Tag Archive for 'productivity'

Revisiting Colemak

A good while ago, I mentioned an interest in another weird idea – after all, being weird is part of what makes me me. This is about a keyboard layout that is different from the “Qwerty” layout we’re all familiar with.

I had already been toying with the Dvorak layout and had made reasonable progress learning it, but I found that the position of keys used in typical keyboard shortcuts were bothersome – especially Ctrl+Z,X,C,V. Details like that are among the top arguments of the Colemak layout.

colemak keyboard layout

The Colemak layout looks remarkably similar to the familiar Qwerty layout.

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Hello old friend

Today on my commute home from work, I struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to me because he was using a very special pocket computer:

psion_s5mx

That’s a Psion Series 5 (technically a 5mx but that’s irrelevant to you normal folks.) It’s probably the best pocket computer ever built, but by now it’s also extremely rare and, in the context of electronic progress, rather ancient.

I have owned and used one of these for a decade, and I posted about it. It served me well and I still miss many aspects of it. If such a machine existed today with Internet access then I would probably still be using it. But mobile Internet didn’t exist back in its day. Continue reading ‘Hello old friend’

The Eisenhower Matrix

The X-Files? The Matrix? Is there a new movie coming up?

Sorry, no. The Eisenhower Matrix is a simple tool to figure out where to focus your attention. It’s based on the quote: “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” This is commonly attributed to Eisenhower, but his actual words were different.
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Maybe Colemak is smarter than Dvorak?

Friendly warning – this is about keyboard layouts that differ from the standard “QWERTY” layout. If this confuses you, stop reading now :-)


The Dvorak keyboard layout is not a new thing. It was patented in 1936. When I heard of it some 15 years ago, its biggest obstacle was lack of software support. That has changed now, and I’ve used Dvorak on my smartphone for the past 2 years and I can say with confidence that my thumbs have learned it very well – Dvorak is my fastest and preferred layout on mobile. Continue reading ‘Maybe Colemak is smarter than Dvorak?’

How to build the habits you want

Habits are devious creatures, aren’t they? They live in our mind, feed off of our energy, and they breed. Good habits become stronger and make you better. This is good, obviously.

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it. – Horace Mann

The problem is that bad habits also reinforce themselves, making us weaker. I’m sure we all have a bad habit or two. Yeah, “nobody is perfect” and all that. The good and the bad habits sit on either side of the scales, and we often try not to look whether the scale is tipping in our favor. But what if we could put a finger on the good side, gently tipping it to our advantage? We can do that!

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