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Quick Hits - Star Trek, losing your phone and downloading Google Tasks

Yesterday I finally watched the Season 1 Finale of Star Trek Discovery. Fitting activity for the 43rd anniversary of the premiere of the original Star Trek in 1966.  There were two echos of the Original series. I won't spoil the one, but the other was the appearance briefly of Clint Howard.  He has appeared in four of six Star Trek series. He was in the first as a seven year old.My last post, and future posts are about contingency plans for when ultimately Evernote servers are turned off (I wish them long and healthy life, but nothing is forever).  Other contingencies we have to plan for is the loss, theft, or demise of our phone.  Wired has a good article on planning for that horrible day.

Update 9/20/2018 : Irony of ironies, a few days after posting this, phone died. Thankfully I had an extended warranty, and had backed everything up.  I'd even done a factory wipe and restore from my backup a few days prior to that, so I was confident the restore would work again.

Keep backups…

Planning for a post Evernote era - Part 1

The Evernote world is aflutter this week after Tech Crunch said that following the departure of several key high level people, Evernote might be in a "death spiral".

While I hope that does not happen, even if they do survive, we should all plan for their demise.  No app and no company is forever.  Indeed, for every piece of software we use, we should ask ourselves, "Is any of the data managed by this program something I would need if this program no longer was being updated?"  And in the case of software like Evernote, if its back end servers were turned off forever.

If the data is required, we need to figure out how to get the data out of the program, and readable without the program. One should actually ask and answer the question before they begin using a new piece of software and loading our precious data into it.

I'll be writing more about this topic and Evernote. For now, know that even if Evernote shut off its servers tomorrow, your data remains in your…

Evernote's New Logo

Evernote gave itself a new look for their tenth birthday.  To read more about this, and their focus going into their second decade, check out their latest blog post.

And there is Harry McCracken's excellent piece in Fast Company about the founder of Evernote. I can remember trying out the early paper roll user interface of the first Evernote.

Microsoft Access - Track who and when records are created and updated

I'm using Microsoft Access for a project for the first time in over a decade.  The functionality is not all that different from the 2007 version I used then.  Creating tables, queries, forms and reports came back to me quickly.

The devil is, as they say, in the details.

There are a couple things I wanted my Access application to have :
Track each records date and time created, and who created itTrack each records date and time updated, and who updated it Figuring out how to do each of those things took some research and effort to figure out. 

I wanted to share in make research for others a bit easier.

This post assumes a basic understanding of Access and assumes you know how to create a table, use the Form Wizard to create a form, switch between design and standard views.

We'll also delve some into Visual Basic for Applications some, but you do need to know how to program in it, beyond typing in some short code bits.

I may have some other Access tips in the near future. Check…

Ten Years of Evernote

This blog post was set to publish exactly as the day begins on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

That is ten years to the day after my first Evernote post.

With my second note, I was already getting down to business; recording the agreement I'd come to on the phone on a minor business matter.

My affection for Evernote has not dimmed since that day ten years ago. Since then, I've accumulated about 7.8 new notes a day.
Ironically, I have needed to pull up only a few notes a year. Yet, when I need them, I need them badly and am glad to have Evernote all over again.
My philosophy of what to capture is simple : If you encounter something you might remotely want to see again, it goes into Evernote.from a blog post June 1, 2015
I've written here about Evernote than any other topic.  Even wrote a now horribly out-of-date book.
Don't get me wrong. If something better comes along that imports my Evernote notes well, I can be enticed to move.  But in ten years nothing yet has come close.
I …

I haven't forgotten my Note taking review plan

Way back in August I asked readers to help build a list of note taking apps other than Evernote that had both phone clients and a web and/or PC clients.  I intended to write an in depth review of each.

I still want to do this, but life...

I can add one new one to the list that excited me at first.

And, it has something I've always wanted: a self hosting option.

True long term survivability of our notes requires self hosting. Otherwise, we are just betting on the solvency of a software company; one of the most fragile of institutions.

With rushing excitement I signed up for Standard Notes.

Only to discover it is notes only.  No attachments.

A big use case for Evernote is as a digital filing cabinet of online receipts, copies of documents and such.  I was greatly disappointed.

I did find they want to add the feature, but will not until at least 2019.

I'll add it to this list, but can say right now unless the attachment feature is implemented when I do, it will suffer in the rati…