I keep my to do list in Franklin Covey Plan Plus, which I really like. But I’ve noticed that my to do list has never actually gotten any smaller. Whenever I seem to get it cleaned out and down to just a couple of items (things that, typically, I’m waiting on an outside party to complete), five more things spring up. Or ten. Or…

I read an article this week about to do lists that made me think about mine. The point of a to do list, the author wrote, is not to finish, but to prioritize.

This is rather profound, especially if you’re the kind of person that keeps an unordered list of the things you think of while driving around, talking on the phone, having breakfast, reading the paper, etc. That unordered list – is it really valuable, without any focus?

My planning software has a neat function built in, in that you can code items in the to do list. The default is A, B, C and 1, 2, 3. That is, an item coded A1 would be higher in priority than A2. And you can enter as many numbers or letters as you like.

I’ve mentally categorized my system like so:

  • A = work stuff that is client-related – tasks to complete or start or work on
  • B = business stuff that isn’t client-related, like office matters and insurance appointments
  • C = personal stuff (why is this one last? hmm?)

This seems to work well. But lately I’ve noticed that I’ve started throwing things into my list as just A’s, B’s or C’s, without numbers (or, with no priority).

This is a bad idea. I used to diligently number them, but it’s been so crazy busy the last few weeks I haven’t taken the time. One day this week I wound up with 11 A’s with no hint of the order I should try to work on them.

So… today I deemed my business cleanup day. I actually went through and got all my accounting in order (that is a major accomplishment for me) and started moving all my client data over into a new database. Both of those tasks have been on my list for months.

And I took a look at Plan Plus and put numbers on the A’s – all ten of them. Plan Plus is cool because it shows you the items in order, once you number them. Now I see what I need to do next, not just overwhelmingly what I have failed to finish all in a pile of A’s.

Does this mean that I’ll diligently follow through 1, 2, 3 in order? Nope. I just looked at the first item on the list and thought ‘this is Sunday, I’m not doing that for that client on a Sunday…’

I have a client whose site was ready to launch tonight. I just logged into her admin area on a popular (at least in my town) domain registrar that offers one of those free website template builder systems.

My client’s site was built using one of these packages and has been up for months.

So I go in to repoint the DNS to her new host and I’m told that the DNS is ‘unmodifiable.’ No explanations… I’d never seen that before.

After about 10 minutes of hunting through the help section I found an entry for ‘Why can’t I change my DNS?’ at the bottom of a long list of DNS questions. It seems that you have to disable the templating package before you can repoint to an outside DNS.

And when you do that, their site disappears and you’re left with the registrar’s ‘This domain has just been purchased’ and ‘website coming soon’ page.

During the 24-48 hour transition period, this means that anyone who happens on her old site will get this page rather than her site. This is really a bad practice on the part of the registrar in my opinion – is it common for those that offer this kind of web templating system, like GoDaddy? This site was not on GoDaddy, btw.

I know, I’m not an IT person. But ever since I rebuilt my main PC a few months ago, I’ve been thinking about taking the A+ exam – not because I plan to branch out, but because I really love working with computers in more ways than just web development, I’d like to quantify what I know, and I could, if I wanted to, expand my services if I had a certification. Maybe. Down the road.

I had a coupon from Barnes & Noble so I went there and pulled a copy of each of the A+ certification books off the shelf and sat there comparing them for an hour. I finally picked the A+ Certification All in One Exam Guide from Mike Meyers, for a few reasons.

First, it wasn’t just a study guide, it really looks and feels more like a reference book for all things IT techy.

Second, it has four tests for each real test (that’s eight total for the two required to get the cert).

Third – it has nice pictures. I do better with good visuals… of course I can always open up my machine. I really do need to get that front panel audio wiring issue resolved…

I plan to sign up for the test for about 10 weeks from now. I took the practice one and got about 58% correct without opening the book, so I think this will be enough study time…

I built a website using Joomla last year. I found it to be cumbersome and very unintuitive, and although I did get the template looking pretty good, it felt like I was designing the site backwards.

So right now, I’m building another CMS for a client, this time in Website Baker.

What a huge difference! WB is a much smaller and simpler CMS than Joomla, and in turn it has fewer choices when it comes to templates and modules. But it’s super-simple to use – I will admit that it took me the better part of a day to figure out why I couldn’t see my CSS styles in FCKEditor, one of the available WYSIWYG editors that you can install as a module.

I’ve found the forums to be so-so. I couldn’t find the answers to my questions about styling there, and only got one response. However, once I figured out the CSS issue, I cranked through a lot of other work very quickly.

Styling lists, images, and other elements has been pretty easy. The templating only took a few hours, maybe about half a day, and it looks really nice. I started with one of the free templates available for download on the WB site and worked from there, inserting the pertinent bits of PHP code into my layout.

I made the template first, then dropped in and styled the content. Right now I’m working on styling the sidebar menu and I have a few other elements to work on, but I’m close to handing this over to the client for more content.

I’ve been really impressed with the program, especially after a rather frustrating experience with Joomla, and I would recommend Website Baker for both experienced users and newcomers to CMS’s. The user interface is so much simpler than Joomla but still it’s a powerful little program.