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Print one long document from many small text files

many small text files printing as one large documentI’ve been writing a large-ish thing, storing each chapter in an individual text file. I love this method – it’s fast, easy to edit, extensible (since I’m writing in markdown), etc.

However, what should I do when I need to print out one large document containing all the text files?

I could open each file, preview in a browser, then print, but that’s too much work when you’ve got 20+ text files. Or maybe I could bring each file into Scrivener and compile a larger document from that, but then I’m going back and forth between Scrivener and text files and back again…

Here’s what I did: (more…)

Basecamp Tip: Store all logins in private message

I have lots and lots of projects in Basecamp, my project management tool of choice. Many are active projects, and lots more are archived projects.

Often times a year or more after a project is complete, a client will come asking for this or that or the other and I’ll need to login to the server, wordpress, or something else.

E-Book Writing Workflow

I’ve begun writing a lil’ book – more details on that later. What I’m most interested in now is the workflow.

The End Product: PDF, epub and mobi versions of the book.

The Challenge: Doing all the writing and editing in a format I can simply get into the formats listed above, and doesn’t limit me or force me to go make loads of changes to make things look right later.

My Evernote Workflow – Do More With Less

I’ve been using Evernote for a while to keep track of ideas and notes, but it got a bit unwieldy. I had different notebooks within the app, different tags, and shit that has been growing weeds for a few years.

I looked into things like Notational Velocity but I liked Evernote’s image and iphone stuff a bit more than the very cool and minimal route. (I take a lot of pictures of whiteboards, Evernote helps me search through the text therein… sometimes).

PS. there’s a video at the end of this post… so, there’s that, you know, if you like that sort of thing.

So I came up with a bit of a quick fix and i’ve been using it for the past 4 months. I love it. You’d like to hear it? It goes like this: (more…)

Three Mac Twitter Clients That Aren't Tweetdeck

It’s finally hit the boiling point… I’m so sick of Tweetdeck and the lame-a$$ adobe air suck-factor that I’ve got to find another twitter client for the mac. I’ve used Tweetie for the mac before, and I completely love it, but it doesn’t support lists.

Lists have become a linchpin in my twitter use. I have one list of all my close friends, another of important industry people, and several other lists that help me slice and dice and get the most value out of my time scanning tweets.

So, with that in mind, here are three twitter apps for Mac that I recently tried out.

Mac Blog Workflow – Scrivener, Markdown, Textmate (video)

Here’s a little video I put together to share a bit about my blog workflow on a Mac. Here’s the gist:

  • I use Scrivener to write, because it’s great for writing (that particularly delicate convergence of headspace, motivation and creativity that’s so damn hard to follow through on since you’ve found smush cat face). It’s got the fullscreen writing, the organization, the customizable typography… I like it a lot and wrote about writing with scrivener before.
  • I write in Markdown, a sort of shorthand way to write that’s both easy to read and edit and it can be easily converted to beautiful, functional HTML. I’ve started writing all my notes in markdown because it’s so simple to get used to and can be converted to HTML in a click or two. I highly recommend getting familiar with markdown if your a blogger or digital note taker.
  • Finally I’ll copy and paste the text i’m working on in Scrivener (which is written using the markdown syntax) and paste it into Textmate, the best ever mac tool ever for text ever. I do this because Textmate has this sweet little “convert markdown to HTML” button I can click and, BAM! We’ve got perfect HTML to copy and paste straight into WordPress, or Posterous, or whatever your “listen to me” weapon of choice is.

This is the process I use now and I think it’s so much better than what I was doing before. Maybe you like it too.

Sprint – A model of and argument for doing shit quick

I’ve got an idea percolating here. It sprouted from four things:

  1. A conversation my friend Zach and I had where told me the story of a guy he knows who’s super health-nutty… This guy did lots of research and came to the conclusion that the human body was made for sprints, not long distance running.
  2. This problem I have at work where there are times of looooooong mediocre-ness and short bursts of ass kicking productivity.
  3. Espresso. A small shot packing big impact… on your brain, on your energy, on your motivation, and possibly on your guts.
  4. Smoke breaks. I don’t smoke, so I don’t get them.

What if you sprinted at work? What if you had a long day of short sprints broken up with varying breaks? What if you could dive into something completely, abandoned, for 25 minutes straight? (more…)

Creative Process — A Couple Resources

If there’s one thing knowledge workers, artists, musicians, writers, and producers of any kind want to get better at it’s the creative process. Our technology and culture can make it extremely hard to follow through on great ideas; because there’s just too many great links to click, am I right?

So, in the spirit of passing on some high quality links, here are a few resources that might help you center over your work and fire away. (more…)

How I Blog On A Mac: Scrivener!!

I think I’ve finally got a blogging setup that I love on a mac. I’ve tried using blogging tools like Marsedit and Ecto, but they did too much of what I didn’t need and not enough of what I did need.

What I Want:

  • A simple text editor to FOCUS on writing… I want a full screen text editor to black out everything but the page I’m writing on. And I want that page to be more of a narrow column, like a blog (500-700px wide).
  • I want to be able to edit the typography… because if I don’t write in Georgia with some decent line height, I won’t take myself seriously!
  • I want to write in textile or markdown so its easy to read, and yet i’m coding as I go (e.g., links, headlines, bold, etc.)
  • I just need to export from textile/markdown to copy and paste the HTML directly into WordPress. And i want to do this with the fewest number of round-trips between apps.
  • from there, i don’t need to keep around the Mac version of the post… The WP is the only master copy I need. (more…)

Blueprint CSS: A framework… I used it and loved it

So, I’ve just finished designing and developing a new website and I tried something different this time. Normally I design a site in Photoshop and then cut and code from a finished design. This time, however, the focus was much more on the content and information flow than anything else. So I wanted to get to work writing the content in the context of a simple webpage (because those CEO’s need to see something beyond a Word document, don’t you know it). I looked around for a few minutes and found Blueprint CSS, a CSS framework to make your shit sparkle fast… or just give you a nice, standards based set of tools to get started with a site immediately. A few benefits of Blueprint CSS: (more…)

How to change Chrome’s default search engine to results from the past year

Here's how: 

1: search google for something simple

2: Click "show options…" on the sidebar there on the Google results page.

3: Select the option that you'd like to be your new default search (in this case i chose the "Past Year" option to only show results from the past year… cuz i've just had enough forum results from 2006 when i search for "Why the f*ck is IE so dumb!?" 

4: Copy the URL of the new filtered results page, then right click the address bar and select "Edit Search Engines…"

5: in the search engines window, click the "+" bottom left, then fill in the details:

6: Select the new search engine you just created, and click "Make Default"… viola!! You're the best around!

GTD Tip #167: Turn "Organizing Tasks" Into Rewards

I had a short bout as an organizational and productivity consultant a while back. I know, it’s silly, but get your giggles out now ’cause here’s a $450 tip for you:

You know when you’ve got knowledge work to do and all you can think about is organizing your desk, or cleaning the dirty whiteboard, or cleaning out that stupid little wheel on your mouse, or browsing e-cards to send to your mom for her half birthday? You know what that feels like, right?

Well, these are rudely seductive. How are they seductive? (more…)