hack attack! #1 – procrastination hack, ZohoWriter, Gmail filters

One of the purposes for this blog is also to document my implementation of GTD in my daily work and home life, so I’ve been reading up quite a bit on lifehacks – little tips and tracks to make life just that little bit easier.

After procrastinating for yonks, I decided to finally try out the procrastination (hah!) hack, or also handily called the (10+2)*5. Obviously for the time-wasters and wishy-washers like yours truly, who’d rather keep refreshing his Bloglines feeds then hunker down to actual work.

How it works is like so –
10 mins –
Do what work you have to do, you don’t have to complete it, just make progress, all you’re looking to do in the space of time is to get things out of the way.
2 mins –
Relax, do whatever you want. Take a pee break, stay at your machine and surf, check your illegal downloads… Here’s the thing, You HAVE to take the break. No working of any kind at all, uh uh.
times 5 –
Or rather, do this 4 more times, which means you’ll finish a full cycle in exactly 1 hour. Snap! You’ve just worked consistently for 50 minutes! Woot! I got like an adrenaline high for like the entire hour. Having my head focused on a task for sustained periods is quite the achievement, believe you me. Head over to 43folders for a better explanation if you can’t get past my over-exclamating.
Anyway, I got so high that I started other hacks! OK, I’m a big fan of Ajax applications; I use Gmail and Backpack religiously, I’m totally into Web 2.0 and browser-located applications.
I started transferring my notes to ZohoWriter, which is an Ajax online word processor, which pretty much has most of the basic Microsoft Word functions – bullets, indents, whatnot.

but it also has:

  • sharing (for collaborative editing)
  • importing of documents from your computer
  • exporting to doc, sxw or pdf!! (even Word can’t do this without a plug-in!)
  • emailing as doc, sxw or pdf
  • tagging (still a little buggy though, have to create every tag from scratch instead of picking from a cloud)
  • tables (also buggy, couldn’t edit once I created it)
  • auto-save with history and roll-back options
  • posting to blog, making public or doc roll (dunno what that last one is)

After I finished, I emailed the lot to myself, so I can print it all out at work tomorrow. Damn powerful for an online app lor. I’m gonna try working on this instead of Word for awhile and see how. If you want, there’s also Writely, which apparently is also quite cool.
So my adrenaline high lasts long enough that I go on to create a Gmail filter for my Zoho documents. I’m sure most of you have fiddled with them, but basically I’ve been using the filters to automatically label and archive incoming mail from specific addresses so I don’t clog up my inbox. Can’t remember where I got this hack from though.
Here’s what to do:

  • Just click create a filter (near the top of your Gmail page) and fill in the corresponding emails.
  • For example, I already get mail from WordPress whenever I get comments in my blog, so From is ‘zerotwoheroatgxxx.com’, and To is also ‘zerotwoheroatgxxx.com’
  • type in ‘comments’ in the Has the words box and click Next step.
  • check the boxes – Skip the Inbox and Apply the label (create your own, I just use ‘blog’)
  • click Update Filter and you’re done! No more clogging your inbox with mail and tag it all automatically!

Try it out, hope you find it as useful as I do.
I intend to post hacks more regularly, hopefully some original ones, so stay tuned to more hack attacks!!
(ok, last exclamation marks for the day)

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3 Responses to “hack attack! #1 – procrastination hack, ZohoWriter, Gmail filters”


  1. 1 farah January 13, 2006 at 2:30

    you are indeed the geek god i thought you were.

  2. 2 Lounge Lizard January 14, 2006 at 19:01

    Eh, I thk you’ll need to use Engrish to explain the whole lot to me…

    But I like the ZohoWriter thing. Might wanna try that.

  3. 3 vk January 16, 2006 at 19:22

    dude, that’s a chunky lot of techno-geek shit you have there. i catch no balls man.


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