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  • Showing only topics with the tag "personal information management". Back to normal view
    1. How do you manage your ebooks & web documents?

      I've been organizing my personal collection of ebooks (epubs & pdfs) lately so I've been thinking of possible "best practices" to employ and wanted to open a discussion on it. There are sources...

      I've been organizing my personal collection of ebooks (epubs & pdfs) lately so I've been thinking of possible "best practices" to employ and wanted to open a discussion on it.

      There are sources for free ebooks online which are trustworthy such as https://archive.org/index.php and https://www.gutenberg.org/ which provide DRM-Free copies in multiple formats.

      These are great but a few of my ebooks are from less trusted sources so handling the security aspects should be considered as well. (Example: An interesting PDF from Hacker News or Reddit)

      General:
      For general organization and management, Calibre (https://calibre-ebook.com/) has been very useful so far. You can use Calibre to handle converting, meta-data, reading, and organization of your library.

      Security:
      From what I can research the epub and pdf formats can be both vulnerable to malicious but the potential is much higher for pdf. As you then might expect, pdf exploits are more common.

      A few precautions you can take include using your browsers pdf viewer versus a standalone alternative, using an up to date and secure pdf reading with JavaScript disabled, or relying on a cloud service such as google drive that allows online viewing.

      An offline e-reader is another easy solution as the malicious code would require a much more specific attack vector.

      Reading:
      https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-emerging-threats-is-it-safe-to-download-free-ebooks-online.html
      https://www.baldurbjarnason.com/notes/epub-javascript-security/

      12 votes
    2. How do you organize your digital files?

      My hard drives seem to almost always be cluttered messes, so I'm curious how other people handle file storage. Feel free to use any of these questions as prompts, too: Do you do backups? If so,...

      My hard drives seem to almost always be cluttered messes, so I'm curious how other people handle file storage. Feel free to use any of these questions as prompts, too:

      • Do you do backups? If so, how? (Cloud storage, offline backups, etc.)
      • Do you use your OS's default user folders (Documents, Pictures, Downloads, Desktop, etc.) or do you opt for a more custom scheme?
      • Do you use your browser's default download directory, or do you do something more custom?
      • Do you navigate through your files using a file browser, the command line, or both?
      • Do you have any naming conventions for files and folders? (Dash/underscore/space delimiting? Lower/uppercase?)
      • Where do you store code repositories (if that's something you do), and do you make a distinction between code repositories and documents?
      • How do you deal with programs that automatically create directories in your workspaces without your permission? (I'm looking at you, IDEs with "Projects" folders.)
      • How do you handle media storage? Do you use any library managers for ebook/pdf files, image files, music files, video files, etc.?
      • How do you handle document/note storage? Do you use files in the Documents folder, or do you use an alternative method like cloud-based office tools, or some sort of wiki-ish program like Indigrid or Trillium?
      • If you use a Linux-based OS, where do you put sandboxed/portable applications (e.g. snap, flatpak, appimage)?
      26 votes
    3. First release of my native Markdown notes app, Notementum (v0.1.0)

      Screenshot I posted a few days ago about a notes app I was working on called Notementum, and I'm happy to show you the first release (0.1.0). Installation instructions are available on the Github...

      Screenshot

      I posted a few days ago about a notes app I was working on called Notementum, and I'm happy to show you the first release (0.1.0). Installation instructions are available on the Github repo: https://github.com/IvanFon/notementum

      There's still lots of things I'd like to add, both big and small, and definitely a few bugs here and there, but I've been going for too long without sharing it, and I find it's best to release as early as you can to start getting feedback, and perfect it later.

      One things that's missing is documentation. I'd like to start on this soon, but I'm probably not going to share this anywhere other than Tildes just yet, so this comment will do for now :)

      Right now, the app only runs on Linux. I'd like to add Windows support, and it almost works, the problem is that WebKit2Gtk, the embedded web view I use to show note previews, doesn't support Windows. I'm going to explore some other options in the future, whether that's figuring out how to compile it, or allowing other preview methods (user's web browser, PDF, etc.).

      The app is also very much in alpha, so you shouldn't use this for anything important, there may be bugs that can cause you to lose some of your data. If you do use this for anything, make sure you backup your notes database.

      If you want to use it, here's a wall of text on usage:

      Usage

      The notes database is located at ~/.notes.db. When you launch the app, it'll load it, or automatically create it if it doesn't exist. I'd eventually like to allow choosing different locations, but it's hard coded for now.

      The interface is fairly simple. The leftmost sidebar displays a list of notebooks, and the "middlebar" displays a list of notes. Selecting a notebook will display the notes within it in the notes list. Selecting a note will open it in the editor, which is to the right.

      To create a new note, press Escape to focus on the searchbar above the notes list, and start typing a title. If no existing notes are found, press enter, and a note will be created with the title you entered.

      To rename a note, double-click on it in the notes list.

      The editor has a toolbar with 4 buttons, from left-to-right:

      • Toggle between editor and preview (shortcut: Ctrl+E)
      • Assign the current note's notebook
      • Add an attachment
      • Delete the current note

      The green circle all the way to the right turns into a loading indicator when you have unsaved changes. Once you stop typing for a few seconds, your changes will be saved, and it'll switch back into a green circle.

      Notebooks

      Notebooks aren't created directly, they're based on what notebooks your notes are assigned to. This means that, to create a notebook, assign it to a note. To delete a notebook, just delete all the notes contained within it, or assign them to a different notebook.

      Clicking on the notebook toolbar button brings up this dialog. To create a new notebook, double click on <New notebook> and type in a name.

      Attachments

      The notes database also stores attachments. This means that the entirety your notes can be contained in your database. Clicking on the attachment toolbar button brings up this dialog. The toolbar allows you to upload an attachment or delete it respectively. Pressing Insert Selected will insert the image at your cursor in the editor (![](image.png)).

      Theme

      The screenshots show the app with my desktop Gtk theme, Arc Dark. On your desktop, it'll use whatever your theme is. It should look good with any Gtk theme, but at some point I may bundle Arc Dark with it.

      The note preview currently has it's colours hard coded to look good with Arc Dark, so it may look a bit off on other themes. I'll try to sort that out at some point.

      Planned features
      • load/save database to/from different path
      • Windows support
      • note exports
      • database encryption
      • changing syntax highlighting theme
      • note tags
      • full-text search
      • proper documentation
      • more keyboard shortcuts
      • integrated sync
        • although you should already be able to use Git, Synthing, Dropbox, etc.
      • Vim mode for editor
        • maybe somehow embed a terminal to allow using vim/emacs/whatever
      Boring technical stuff

      The app was made with Python and Gtk+ 3. I've done this before and I really enjoy the development experience, especially with Glade to design the interface. There are still some Gtk features that I should really be using to make things simpler (GtkApplication, actions, and accelerators) that I'll be adding later.

      The database uses sqlite 3. This is convenient, as it allows for storing everything in one file, and will make fast searches easier in the future. Attachments are stored as base64 directly in the database. This makes it easy to have all your notes be contained entirely in the one database, but I may have to think about a more efficient method in the future.

      Markdown rendering is done using mistletoe, which has been great to use. Syntax highlighting and MathJax renderers were already available, so it was just a matter of combining both and adding custom image loading from the database, which was very easy. Mistletoe has a very easy to use API, so this was no problem.

      For LaTeX math rendering, I'm using MathJax. It supports pretty much everything, which is nice, but it can take a while to load. I'm currently loading it from a CDN in a <script> tag, so I'm hoping once I load it from a local file it'll be a bit faster. If not, I may have to find another solution.

      Like I said, the app still has a few bugs that need to be fixed. If you find any problems, it would be great if you could leave a comment here or open a Github issue (or if you have any feature requests).

      21 votes
    4. Having issues setting goals and sticking with them? I’m working on a solution

      I am working on an app called Percent Done that is a combination of goal setting, time tracking and habit tracking. I like setting time-based goals for myself every day, such as “write for an...

      I am working on an app called Percent Done that is a combination of goal setting, time tracking and habit tracking.

      I like setting time-based goals for myself every day, such as “write for an hour” or “work on Percent Done for four hours.”

      I also like Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” method. For example, Apple Watch shows you how many days you have completed your exercise circle and tells you that you have been keeping at it for x days.

      Percent Done is a marriage of these two concepts. It allows you to set goals and track the time you spend on them, as well as how many days in a row you have consistently completed them. For example, you can add a goal that says “write for an hour every day,” and Percent Done will notify you every day to write for an hour. You will be able to tap on this goal and Percent Done will start counting back from one hour. You will also be able to see how many days in a row you have written for an hour.

      Here is a demo GIF.

      You can also add one-time goals to Percent Done with or without time tracking, so it is a task management tool as well.

      You can play with the design prototype here: Percent Done design prototype

      I would really love to get your feedback on this. If you are interested in being a beta tester, feel free to reply to this topic or e-mail me at "hi at evrim dot io."

      By the way, this is almost completely a self-promotion post. If it is against the rules, I'd be happy to remove this.

      23 votes
    5. Online markdown editors that are capable of handling loads of text

      I have discovered hackmd.io a few months ago and started digitalizing my massive mess of handwritten nodes together with all the terrible notepad/word mixed notes into one big personal "wiki" of...

      I have discovered hackmd.io a few months ago and started digitalizing my massive mess of handwritten nodes together with all the terrible notepad/word mixed notes into one big personal "wiki" of knowledge. But I ran into a problem. HackMd can only handle ~50k characters before starting to lag and 100k characters is the limit per note, this doesn't even fit my one summary/tips note on one programming language. Do you know any alternatives? I really like markdown, since all of the notes look clean and organized, I can insert pictures and link to websites easily, but also love to work with them online, since I have to switch between 3 computers between university, home and my laptop.

      7 votes
    6. How do you organize your bookmarks?

      For me, I have a huge collection of bookmarks in Firefox that are super unorganized. I have some semblance of folder system but...it's quite messy. I'm sure many people have a similar problem....

      For me, I have a huge collection of bookmarks in Firefox that are super unorganized. I have some semblance of folder system but...it's quite messy. I'm sure many people have a similar problem. Share your ideas on how you keep your bookmarks organized, what's your system?

      25 votes
    7. How do you keep your digital files organized?

      Mine are a bit of a mess, with decades of accumulation and lack of maintenance resulting in a forest of poorly organized folders and completely inconsistent filename schemes. I'm interested in...

      Mine are a bit of a mess, with decades of accumulation and lack of maintenance resulting in a forest of poorly organized folders and completely inconsistent filename schemes.

      I'm interested in hearing about things like folder hierarchies/taxonomies, naming conventions, and techniques for efficient access. This goes for everything from personal documents to projects to pictures to media collections.

      14 votes
    8. How do you store your bookmarks?

      I'm curious what Tildes uses to organize and store their web bookmarks. Do you rely on your browser, or do you trust some proprietary service like Pocket? Maybe you have a self-hosted solution?

      13 votes
    9. On the rise and fall of Delicious, the online bookmarking service

      Online/digital bookmarking and excerpting is something that really interests me because I think most if not all existing options for it fall very short of the functionality I wish existed, and...

      Online/digital bookmarking and excerpting is something that really interests me because I think most if not all existing options for it fall very short of the functionality I wish existed, and that I think could exist.

      One of the first online bookmarking services I used was Delicious, and for a few years it was irreplaceable for me. However it languished after it was bought by Yahoo and then resold, and since then I’ve observed its slow and steady decline from afar.

      The purpose of this post is twofold:

      1. I want to know the current state of online bookmarking for you. I’m curious to know if it’s as much of an unmet need in anyone else’s life as it seems to be in mine.
        • Were you once a bookmarker and gave up due to the seeming futility of it?
        • Have you never been interested in bookmarking and/or don’t see the point of it?
        • Are you an active bookmarker, and if so what tools or workflows do you use, and what kinds of content do you bookmark?
      2. I thought I would share some of the research I did into Delicious’ various design iterations over the years via the Internet Archive. It’s a cool birds-eye survey of how the service’s ethos, goals and design changed over time. Beyond the value it provides as a case study, I think there are greater lessons and insights that can be gained from observing the rise and fall of what was once such a beloved online service.

      As a sidenote, I also found this explanation of Delicious' approach to tagging to be very interesting: del.icio.us/help/tags | 21 February 2006

      I hadn't realized that Delicious was actually the first to introduce the concept of user-controlled tags for bookmarks:

      When Delicious was first launched, it was the first use of the term "tag" in the modern sense, and it was the first explicit opportunity where website users were given the ability to add their own tags to their bookmarks so that they could more easily search for them at a later time. This major breakthrough was not much noticed as most thought the application at the time "cool" but obvious. – Source

      Edit: I hope it's alright to edit a post this many hours after having submitted it. There were a few important updates that I really wanted to include here.

      18 votes