Thursday, June 23, 2005

Life Hack: Brain Dump

I have been using a simple life-hack for reducing the context-switching time of my brain when I have to concentrate on more than one task at the same time. No rocket-science in there, but something useful!

Here is a screenshot:



Basically, for each task that I am working on, I have a separate instance of MS-Word running, and I have a macro called LifeHack loaded in MS-Word which inserts highlighted date and time in the document when I hit Control-E.

Since the state information is stored in the document at all times, I can quickly look up what I had been working on if I need to, and pick up from there.

Given below is the code of LifeHack. Feel free to customize it to fit your needs.

I have found this hack to work wonderfully for me. Please leave a comment and share any reusable, productivity booster life-hacks that you've invented for better time management while handling your tasks.


Sub LifeHack()
'
' LifeHack Macro
' Macro recorded 6/23/2005 by Siddharth Uppal (siddhu@gmail.com)
'
Selection.InsertDateTime DateTimeFormat:="M/d/yyyy h:mm:ss am/pm", _
InsertAsField:=False, DateLanguage:=wdEnglishUS, CalendarType:= _
wdCalendarWestern, InsertAsFullWidth:=False
Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdLine, Extend:=wdExtend
With Selection.Font
.Name = "Verdana"
.Size = 8
.Bold = True
.Italic = False
.Underline = wdUnderlineNone
.UnderlineColor = wdColorAutomatic
.StrikeThrough = False
.DoubleStrikeThrough = False
.Outline = False
.Emboss = False
.Shadow = False
.Hidden = False
.SmallCaps = False
.AllCaps = False
.Color = wdColorGray50
.Engrave = False
.Superscript = False
.Subscript = False
.Spacing = 0
.Scaling = 100
.Position = 0
.Kerning = 0
.Animation = wdAnimationNone
End With
With Selection.Font
With .Shading
.Texture = wdTextureNone
.ForegroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorLightYellow
End With
.Borders(1).LineStyle = wdLineStyleNone
.Borders.Shadow = False
End With
With Options
.DefaultBorderLineStyle = wdLineStyleSingle
.DefaultBorderLineWidth = wdLineWidth050pt
.DefaultBorderColor = wdColorAutomatic
End With
Selection.EndKey Unit:=wdLine
Selection.TypeParagraph
With Selection.Font
.Name = "Verdana"
.Size = 10
.Bold = False
.Italic = False
.Underline = wdUnderlineNone
.UnderlineColor = wdColorAutomatic
.StrikeThrough = False
.DoubleStrikeThrough = False
.Outline = False
.Emboss = False
.Shadow = False
.Hidden = False
.SmallCaps = False
.AllCaps = False
.Color = wdColorAutomatic
.Engrave = False
.Superscript = False
.Subscript = False
.Spacing = 0
.Scaling = 100
.Position = 0
.Kerning = 0
.Animation = wdAnimationNone
End With
With Selection.ParagraphFormat
With .Shading
.Texture = wdTextureNone
.ForegroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
End With
.Borders(wdBorderLeft).LineStyle = wdLineStyleNone
.Borders(wdBorderRight).LineStyle = wdLineStyleNone
.Borders(wdBorderTop).LineStyle = wdLineStyleNone
.Borders(wdBorderBottom).LineStyle = wdLineStyleNone
With .Borders
.DistanceFromTop = 1
.DistanceFromLeft = 4
.DistanceFromBottom = 1
.DistanceFromRight = 4
.Shadow = False
End With
End With
With Options
.DefaultBorderLineStyle = wdLineStyleSingle
.DefaultBorderLineWidth = wdLineWidth050pt
.DefaultBorderColor = wdColorAutomatic
End With
End Sub

5 comments:

Alpha0 said...

Doesnt it add to context that need to be switched to??

Sid said...

I'm sorry, I don't think I quite follow you here.

Sid said...

You don't necessarily have to read what you were last working on, if you're sure you remember it completely.

Abhimanyu said...

Pretty interesting...can't we have this done on "SafeSex".

Sid said...

I don't think SafeSex has support for user defined macros. But I guess it would be nice to have something that saves the documents encrypted on the disk, and minimizes itself to a button on the screen when it doesn't have user's focus to hide the contents of the document from eyes other than his own. Just that this hack sufficies for me right now, and hence I thought of sharing it.