Tag Archives: Personal Information Management

Monket Calendar: Web-based iCal Calendar Editor

In my recent searches for an alternative to PHP iCalendar, I came across a very cool application called Monket Calendar by Karl O’Keeffe. After reading through the description of the application, I was very impressed by what it proposes that it can do. Some of the items include the following:

  • Ability to View *and* modify iCal calendars
  • Drag and drop interface to move calendar events
  • Change start/end dates by re-sizing the event without a page refresh

A lot of these features are very attractive because it makes Monket Calendar a direct competitor to would be killer apps such as Mozilla Sunbird, for it’s ability to modify remote calendars, and PHP iCalendar, which is great for viewing remote calendars, but does not provide an ability to make changes to them.

Some may argue that Mozilla Sunbird still has the advantage of being a stand-alone application that does not require a webserver or services and libraries such as PHP and AJax to run. I would argue that what makes Mozilla Sunbird such a great application is its ability to interact with shared calendars located on remote servers via WebDav or FTP. Of course, the overhead of having to install and configure Apache, PHP4, and Ajax support would probably turn most users away from Monket Calendar. However, if a calendar can be accessed and updated from the website it is hosted in the first place, it wouldn’t make much sense to run a local application to download the calendar’s events, unless you have dial-up or have a requirement to work offline for long periods of time.

Further Reading:

Monket Calendar
www.monket.net

Mozilla Sunbird Project
http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird/index.html

PHP iCalendar Project
http://phpicalendar.net/

More Than Just Another Todo List

Recently I whipped up a simple PHP/SQLite based Todo List application for myself, as I didn’t like the Todo Lists available on my Blackberry, or on Mozilla Sunbird.

In passive discussion with some of my colleagues at VMware, the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” came up. The book is a great read if you take it with a grain of salt. I haven’t read the book in a while, but it does contain many good time management and life management tidbits.

In any event, we discussed one of the topics in the book pertaining to tasks, and ranking or prioritization of tasks that needed to get done. In the book, Stephen Covey discusses charting tasks (or Todo Items) in an Urgency/Importance graph. Urgent tasks, or tasks that needed to get done quickly, but were not overly important, would rank higher on the Urgency scale. Tasks that were Important, but did not necessarily need to be done right away would rank higher on the Importance scale, and lower on the Urgency scale.

The Todo List I wrote utilizes this underlying methodology for organizing Todo List items, and so, Items that are both important and urgent would appear higher than those of less importance or urgency.

I’ve only had to use my custom Todo List for a while to realize how much more functional it was compared to the standard Todo Lists available today on most PDAs and Personal Information Management systems.

I have to do some code cleanup before I release the application for public consumption. I just wanted to start a discussion on the topic to guage interest, and to see if anyone else has taken it upon themselves to develop a more usable alternative to the standard linear Todo Lists currently available.

Designing Finance Management Software

I’ve been playing with the idea of developing finance management software. Mostly this idea stems from my own need to manage my finances better. Beyond that however, I am interested in expense tracking, savings, and projections.

Businesses usually employ chartered accountants or excel savvy office administrators to do a lot of what I’m talking about. And I understand that its not just a matter of fancy software, but staying on top of your tracking and expense reporting. However, I believe that a system can be developed that can force (or motivate) it’s users to manage their finances better.
Continue reading Designing Finance Management Software

Learning Java For Freemind

I’m trying to do some fast track learning of Java programming so that I can extend some of the functionality of Freemind. There are many features that I think would be extremely useful, but I don’t think the current developers are going to get around to them anytime soon. I asked for some guidance on the Open Discussion forum at freemind.sourceforge.net, but didn’t get much help, so it looks like I’m on my own!

Click Here to read the message I posted to the forum.

At Work, on The Road, at Home… Practical, Non-intrusive Solutions to Data Syncing

Data syncing has been a recurring problem for me for as long as I can remember. Reading and modifying documents at work, and then trying to access these documents at home can be a pain in the ass unless you get into the regular habit of copying these documents to your USB key, or to your laptop. When you are ready to work on these documents at home, you have copy these documents off your device, do your work, then save them documents back to the device so that you will have an updated copy when you go back to work. Continue reading At Work, on The Road, at Home… Practical, Non-intrusive Solutions to Data Syncing