February 28, 2008
Lately, I’ve noticed passages about pen and paper as I read works of literature. For example, in ‘The Shadows of the Wind’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The main character is dreaming about owning a Victor Hugo Monte Blanc Meisterstruck as a symbolic rite of passage into his writing life. Or the way Monique Troung, in ‘Book of Salt’, describes the worn piece of paper which contains words from one brother to another. She describes the details of the crease and handling of fingers as the narrator read and re-reads a letter from a brother that he hasn’t spoken to in years. I’ll have to look up the quotes and put it on here. There’s something to it. The detail that the writer Graham Green brings to the environment: the famous yellow flower leaves which fall into and between the typewriter keys of the writer, the narrator of ‘The Quiet American’. For me, this yellow flower on the dry other wise bare branch bring back the memories of Tet, the Chinese Lunar year in Vietnam, when the cold tiled floor is shiny with a touch of yellow petals strewn every where near the basin of the branches and the red envelope reflects the golden shine. I’ve seen the film several times but don’t recall this detail and description. It is on the printed page, at a slower pace that I can appreciate the detail and hold it for as long as I can. (Quite American film has been added into penspotting.)
In film, I watched, fascinated, as Daniel Day Lewis shakes his fountain pen in a moment of frustration and humour, in the footages from ‘Age of Innocence’. I wonder why the director Martin Scoresese, included such details? Then there’s the powerful combination of word and images and voice. In ‘The Lover’, the narrator’s voice-over speaks and a close up shot of a fountain pen scrawls over the page. I’ve always thought it was Marguerite Duras’s voice in the film but it isn’t. It is by an actor. For a moment I think Duras is speaking to me, telling me her story.
There are, I’m sure many moments like that out there, moments which shows the act of writing, the paraphenials people use for their craft. I remember references to a commonplace book in an episode of Sherlock Holms. I do not recall the specific tile. He kept pictures of the women in his commonplace book. Because at the time, I knew of it, the detail pulled me even closer to the film.
February 27, 2008
February 16, 2008
I was just listening to Weekend America and heard about this exhibit of old mug shots. The collector, Mark Michaelson has put some of the best silver prints on flickr. With his permission, I wanted to share it in a post. Mark cull some of the best old silver prints from ebay.
February 14, 2008
February 11, 2008
I’ve been using Wrike, which is a web-based task management tool, for my GTD.The concept behind Wrike is that most people send emails to delegate tasks or collaborate with word documents and share files. The programmers at Gmail attempt to design a system to assign GTD task tags to each email. I think this may have been the seed to a new concept which Wrike is perfecting. Although Wrike carries this further by allowing users to assign tasks to people.
I use Wrike for GTD. It saves me probably 20 minutes a day. I set up a folder call 01 Inbox; 02 Next Action; 03 Waiting For; 04 Project List; and finally, 05 Someday/Maybe. These will be arranged at the top of the folder. I leave the pre-loaded files from Wrike as useful help guide if I need to reference it in the future. I put everything into the 01 Inbox folder if I can’t decide in seconds where it should go. I then process my inbox later. Wrike is working on the drag and drop feature which will greatly ease the use of rearranging tasks and files. (It’s up and running! And it’s so convenient. The official release news will be announced. It only took the team several months to make it happen.)
I use the email delegate feature often. Wrike lets you create and share tasks via email. How does it work? For example, my nephew’s laptop broke recently and I am working with him to send it back for repairs. I put it to my assigned task, under Project List and email him via my Wrike task list. Under the assign section, I simply add his email address and Wrike will remember it for the next time. The task is then shared with him via email. This idea is truly ingenious and increases productivity. It is also simple and elegant. I don’t have to log in to another email account to send a task.
Recently, I get important emails about Wrike links to other reviews. I want to keep track of this under a project call Wrike. I created a special folder for the project. Let me explain what I mean by specific category. I start out with ‘My Folders’ and set a sub folder call “3 @ Project List”. Then I set up a folder under this category call “Wrike”.
So I email to email@example.com. One can also assign this email to a specific category in the Wrike folder. I also put important emails for reference to a particular project. The emails tend to get lost if I don’t forward it to Wrike’s project list.
I often upload files from the work computer to Wrike and later retrieve it at home or in a café meeting with a friend as needed.
Wrike is an elegant productivity tool which is easy to use and works smartly as a collaborative tool. It is also fun to process the task and keep track of projects. There are improvements which I would like to see. One is a Calendar that is large and easy to read. This feature is coming in a couple of months! Wrike has released the time-tracking feature this week, and that it will help you to track the time you spend on each task. This is a very useful tool for contract hourly work. This is one of the wish list items from the users. As you can see, Wrike team is very accommodating. My other wish list is to provide users with a more comprehensive tool such as a Planner, spread sheet, word processing, and a Notebook like application to organize notes with notebooks, tabs, and pages much like the Microsoft OneNote 2007.
February 6, 2008
February 4, 2008
Atoma.be has the wood discs, Myndology has a larger size discs 3/4″ aluminum discs. They can hold: 75 sheets of the white paper; and 60 sheets of recycle post consumer paper. The discs are made of aluminum and comes in two sizes: 3/4″ and 5/8″. I have a color coded two subject book. I like the thick and hefty feel of it. The aluminum has been in store and on the website for a while now. I finally got my hands on a few of them. I’m planning to make an aluminum cover for it. Wish me luck.
Update: Myndology.com has just created a new feature where you can sign up for the emailing list and receive a 15% discount code!