Tuesday, March 14, 2017

7 Ways You Can Use Linux to Organize Your Life

By Bertel King, Jr.  

Many people have taken to using smartphones to keep their lives in order, but not you! You have a system in place that you’ve perfected over years, and your laptop or desktop remains your primary means of keeping everything in order. But now you’re switching to Linux, and you want to know what’s out there.
Linux may not have the same apps you’ve grown accustomed to, but there’s no shortage of software that can help you keep track of everything. Whether it’s juggling dates or managing your finances, Linux has plenty of tools to organize your life. Here’s a taste, one category at a time.

1. Remembering Meetings & Events

Windows has Microsoft Outlook, the king of corporate calendars. Apple Calendar is a key part of macOS and iOS. What does Linux have?
Since there is no single operating system known as Linux, there’s no one calendar app that serves as the standard bearer. But there are a few big names to check out. Two of Linux’s most popular desktop environments, GNOME and KDE, each have calendar apps. The former traditionally offered Evolution, though you can now opt to use the more modern GNOME Calendar. The latter defaults to KOrganizer. Each lets you sync with Google Calendar.The Linux Kernel: An Explanation In Layman's Terms The Linux Kernel: An Explanation In Layman's TermsThere is only one de facto thing that Linux distributions have in common: the Linux kernel. But while it's often talked about, a lot of people don't really know exactly what it does.READ MORE

2. Keeping a To-Do List

To-do list apps are plentiful and diverse. GNOME To Do covers the basics with style. Tasque is simple on any desktop. Getting Things GNOME relies on the GTD method of task organization. If you’re unfamiliar with that approach, it’s actually a pretty good way to get things done.Organise 2015: Learn The Martial Art Of Getting Things Done [Stuff to Watch] Organise 2015: Learn The Martial Art Of Getting Things Done [Stuff to Watch]Ever wonder why the successful, over-achievers always seem to keep a cool head?READ MORE

Or you can stick to a full-featured email suite. Evolution (GNOME) and Kontact (KDE) both have built-in task lists. But these are basic and may leave you wanting a dedicated app for the additional features.

3. Organizing Files

If you’re like me, your downloads folder is the most disorganized area in your home folder. It’s the place where your web browser vomits all the things you found interesting since the last time you went through and cleaned things up. Have you ever? Maybe you don’t like to touch any of your folders.
The job can be tedious, but it turns out that the file manager that came with your distro may be slowing you down! Consider swapping it out for something else, such as KrusaderGNOME Commander, or one of the other options. One of the benefits of Linux is being able to swap out components as you like.Thunar vs. Nautilus: Two Lightweight File Managers For Linux Thunar vs. Nautilus: Two Lightweight File Managers For LinuxIs Thunar a better file manager than Gnome's default, Nautilus?READ MORE

4. Managing Photos

Even if you automatically upload all of your photos to someone’s remote servers, you probably want a local copy somewhere on your PC. Unfortunately getting the images off your camera or phone and onto your laptop in a presentable manner isn’t quite as simple.
I use Rapid Photo Downloader. It pulls photos and videos off my camera and sorts them into folders arranged to my specifications. It renames files too, so that names are consistent regardless of which camera I used.

Afterward, I use a photo manager to view my images. Here, Linux has a diverse selection. DigiKam is one of the most feature packed options on any operating system. Shotwell and gThumb strike a nice balance between features and simplicity. GNOME Photos lets you view your images with even less complexity. Whether you want something powerful, simple, or light on system resources, Linux has an option for you.8 Picasa Alternatives Made for Linux 8 Picasa Alternatives Made for LinuxYou may have heard that Google is closing Picasa, but of course, Google stopped supporting the Linux port of Picasa years ago, so we've plenty of great alternatives already available!READ MORE

5. Journaling

Keeping a journal can change your life. The act of writing focuses your thoughts. You get a view of what you consider important, and you can spot trends over time. Plus you save a record of your thoughts after you’re gone.
Lifeograph is a GNOME app which lets you save entries, apply tags, format text, and encrypt data to ensure your privacy.

Like to try out many Linux distributions? Dayjournal saves your entries as plain text, so even if you change apps or operating systems, you don’t have to leave what you wrote behind.

6. Keeping Up With Non-Digital Stuff

It may seem like it sometimes, but your life doesn’t exist entirely on your phone or computer. You probably have plenty of physical possessions lying about, and a some of them could benefit from a little organization.
Apps like Tellico and GCstar are general purpose organizers. They can manage collections of books, video games, stamps, comics, toys, or whatever else brings you joy. You can take photos of your objects and keep track of who you’ve loaned things to. For heavy readers, BibShelf is a more specialized option that only does books.

7. Tracking Finances

You need to know where your money is going if you want to have any semblance of control over your life. Signing into the websites for your bank accounts and credit cards will give you an idea, but that’s a bunch of hopping around. Why not put all that data in one place?
Windows users may turn to Quicken for this purpose. That isn’t an easy option on Linux, but there are alternatives. You can try GnuCashHomeBankKMyMoney, or Skrooge to name a few. Using accounting software requires you to be hands-on with your finances, but after you’ve been at it for a while, you should have a better understanding of your money than you’ve ever had before.3 Ways to Manage Your Finances Using Linux 3 Ways to Manage Your Finances Using LinuxQuicken won't work on Linux, but you have several options open to you for spreadsheet and accounting app alternatives. Here's how you can use Linux to stay on top of your finances.READ MORE

Keep in Mind…

You don’t even need to bother with dedicated software. You can keep track of just about anything with a spreadsheet. And if you use Evernote or other cloud services to manage your life, you can continue doing that on Linux without having to set anything up. Mint can manage your bills just as easily from a Linux PC as it can from Windows or macOS.
What methods do you use to organize your life? Does your computer help you get the job done? Does Linux? Let’s talk in the comments! 

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