Danny O'Brien's Life Hacks

Here are my running notes from Danny O'Brien's NotCon recapulation of his "Life Hacks" talk. Danny interviewed a bunch of prolific geeks and asked them how they do it: this is his distillation of the habits of the geeks who spew the most code, words and such. Wish he'd turn this into a book already!

People use todo.txt (Ford's is 27,000 lines long)

* Don't use complicated apps

* Use Word, BBEdit, Notepad, emacs, vi, whatever

* Why?

* If you want to organize yourself, take the stuff you're going to forget quickly and dump it just as quickly — if it's in your short-term memory, you have to put it somewhere

* You need to be able to find and enter text fast

* Can cut, paste and find text fast

* XML Guy: "Not interested in tagging my behavior with metadata — just want to find stuff. Google shows that text cna be found quick"

* Text editors have incremental search (Mozilla: type slash and begin typing for your search string) — quick way to lock-in on your desired text

* In Moz, Panther, Launchbar, Quicksilver, etc

* Text can be trusted

* Power users trust software as far as they've thrown them in the past

* Power users know that the bigger an app, the flakier it is

* They've upgraded and crossgraded a lot, which means that they need text, which can run on every platform