The Temptation of Other Tools

I am easily distracted by shiny new things. This is dangerous for productivity because it causes me to burn down my system and start over on a regular basis. As fun as that is, it’s not what I should be doing. For example, last night after reading a random blog post I impulsively started moving all of my tasks and projects back into that other todo app that I love. Doing that led me to changing how capture works with email, which makes me want to look up some helper scripts and then it was 2:00AM and I realized how much I’d miss Org Mode and oh yeah Mu4e is awesome and now what?

Not healthy.

As a reminder to myself, I am posting the list of tools and processes I’ve been using and should continue to use because they work. I can only hope that the potential embarrassment of changing my mind later adds enough friction that I actually stick with these things for longer than usual. Here goes.

Digital at my desk(s)

  • Emacs and Org Mode for tasks, project management, and creating documents
  • Mu4e for email, supplemented by Mailmate when the mood strikes. via IMAP.
  • Deft for random notes, supplemented by nvAlt when the mood strikes. Same files.
  • Remind / Wyrd and Google Calendar for events. I have them synced.
  • DEVONthink Pro for digital storage and recall of files and documents
  • Dropbox for sync

Mobile (iPad Pro and Pencil)

  • DEVONthink To Go 2. Now in beta, sync works great.
  • GoodNotes for handwriting notes, meeting notes, drawings, etc.
  • Editorial for editing random notes (synced with Deft/nvAlt on Mac)


That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.


Today I learned about Lsyncd. Not sure how it ever escaped my radar.

Lsyncd watches a local directory trees event monitor interface (inotify or fsevents). It aggregates and combines events for a few seconds and then spawns one (or more) process(es) to synchronize the changes. By default this is rsync. Lsyncd is thus a light-weight live mirror solution that is comparatively easy to install not requiring new filesystems or block devices and does not hamper local filesystem performance.
Rsync+ssh is an advanced action configuration that uses a SSH to act file and directory moves directly on the target instead of re-transmitting the move destination over the wire.
Fine-grained customization can be achieved through the config file. Custom action configs can even be written from scratch in cascading layers ranging from shell scripts to code written in the Lua language. This way simple, powerful and flexible configurations can be acheived. See the manual for details.

Works really well.


Dad roasting hot dogs in back yard. Nikon F3.

Dad roasting hot dogs in back yard. Nikon F3.

I try to post at least one image from each roll. Here’s one from 2016 Roll-021 of my dad roasting hot dogs on his back yard fire pit.

A new site

My fascination with static websites continues. I’ve sworn that this blog would remain in WordPress and so far I’m sticking with it, but I still like publishing static sites, so I’ve created a new version of my Notes blog:

What I’m finding is that for quick notes and posts that are mostly text, I prefer using Emacs and Markdown, so Hugo works great. Posts with images or embedded videos are much easier to create using WordPress. This means that may become more focused on photography, with the blog leaning more randomly technical.