Sunday, March 30, 2008
GnuCash Portable is the open source financial management. It has all the same great features as most commercial money management programs (see some links on the sidebar of this blog) and more.
Some of its features include:
- Double-Entry Accounting
- Bank/Liability/Expense Accounts
- Stock/Bond/Mutual Fund Accounts
- Small-Business Accounting (Customers, Vendors, Jobs, Invoices, Accounts Payable/Receivable)
- QIF/OFX/HBCI Import, Transaction Matching
- Reports, Graphs
- Scheduled Transactions
- Financial Calculations
You can also visit the Project page for GNUCash (gnucash.org), with a good Documentation section and a tour of the program through screenshots / features.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
This kind of chart is an invaluable tool when you have to plan complex projects that must be developed in specific time spans and with clear dependences. You can break down your project into a tree of tasks and assign human resources that have to work on each task, identifying which are the dependencies between tasks, and the time frames for each, deciding which tasks can't start until some other taks is finished.
Quoting from a Project management article,
The project schedule is the core of the project plan. It is used by the project manager to commit people to the project and show the organization how the work will be performed. Schedules are used to communicate final deadlines and, in some cases, to determine resource needs. They are also used as a kind of checklist to make sure that every task necessary is performed. If a task is on the schedule, the team is committed to doing it. In other words, the project schedule is the means by which the project manager brings the team and the project under control.GanttProject renders your project using two charts: Gantt chart for tasks and resource load chart for resources. You may print your charts, generate PDF and HTML reports, exchange data with Microsoft(R) Project(TM) and spreadsheet applications...
This screenshot of the program, lifted from their website, gives an idea of what GanttProject is about —this specific example is a building project:
There is a similar program called Open Workbench, with an impressive feature list. SmartDraw also has a nice feature set for Gantt charts. And you might want to check out other Gantt chart tools for Mac or PC.
If you are a Linux Ubuntu (with KDE desktop, or Kubuntu) you can use KPlato, which is opensource and completely free to use. Its features include:
- Gantt chart with task list and resource allocations per task.
- Resource view with task allocations per resource.
- Accounts view showing planned cost with configurable cut-off date and periodicity.
- Tasks are organized in a work breakdown structure (WBS).
- Resources are organized in a resource breakdown structure (RBS).
- Accounts are organized in a cost breakdown structure (CBS).
- Gantt chart can optionally show:
- Task links (dependencies).
- Task name.
- Allocated resources.
- Float (slack).
- Critical path.
- Critical tasks.
- Progress (% completion).
- Summarytasks, Tasks, and milestones are supported.
- Dialogs to create and edit the project, the different types of tasks, calendars, resources, accounts and progress.
- Task links can be of types: Finish to Start, Finish toFinish or Start to Start. All types can have a time lag defined.
- Different scheduling constraints are supported:
See more details and download the program at the KOffice project page. As you know, there are several ways to install programs in Ubuntu, and it is getting more and more trouble-free every day. Choose what is best for you.
Then there are several online, or web-based, applications for Project Management. Dotproject
is a PHP + MySQL opensource solution, with excellent documentation and online courseware. If you have a Dreamhost hosting account you can install it with their one-click install utility. Super-easy!
More information about Gantt Charts in the Wikipedia article. Also in the Wikipedia, a list of Project management software.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
My favourite mind-mapping software is the open source Freemind, but I also use some online tools such as Mindomo and Bubbl.us.
Mindomo is a versatile Web-based mind mapping tool, delivering the capabilities of desktop mind mapping software in a Web browser, and it gives you complete freedom to access your maps in your Web browser from home, school or work.
Bubbl.us is probably the simplest way to brainstorm online: it's extremely easy to use and has almost no learning curve. The intuitive user interface lets anyone brainstorm and organize ideas without getting in the way. The mind maps created with Bubbl.us can be shared and edited collaboratively.
Monday, March 17, 2008
You can type simple or rich text, alone or mixed in any way you want with images. The entries may also include information such as tabular data (spreadsheets), URLs, passwords, contacts, calendar events, catalogs, files... like in this example taken from the developer's page:A good tool for organizing your digital life! What's better, this application is portable (ckeck out the Portable Freeware collection entry.)
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Sveglia is a simple alarm clock. With Sveglia is possible to activate an alarm, run a program, shutdown or restart the Pc at certain time. The alarm can pop up a sound file in mp3 and other formats.
Citrus alarm clock also has this nice touch of playing the music you choose. Set as many different alarms as you'd like; MP3, WMA, and any other media types are for which you have the right media player installed; fade in alarm audio for relaxed awakening; mute audio overnight until alarm time; easy to use and free
A great place to find similar utilities is the Productivity section in Portable Freeware, where the applications discussed can be run in portable form, that is, without installation. Just place them in a folder, either in your computer or in a USB stick, and go.
There are dozens of related utilities in Softpedia, searching the term "alarm".
Friday, March 14, 2008
My GTD (Getting things done) illustrations
I conceived this blog basically to share my visual side notes of the Getting things done process. My most recent posts about GTD software and related topics have “masked” the original posts.
Here's a miniature with most of my sketches: this is what you will find, commented and in larger sizes, in those previous posts.
See also the article about GTD drawings.