Hurrah! Vertical tabs are coming to Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft has just announced a forthcoming change to OneNote that has made me very happy.

For the past 10 years or so, Microsoft OneNote has been an integral part of my personal organisation and productivity system.

I store almost all my life admin in OneNote. This can be everything from documentation to meal planning. It is really useful if you’re involved in a road traffic collision, for example, and quickly need access to your car insurance documents. Or you are in the supermarket and can’t remember what you’ve planned for dinner at the weekend.

Screenshot of my OneNote showing meal planning for December. Three vertical columns from left to right - categories, pages and then a table of information about food.
Screenshot of my OneNote showing meal planning for December.
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How to set up recurring events on the last working day of the month in Google Calendar

Google Calendar doesn’t support repeating events on the final working day of the month

This week, I thought it would be useful to add a recurring event to my calendar to remind me of when pay day is.

My company pays its employees on the last working day of each month. If the final day of the month is a Saturday or Sunday then they bump it back to the Friday.

But the last working day of the month isn’t an option in Google Calendar’s recurring appointment options.

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Espanso text expander

Editing the default phrases file for espanso in Sublime Text 4.

If you are not already using a text expander application then I highly recommend that you start. It will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of keystrokes every month.

As the name suggests, a text expander application is a utility that runs in the background and looks out for you typing predefined phrases which it then replaces with usually a longer text version.

For example, when I type --@e, my text expander replaces this with my full email address: gareth@garethjmsaunders.co.uk, saving me 25 keystrokes.

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An overview of my planning and productivity system in 2021

Google Calendar, Microsoft OneNote, Trello and Todoist

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called An overview of my planning and productivity system in 2019. I was discussing it with a couple of people last week and thought it was probably about time that I updated it to reflect how things have evolved during that time.

During the last few years, my basic tools have not changed. As I said in my last post, for a long time I tried to limit myself to using only one task management application. I would periodically switch between Trello and something else (Outlook tasks, Wunderlist, Todoist). Eventually, I realised that I could use different tools for different jobs. For me, a good organisation system should enable you to do the following, and this is what I use:

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Microsoft To Do review

Screenshot of Microsoft To Do

As many may know, I am a big fan of Todoist and have written a few blog posts about Todoist. But a few weeks ago I installed Microsoft To Do and used it exclusively for a few days to see how it compared.

Within two days I returned to Todoist. I wanted to capture a few thoughts about why.

(Note: it would appear that either there was a significant update to Microsoft To Do in the last two weeks or my laptop was only able to install an older version because a few of the niggles I had with it appear to have been resolved in the latest version, which I installed on my desktop PC.)

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