Manny Rodriguez

Me in 10 seconds 

I'm into meditation and enjoy quiet and stillness. I'm a minimalist. 

I study martial arts. Kung fu balances out my clumsy side and tight hip flexors. 

I'm a computer geek. I practice back end web programming and sometimes even enjoy debugging. 

I'm into GTD. I'm a spontaneous planner!

I'm a gearhead. I love driving, wrenching on cars, watching old episodes of Top Gear, and sightseeing in junkyards.

I love being outside, and have recently discovered the joys of KOA campgrounds during road trips.

I'm an ISFJ on the MBTI, and a Libra. Most of the time.

Show and Tell


macOS Automator: Supporting Intentional Computing

I do a lot on my computer. Sometimes, it feels like too much. 

I don't like the feeling when I spend too much aimless time in front of a screen. It brings on a tiredness, a sense of feeling drained even when I haven't done very much.

One thing that really helps me with this is having only the apps open that I need for what I am doing at the moment.

So, if I'm planning -- I want to have OmniFocus, my calendar, and Evernote open. That's it.

I'm I'm working, then it's Terminal, Sublime Text, and a blank browser window.

Having only what I need on my screen improves my focus and helps me keep my sanity.

It also makes it easier to get into the zone: It's so much easier to gain momentum when I'm starting from a blank desktop with nothing open, rather than whatever is up from my last session.

However, closing and opening apps one at a time can be a lot of work!

Automator is an app that comes with macOS that makes it easy to script repeat tasks. It has a graphical interface that's quite inituitive once you get the hang of it. 

I've created Automator scripts for each of the 'modes' that I might use my comptuer for, including planning, banking, and working. Each of those scripts opens the only the apps I need for that mode. 

Another script, 'Nuke', immediately closes all opem apps. This makes it easy to get to a blank screen.

These scripts have changed how I use my computer. Instead of multitasking with lots of unrelated stuff open, it's much easier to be in the mode of doing just one thing and having exactly what I need for that.

This post on Lifewire has a great intro to Automator and how to use it to write scripts that launch and close apps.

Camera to Inbox on iPhone: Automated!

My favorite part of being a GTD practitioner is cultivating the habit of quick capture. This means not holding on to things you want to remember in the mind by capturing them somewhere instead.

One of my favorite ways to capture is with my camera phone. 

Just the other day, I was at the market and saw a flyer about a board game meetup. Awesome! Just snap a picture and all the info is there for me when I'm in front of my calendar.

Unfortunately, that means I need to process my camera roll as another inbox. The game night may pass me by because it can take me a while to sort through the pictures I take. Deep down I know this, so it's still an open loop in my brain.

For OmniFocus users (an awesome GTD app for Mac and iOS!) I found a really helpful post if the OmniFocus forum describing how to use Workflow to totally automate the process of taking a photo and having it end up in your OmniFocus Inbox. It includes 90% of the work to get you there.

Thanks, chrisvacc!