Numbering tasks in OmniFocus 2 for Mac OS X

I’m using OmniFocus 2 on my MacBook Pro and wanting to ‘number’ tasks because at the end of each week, I print a PDF of the tasks completed and outstanding for a particular client. Task numbers make it much easier for the client to reconcile the work I’ve done with the lists they use.

The problem is that OmniFocus doesn’t have a ‘task number’ function.

Keyboard Maestro and a shell script to the rescue. This allows me to get the next sequential task number. Now all I do is type

,,task

and it expands out to the next available task number.

In a nutshell I use the shell script to get a variable from a text file (which is the last task number I used), and increment it. Keyboard Maestro is wrapped around this to both trigger it and make it look pretty.

The shell script itself is quite basic, any improvements you can suggest, please do.

Here is a screenshot of the Keyboard Maestro recipe (edit: I’ve since modified this recipe to be a little faster)

Keyboard Maestro recipe to increment task number

Get last task number, increment it, save it.

This relies on you having a text file named

last_task_number.txt

in your home folder.

The format of this file is just a single line of text as follows:

TaskNumber=0

Short list of software I’m using

Just a quick post of some software that I use, that I’ve just discussed with Seth (he knows who he is).

All useful, but the starting point is better task management, so start with Nozbe. PS: also see remapping the CapsLock key.

Sugar Logic bug with a workaround for date fields

A client is recording the expiry dates of staff blue cards in their SugarCRM database.

So I used the following sugar logic to show if the blue card has expired or not:
ifElse(isBefore(today(),$bluecard_expiry_c),"Current","EXPIRED")

However, the problem here is that when a user of SugarCRM is editing the record, there is a known bug that means it will display “EXPIRED” regardless of if the date is in the past or future.

The workaround for this bug (thanks Anthony) is to wrap the date field in a date(toString($datefield)) bit of code, this transform the original sugar logic into this:

ifElse(isBefore(today(),date(toString($bluecard_expiry_c))),"Current","EXPIRED")

It is essentially force-casting the field to a date field for the javascript-side while passing the formula validator in Studio by first casting the date-type field to a string type.

Which works a treat.

Activate IFTTT SMS Channel on Optus in Australia

How to activate the SMS channel on IFTTT on the Optus network in Australia.

Assuming your mobile number was 0410 123 456.

Drop the leading zero = 410 123 456.
Add the Australian country code 61 to the front = 61 410 123 456.
Add 00 to the front of the number 00 61 410 123 456.
Remove all the spaces = 0061410123456.

Use this number (0061410123456) to active the SMS channel on IFTTT.

Hat tip to @Trail_929 for the pointer.

If this works for you on other networks in Australia, please let me know.

Update 2014-05-12 : I’ve had a few people on Optus Post Paid that haven’t been able to get this to work. It’s worth noting that IFTTT also now has both iOS and Android notification channels available, they may do the trick for you.

Screenshot & screencasts on Mac OSX

Back when I worked exclusively on a Windows machine, I loved using Screenpresso for the ease with which it allowed me to do screenshots and screencasts (if you’re still stuck on Windows, go buy it, it’s worth it).

But now that I’m on a Mac, what to do?

So to start with just press SHIFT-CMD-4 and you can take a screen shot. It’s a native Mac thing.

If you have Dropbox installed go to Preferences | Import and tick the Share screenshots using Dropbox option.

If you want to do screencasts, then fire up QuickTime Player (CMD-SPACE | Quicktime ↩) then press CTRL-CMD-N to start video recording.

That’s how easy it is on a Mac.

How to change drive space on VMware Fusion VM

On occasion you’ll want to change the size of a Virtual Machines hard disk drive. I’m using VMware Fusion, and to do this, you enter the Settings of that VM and under the Hard Disk option you’ll be able to change the drive size.

VMware Fusion Settings Hard Disk

Note that you can’t make changes if the VM has snapshots of it.

How to get Google Chrome to open your pages from your last session

I use Google Chrome as my primary browser on the MacBook.

Although I only restart the machine every few weeks I like it to re-open the same tabs that were open last.

To do this, in Google Chrome type chrome://settings/ into the address bar and press enter.

This loads the Settings page. Then check the Continue where I left off setting. Close the tab. You’re done. :)

Google Chrome On Startup Continue Where I Left Off

Sharing a host folder with a guest Virtual Machine

I’m using VMware Fusion on my MacBook. At times I have either files on the local host (the MacBook) that I want to edit or installers that I want to run on the guest (the virtual machine).

With your virtual machine running, click on the Settings icon, select Sharing | Shared Folders ON | tick Downloads.

Your local “Downloads” folder will now be available to your virtual machine.

VMware Fusion Settings | Sharing

SharedFolders On

Backup because only the paranoid survive

I first heard the quote “only the paranoid survive” about 1999 or 2000. But it’s only recently I’ve heard the full quote. Which is:

Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.

For more Quotes from Andy Grove visit this quote page.

This thinking applies to so many things, but one I often apply it to is backups. Yes the humble yet oft forgotten backup.

Just because everything is working, and going along swimmingly, we become complacent, we forget or put off doing a backup of our files, our photographs etc. This is when we most need to do our backup, so that when a problem arises, we have that backup to go to.

Thus (and this is the question that prompted me writing this) is “what do I use to backup?”.

I use both Dropbox and Backblaze. You may think they both serve the same purpose. They don’t.

I use Dropbox to make files available to myself across all the platforms I use, and I use it to share files and folders with others. In a sense it backs up my data, but that’s not what it’s there for.

To backup my data, workfiles, photos, music and emails I use Backblaze. Backblaze quietly sits in the background and backs up everything. Those files don’t have to be in my Dropbox folder to be backed up. It’s the easiest, cheapest and most effective offsite backup solution you can implement.

If you aren’t paranoid about losing your files, you don’t need to do anything. If you are, and I am, you need to start backing up. You’ve got no excuses. Complain to me and it’ll fall on deaf ears.