Archive for the ‘productivity’ Category

Online Regular Expression Tester

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Supernifty has made available an online regular expression tester.

Of course, there are already numerous online regex testers available but in our defence, this one is fast, free, simple and easy to use.

Also, regular expressions are seriously cool; if you don’t already know them, you really should.

We have plans for more regular expression shenanigans; watch this space.

If you do try Supernifty’s Regex Tester and have feedback, thoughts or comments, get in touch!

MemShot is moving to MemShotApp.com

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

MemShot
MemShot has a new home.

We have spun out MemShot to its own website: http://www.memshotapp.com/.

All learning sets remain unchanged and in general, everything will work exactly as before.

What you need to do

If you normally sign in to Supernifty with your email and password, you don’t need to do anything. Head over to MemShot and sign in as usual. Nothing has changed.

If you sign in to MemShot using OpenID – i.e. Google, Yahoo or other external provider – you need to link your Supernifty account with your MemShot account. Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to http://www.supernifty.org/updateuser.php and sign in as usual;
  2. Set an email address and password;
  3. Go to http://www.memshotapp.com/ and sign in with your OpenID account;
  4. You will be given the option of linking to an existing account: enter your Supernifty email and password;
  5. Your accounts are now linked and you can access your existing MemShot sets.

If you have any problems or questions regarding this process, please contact us.

What’s MemShot?

It’s a Spaced Repetition system built on flashcards.

Spaced Repetition is a memory system developed to help memorize things as efficiently as possible.

It’s a fine alternative to rote learning that can save you a great deal of time.

Introducing MemShot – a Flashcard Spaced Repetition memorization system

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Supernifty is pleased to announce MemShot, a free, simple, web-based memorization system based on spaced repetition.

Memory masters like Dominic O’Brien use spaced repetition to memorize incredible amounts of information efficiently – now you can too.

Create your own set of flashcards, then MemShot tracks your progress and ensures that you work only on items that most need practice – much more efficient than traditional learning systems.

To get started, go to MemShot and start adding facts. Then click “Practice” to start learning.

Memory practice

The software includes many features to help you on your path to mastery; for instance:

Progress Reports! MemShot keeps track of your progress so you can see how well you are learning – are you progressing well or do you need to up the ante?

Memorization progress

Trouble Spots! MemShot keeps detailed records of your progress on every fact and you can easily see which items are causing you the most trouble.

Individual item status

Reminders! MemShot can keep your motivation ticking over by reminding you when it is time to practice.

Sharing! Although experts suggest that creating your own sets helps with the learning process, you can also share learning sets. If you create a set that may interest others, click the “share” button.

With just a few minutes each day with MemShot, you can look forward to memorizing an impressive amount of information.

Did you know – Jeopardy winner Roger Craig used Spaced Repetition as part of his training?

Feedback is welcome. We have many ideas for improving MemShot. If you have one, let us know.

What now?

Mastering a new skill and becoming an expert

Monday, August 20th, 2012

mastery comic

An oft-cited paper indicates that becoming the world’s greatest [insert dream skill here] is not strongly correlated with talent, lung capacity, IQ or any other innate trait.

Their study suggests that by far the most important factor in acquiring a skill is the time spent deliberately practicing the desired skill.

“Deliberate practice” simply means “no goofing around”.

The authors of the paper studied a bunch of different domains such as music, chess and the scientific endeavour. They found that roughly 10000 hours of deliberate practice is required to become the expert.

This is a lot of hours. For instance, at 20 hours a week this will take 10 years.

However, the great thing about this is that you are master of your own destiny. If you put your mind to it and put in the effort, the world is your oyster. Pursue your passion!

To help calculate your path to mastery, Supernifty has included a tool to figure out when you will be the next chess grandmaster or tennis world number one. Simply fill in the fields below:

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If you are serious about mastering a skill, consider trying the Hourly Time Tracker to see how you are really spending your time. A “mastery” column predicts which activities you are becoming an expert at.

hourly tracker with mastery column

You might be a little sad to discover that you are rapidly becoming an expert at “work” or “TV”. Think about the incredible human body that you have been blessed with. Is this truly what you want to spend your life getting good at?

How to track your daily goals and form new habits

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

For some time I have been trying to develop useful daily habits in a quest for self-improvement.

Things like:

  • exercising daily,
  • learning a new language and
  • finishing my masterpiece.

A bad way to learn a new skill or form a new habit is to have a short-lived exuberance of enthusiasm before returning to the old you. This has been my usual strategy.

This boom-bust cycle is deflating and makes the next effort even harder.

The solution!

Doing a little each day and tracking progress appears to be quite successful at maintaining motivation.

Supernifty’s habit-forming tool can help out with this.

Daily goals

Set your goals, then click in the appropriate day when you complete a goal. Simple.

If you’re like me, or Jerry Seinfeld, then you are well on your way to cementing some valuable habits.

Stars and Streaks and Jerry Seinfeld

The story goes that Jerry Seinfeld needed a way to keep himself motivated when writing, so came up with the “Don’t break the chain” method. Each day he would draw a line on his calendar to indicate that he had done a little comedy writing that day.

After a short time, the motivation became to keep the chain going.
Soon after, Jerry Seinfeld had created one of the most popular sitcoms of all time.

Supernifty’s goal tracking tool shows a “streak” statistic to emulate this idea. Keep the streak going! Be like Jerry!

Long Term Progress

One motivating factor in the habit-forming game is to try to maintain or improve my performance compared to previous weeks.

Click on “All weeks” to see how your habit-forming is progressing. It’s also easy to filter on a specific habit.

Goals analysis

Finally…

If you’ve had trouble forming new habits in the past, then this goal tracking tool could be the ticket.

This same web page includes a tool to track how you spend your time – just hide this if you are only interested in the goal tracker.

Feedback is always welcome. If you have ideas or thoughts, or it has helped you out, let us know!

What am I doing with my life? Track yourself for a week and find out

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

“We manage what we measure”… so goes the old saying. Here is a new tool to measure how you spend your time.

The problem

For months I have felt like I have been too busy to spend time on the things I really care about. A lot of ideas seem to have been permanently “on hold” – my todo lists have seemingly been continually growing, and for months I have been feeling overwhelmed and time poor.

Sound familiar?

A solution

I decided to do some real measuring and find out what was consuming my time. This came about after reading an interesting article over at Quantified Self about how shocked and surprised students were after tracking their hourly activities for a week.

The idea was to track down where all that time goes and then to decide if these various endeavours were worth that kind of commitment. This would also be an opportunity to compare the reality to how I imagined I was spending my life.

Hence, Supernifty’s Hourly Tracker was born. This online tool provides an easy way to track what you do each hour of the day for a week.

You can add any activity you want to track. As you can see from the image, you get a decent overview of where the time goes, including some interesting analysis on the right.

If you track yourself for more than a week, there is Historical Analysis.

Check out an overall picture of how you are spending your time, or focus on a particular activity:

Outcomes

It’s been an eye-opening experience – I’d recommend everyone try tracking their time for at least one full week. Some things I learnt:

Sleep

First of all, it’s clear why many people try to find ways of living with less sleep – for instance the polyphasic movement – sleep takes up a huge chunk of anyone’s life, dwarfing all other activities.

It’s also clear why I often feel tired – I don’t get enough sleep. Using this tool enabled me to confirm this suspicion.

More time conscious

As with other tracking efforts – such as taking a photo of everything you eat – the act of recording makes you more conscious of how you spend your time. If I start wasting time on the internet I am reminded that I will be recording this.

I’ve become much more aware of wasteful activities.

Busy-ness

Finally, I discovered the cause of my constant feeling of too much to do: mornings. I’d spend mornings catching up on email, reading blogs and researching random items of interest – generally procastinating – before finally getting stuck into work. This would set the scene for a stressful remaining day.

By the end of the day, I’d still feel that I needed to get more work done. I’d have a late night and then be tired in the morning, thus repeating the cycle.

Using this tool I have learnt that I need to focus on having a productive morning.

What’s next?

Ideas for improvements are welcomed – please get in touch! Some things that are in the pipeline:

  • Recommendations – for example, exercising every day or getting more sleep
  • Daily Goals – a daily goal tracker is at the bottom of the page. It’s functional but the analysis is still in development

Conclusion

Try tracking your time, just for a week. I gained significant insights and confirmed things that previously were vague suspicions.

Making a decision – flowchart

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

If you’re having trouble deciding whether or not you should do something, Supernifty’s new “Should I do it?” flowchart can help you out with many of life’s conundrums.

First, think of something that you are wondering whether or not you should do. For instance, accepting a new job offer. Then, follow the flowchart below.

Should I do it? Decision flowchart

Of course, sometimes making the decision is the easy part – especially now that you have this simple to follow flowchart.

Often it’s actually following through on your decision that is the challenge.

Backup your Google Docs documents to Dropbox

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Supernifty is pleased to announce a new, free service that enables you to backup your Google Docs documents to Dropbox.

Google Docs to Dropbox

Nobody cares more about your own data than you. Anything that you care about should be backed up. If you have anything on Google Docs that you care about, you should be backing this up.

Although Google mostly do a fantastic job, even they occasionally lose user’s data. It’s inevitable. Hard drives fail. Things catch fire. Accounts are hacked.

Your next big novel could be lost forever.

Enter Supernifty. Supernifty’s new free service exports all your documents from Google Docs to Dropbox once a week. Simple.

Being Dropbox, once your Google Docs are on Dropbox, they will then be synced down to your local machine. And you’re safe. Safe!

If Google go offline, or you accidentally overwrite your tax return, or reveal your password to the Russian mafia, you will still have your documents, safely and securely stored on Dropbox. Easily recovered.

I recommend you give it a try.

The service is new – we are actively adding features and looking for issues. If you try it out, please let us know what you think.

Note that neither Supernifty nor this service are afiliated with either Google or Dropbox.

OpenID available on Supernifty

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

No more passwords
Supernifty is pleased to announce OpenID as a login mechanism on its website.

OpenID is a scheme that allows users to login to Supernifty, by entering their login details at another site.

So if you already have an account with Google, Yahoo, AOL, or any other OpenID provider, you can now log in to Supernifty without having to set up yet another account, or create yet another password. Hurrah!

Handy for the Speed Scrabble players, and any of Supernifty’s other offerings requiring login, such as the time tracker, site ranker and lifestyle tracker.

Currently, only the most popular OpenID providers are listed – if you use a provider that you’d like to see listed, let us know.

Supernifty – saving you from remembering yet another login smile

Paralympics 2008 – where do our paralympians come from?

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

paralympic medal map

How great are our paralympic athletes? Their efforts at the Beijing Paralympics have been incredible. Their stories, hardships and sacrifices have been at times heartbreaking, but more often inspirational.

In short, it’s been very good.

Further to Supernifty’s map of Olympics medallists, Supernifty is proud to announce a similar deal for the Paralympics medallists.

Using this map, you can see where all our local heroes hail from. If you’re considering setting up a tickertape parade, rock concert or air-force flyover in their honour, this is a chance to check that you are in the right town.

OK, so that last paragraph was sheer silliness.

But you should check out where our Beijing Paralympics medallists come from.

The map will be updated daily as more medals are won, until the conclusion of the games, so feel free to check it frequently.