• Distance to Mars

    Recently, I've had a discussion with my precious about the song "Clouds across the moon" and how the laws of physics make a phone call in the common sense between Earth and Mars impossible.

    Had I known that there is a website with an awesome visualisation of the distance to Mars, this would have been far easier!

    (via swissmiss)

  • OmniFocus Icons

    It's common knowledge that productivity means getting shit done, not fine-tuning your task management tools. Improving the usage experience from time to time may be necessary, though.

    I've been using OmniFocus for managing my tasks for years. In the company, we're now using Asana with great success, but for my personal stuff, I've kept using OmniFocus so far.

    I've got a bunch of customised perspectives that show me certain aspects of my workload. The most important ones sit in the tool bar and I'm happy to have happened upon a collection of icon sets that give the OmniFocus tool bar a consistent design. You can find them over at SimplicityBliss.

  • Meetingless Standups

    Keeping the whole team in the loop about what its members are currently busy with is essential for effective collaboration. Especially for distributed teams. For them, the most common method, the daily Stand-up Meeting, doesn't work as well as it does with co-located teams. At freistil IT, we've replaced them with daily status check emails.

    In his blog post "Kill your standup, Alex Godin describes a variant of the email approach practised at Dispatch.io they call "Show and Tell". Obviously, email as a communication tool is far from dead.

  • Quick git actions with tig

    For the most common git actions like commits and branches, nothing beats the speed of the command line. But when it gets more complex, a user interface could help make things more clear and easy to manage. There are many GUIs available for git but unfortunately, they tend to get convoluted at times, which defeats their purpose.

    Now, there's a console UI that claims to be "the mutt to your Outlook, the Vim to your Emacs, the w3m to your Firefox". Its name fits its philosopy: "tig". Quick, simple, easy to remember.

    Read more about it on the Atlassian blog.

  • Cool jazz for cold weather

    I decided to spend some quiet time at the office today. After a few stressful days which made me take the tram to save time, it was time to do my 5000 steps to get into the city again.

    Inspired by David Sparks' blog post "Farewell Dave Brubeck" which I read this morning, I chose the "Time Out" album for my walking entertainment instead of my usual podcasts or audiobooks.

    I enjoyed listening to the music of the recently deceased Jazz giant very much while walking through the cold winter air. Thanks to my Stupidity Shield™ earbuds, I heard almost nothing from my surroundings and I felt like in the opening scene of "When Harry met Sally".

    The only problem with listening to Brubeck during a walk is that synchronizing your steps with the music will be difficult (and certainly awkward) with many of his songs. As David puts it:

    "Dave will be missed but people will be unsuccessfully trying to tap their feet to his music long after anyone remembers any of us. Farewell Dave."