Use a password safe to store your medication info

A list of antibiotics with colour-coded labels

You know what it’s like—you’re not feeling well, you’re sitting in the GP’s surgery and she’s just asked if you’re okay with Penicillin.

Your mind goes blank.

I don’t know, am I? Shouldn’t your GP have this information on file?

SafeInCloud

Something that I’ve been doing for years is keep a track of all my prescribed medication on my mobile device. At first this was a database on my Psion PDA, now it’s in my password manager application of choice, SafeInCloud.

I will always update my medication repository in SafeInCloud whenever I am prescribed something. I tend to do this on my desktop PC but as my password manager file is automatically synchronised between my desktop PC, laptop and Android smartphone, I have the information wherever I go, including sitting in the GP surgery.

Template

SafeInCloud allows me to create a custom template to consistently capture the information I need. My drugs template has an icon of medicine capsules and the following fields:

Editing the Drugs template in SafeInCloud
  • Drug name
  • Drug type
  • Dose (mg)
  • Prescribed for—a quick summary to remind me why I was given it.
  • OK?—Was I okay with this medication or were there some issues?
  • Side effects
  • When to take—e.g. two hours before food
  • Take with—e.g. drink with water
  • Avoid—e.g. avoid milk
  • First prescribed—how long have I been using this?
  • Last prescribed—how long ago did I have it?
  • Website—I want more information about this

Colour coding

I also use colour coding on the icons as a quick way to see whether I’m okay with these drugs.

  • Grey means that I saw no effect from this medication.
  • Green means that I’m fine with these drugs.
  • Yellow means that I’m mostly okay but I do suffer some mild side effects.
  • Red means that I have an allergy or serious side effects.

Conclusion

I find this really useful. I no longer have to rely on my memory, especially for some of the more obscure medications. I suspect you should be able to do something similar in other password manager applications.

How I start my weekly review

A white mug of coffee with the word begin written on it sits on a wooden table.

Above: photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Every Sunday evening I sit down to review the previous week and plan the week ahead. This is my weekly review, a discipline that I adopted after reading Sally McGhee’s book Take Back Your Life in 2003.

One of the first things I do during my weekly review is read a document I wrote in October 2017 that I called The Discipline™. Occasionally, I update it to keep it fresh and relevant; it’s a living document.

It’s a reminder of what is important to me right now, what I should be focusing on. It’s like a little manifesto for my life—something to give me direction, to help me prioritise.

Continue reading How I start my weekly review

An overview of my planning and productivity system in 2019

Google Calendar, Microsoft OneNote and Todoist

My personal organisation system has evolved over the years in an iterative rather agile approach.

This post outlines the major building blocks of my current system.

Continue reading An overview of my planning and productivity system in 2019

My paperless(-ish) office with OneNote and NAPS2

Screenshot of NAPS2 application. Two documents have been scanned and are shown side-by-side.
Screenshot of NAPS2, the scan to PDF application I use alongside OneNote

I’ve started using NAPS2 to convert paper documents to PDF to store in Dropbox or Microsoft OneNote as part of my paperless(-ish) office approach to productivity.

Predictions about the paperless office have been circulating for over 40 years now. And yet here I am in 2018 sitting next to a four-drawer filing cabinet containing letters and documents about everything from my house rental and utility bills to health records, university qualifications, and work-related documents.

Continue reading My paperless(-ish) office with OneNote and NAPS2

Kiwi for Gmail—initial impressions

For the last few years, I’ve been faithfully using eM Client as my preferred way of accessing my Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts. But this past weekend—having vowed to myself that during 2018 I wouldn’t change any of my productivity tools and instead just focus on getting stuff done—I made the switch to Kiwi for Gmail 2.0 and I have to say that I’m delighted.

Gmail as a native, windowed desktop app... kinda
Gmail as a native, windowed desktop app… kinda

Move away from eM Client

Since Google upgraded their calendar to Material Design I’ve been hugely impressed and have found myself using it almost as much as eM Client’s API view of the calendar. I now prefer the default web app view more than the desktop client.

Similarly, I’ve also found myself using the Gmail webapp almost as much as eM Client, find it to be a little quicker but also feeling that I should get to know the web interface more because it’s the default view.

But what really tipped me over the edge towards moving away from eM Client is how long it takes to open Google Contacts.

Move towards Kiwi for Gmail

I had used Kiwi for Gmail before, but version 2.0 seems to have been a cosmic leap forward compared with what I remembered of the first iteration.

Kiwi for Gmail appears to be a wrapper application that quickly—very quickly—loads the default Google web apps, with a little magic thrown in for good measure.

One of the most immediate is that I now have immediate access to five different Gmail accounts, without the need to log out of one before checking the other.

(This feature is only available in the paid-for version, which is currently on special offer for free with the code: WikiForFree.)

I now have immediate access to five Gmail accounts
I now have immediate access to five Gmail accounts

I’m really looking forward to Gmail getting the Material Design treatment. This will take Kiwi for Gmail to another level.

In the meantime, I’m going to see how I get on with Kiwi for Gmail. But for what it does, I can’t see myself going back to eM Client any time soon. I’ll try to remember to report back after a few months to give an update on how this experience is going.