Wow no one has mentioned org-mode yet ;) The best tool I have found to keep everything organised - once you have got used to it you won't go back.

A tiling WM is a must as well - or at least one such as openbox/fluxbox that allows complete control of what happens. The amount of time wasted on gnome as you try to move stuff to where you want it is immense.

mikjp
July 2nd, 2008, 12:55 PM
So how do you all keep your computer as a useful productivity tool rather than get swept up in a sea of data and applications?

I have installed a Mediawiki to collect all my scattered thoughts and snippets of text to one place. It is used on localhost only, and a firewall keeps it secret from the rest of the world.

snowpine
July 2nd, 2008, 04:44 PM
You can have as many desktops in Gnome as you wish. Two is just the Ubuntu/Canonical default (a significant mistake on the part of the dev team, because the normal default for that feature is 4 desktops).

Is there an easy way to change this from 2 to 4?

mikjp
July 3rd, 2008, 07:29 AM
Is there an easy way to change this from 2 to 4?

Right-click on the virtual desktop switcher -> preferences -> number of workspaces

Disclaimer: at the moment I have no GNOME installed.

mikjp
July 3rd, 2008, 07:33 AM
1. Can data be easily backed up and restored? This is important if I'm going to make it a "trusted system" for recording my thoughts.

2. Can I synch my notes between two computers? What about to my palm pilot?


1) I googled "tomboy backup", and found the following information :


You might wonder where the actual files are, though, for backup purposes or if you want to move your Tomboy notes to another computer. Tomboy stores your notes under the ~/.tomboy directory, and you can simply copy that directory to another machine if you want to move your notes.

(http://www.linux.com/articles/56405)

2) As the notes seem to be normal files, not a database, you should be able to use rsync (or grsync if you want a GUI) to sync the files on two computers.