Jun 23, 2017

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Dec 22, 2015


Use Pomodoro technique for better productivity.
I just use a simple Kitchen timer for doing this.

Dec 11, 2015

All about index cards

These days there is a trend that more people going analogue and more articles appearing on web about index cards. But, also a lot more concerns and doubts regarding the size and availability on index cards.
So I thought it's a time to write an article on it.

What is index card?
It's a simple piece of paper sized 3X5 inches or 4X6 inches.

What is index card system?
Index card is a system that taking notes in a small 3X5inches/4X6inches paper.

What are the use of index cards?
You can draw, take notes, scribble, research, create a todo list and even manage your projects. You can find out/explore more ideas.

What is the size of the card?
Most common size is 3X5 inches. But the writer Nabokov wrote on a 4X6 inch ruled paper with 14 blue lines+ one red top margin on it.

What kind of paper is good for index card?
There are several type of paper. If you are a designer, use Quadrille(Grid) paper. If you are a writer, you can use ruled paper. If you are an artist, you can use plain paper. 80 GSM is more than enough.

Where can I buy it?
You can buy Index Cards from popular online stores including amazon. But you can save money by using my methods. Read below.

It's too expensive. Any cheap cards available, or any other solution?
Buying through internet is a bit expensive. Especially in India or similar countries. I found some alternative solution for it.
    1. 2500 plain cards for 5$. Yes, you're right!  Buy good quality A4 sheet. It'll cost around 4$. Go to the nearest printing press. Ask them to cut according to your size. They charge me only 2$ for 1000 sheets. So for 500, it's only 1$. You'll get 5 cards from a single sheet. You'll get 2500 cards for 5$. No seller can beat it, right?
    2. Buy good quality A4 bundle. Ask any local printer, to print the desired ruler lines in it. It'll cost me 8$ to print. Paper cost is 4$. Total is 12$.
    3. Bought grid notebooks/ ruled paper and cut it from local printing press.
    4. Buy different kind of paper. Colored, textured etc. Cut it from the nearest printing press.
(I got so many cards with these experiments. I gave it away for free to my friends.)

Where can I get index card box?
You can buy it from online store Here , Here and Here . I used to buy it from a local store in my town. Plastic boxes are cheap. Buy appropriate size. I also made a custom box from a carpenter in my town. Or you can buy some cool designed wooden box from any handicrafts shop in your town.

Tagging/ Labeling
Use tag words in right upper corner. I put the dates on backside of the cards with a date seal.

Bundle it with rubber band, binder clips (Buy it from here , here , or here ) or my method; simply wrap it with one another index card.

See more nice, inspiring articles regarding this subject:
    • https://unclutterer.com/2014/06/17/the-pile-of-index-cards-poic-system/
    • https://gigaom.com/2007/10/10/24-things-you-can-do-with-an-index-card/
    • http://screenwriting.io/how-do-screenwriters-use-index-cards/
    • http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/index-cards.html
    • http://www.43folders.com/2009/01/13/twylas-box
    • http://www.theopennotebook.com/2011/11/22/rebecca-skloot-henrietta-lacks/
    • http://www.openculture.com/2014/02/the-notecards-on-which-vladimir-nabokov-wrote-lolita.html
    • http://pbackwriter.blogspot.in/2013/02/index-card-journal.html
    • http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2013/12/the-notecard-system-the-key-for-remembering-organizing-and-using-everything-you-read/
    • http://pileofindexcards.org/blog/
    • http://takingnotenow.blogspot.in/2007/12/luhmanns-zettelkasten.html

Nov 30, 2015

Writers tools: debunking the myths

Are you a writer?
Do you write novels, stories, blogs? Then you should definitely encounter a dilemma of choosing the right application to write.

There are so many manipulated stories, advertorials, paid reviews all over internet. So naturally a writer faces lots of confusion about choosing the right app for his writing process.
I'm not talking to avoid all writing applications completely. Just trying to debunk the myth regarding the various tools can be used for writers.
(I'm here to trying to save your money).

  1. Do you hate the Microsoft?
This is the most famous trend. Why hates Microsoft, Don't know? Then, you should know that the simplest note taking tools like notepad and WordPad are with Microsoft. They developed RTF. And, Microsoft Word is the one of the best standardized writing tool. It support, render almost every language. It can export as so many file formats including PDF. Some people complaint about the money and spent more money and buy some substandard products.
  1. Do you need to publish a book for web/ books etc.
Please find your priority. If that's writing, then the rest is not a big thing. The publishing tools required in your life for hand numbered times only. In that case, you can copy paste that texts into some online tools and you can export as the required formats for absolutely free.
  1. Need outliner, mind map, and other application in a single app?
Why? These are the rare time used options for a project. If you are using it regularly, then consider a dedicated software for it.
As I wrote several articles regarding the note taking tools, here I'm telling you that, never ever spend too many hours to find a right app! Just pick the notepad and write(pen/pencil/paper)immediately. Think later about organizing.

Actually developers are writing more articles about the writing software. Not writers.

So simply, If you are a writer, just write. Pick any simple application and save it on  Dropbox or similar cloud backup tools.

I'll briefly tell you the FREE tools:
For writing:
    Use Notepad or Notepad++(windows) for plaintext writing. Use WordPad for Rich text writing. (Options: OpenOffice writer, LibreOffice writer)
For notebook kind of option:
    Want an outliner/ notebook kind of software? for plain text, use ZimWiki. It's saves all files in an organized folder structured plain text files. For RTF, If you are thinking seriously about the open format, then saves independent files and save it all in Dropbox.
There are so many apps that have all the bells and whistles. But, think, that's all comes secondarily and not necessary.

Now, just write!


Nov 23, 2015



Malkovich is a simple, clean markdown based wiki.

  • It's saves files as markdown. You can easily read it by any word processor
  • You can add images easily
  • It's free
  • It's simple
  • No search function
  • No side pane with tree tabs
  • It's saves data in 'Appdata' folder as hidden
  • It's saves data as same name, that is 'index.md'

Oct 23, 2015

Notepad app's limitation

Do you know that Microsoft's notepad application's size limit is 45 KB?
Quote from their website:
"Text files used by Notepad should be no larger than 45K. Notepad cannot open a file that exceeds 54 kilobytes (K) in size and does not allow you to continue editing a file if the file size reaches between 45K and 54K."

Oct 21, 2015

Dropbox's alternative to Google docs

Online storage giant, Dropbox now launched Paper .
It is similar to Google Docs, maybe more than that. You can easily add images, videos to a document.

It's UI is very minimalist and cute.
try it for free.

Apr 14, 2015

To Do list (Again)

I've written several articles on todo list.
Now, I'll mention filtered solutions. You can choose one from below as per your requirements.
    Basically What is a todo list do?
It's a simple list of tasks to do. If we going further, we need to remember some task on particular time. So, we required a reminder. Another one is we need to get reminder a particular task on every year (Birthdays, Anniversaries etc.). So we need recurring task option.
Another one is it should work on android, IOS, Desktop etc.
    I'll list out some major solutions that I tested. I know that there are so many other fantastic solutions.
    Google calendar: (Web, Android, IOS, offline in chrome) It has all features. Tasks, reminders, recurring reminders, SMS alert, email notification...
    Workflowy: (Desktop offline(Chrome), Andoid, IOS, Web) This is my primary todo list. Its just a list. No reminder, no recurring tasks.
    ToDo list: http://abstractspoon.pbwiki.com/FrontPage (It's a desktop/ portable app) it's a tons of features like, calendar, gantt chart etc. Easy to use.
    ToDo text: http://benrhughes.com/todotxt.net (Desktop app) It's main attraction is it saves data as plain text. It has very simple hotkeys too.
    ZimWiki: To do plugin. It's also saves data as plain text.
Other mentions are using pen and paper by super focus method, outlook todo, onenote todo, gmail inbox todo, google keep reminders, wunderlist, remember my milk etc.

Mar 31, 2015

Plain Text Journal

I've previously mentioned Gmail is one of the viable solution to write diary.
Here is another option for offline in desktop.
It has some cool features:
  • Inline Spell-Check
  • Easy navigation though archives using calendar widget
  • Entries are saved in plain text and can be easily edited
You can save all entry in Dropbox folder. It's automatically saves as plain text files in organized folder structure.

Mar 28, 2015

My journey to find the perfect note taking solution

Summary: I analyzed and tested several years to find out a perfect note taking system that fits my needs. At last I found that 'Zim Wiki' is perfect one that fits my needs. Please read further about my journey. (It's almost like a spiritual journey).
  • Initially I wrote in a notepad, then in Microsoft word and saved files in a system folder. Then I tried open office and libre office.
  • Looked for an organizer and tried, Keynote, KeynoteNF, Keepnote, Zimwiki, Wikid pad, Flashnote, TreeDB, Right note, Efficient PIM, Scrivener, resoph notes, Evernote and Onenote.
  • Then tried different self hosted Wordpress, Wiki, Drupal and, cloud solutions like drive, etc.
  • After that, tried Simple note with Cinta notes.
  • Plain text files in dropbox folder and finally found Zim Wiki.
Simply, Every application has a lockout, close file format to save all notes in a database file. Ever note, Google docs, Keynote NF, Right note, Scrivener, Flashnote, TreeDB etc.
More and more taking notes, my intention is reduced only to collect notes, completely avoid to read it. There are so many reasons to hesitate to read my notes bunch. Slow booting, Hanging application, Database error, Corrupted database etc.
After all, We need to access all notes in any applications. Android, Mac, Iphone, Tabs, Ubundu...whatever. Otherwise there is no purpose in it. I found Cintanotes is easy to use. I've purchased Cintanotes pro. But once, that's also crashed. And that piece of software is also not saving notes as plain text files.
Keeping all documents as plain text files is one of the popular option today.
Why this happened while there are plenty of software including free?
The reason is, every software fails at least once. It crashes and make all data unavailable. I had similar experience. My note taking applications fails several times. Especially having and managing thousands of notes. If you are a geek, then you don’t have to worry. You know how to backup all data in several locations in cloud as well as physical drives. But That's also taking time. I prefer to focus on productivity.
Taking and storing notes in plain text files is the best solution. It has several advantages:
  • Fast loading
  • Can operate all systems and devices
  • Simplicity
  • Focus on content
  • Searchable
  • Easily synced across devices, via Dropbox or other services
  • Use online or offline
But, there are some disadvantage in keeping all documents in plain text files. That are:
  • You can’t insert hyper links and markdown formats (RTF, Images also).
  • You can’t organize files easily like a software.
  • You have to search in systems searching tools.
Apart from that, everything is fine.
That's the main reason I begin to look for a plain text note taking apps. Several years ago, I used Zim Wiki. Lack of functions and look, I avoid it and began to use Scrivener/ One note.
Last year, I rediscovered Zim Wiki.
It has all my requirements.
  • Tag system
  • Searchable notes
  • Sort and organize like outliner
  • Tree model organizer
  • Distraction free writer
  • Journal app
  • Simple formatting
  • Can attach image
  • And, finally it saves note as a separate plain text note file!!!
  • You can save notebook in dropbox for syncing and can read it on any device.
Go for it and enjoy the most minimalistic writing and reading tool.

Jul 27, 2014

Best Note taking applications

Oh no!
I've updated this article. Read it HERE.
Note taking, writing articles in your device. Solutions not meant for code writing, I mean just writing and taking notes on various devices.
Let us analyze the various FREE solutions over the web:

For just writing:
Tomboy: Just write
Writebox: Chrome app can sync with drive and dropbox
Wordpad: Rich text
Open office writer: Rich text
Notepad: Simply write. Redo and undo limitation
Notepad 2: Run from a folder in dropbox. Limitless redo and undo

For syncing cloud/ various devices:
Tingery: Nice web and mobile app. No desktop app
Quip: Nice design. No desktop app
Google keep: Has voice note, can add image and fast sync
Resoph notes: Simple texts. Can sync with simple note
Cintanotes: Free version has limitations
Simple note: No desktop app. Nice for mobile phones and web
red notebook: Good for desktop. Unnecessarily complicated
Laverna: Simple, can installed in dropbox folder. Similar to evernote
Evernote: Great app. Payed version have more space.
 Initially I used evernote. Then move around and checked various solutions. At last, I realized, Evernote is superior to all. It has Two way verification security, Sync with all platforms, Nice mobile UI, and it has virtually unlimited space!