WebAPP: HabitRPG

I’m no stranger to task apps and todo apps and tracking apps.  I’ve tried a bunch.

And I’m trying another one: HabitRPG.

This takes all the crap you have to do in a day and turns it into a game.  It allows you to define Habits, Dailies, ToDos, and Rewards.

Let’s take a look at my HabitRPG screen:

Screenshot from 2013-04-06 12:48:31My “Habits” section contains the things I want to improve upon.  I have five:

  • Take the stairs
  • Park further out at work.
  • Eat veggies and fruit (I try, dangit but I still need to improve.)
  • Write new receipts in checkbook ledger.
  • Floss (Again, I try so hard but this is something I want to do better at.)

From what I can gather, “Habits” is the section where you can define things you want to do better at and then track how you’re doing, sort of like the “don’t break the chain” method of productivity or whatever.

Next we have the “Dailies” section.  If you’re familiar with WoW, “dailies” are something you can do every day to get a reward (experience, rep with a faction, etc) and you kind of want to do them as much as possible so you can increase your skills or reputation with a certain faction.  I’ve added the following to mine:

  • Make bed (I usually do this but sometimes I need a reminder; whoops.)
  • Read anything non-web for 30 minutes (again, I read a lot but most of it is on the web.  I hope to get through my magazines and books on my tablet this way.)
  • 15 minute Band workout (I’m trying to get more exercise.  Also, 15 minutes is a good span of time.)
  • Call Mom (a reminder for Wednesdays so I don’t actually forget.)

I didn’t want too many dailies because I’d end up just doing chores when I got home from work and things wouldn’t be flexible.  I need to make sure I actually DO this stuff and not let it languish.

Next is the “ToDo” section and holy cow is it long for me.  I’m not going to type everything out, but suffice it to say, it includes some of the stuff up on my board as well as blog posts I want to write.  I think these are things that have no time limit on them, and I think they give more EXP and coins when you complete them, especially if you bump them up to “hard”.  I’ve done this on a couple of the items since I’m not sure how much time they will take.  If it’s a complicated project, you may want to break it down into more steps so it will be easier.

Rewards, of course, is where you can go to spend your hard-earned gold.  Seriously, if you didn’t have something to reward yourself with, then what’s the point?  Anyway, I have some choice things on there.

~~~~~

As you can see, I didn’t put vague things on my lists.  You have to be concrete.  Also, I didn’t put things on there that I already do, like “Do Dishes” as a habit.  I am good with doing my dishes every day, so I don’t need to track that aspect of my life.  I do need to track things I want to get better at, so that’s why I added so few to the habits.  As soon as they become habits, I think I might move them to  the “Dailies” section so I can still track them but they won’t be under “habits” because they already ARE habits.

I think this is for someone who is already somewhat disciplined with their time but needs some more motivation.  I wish we had something like this for work.  I would love to “level up” by doing X AFP grinds or cleaning X codes out of character for model.

I hope a mobile app comes soon because I want to track my food thing and the stairs thing and the parking thing on the go.  I’ve a bad habit of forgetting to log things.

 

Life Update

I have sadly neglected this blog since I transferred it over here from Posterous.  For that, I apologize.

What is up in my life?  Well, let me make a list:

  • I’m still working at Chrysler.  I still love it.
  • I bought a new TV.  It is awesome.
  • I bought a PS3.  It is awesome as well.
  • My car is getting closer to being paid off.
  • I bought Skyrim.
  • I went to Portland and their Shrine Hospital.  I had an awesome time and met some uber cool people from Tumblr.
  • I bought a Macbook Air in Portland.
  • Consequently, my debit card got a hold on it.
  • I took care of this via the phone at the Atlanta airport.
  • I got home from Portland.
  • I slept over 12 hours and missed most of Sunday morning.
  • I drove back down here to be at work tomorrow.

Wow, what a list!

Review of some of those things will be forthcoming (the Portland trip and my Air).

The TV is awesome in general; it’s large without being too large.

Well… that’s it for now.  I have some things to write about the Air and my Portland trip, but I’ll tackle those when I’m not as tired.

Ubuntu and Banshee

I’ve been following all of the concerns surrounding the Ubuntu and Banshee profit-sharing “kerfuffle”, as Greg puts it here.  Craig Maloney (aka snap-l) responds here.  Mark Shuttleworth responds to everyone here.  Also, I can’t forget about Jono’s post about it as well.

So, I guess this is my response:

I think the whole thing is embarrassing.  Canonical shouldn’t have suggested what they did, nor should they have backpedaled in the manner they did.

Banshee is an awesome application.  I use it every day to manage and listen to my music and download new tracks from Amazon (mostly free individual tracks and album samplers).  I have never used the Ubuntu Music Store, but I think it’s a great idea.  (Note: I get most of my new music from actual CDs or through Jamendo or other CC-music websites.)

Now, I’ve been a part of the Ubuntu community since about 2006 (yes, I’m old) and seeing something like this pains me.  It makes me feel like I should be embarrassed to use Ubuntu and Banshee.  The Amazon store should never have been an issue; Canonical should never have offered to mess with it, instead offering their own store with a choice of stores (even enabling both!) at the startup of Banshee.

I understand that Canonical needs to make money.  All businesses need to make money.  If UbuntuOne was available for Windows and was a comparable price to Dropbox, I would probably be using UbuntuOne instead of Dropbox.  Selling cloud services is a great idea for Canonical.  Same with selling merchandise through their store, and CDs with Ubuntu on them.  Heck, I’ve bought stuff from them.

I guess my question is, couldn’t Canonical come up with a better way to deal with this profit-sharing or whatever?  What about offering 85/15 (85% to Gnome, 15% to Canonical)?  Heck, even 50/50 would have been more fair.  25/75 for doing no work whatsoever doesn’t seem kosher.

Pinboard.in

I decided to take the plunge and try out pinboard.in.

At the time I signed up it was something like $9.17, but it’s gone up to $9.22 (due to go up with more subscribers).

Well, I did an import of all my delicious bookmarks, and found that it was a much faster process than importing into diigo. After importing, I noticed that my private bookmarks were kept (very important to me) private.

The look of pinboard.in is very similar to delicious, but it’s cleaner. I love the way it integrates with my Shareaholic extension for Chrome/ium. To save to Pinboard is the first link in my drop-down menu.

Anyway, how about a picture?

The default Pinboard.in look. Very similar to delicious.

It’s almost easier and faster to send to Pinboard than it is to send to delicious. First off, there’s really nobody to share with, so you don’t have to pick who you send links to. Second, it doesn’t have automatic twitter integration, so you don’t have to deal with that (I have twitter integration though Twitterfeed and my #pinboard hashtag). It’s simple, quick, bookmarking with tags and privacy options. Nothing else.

The navigation is really, really simple. A picture says a thousand words, so here’s a picture:

As you can see, there’s a way to choose what kind of tags you want, a search box, and a way to get to popular places in your account. I haven’t tried the note-taking functionality yet, because I have tomboy notes on all of the computers I use, so I don’t really need them. I guess if I got a Cr-48, I’d need the note functionality.

You’ll also notice that there’s “recent” and “popular” links up top. I’ll go over there sometimes to see what’s been bookmarked, just like I used to when I was on delicoius. Sometimes there’s some cool stuff in there, and if you explore other popular tags, you’ll find even more websites that tailor to your interests. There’s also a networking aspect to pinboard.in that I really haven’t had a chance to explore. I’ve added a couple of people who seem to post linux-related sites, but I’m not sure exactly what the networking will amount to. Pinboard sells itself as “antisocial bookmarking” and to an extent that’s fine. I’m using it as a repository of my favorite links, and I’m sharing through twitterfeed.

The actual bookmark list is very clean and easy to follow. How about another picture?

The bookmarks themselves.

Easy to see tags, when you posted the link, the link itself, and in light grey, you can make out “edit” and “delete” links. I seem to have a lot of GTD stuff in this screenshot. Ahem.

Onto tagging! I’ve gotten used to tagging my bookmarks, photos, blog posts, and pretty much everything else. I like the idea of tagging as opposed to folders. I can assign more than one tag to something and that something will show up in both of those categories; for instance, I have many links that deal with Ubuntu, Gnome, KDE, and Linux. I can assign the general tag of Linux, and have everything Linux-related show up, but if I want to narrow things down, I can go Linux -> Ubuntu -> KDE and get all the KDE links relating to Ubuntu. Simple.

Anyway, here’s what the tags look like:

Tags, oh, how I love thee.

So, pinboard.in is a great service to replace delicious. I’m sure Yahoo is regretting the decision to have that slide show up. I think they’ve lost a lot of their userbase. It might put some people off to purchase the initial login, but it’s well worth the $9-ish for it.

Bag Musings

I’ve been meaning to put together a tech bag/urban assault bag/art bag for awhile now, and I found the perfect bag for it: a Swiss Gear small messenger bag. I can’t seem to find any pictures on the web for it, so I suspect that it’s a discontinued model, which is fine because I got it at Meijer for about $25.

This bag has padding in both of its sections, and the main compartment is expandable with a zipper to accommodate the extra room. I can easily carry my netbook, a regular book or my Nook, my sketchbook, and other things.

So, let’s see what I might carry for what applications.

Always Carried:

  • cell phone
  • pen
  • wallet
  • misc. bag (contains some meds, tissues, my dues cards for OES and Nile, chapstick, etc)
  • my version of the “hipster PDA”: a moleskine calendar and a moleskine small lined book, held together with the stretchy cord of the calendar
  • Walkman MP3 player
  • keys
  • book I’m reading

Art Bag:

  • sketchbook
  • pencils
  • pastel crayons
  • drawing ink pen
  • small canvases if they fit

Tech Bag:

  • netbook
  • usb key (holds some of my most important files)
  • charger for my netbook (if I’m going to be out or travelling)
  • Ubuntu LiveCD (for fixing other people’s computers; happens more than you think!)
  • moleskine cashier for notes, even though I use Tomboy Notes for most everything

Other Applications:

  • library bag, with Nook and library books
  • bag to hold my stuff for Nile; actually this will work; as it holds everything but the charitable giving notebook, but I can carry that in my hands

I don’t know. This bag is very versatile, and I’m hoping to use it for one of these applications. I’m almost keen on replacing my purse with it, but I feel that it’d be too heavy for regular purse use. Also, I have a tendency to load up my bags with too much stuff; this is why I carry a relatively small purse. If I didn’t have a small purse, I’d probably load it up with everything but the kitchen sink and have major back pain as a result.