Introducing Exifile – for your Scribd highlights


I like to take notes and mark highlights when I am reading, as I have talked about here. The paper book and pen is good for this. With online reading, Amazon kindle does an awesome job of allowing us to highlight and take notes and very nicely offers the kindle.amazon.com – Your Highlights service to access those highlights. Add to this the excellent Bookcision bookmarklet and you can download those highlights – a file per book – into your computer in JSON, XML and plain text.

Well, I also read a lot of books on Scribd – I like their collection of books and think their subscription is of good value. But I had been frustrated at the lack of so basic a functionality (at least for me) as notes and highlights. As of 2015, Scribd allows notes and highlights – however, they are trapped in the cloud. And there is no way of looking at all your notes and highlights in one page.

So I took the inspiration from Bookcision and wrote a bookmarklet – Exifile to release your Scribd highlights – in text and JSON format out of the cloud. And here it is for everyone to use – http://www.oddumbrella.com/exifile/

So give it a try and tell me what you think.

Tungsten Hippo – My Cool Tools #4


TunstenHippoLogo

Tool: http://tungstenhippo.com
Cost: Free
Type: Website
Works On: Any
Needs: Internet / Web Browser
Link : http://tungstenhippo.com/

I love to read, and I read a lot. However, I find that the problem with long books is that they take up a lot of time. This is unfortunately a problem for me since I cannot put a book down once I start reading it. And so, the short ebook is a great solution for a person like me – I get my reading fix, and it is mercifully short and will not impact everything else I need to get done.

How did I find Tungten Hippo? I follow another blog run by the same author, and when she started her site Tungsten Hippo, recommending books – especially short books I started following Tungsten Hippo as well. I first followed along just in the spirit of supporting her new venture. However in the past year, I have totally come to respect and love her recommendations.

I have found some really lovely books and really lovely authors – like these
The Bone Knife by Intisar Khanani, books by Lindsay Buroker, the Tor.com collection

I don’t like 100% of the books recommended here, but so far, I have liked about 90% and really love about 25% of the books – which is a great ratio. And the best part – each new recommendation leads me to discover new authors and more fun books.

The website is nice to use, quite pretty and of course the name is super cute. So if you are into books, especially short books, and are always looking for recommendations, you should definitely follow this site.

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About My Cool Tools

“Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. “
– From Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools
My cool tools are the tools I use regularly and I really like. In this series of posts, I want to share my cool tools and review them. All cool tools in this blog

Word Counter for Mac OS X – My Cool Tools #3


Word Counter by OneKerato
Tool: WordCounter for Mac OS X
Cost: Free
Type: Digital, Software
Works On: Mac OS X Only
Needs: Mac OS X
Download Link : WordCounter by OneKerato

This tool is an extension to Mac OS X. Author’s description: ”
WordCounter is a menu bar app that displays the word count of text on the clipboard. As new text is copied to the clipboard, the app updates the word count. You can temporarily disable or enable the app via a drop-down menu.”

When I write my morning pages, or my daily writing, I use OneNote for Mac. I also use OneNote for my blog drafts, for my 200 Words Project posts, my to-do lists etc.

For my daily 1000 words and the 200 Words Project post drafts, I need to count the words I have written, and OneNote does not have this functionality. On windows I use the Onetastic Word Count macro. But there is no equivalent for this in Mac.

So I use WordCounter by OneKerato. I basically select the words I want to count – paragraphs or the entire page and copy it out (Cmd + c). On copying, the Mac menu bar displays the number of words in my selection. Nifty.

Drawbacks: Works only on Mac OS. Counts characters only. Need to copy to the system clipboard before it can count.

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About My Cool Tools

“Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. “
– From Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools
My cool tools are the tools I use regularly and I really like. In this series of posts, I want to share my cool tools and review them. All cool tools in this blog

Onetastic Macros for OneNote – My Cool Tools #2


Onetastic Macroland
Onetastic Macroland

Tool: Onetastic Macros for OneNote
Cost: Free
Type: Digital, Software
Works On: Windows Only
Needs: OneNote
Download Link to Macros: Onetastic Macroland

This tool is an addition, an extension of OneNote and adds much needed functionality to OneNote.

Some of the Macros I use all the time:

Insert Monthly Calendar – This is an awesome macro which inserts a monthly calendar onto your one note page. I use this to create calendars for my reading, cooking, learning and activity logs. e.g. Look at my Reading logs posts .

Search and Replace – This macros helps search and replace text in the current page, section or notebook. I use this once in a while.

Word Count – Perfect for my morning pages or daily writing where I try to write a 1000 words. This macro helps me count the number of words. The lack of this functionality was why I looked at other digital note-taking software.

Word Count Selected – Counts the number of words in the selected portion of text. I use this heavily to count the words when I write my 200 words project posts

Sorting Macros – I use the sort pages and sort sections macro among these macros. I generally use them in my recipes notebook where I sort my recipes in alphabetical order.

These are just a few of the macros in Onetastic. If you use OneNote, you should definitely take a look.

Drawbacks: Works only on Windows. Not available for Mac OS X or phones. It would be awesome to have these functions replicated for OneNote on Mac.

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About My Cool Tools

“Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. “
– From Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools
My cool tools are the tools I use regularly and I really like. In this series of posts, I want to share my cool tools and review them. All cool tools in this blog

OneNote – My Cool Tools #1


OneNote Icon

Tool: OneNote
Cost: Free
Type: Digital, Software
Works On: Windows, Mac OS X, Android phones, IPhone

This is my first entry in My Cool Tools. Fittingly, this tool is about the written word: OneNote

I use OneNote extensively, many times a day every single day. I started using OneNote back in 2011 and bought my first copy then. Over the years now I have tried other note taking apps – from plain old Notepad to Evernote to some Sticky Notes. But I have come back again and again to OneNote.

It is pretty much my digital notebook which I use to record, maintain and organize everything I write. Some examples:
– A notebook which hosts my recipes, with sections for my tried and true recipes, recipes to try, and recipes I hated
– A notebook for my GTD pages and collection, old GTD archives
– A section for my reading, cooking, activity and learning logs
– A notebook for my shopping lists
– A section for my morning pages
– A section for my blog drafts, a section for my posted posts,, a section for miscellaneous things…

All my notebooks reside in the cloud on SkyDrive. I have OneNote installed on my office laptop, home laptop and phone. And they can access the same notebooks and make edits. I just love the convenience of cloud sync. I love the fact that all my written stuff, all notes to myself – that are all in one place.

Drawbacks: Privacy, since the notebooks reside on the cloud. I wish it had better functionality on the Mac OS X version.

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About My Cool Tools

“Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. “
– From Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools
My cool tools are the tools I use regularly and I really like. In this series of posts, I want to share my cool tools and review them. All cool tools in this blog