Category Archives: Tools

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7 Ways to Manage Email So It Doesnt Manage You | LinkedIn

An excellent article by Jeff Weiner at LinkedIn about managing email. Having done IT for several firms, I’ve seen it all. From people who simply can’t keep track, with Inboxes full of thousands of unread messages, to people who over process and over categorize, ending up with one category for each thread and spending 75% of their time managing emails.

Jeff presents great tips in his full article here.

Enjoy!

Quandl

Graph of Market Cap AnalysisI have recently discovered Quandl, which, per their website description:

[…] has indexed millions of time-series data from over 400 sources. All of Quandl’s datasets are open and free. You can download any Quandl dataset in any format that you want. You can also visualize, save, share, authenticate, validate, upload, index, merge and transform data. Our long-term goal is to make all the numerical data on the internet easy to find & easy to use.

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Encrypted messages to kids

Crypto-WheelLast time I changed job, it meant an increase in commute (from 5 minutes to an hour) which also meant I would not see my kids every morning. So I picked up the habit (since then lost mind you) of setting the table for their breakfast and leaving them a note, wishing them a good day. Who knew that from a simple note, things would evolve to teaching encryption.
Of course, the simple note grew old over time so I started looking for alternatives. After trying the multi-color notes and various “analog” mediums, I turned to Bamboo Paper on the iPad and that provide several options. I also played around with a Boogie Board Rip and that provided an interesting alternative for a few days but it was short lived.
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PageOnce Beta

PageOnce is the first Personal Internet Assistant web site. The site is currently in beta but they expect to be fully open for business soon. The site basically allows you to centralize access to a lot of other sites, making it a great birds eye view of your web tool. Accounts are categorized so you can quickly look at your email accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.), at your financial accounts (Banks, Credit Cards, etc.) or your social sites (myspace, facebook, linkedin, plaxo, multiply and more).

On the main page, the update feed gives you important updates from your various accouts:

Adding an account is very simple:

And the impressive feature is PageOne will capture keywords from other accounts to suggest new one. A couple of Amazon charges show up on your credit card and PageOnce may recommend added your Amazon account. This is excellent since a lot of these websites I don’t visit a lot and it would take me a while to remember to add them in my personal assistant. It is also convenient since accounts are added constantly, these reminders will help assure all the important onces are listed in PageOnce.
Overall, this new arrival could be a great time saver for busy poeple with a lot of online activity.
Check it out!

A Nozbe Seinfeldian Chain

nozbe-chain2.pngA mentioned in the previous post, I am currently testing Nozbe. I was always a fan of the Seinfeldian Chain concept and there are neat applications online already but I was resistant to using yet another application or site everyday.

I discovered I could basically use Nozbe for this purpose. All that it really missing is a link to visualize the chain on a calendar but this could probably be added, by Nozbe developer Michael Sliwinski, pretty easily.

A lot of people see an increase productivity when they can track how well they do at certain repetitive tasks. It could personal items like mine (working out, eating right, etc.) or work related items (review days trades for traders for example). Anything that you want to do every day but that you have a tendency to stray away from should be added as a daily repeater to help you reminder. I will submit a request for enhancements hoping Michael can add visual calendars showing you which days you completed the specified Seinfeldian task. It would be a great tool to track your past productivity AND to increase you future success by motivating you to reach better and better ‘daily tasks completion ratios’. I would suggest everyone add in their daily and weekly review an short analysis of how well you did handling these tasks.

sample1.pngThese tasks probably belong in their own context but for now, I am using the free version of Nozbe to get an idea of what I can get out of it. Once paid for upgrade, these tasks would either go in their own context (like eat right) or in a related context (like in the gym for cardio). Since I don’t really get my Nozbe lists in the gym (and once I’m there I will more than likely accomplish what I need to do), a specific context for all daily reminders is probably appropriate.

Good luck with Nozbe and please, if you have comments or advice on Nozbe and how you use it, do not hesitate to share in the comment section of this post or one of the related posts.

Nozbe

NozbeNozbe (this is an affiliate link) is a web-based project, task and notes management system completely based on the David Allen’s Getting Things Done approach. I heard about this web-based system a while ago and the reviews were very good but I opted against it at the time. At the moment, I am using the GTD AddOn for Outlook but to be honest, I have been using it less and less.

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My Journal

In response to a post from Craig at swing-trade-stocks.com, yes I try to keep a journal. Or should I say I keep all the information that should belong in a journal. But I have yet to find the perfect solution to all my needs. Here is an overview of my needs:

  1. Keep watch-lists, with charts and comments on titles I’m currently tracking;
  2. Prepare my trades by helping me price the triggers, set the stops and size the trades;
  3. Keep a list of my trades, entries, exits, ratings and comments;
  4. Save research information which could be anything, from a URL, to a PDF, a chart snapshot with comments, etc;
  5. Prepare Blog posts, with information from any of the above items.

For the first item, I use QuoteTracker at the moment and I am actually pretty happy with this. I had to tone down my expenses in the past months so I pretty much defaulted back to this but it has served me very well. I have used stockcharts.com and Worden’s TeleChart and I do miss some of the features. But when I replaced the scan feature of TeleChart with a homegrown solution, I could not justify the expense anymore. I do miss the way TeleChart allows you to comment on each chart every day, but for now, I am dropping text boxes on my QuoteTracker charts but it is NOT as convenient. I am still researching a better plan for this. Here’s a chart with a comment:

For (2) and (3), as silly as it sounds, I use an Excel spreadsheet. First thing I did was to integrate real data in the sheet using DDE and the API from one of my providers. A lot of brokers like IB allow you to access their data from an Excel spreadsheet easily. This allows me to quickly make calculations based on the current price, the bid/ask or the last closing price. Each row is a trade or the preparation of a trade. Aside from the symbol and the real-time price, I keep information like trigger price, size, stop and target, risk, date in and out, and price in and out, PnL and R for the trade, etc.

The items (4) and (5) have always been my weakest part. I tried various things from notes in Word, to comments directly on my Excel spreadsheet. The only thing unstructured enough was paper but that was time consuming and required printing material from the computer. I finally decided to give MS OneNote a try and so far I am happy with the results. I have big overall sections which allow me to store information on whatever I want:

Trading is the top level and I throw under there whatever I need. Under symbols is sub-sections:

That allows me to store anything I want and keep it related to a particular symbol. I can store an email, a PDF, a screen capture, a chart, a URL, anything.

And the really nice feature is that with Office and OneNote 2007, I can use their ‘Blog this’ feature and quickly post any page from my OneNote Notebook to my blog. I am still playing with this feature and tweaking it to something I like which is why my posts look ‘wrong’ these days.

A Jing Test

This is a test of Jing (a project of TechSmith). I always find it a lot of work to snapshot and annotate the charts and upload them somewhere to be posted in a blog or a journal later. I think I would journal a lot more if I could do it faster. I am testing Jing to see if it could make my life easier. Here is a snapshot of the RSH chart for today:

UPDATE: Unfortunately, I’m not sure this will work for me. For one, the default saves a link but it’s a link to a formatted page, NOT a plain image, so it would work in a blog. It’s only good if you want to give out a link and NOT embed an image.

Seems like you can only use TechSmith’s screencast which will be a paid service. You cannot use Jing to upload automagically to your own server.

Too bad, it was promising. I will keep looking though I will update if I find a good solution.

Happy Trading!

Ugly introduces Wallstreak.com

Ugly, with this post, introduced Wallstreak.com this morning. Wallstreak is live interaction between traders a la Twitters. I love it.