Note taking & to-do lists

Before I started using Trello (amazing product – check out my blog post about it), I used be the kind of person who loved taking handwritten notes. Therefore I thought I would share both my reasons for taking notes, and also some great tips on how to create to-do lists.

Benefits of taking notes

Besides being awesome, there are various benefits of taking notes:

  • Stay engaged during conversations or meetings
    When you are taking notes, you’ll find that you are more actively involved, focused, and more alert. This often enables you to make more valid contributions to a meeting and add more value to topics during discussions.
  • Capture ideas and questions
    It is not always possible to solve all problems/tasks during a meeting. Taking notes provides you with a way of capturing ideas, questions and other content during a meeting which enables you to research and process the material after the meeting.
  • Show others that you are actively listening
    Taking notes sends out specific signals. It communicated that what others are saying is important, and it communicates to everyone that you are actively listening. Lastly it communicates that you pay attention and intent to follow-up.

How to do to-do lists

See what I did with the heading?! – Funny, ey? ;) Here are some great tips for doing to-do lists – Pretty simple, but very useful:

Great tips for todo-lists
Great tips for todo-lists
  • New item: Draw an empty circle to start a new task on a todo-list.
  • Next important item: Put a dot in the center of the circle to categorize it as important.
  • Item started: Cross the circle with a diagonal slash when you begin the task.
  • Item cancelled: Cross the circle in the opposite direction to cancel it the task.
  • Item halfway done: When halfway through the task, fill in half of the circle.
  • Item done: When a task is completely done, fill it in all the way.
  • Item delegated: If a task is delegated to someone else, draw a arrow from the circle.


For those of you who read my earlier post about Sublime Text, here is another amazing tool that you absolutely need to get familiar with instantly, Trello.

Trello is one of those really intuitive tools, that once you get to know it, you can’t live without it. Some might call it a “project management application”, but I think it’s so much more than that! It is a web-based collaboration tool for organising and managing almost anything.

Trello is developed by Fog Creek Software, it is free(!), and according to their website, it is going to stay that way:

Yup, Trello is free, now and forever. That means we’ll never take away everything you love and put it behind a pay wall. So feel free to fall in love—it’s here to stay. If only more of life were like that!” (source:

Showing a board in Trello.
Showing a board in Trello.

I first started using Trello while working as a web developer for one of Denmark’s largest tabloid newspapers. In my team, we used it both for organising and managing within the team, but also for sharing and collaborating on projects with external developers.

Trello was the perfect tool for this, and it was really easy to manage projects, assign tasks, create checklists,  but also to review what we as a team had earlier agreed upon.

Showing a cards from a board in Trello.
Showing a cards from a board in Trello.

Later I started working as a web project consultant for one of the largest banks in Denmark. In the beginning I used to have a whole bunch of handwritten to-do lists all over my desk, but then I remembered Trello. I quickly plotted my to-do lists in and presto! Everything became so much easier!

Now several of my co-workers have joined in, and we have created various different organizations, broards and cards, where we are both managing own projects and assignments, but also collaborating on larger projects – Thanks Trello!

Last week I even started working with the Trello API in my spare time – and by now I’ve already created a dashboard for monitoring one of my organizations with latest activities, custom notifications and general metrics.

So my question to you is: Why haven’t you signed up for Trello yet?!

I could give you a recommendation link to Trello and earn Trello Gold free for a month or so, but this would diminish the validity of this post (that I really like Trello!). Therefore you’ll just get this clean link:

Stay tuned for various tips and tricks for Trello – and maybe a post about their API.

Is there anything particular you would like me to write about? – Please let me know! :)

Sublime Text

If you, just like me, enjoys writing the occasional line of HTML, JavaScript, PHP or CSS, you’ve probably tried your fair share of text editors – and had your good and bad experiences.

For a long period of time I was a great advocate for the text editor Espresso ($75) by MacRabbit, because I liked the look and feel of the application, and the functionalities fitted my needs. However  since I started at a new job in May 2013, I was introduced to Sublime Text 2 ($70), switched to using it instantly, and haven’t regretted the switch.

Sublime Text 2
Sublime Text 2 displaying Flat UI Pro by Designmodo

Sublime Text is a light-weight text editor with great performance. It is an awesome all-around editor that works well for markup, coding, scription and text in general.

The creators of Sublime Text refers to it as “The text editor you’ll fall in love with“, and they are absolutely right.

Tips and tricks

The following is a list of tips and tricks that I use frequently:

Alt + [ click & drag ]: Selects the text that is inside the dragged rectangle.

[ select a phrase ] → CMD + D: Selects the next occurrence of the selected phrase.

CMD + Shift + F: Search every file open within the current Sublime Text window.

CMD + P: Makes you search for and switch to any open file.

CMD + R: Makes you search for and jump to any function within a file.

CMD + Alt + 2: Split-screen mode ideal for comparing files (It is possible to use the numbers from 1 to 5 – 1 is normal view).


Text selection
These tricks work well in the Notes app:

  • Tap a word twice to select the whole word.
  • Tap four times on a paragraph to select the whole paragraph.
  • Place one finger in the beginning of a desired selection and another finger at the end – hold for a while. The text between the two fingers is selected.
  • Tap twice in the beginning of desired selection and immediately start dragging pin to extend it. (don’t detach finger after second tap)

To undo edited text, shake the device, and then tap the “Undo”-button.


  • Tab the screen once to automatically focus and adjust exposure to the tabbed region.
  • Tab the screen and hold for two seconds to lock  the focus and exposure to that region (“AE/EF Lock”).
  • In “Video” mode, double tab the screen to use widescreen view for the recording.

Google Maps-app

Find the map that you want awailable offline and search for “ok maps”. This will cache the on-sceen map.


Swipe the calculator display to the right in order to delete the latest number added.


In a rush? – Set your iPhone to “Airplane mode” as you charge it. The battery will recharge a lot faster.