Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Extension Watch: EuroOffice Sparklines

Feb 13, 2009 GMT

The EuroOffice Sparklines extension for OpenOffice.org is a bit of a one-trick pony, but the trick it does is a rather clever one. It allows you to turn data in a Calc spreadsheet into a sparklines graph. Sparklines are "intense, simple, word-sized graphics" (Sparklines: theory and practice, Edward Tufte). According to Wikipedia, sparklines allow you to "present trends and variations associated with some measurement, such as average temperature or stock market activity, in a simple and condensed way." Once installed, the EuroOffice Sparklines extension lets you instantly turn a row of data in...
Track Time with Klok

Feb 12, 2009 GMT

If you are looking for an excuse to install and test Adobe AIR, here is one -- Klok, a sleek and easy to use time tracking tool designed for freelancers and small businesses. Despite being a lightweight application, Klok is packed with useful features that can help you to track the time you spend on your projects with utmost efficiency. Obviously, to make Klok work on your system, you have to install Adobe AIR first. Fortunately, this can be done in a few simple steps. Go to the Adobe AIR download page, grab the Linux version of the installer and save it in your home directory. Run the installer in the terminal using the ./AdobeAIRInstaller.bin command. Download the latest version of...
Shutter (aka GScrot): Screenshot Utility on Steroids

Feb 06, 2009 GMT

Writing computer-related tutorials, documentation, articles, etc., is virtually impossible without a good utility for taking screenshots -- and Shutter (formerly known as GScrot) has all the features you could possible need. For starters, Shutter sports a tabbed interface, so you can work with several screenshots at the same time. Like any screenshot utility worth its salt, Shutter allows you to grab a selected area, a window section, and a full window. Besides that, Shutter has a rather nifty feature that allows you to take a screenshot of an entire Web page. To do this, press the Web button in Shutter's main...
Extension Watch: Track Your Writing Progress with EuroOffice My Progress

Feb 04, 2009 GMT

For those who write for a living, a tool for keeping track of writing progress can come in rather handy in many situations. If you are a freelancer, knowing how much time you spent on a specific document can help you to bill your customers. And the ability to identify productivity peaks provides an invaluable tool for more efficient writing. All of this and much more is possible thanks to the EuroOffice My Progress (EOMP) extension for OpenOffice.org. Once installed, the extension adds two items to the Tools menu: Track My Progress and Display My Progress. The former enables tracking for the currently opened...
Managing Tasks with Avant Window Navigator

Jan 30, 2009 GMT

Avant Window Navigator (AWN) isn't just a pretty launch bar: add a couple of applets and you can use AWN to read RSS feeds, monitor system resources, and even manage tasks and to-dos. The latter is possible thanks to two applets: Remember The Milk (RTM) and To-Do List. As you might have guessed, the RTM applet provides a simple interface to Remember The Milk -- probably the most popular and innovative Web-based task manager out there. Using the applet, you can view and edit existing tasks as well as add new tasks right from AWN. If you...
Extend Gedit with Plugins

Jan 29, 2009 GMT

While Gedit is not the most advanced text editor out there, you can expand its basic functionality using plugins. Not sure which plugins to install? The 13 Plugins to Make Gedit a More Useful Text Editor article provides an overview of the best Gedit plugins, including my personal favorites Align and Auto Complete.
Five Applications for Netbook Bliss

Jan 24, 2009 GMT

Want to beef up the software bundle that comes with your Linux-based Netbook? Here are five nifty applications and tools that are worth a closer look. Day Planner When you are on the move, you probably don't need a fancy do-it-all PIM application. In many cases, a no-frills utility which can help you to keep track of your daily activities is really all you need. If this is what you need, then Day Planner is for you. Day Planner's interface is refreshingly simple, and you can start adding events right away. The application supports three types of events: Normal, All day, and Birthday. The agenda pane below the calendar displays a list of upcoming events, so you can keep track of future...

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