Color code your Backpackit.com tasks using The Printable CEO as guide

David Seah’s printable CEO is an excellent guide on which tasks to tackle first and which distractions to deal with later. It lists various answers to the question: When is something worth doing? The answers are color coded and come with points, ranked based on their importance to your goals. Seah uses it to track his tasks using a printable progress chart that he fills up.

I use Seah’s printable CEO as guide but I do not keep track of the scores of my tasks. Instead, I use it as guide on which tasks to perform first. I organize tasks by topics and use color code, based on the printable CEO, to prioritize.

I then implemented this in BackPackIt using the Firefox extension Xinha Here, which launches a visual HTML editor for any text entry area (screenshots below). I edited the main page of my free BackPackIt account and used it as dashboard. For the body text, I entered my version of The Printable CEO and used color coding.

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Some notes on upgrading to WordPress 2.0

All the sites in my domain are now using WordPress 2.0. I just finished updating last night. I also spotted the plugin that’s preventing the new visual editor from loading. It’s Linknotes, a plugin I used to put footnotes in some posts in my blog. Luckily, Linknotes is well crafted so that even if you turn the plugin off, the links to the footnotes just turn into regular hyperlinks.

Later today, I’ll be upgrading other WordPress sites I help manage.

I did encounter an error in this blog because of the Akismet plugin. The Akismet plugin file previously resided in the main plugins directory. The Akismet plugin that comes with the new WordPress is inside a subfolder and when I uploaded it, the site started spewing out errors because there were already two akismet.php files in different locations. But overall, the upgrades have been trouble-free.

The art, and science, of power naps

I’ve long wanted to try taking programmed naps or power naps. Studies have indicated that there are health benefits to taking regular naps. The National Institutes of Health in the United States said “evidence is mounting that sleep – even a nap – appears to enhance information processing and learning.”

I don’t get a lot of sleep because of my work hours. Daytime sleep isn’t as satisfying and refreshing as normal overnight sleep. The noise during the day makes its way into your dreams. I once dreamt of being chased by people out to kill me and woke up to shouts of “Patya na!” (Kill him!). It was my neighbor’s teenage son shouting at the top of his voice to egg on Manny Pacquiao in his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.

The remaining days of my vacation might be a good chance to try taking regular 20-minute naps.

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Personalizing another great WordPress theme

I’ve decided to switch themes (again). I’m personalizing the Phoenixrealm template, an excellent WordPress theme that’s simple and easy on the eyes. The original theme had a black background but I wanted a graphical background, something with diagonal lines- the type of backgrounds you see in sites like TechCrunch.

If you only want graphic patterns for your website background, you can use the background image maker in this site. The site allows you to choose the pattern-slashes, horizontal lines, dots or gradient-and the color of the background.

I was finally able to create my own background image complete with diagonal lines and color gradations using this very good step-by-step tutorial on Photoshop by LpT designs. I also followed this glassy icons Photoshop tutorial by Fadedpixel for the glassy appearance of the black in my website background.

Phoenixrealm doesn’t come with Gravatars support out of the box and I managed to enable it in my site by following the instructions of the plugin author.

Painless upgrade: Cybercafe Experiments now runs WordPress 2.0

I have just upgraded my blog to use the just-released WordPress 2.0 version. The upgrade was painless and trouble-free. For someone who lost close to 50 posts in a reckless, ill-advised and ill-prepared upgrade to an alpha version of a previous blog, the first few minutes after the upgrade was akin to feeling your hand whether you still have all your fingers after a firecracker explodes in it (believe me, I’ve been there and done that).

The upgrade was done half an hour ago and it seemed everything is working flawlessly save for the what-you-see-is-what-you-get-editor (WYSIWYG), which I never planned to use anyway. I went to the Write interface expecting to see the WYSIWYG editor enabled but it wasn’t, even if it was enabled in the options field.

Curiously, the WordPress 2.0 beta version running in my demo blog displays the WYSIWYG editor. But it is just a minor irritant. For WYSIWYG editing, I recommend that you use the Xinha Here! plugin in this site.

What’s great about the new version is the improved blog administration interface. Since it uses Ajax, you can add things without having to reload the entire page. While writing a post, for example, you can add categories without having to leave the Write interface.

The Chronicles of Narnia and the gift from Google

Marlen and I bought a boxed set of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia two weeks ago as a Christmas present for ourselves. It was the only copy left in SM City Cebu. We said we wouldn’t be opening it before Christmas. It’s Christmas and I’m reading the seventh book. Our resolve was good only for a few days.
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Early this week I saw a package on my desk in the newsroom. It was the gift set Google gave out to bigger publishers using AdSense. It wasnt for me, silly. It was for the AdSense account of Sun.Star and was sent to the account executive in charge of the program. I drooled over the wireless optical mini mouse and the LED light.
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Giving a blog as Christmas gift

Yesterday, the editorial department of the newspaper I work for celebrated its Christmas party. No Christmas party is complete without the exchange of gifts and we held one yesterday. But two weeks back, we were already supposed to give the recipient of our gifts small items, costing from P20 to P50, based on the week’s theme.

I got popular TV host Jude Bacalso, our paper’s Life and Leisure editor, in the drawing of names for the gift exchange. For two weeks, I never gave him any of the small items I was supposed to give-something green and something sweet.

When we exchanged gifts yesterday, I gave Jude Bacalso three gifts. One of them was an index card containing login details to his new WordPress.com blog, sporting the Green Marinee theme. Jude Bacalso is so witty and so funny that he should blog. I hope he does take the time to update it.

Performancing.com releases visual editor for blogs

Performancing.com, which is turning out to be an excellent resource on blogging, released a Firefox extension that puts a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) blog editor in the open source browser.

I tried it out for a few minutes (screenshots below) and even used it to publish the previous post and found that it worked flawlessly. The editor allows you to assign your blog’s categories to your posts. It doesnt have a button, though, to allow you to split your posts the way the more link works in WordPress but since you can edit the code generated by the

You can just right-click on a web page you want to blog and launch the WYSIWYG editor. With the plugin plus the del.icio.us extension, Firefox now has the capabilities introduced by Flock.

The plugin visual editor works only in Firefox 1.5 and the following blogging services and platforms:

Blog services:
Blogger
WordPress.com
Typepad
LiveJournal

Blog scripts
WordPress
Movable Type

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Cybercafe Experiments included in AdSense e-book

I saw a curious entry in my traffic logs over the weekend. It seemed a few visitors to this site came from a PDF link. When I checked it out, it was a compilation of AdSense case studies by Joel Comm and my blog was among the sites discussed in the e-book.

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The case study was based on the previous design of this blog (which I changed just last week). There are good observations in the e-book. When I clicked on the traffic link, the PDF was immediately downloaded. I don’t know if this was supposed to be a paid e-book and I was just able to bypass the gateway because I had the full URL to the file or this was something distributed for free.

The e-book says:

Max has done a fantastic job with his choice of colors

I’ve looked at Max’s site over several days, and I’ve yet to see a close connection between the topics Max was discussing on the blog and the ads he received.

This is a common problem with blogs, especially those that change topics frequently.

The e-book suggests that I keep one topic per page or that I pepper my titles with keywords. The one topic per page suggestion is not something that I could implement. This blog is about my experiments with blogs, CMS, wikis and anything that catches my fancy–thus the eclectic makeup. These are the blog’s reasons for existence.