New WordPress Theme: Revolution Theme

Posted on February 6th, 2008 by Merlin.
Categories: Announcement, Communication, Firefox, Journaling, Money, Search Engine, Web Service, Wordpress, working.

Normally I would not be writing about a New WordPress Theme – But I felt I should mention it as I am considering purchasing this for possible use here. I really love the look and feel of this theme. It really is very clean looking, easy to navigate, brings more information to the front page, hopfully will get the reader more involved in the blog. (Yes, You – Please comment and let me know what you think) – I do write to help me understand different topics more, and I love sharing any of the information I learn about. That is why I started Merlin’s Tower. Yes, I like seeing what I created and written on the web. And Why not share any bit of information your learn with others. So, they can learn from your mistakes and highs as well.

So here is The WordPress Revolution Theme – This really would be good for most informational blogs. I really love the wordpress magazine theme. Yes, this theme does cost some money but I really think this developer deserves to be paid as this really is a great looking set of themes.

The Revolution Theme: Revolution News Theme This is the Revolution News Theme: To Quote the website: “This theme is a great solution for those who want the online newspaper look similar to websites such as CNN News, US World News & World Report, etc.”

This really is a nice WordPress News Theme: Supports Ads, Widgets, and Fully Customizable

Revolution Magazine ThemeOn the Right is the Revolution Magazine Theme: “This theme is perfect for those who want to publish an online magazine. It’s built for daily posting, displaying video and is easily monetized with ads.” This really is one Classy looking WordPress Magazine Theme. I like the look and the layout of this theme.

This is a possible choice for me to use.

The Revolution Theme: Revolution Tech Theme for WordPress

Here is the Revolution Theme called Revolution Tech Theme.

The Revolution Tech Theme: “This theme is ideal for the Techcrunch fan, and who wants their site to feature a technology, focusing on the latest tech news, product reviews, etc.”

This is the theme for someone that will be starting a technology blog. A few of the blogs I frequent could use this. This is not for me but it too is a classy theme for wordpress.

The Revolution Theme: Revolution Sports Theme for WordPressThe last theme that Revolution Theme has is the Revolution Sports Theme: “Here’s a great way to turn your site into a major sports news/infromation hub. Feature sports like Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey and more.” A friend of mine is thinking about starting a golf blog and this would be a good place to start for him. Again words are not enough to describe this theme. A very nice clean and professional looking theme for wordpress.

All of these themes really take wordpress to the next level and take it from just being another blog and transforming it into a true CMS (Content Management Solution) that gives a really beautiful look and feel to wordpress. Please support Brian Gardner and his Revolution Themes: Revolution Tech, Revolution Magazine, Revolution Sports, or Revolution News and his soon to be released Revolution Pro Theme. Again these will work with widgets and are all fully customizable.

So, People let me know what you think and visit the Revolution Theme Site and Support Brian Gardner in all of his Theme Building.

The Revolution Theme WordPress Theme: Taking WordPress to a Higher Level


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Notetaking and Organization – How I got sucked in.

Posted on August 29th, 2006 by Merlin.
Categories: Communication, GTD, Hack, Journaling, Miquelrius, Moleskine, Search Engine, Tutorial, working.

You can read and read many different blogs and forums and there are many different ways to take notes and organize yourself.

I have read them – in fact many of the blogs are in RSS reader and I take a peak at them when I have a few moments of time. – I don’t know why but I enjoy learning new hints and tips to help me organize myself better.

A few years back I discovered writing in small journals and notebooks. I started out writing in Steno Pads that we had at work. These are great for taking quick notes and organizing myself for the day when ever I would receive a phone call or work on a issue – In the notebook it went – I was going through quite a few notebooks as you can guess. I then would take the info that was relative to an issue and the rewrite it into my permanent notebook (This is after I gave up using a PDA – Great for searching out data but hard to input and harder to always sync and keep the battery fresh. Basically a pain in the rear end.) My permanent notebook was a journal I picked up the local bookstore in Downtown Pittsburgh near my bus stop. I loved the small size and the quad ruled paper that it had it in. This was my first Miquelrius Journal. I actually first saw this at the computer help desk where I saw one of the techs using one while on the phone easily looking up past issues and their resolution she made organization look so easy. I asked her about it and this I believe was the down fall of me purchasing notebooks and pens. She showed me a few of the ways she organized it and followed her lead. She always numbered each page. (Which I also read on quite a few blogs) She used alot of sticky notes to lead her to the correct area of her notebook to help her solve one of her cases. She was always faster then trying to find the info in the database that was given to them to try and do what she was doing in her notebook.

It was hard for me to start writing in the notebook journal as it was so pristine and I guess I felt intimidated looking at all those blank pages staring back at me. To make my process of writing in the journal one step closer was to number all the pages – Well not all but in the bottom right hand corner I would number ever other page. 1 – 3 – 5 – 7 – 9 – 11 ……….

Then I would draw and comment on the inside flap what I was using this journal for. (I read this somewhere and it really does help get over the new notebook jitters) I now no longer had a pristine journal but a personalized organization system. (Ok Ok the start of one)

The next step was to keep a hard copy of all the number I had in my cell phone. Since I was no longer syncing my pda or carrying it with me I needed a way to have all my numbers with me where I could find them. So, What I did was to divide my notebook up into smaller sections. First Section was for Business – Second section was for Personal Notes – and Third was General Info. The Phone number went into the third section. I took and wrote out all my phone numbers and that was the start of my notebook. After I finished writing out all my numbers I then took several high liters and highlited the names of the people I just wrote down. Pink was Personal – Blue was Business – Yellow was the important numbers. This little step helped me look over the list of over 300 numbers and spot the frequently called numbers that much easier.

Next I did a step similar to my friends – I made an index section – I marked about 10 pages in the back of the notebook to just be cross reference data / Index of what I wrote. Say I wote in my personal section all the birthdays of all my friends and family – something I don’t use on a daily basis – I wrote it down in the index – Birthdays and Anniversaries – p105 – List of Past Christmas Presents – p157 (Whew no more embarrassing buying the same gift 2 years in a row)

This was the basic startup of how I started the analog way. This did take me some time getting used to writing in my notebook and once I got used to finding the data. I believe I was faster and more organized as I didn’t mind jotting a quick note down in my journal. But turning on the PDA removing the stylus getting to the right program – creating a new note – naming it and then finally being able to use graffiti to jot the note down. Since it was that much easier I was writing and documenting more instead of trying to remember it all. I didn’t always jot the notes down into the index so I would do a weekly round up that out remembered from one of the organization meetings I got to go to. I would go through my notes and it I thought it was worth noting I wrote it down in the index and noted the page. This also allowed me to cross reference some of the info. So, if I ran out of room on a page and needed to write more I would just make a note of the page I had additional info on and highlight it. I believe this is what started me reading more about organization and note taking. I wanted to be better at it then I was. And I am pretty sure that is the same reason you read so far in this long winded entry. In the next few days I will write about my modified Cornell Note Taking system. So be sure to stop back and comment here and let me know some of the tips you are using. Or if you think you might have a better way to do something I wrote about Please let me know I love to learn some more tricks and hacks. I know these hint and hacks really did work for me  – I still use this daily in my own business working on websites and in my computer services. My clients are amazed that I am so low tech with my fountain pen and little black journal.
Thanks for Reading.
Digital Alan – Merlins Tower

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The Digital Secretary

Posted on July 22nd, 2006 by Merlin.
Categories: Communication, Gadgets, GTD, Hack, working.


You may be wondering “The Digital Secretary” hmmm is he off his rocker?

Well – Some people my say yes – But that is not the case here. :-)

What I am talking about is the new version of Dragon Naturally Speaking 9.0 Just released this week. Looks like my search for a secretary is now over as I can now easily write my emails and blogs easier using this software.

Want some more info: Check out the NYTimes Article “Like Having a Secretary in your PC

Some Highlights:

98.9 Percent Accuracy right out of the box without any training.
…… – That is 11 Words out of 1000 Words
99.4 Percent Accuracy after Reading the Training Script.
…… – That is Only Six errors on the page.

The Program Gets Smarter as you use it and use it to correct the errors. So Over Time the Accuracy Improves.

The Basic Version is around $100 Dollars
Available in several different versions (Legal, Medical and Professional)

The $900 Professional Version allows complete control over your PC.

Upgrade from Version 8 – Very few Differences

Tried Dictation Software in the past? Version 9 is a stronger argument then ever that for anyone who can’t or doesn’t like to type dictation software is ready for prime time – the state of this art has attained Nearly “Star Trek” polish.

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De Clutter and GTD – Shred your Sensitive Documents

Posted on May 22nd, 2006 by Merlin.
Categories: Gadgets, GTD, working.

cross cut paper shredderI have been needing a paper shredder for quite some time. I have been storing all my sensitive and personal documents that I didn’t want to just throw out.

I have been putting off buying a shredder for a while. Well until I found this one. As always I will not just buy something. I have to do the research first and see what is best for the money I am going to be spending.

I came up with is the Aurora 10-sheet Crosscut Paper Shredder. I chose this one because it will do a nice smaller sized Crosscut Shred as opposed to the traditional straight paper cut. This just makes it that much harder to see my sensitive papers.

The other feature I really wanted was a way to destroy my backup cds once they were no longer needed. I tried breaking them in half but that almost sent me to the hospital with the little slivers flying everywhere and I then had to vacuum up really well as I didn’t want to step in the small shards of CDs.

This unit will do 10 sheets at a time. Some of the others in this price range was only 4 or 5 sheets.

As I mentioned this will shred CDs into un-usable strips of plastic. (Also shredding Credit Cards.) As I really didn’t want anyone trying to get my records and backup info off cds I burned. And this way is just so much safer.

I feel this will help me cut down (Pun intended) on my clutter I have accumulated. I have stacks of items I wanted to throw out but hesitated as it had confidential material on it.

Keeping with the Getting Things Done (GTD) point of view. I am de-cluttering my office by finally being able to rid myself of piles of junk mail.

To top off this – Shredding can be really relaxing. I enjoyed sitting at the shredder destroying years of my personal history. (Insert Evil Laugh Here)

So Go and Buy yourself one today. You will not regret it.


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GTD Plastic Bleachers for Hipster PDA

Posted on May 8th, 2006 by Merlin.
Categories: GTD, Hack, working.

plastic gtd bleachersI am always looking for more ways to organize my self and I love using the GTD HipsterPDA Index Card Set from DIYPlanner. I do love the Levenger Bleachers but I don’t want to pay that much for them. There is not much info on this item. I found this Photo on Flickr. As I find out more on this I will post it here for all. Looks like this will be a nice alternative to the Levenger Bleacher for the 3×5 cards.

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1 comment.

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50 Strategies for Making Yourself Work

Posted on January 26th, 2006 by Merlin.
Categories: Consulting, GTD, Web Service, working.

Dollar Sign.jpg

50 Strategies for Making Yourself Work

This article is geared for the writer but I found this information useful for my line of work – I do computer consulting and design websites for a living. But if I procrastinate I don’t get paid. This article has some good tips on getting the most out of your time. One Tip I liked was to pay yourself for the time working. So If I didn’t work – I don’t get paid. Very simple ideas but once you see them in black and white they sort of make sense. Don’t know if I will use all 50 but it is a great way to get your but back in gear.


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