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Showing posts from June, 2006

PDF tips: Speed up PDF loading with Adobe Acrobat

This is one of my all-time favourite tricks!

It took me far too many years to finally get sick of how slow Adobe Acrobat loads PDF files. It was taking between 10 and 30 seconds to load a single file. How could this be? Well, I found a solution and I highly recommend it to everyone, everywhere - it’s that good.

Every time you run Adobe Acrobat up to 20 plugins are loaded unnecessarily - most users do not need even a fraction of them!
To disable unneeded plugins and make them optional instead, follow these instructions:

- Install the latest version of Adobe Acrobat - you can get it here
- Browse to the plugins folder: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Reader\plug_ins
- Create a new folder named Optional
- Move all files from the plug_ins folder to Optional, except EWH32.api, print*.api, and Search*.api

That’s it! Load any PDF in Adobe Acrobat to see the difference!

Email tip: Read Once, Then Decide

The most unproductive thing you can do when it comes to e-mail is to read the same messages over & over again. This has the effect of doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling your workload. Instead, you should read each message once, then decide what to do with it. Read-decide. Read-decide. This is the pattern of effective e-mail processing. The goal is to end up with an empty inbox daily or, at the very least, every couple of days.

According to author David Allen (Getting Things Done), you need to first decide if the message is actionable. There are only two possible responses to this: yes or no. If the answer is no, it is a Non-Actionable Message. You then have three possible choices:

- Delete the message. It is no longer needed. Spam, most ads, & many e-mail newsletters fall into this category.

- File it for later reference: It may be useful later. However, you don’t want to let it sit in your inbox consuming psychic energy. Instead drag it into a folder. Personally, I drag eve…

Email tip: Only Process E-mail at Designated Times

In my experience, most people are overwhelmed by their e-mail. Throughout the day, they are bombarded with e-mail messages. Like a tennis match from hell, some feel obligated to hit every ball back across the net as soon as it lands in their court. Others eventually give up & allow the tennis balls to cover them up. Occasionally, they take a swing, but they can never seem to dig out from under the pile. Meanwhile, the never-ending assault of e-mail messages continues.
Enough of this madness! The problem is in the assumption. Contrary to popular opinion, there is not a law that says you must answer every e-mail as it is received. In fact, this is a sure-fire way to kill your productivity & end up becoming a slave to e-mail rather than using it as a tool to accomplish your work on your terms.

One simple way to do this is to schedule specific times of day to work on e-mail. For example, I check e-mail first thing in the morning, before I go to lunch, & at the end of the day. Si…