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Thursday, November 3 at 12:05 PM
During the last year, as I've been attempting a simplification my life, one realisation has hit me over and over again: the life that I lead - as a student, and as a citizen of a large city and a western-world country - has left me with the task of having to regularly process a lot of information very quickly.

I have readings to do and assignments to complete weekly, and at certain times of the year, almost daily. Add to that the amount of commuting I do, and - as I'd rather not be ignorant - the usual amounts of news and the like. Of course, there's a little bit of fun thrown in as well.

My point is, I find myself more often than not overwhelmed with the things I'm doing. Or rather, it's not the doing that's troubling me but the making sure that things get done. It's just too easy to get distracted or misprioritise my schedule. And doing so often leads to disasters like last minute papers and missed appointments and classes; the kinds of things most students take as a given when approaching university life.

But I'd rather not lead my life that way. So, I've been attempting to streamline the information and the amount of information that I take in daily. And things are slowly beginning to smoothen out.

Of course, you're wondering where I'm going with this. Or maybe you're not. Well, I'm going to tell you anyway. I've decided that - drum roll please - every week I will post a bit on one tip, or trick, or particular piece of software/hardware that I've found helpful in my quest to simplify. Just like last week's post on the Hipster PDA.

But a disclaimer: Since around 95% of my computing time is spent on my PowerBook, most (and probably all) of the software I talk about will be for the Macintosh. Sorry Windows users - it's nothing personal.

And now, on to today's little piece of software: Library Books.

A couple of days ago, I was looking at the UofT Library website and found to my horror that I had an overdue book. How did this happen? I know I renewed it! Well, obviously, I didn't renew it. So that left me a little miffed, and I began to think...

What I want is a way for me to keep track of all the books I've borrowed from the library - both university and public. And, I want this information to be entered into my calendar so that I can be notified when they come due.

Following this profound thought, I did a little googling and found that such an app does indeed exists. For the Macintosh, at least.

Library Books is a menubar item. (The Apple equivalent of the system tray.) I add my library accounts to it and it checks the appropriate websites at a specific interval and tells me if I have any books out and when I have to return them. It also syncs with iCal, the OS X scheduling app.

And, as luck would have it, it supports both the Toronto Public Library System and University of Toronto Libraries. And it's free. As in free beer. And that, makes me quite the happy camper.

So, check it out, download it, give it a try, and never have a reason for missing your due dates. And once again, sorry Windows users. I'll see if I can find something similar for you.

Everybody Hurts Lyrics
R.E.M.
Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe

When your day is long
And the night,
The night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough
Of this life, well hang on.
Don't let yourself go,
'cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts
Sometimes.

Sometimes everything is wrong.
Now it's time to sing along--
When your day is night alone, hold on
If you feel like letting go,
If you think you've had too much
Of this life, well hang on.

‘cause everybody hurts.
Take comfort in your friends.
Everybody hurts.

Don't throw your hand. Oh, no.
Don't throw your hand.
If you feel like you're alone,
no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own
In this life,
The days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much
Of this life to hang on.
Well, everybody hurts
Sometimes
Everybody cries
Everybody hurts, sometimes
Everybody hurts, sometimes

So, hold on
Hold on

My apologies for speeling spelling and grammar errors. This was done in a hurry. I will fix.

Hope you're having a fantastic day.
Chris: Just read your "mud thick" post. I clicked on the Timothy's Link and reazlied that THAT"s where we got coffee from in our early Oct Canada trip... realyl really good coffee... i'll have to write about it sometime...

And we loved aLgonquin. you shoudl go if you havne't been. - BENJ
Anonymous Anonymous at 11/04/2005 08:45:00 AM  
1 Comments:
Chris: Just read your "mud thick" post. I clicked on the Timothy's Link and reazlied that THAT"s where we got coffee from in our early Oct Canada trip... realyl really good coffee... i'll have to write about it sometime...

And we loved aLgonquin. you shoudl go if you havne't been. - BENJ
Anonymous Anonymous at 11/04/2005 08:45:00 AM