Keeping better track of our stuff with Delicious Library

delicious_library_shelf_screenshotEver wonder where your books and movies have mysteriously disappeared to? You’re pretty sure you’ve lent them out, but are not sure to whom, or by when you’d agreed to get them back? That has been happening to us more and more lately.

Delicious Library can help. This software is so cool, in so many nerdy ways. You get a nice graphical overview of your stuff (images and item details courtesy of various Amazon servers — ca., .com, .de, .uk, etc.). But it’s truly snazzy how the data gets into this program’s database on your Mac: manual keyboard entry, text file importation, or scanning the barcode with your computer’s webcam. How cool is that?

It also can look at your Address Book application and if you tell it to whom you’ve lent something and when it’s due back, it’ll keep track of that for you. It’ll import your iTunes music and videos into your Delicious Library for you effortlessly, if you like. You can organize your library of books, movies, video games, etc., into different “shelves” of your own definition or set up a “Smart Shelf”, which watches your library and automatically adds items to that shelf based on pre-defined criteria. For example, a Smart Shelf based on your items that are currently out on loan. You can also export some or all of your library’s shelves to text files, Excel-compatible files, or even gorgeous HTML pages for displaying on your website. For the truly geeky, you can hook up your own scripts to events in Delicious Library and automate certain tasks (apparently — I haven’t tried this yet).

Delicious Library is what every software wants to be:

  • Intuitive
  • Attractive
  • Innovative
  • Interactive
  • A pleasure to use

Two final thoughts:

  1. It’s only available for Mac OS X; sorry Windows and Linux users.
  2. Unknown, I know you’ve got our Mad Men Season 2 DVDs!

not dead, just busy

It’s been like 10 days since either of us has last posted. You might be wondering, “Are they in a Banana Bread coma?”

Nope, but we have been busy. Here’s what we’ve been doing:

  • Sarah took a 3-day road trip to Frankfurt with our pal Andrea.
  • I have been to Nuremberg twice and Frankfurt once for one-day busines trips.
  • We have been to IKEA twice in person, and once by proxy (thanks a lot Natasha and Tommy for the delivery service).
  • As a result of that, we’ve been exercising all those muscles necessary for lugging big flat packages up narrow staircases and cranking hex-head screws into wood with allen wrenches.

<rant>Allergic to Microsoft?  Yeah, fine.  I get that.  But why Notes for Pete's sake?Most recently, I’ve been struggling with Lotus Notes as a result of being bought & sold last year. Other acquired units in the new parent company who were forced out of Exchange/Outlook years ago have advised us to just stop resisting and just accept it. They’ve also said,

“Notes is really powerful with regard to embedding workflows and distributed collaboration. Cliff, you like to tinker, right? You could do a lot within the Notes platform.”

It’s true, I do, but I’d prefer to be able to hit the ground running, and that’s not going well. I am severely missing my — or even any — keyboard shortcuts.

They don’t even have to make sense or be compatible with Windows de facto standards (ctrl-n does a new <anything>, ctrl-s saves the current <anything>, et cetera). Just don’t make me use the freakin’ mouse please! Alas, there really is no keyboard shortcut for replying to a message in Notes* — I have to select the “reply” button on the screen in order to reply to a message; something that every other email program I’ve ever used (Outlook, Outlook Express, Mail.app (on the Mac), Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, and even Gmail) has made more accessible with a keyboard shortcut.

Those who have asked me for computery help of any kind have undoubtedly been annoyed by my “helpful” suggestions to “just hit tab twice, then press shift-ctrl-[whatever], and it’s a lot faster.” Your eye-rolling does not go un-noticed, as you ignore me and pore over your screens, looking for something to click on. And while you’re doing that, I’ve already deleted three emails and started composing a reply to another one with an embedded screenshot showing you how you could have done it faster.

Prior to the big switcheroo from Exchange/Outlook to Domino/Notes, I did some googley research and found a plethora of Lotus Notes hate speech sites. From those I got an idea of what awaited me on the morning after the mailbox conversion. They weren’t wrong; Notes is a disaster for people like me.</rant>