Category Archives: Personal

3 years since my last post?

Wow, 3 years fly by when you’re having fun!
Just recently, when I needed to move my blog to a different server, I noticed almost 3 years have passed since I last updated my blog. And it’s not like nothing blog-worthy happened in these few years. To be honest, I even considered to take down the blog completely. But I didn’t.

I’m going to remind myself to write more regularly again, I should be able to as I’ve resigned @ Exalead last year and am now a full-time entrepreneur. Being self-employed can be quite hectic as well, but it also results in plenty of topics to write about.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll try to write about things we came across while launching the most recent project I’m working on, an online knowledge sharing platform & community called VraagLink.

Lifehack: use Gmail to manage your tasks

I have this habit to send myself an email to remind me of something. I do this for everyday tasks, things I need to buy or things I want to read when I have some spear time. The problem however is that these reminders ‘get lost’ between all the other email I receive. That’s why I took some time to configure Gmail to manage this. I’ve been using it for a couple of days now and it really saves me time!

It’s very easy to setup, this is what I’ve done:

1) In Gmail, go to settings -> filters -> create a new filter
2) In the subject field, enter “todo:” -> click on ‘Next Step’
3) Check ‘Skip the inbox’
4) Check ‘Apply label’ -> new label -> enter “Todo” as label name
5) Click ‘Create Filter’ and your done!

Now write yourself an email with a subject like “todo: put out the garbage” and you’ll notice that Gmail will automatically list the mail in your todo list. You can do the same for a shoppinglist or readinglist, just use another prefix and label when you create the filter (e.g. “to read:”). Once you have finished the task you can either mark it as read (for your archive) of remove it completely.

You can now easily manage your todo’s anywhere & anytime using a webbrowser, email client or your mobile phone. For example, I found it really handy to be able to access my shoppinglist at the moment I actually need it.


Leaving ilse

After 4,5 years at ilse media I have decided to leave the company and start with a new challenge. To be honest, it took me quite some time to make this decision. I’ve always loved working at ilse and I will definitively miss the atmosphere and my collegues around there. Nevertheless, I feel it’s time for a change. A short while ago, I read a blogpost by Charlene Li about the best career advice she ever got. She describes the various phases you go through while you’re on a job. Basically, her advice is to switch jobs every 18 months, be it within your current company or to another:

At a career management course for HBS alumni, I learned that a person typically gets sick of a job after 18 months. This is a natural cycle, as you go through the excitement of learning a new job, become expert at it, and then gradually, it gets routine. So the advice I got was to plan for job obsolescence every 18 months. This didn’t mean that I had to leave the company and go to a new place – it had more to do with redefining my current job first to incorporate new challenges.

I reflected this on my own situation and came to the conclusion that I indeed arrived in the phase were a lot of things become a routine. For my job, it’s crucial to stay creative and come up with new innovations so routine is often a bad thing.

So… what’s my next challenge? Together with two new collegues, we’re going to start the dutch/benelux office of Exalead. Exalead is one of the major players in the enterprise search market. I know exalead pretty well since they are providing search technology to ilse since 2006. I’m a big fan of their technology and I’m very happy to become part of the company!

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4/TZ5 announced

I’ve been looking for a new camera for a while now. It’s probably a well-known dillema: will I buy one now or wait till a new version comes out? The problem with technology and gadgets is that there will always be a new version with improved features within a year after you’ve bought yours. So, at a certain moment you should just decide to buy one. Easier said than done, I know.

I considered buying the Panasonic DMC-TZ3, which I think is an excellent camera for a very competitive price. I did realise however that the camera has been on the market for almost a year. So, chances are good that a followup will be announced early 2008. Every once in a while I googled for DMC-TZ4 (which I thought would be a logical name for the TZ3 successor). Finally, when I asked google again today, I found Panasonic’s announcement of the TZ4 and TZ5!

Panasonic TZ5

The specs of these compact ultra-zoom cameras are pretty impressive:

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Coffee in Helsinki

I had a meeting at Sanoma in Helsinki yesterday. I’m flying back this evening so I had planned to go shopping for some nice finnish design today. Turns out that today is a public holiday in Finland so all shops are closed. Luckily we did find a nice coffeeshop with free WiFi:

Waynes Coffee

It would certainly spend far more time in coffeeshops if they all had an open WiFi connection…

My new office?

Mmm, I think I should just promote this place to be my new office:

Office in La France

If you might wonder what I’m doing: I’m over at my parents in France this week and thanks to France Telecom I’m able to do my work just like I would at the office. I must say, I like it!

Just another …

After some posts as guestblogger here and there, I decided the time was right to start a blog of my own. So I grabbed the latest wordpress version, did some slight theme modifications and uploaded it to my webserver. Ready to rock.

Then it happens, you enter the admin of your blog and see this default tagline: “Just another wordpress weblog”. Right, they do have a point there. This is just another weblog, having changed the tagline doesn’t make a hell lot of difference. So why even bother?

Well… mainly because I enjoy blogging. I’m reading and discussing the webnews day-in day-out, why not discuss it online as well? Besides that, I think that blogging on a regular basis will force me to think about things that I would have skipped otherwise. Last, but not least, I really hope to learn a lot from the discussion with readers of my blog.

Alright, time to study the wordpress widgets a bit more. Anyone who can recommend me some tagging & social bookmarking widgets?