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I use Google Calendar as my "todo" list. I put almost everything I have to do in a day (including things like grocery shopping) on my calendar. The time spent is only a few minutes a week, since most events are recurring. The main reason I do this isn't because I'd forget to do these things otherwise, but it's to stop me from over-committing. I have a tendency to say "yes" whenever someone asks me to do something, and then regretting it later. When I keep my calendar full, I can pull out my smart phone, look at all the things I intended to do on that day, and say "Sorry, I just don't see room for that on my schedule". It works pretty well for me. And it has the advantage that missed tasks don't pile up. Unless I deliberate reschedule a past event for the future it just falls into the void of the past on my calendar.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2012 on Todon't at Coding Horror
There are certainly places where I am very grateful to have voice control available to me today. A big one is while I'm driving. My car is a Ford Focus with Ford's "Sync" system installed, and I can use it to control my bluetooth phone, and even my stereo by voice. Pressing the voice prompt button and saying "call john smith at work" or "play artist The Beetles" seems to work with nearly 100% reliability (the exception being some of my phone contacts or music artists with very unusual names). Being able to do these sort of things without taking my hands off the steering wheel or even looking at a screen is very nice. Another place is the transcripts of voicemails provided by Google Voice on my Nexus One. Granted... the transcripts are occasionally TERRIBLE, and are rarely 100% accurate, as you've noted above. However, as an at-a-glance summary it helps me to determine how urgent the message is, and if I need to listen/respond to it right away. Consider the following two (made up) messages: --- Josh, this is forgotten hospital. Your mop's been in an accident and you need to fling as soon as you can. Please boil 555-555-5555. --- Hi Josh, this is Jane. Veal were considering seeing Boy Store Tree at the theater tonight and thought maybe wood like to come too? Please bet me now. ---- These are made-up examples, but they're pretty typical of the results that I get (actually Google's voicemail transcripts are often better than the above, but the worst English voicemails I get look something like these). Yeah, they're not accurate. Yeah, I'll probably listen to the message anyway. Still, I can learn a lot about the relative importance and "ignorability" of the message thanks to the unreliable transcript, and I find value in that.
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Jun 21, 2010