Netninja site changes: Hipster PDA & Code

Background

I have talked about my rela­tion­ship with the Hipster PDA for years.  It is a sort of love/hate thing.  I find that the basics are invalu­able.  I really love all the beau­ti­ful lit­tle tem­plates and forms that peo­ple have made for the 3″ x 5″ form fac­tor.  Alas, I find that most — if not all — of those tem­plates are all but use­less to me.  A blank page has so much poten­tial.  ANYTHING you can think of (well, that fits between the mar­gins) can go on there.  Once you start adding fill-in lines and check boxes and cal­en­dars and what­not, its util­ity becomes less gen­er­al­ized and more spe­cific.  You sud­denly have to carry around blank index cards, blank Form X cards, blank Form Y cards, blank Form Z cards, and what­not.  Uh-oh, I ran out of todo-list forms.  I guess I can’t do any­thing until I print out more.

That being said, I am going to get all hyp­o­crit­i­cal and men­tion the forms I have cre­ated for myself.  They work for me, they may not work for you.  Before I do that, though, I am going to men­tion the changes to Netninja.com.

Yesterday’s Changes

Yesterday, when adding sev­eral new Hipster PDA tem­plates to the site, I real­ized that one giant page with all the tem­plates had become a less-than-ideal way of pre­sent­ing them.  I rearranged things (thank you, WordPress as a con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem!) so that a top-level index led you to the indi­vid­ual PDF sheets.  In doing this, I also real­ized that the “Projects” sec­tion of my site is exclu­sively related to code I have writ­ten — except for the Hipster PDA “project,” which is, effec­tively, a bunch of PDF forms to print.  I decided to pro­mote those to a new top-level nav­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy.  If you are read­ing this on the site (as opposed to in your RSS news­reader), you will see the new “Hipster PDA” tab up top.

I also tweaked the front page of Netninja.com to bet­ter call out inter­est­ing and pop­u­lar projects.  Previously, it was a dynamic list of recently updated project pages, but in look­ing through my logs I real­ized that few peo­ple care that the crude JavaScript-Minesweeper pro­to­type was updated recently if that causes more pop­u­lar things like LJProxy, wmap, or the Hipster PDA pages to drop off the list.

The New Hipster PDA Section Introduction

The fol­low­ing is the intro­duc­tion to the new top-level Hipster PDA sec­tion of Netninja.com.  It cov­ers what I men­tioned above, but in a lit­tle more detail.

Over the years, I have been a big fan of pro­duc­tiv­ity tools. Back in the day, I would drool over the vari­ety of dayrun­ner fold­ers and their page inserts. Later, it was pro­duc­tiv­ity soft­ware. After that, sys­tems and frame­works and gim­micks and what­not. I kind of stopped when I hit the “Hipster PDA.” Admittedly, I did not imme­di­ately stop there. I played with all the tem­plates, espe­cially the D*I*Y Planner tem­plates. There is so much poten­tial, so much hope, in those tem­plates. I fell in love with the idea of those tem­plates, but dis­cov­ered most of them were just not as use­ful or flex­i­ble as a blank index card. As cool as they are, I had to give up most of those tem­plates.

I dis­cov­ered that, for me, there are two main types of Hipster PDA index cards that are use­ful. Your mileage may vary, but for me, there are two:

  1. The blank card. Okay, tech­ni­cally, I pre­fer the graph paper index cards from Levenger because I’m a nerdy engi­neer, but most peo­ple would con­sider these “blank.”
  2. The pre-printed ref­er­ence card. There are times when I want to have some­thing on-hand to look up at a moment’s notice. And I really do mean a moment’s notice — not take out the iPhone, turn it on, enter the lock code, launch Evernote, search for the note I’m look­ing for, then open it.

The blank card is just that. There is no sys­tem or tem­plate that can help there. The pre-printed ref­er­ence card is mainly cus­tomized to me and my life, but might be use­ful to oth­ers — or at the very least, may serve as inspi­ra­tion. For instance, I have one for work as a ref­er­ence for things like model num­bers and pro­gram­ming con­stants that is of lit­tle inter­est out­side the work­place. I have a pre-printed shop­ping list where I can just tick off the things I need; the items are spe­cific to me and my life but oth­ers may find them use­ful. The style, with dif­fer­ent items, could work for oth­ers.

The New Templates

You will have to hit up the Hipster PDA tem­plate list­ing to view all tem­plates, old and new.  Yesterday’s newly added tem­plates include:

Scrabble Cheat Sheet

thumbnailThe Scrabble Cheat Sheet is a ref­er­ence of high-scoring and unique words in Scrabble. This includes Q-without-U, words with large num­bers of con­so­nants, and large num­bers of vow­els.

Portland Map

thumbnailThis is the first revi­sion of a not-quite-to-scale down­town Portland map with the bus routes and stops that I am pri­mar­ily inter­ested in. It served well over Christmas, in that I could mark down the loca­tions of stores I rarely fre­quent. I know the loca­tions I typ­i­cally go to and their prox­im­ity to bus stops, but needed a good memory-jog for those rarely-visited loca­tions.

Title Page

thumbnailThe Title Page is a quick ref­er­ence of my con­tact infor­ma­tion as well as a phone list for impor­tant num­bers. It serves three pur­poses. First, I never remem­ber my own phone num­ber, so it’s nice to have it avail­able at a glance. Second, if my phone (where I keep all of my phone num­bers) breaks and I need to call some­one for help from another phone, I have impor­tant num­bers. Third, if I’m found uncon­scious in a ditch, the author­i­ties can see who to call.

Posted in: Code

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