How To Print Index Cards From Word

I’ve wasted hours of the last couple of weeks trying to work out how to print 3×5 index cards from Word via my Canon MP250. I finally worked it out today and here’s how I did it.

  1. First of all, it’s worth knowing that the Canon Mp250 will NOT print 3×5 cards. So stop trying.
  2. It WILL, however print 4×6 index cards – so go down to your nearest office supplies place and buy some of those.
  3. Open Word and create a new document. Or just use this template I created for you.
  4. If you’re on a Mac, go to FILE>PAGE SETUP and select 4×6
  5. Copy and paste your content into this document.
  6. Place cards in printer vertically (ie with smallest edge at the top)
  7. aaaaand print!

These days I’m using index cards to memorise a bunch of things, including the opening monologue for my documentary about Jesus, the entire text of The Raven by Poe, and a bunch of random facts I want to remember. I’ve tried using Evernote as flash cards over the years, but it just doesn’t work for me. I can carry around flash cards made from index cards in my pocket or briefcase and just test myself whenever I have a few minutes. Sometimes you just can’t beat the old school methods.

An Even BETTER Way To Get Audio Into Evernote on your iPhone

I do most of my best thinking behind the steering wheel after meetings and I’m always looking for ways to capture those ideas before I forget them.

I wrote a post a couple of years ago about using Siri to transcribe voice-to-text into an email that it would send to Evernote. That’s worked well for me but it has some limitations – mostly that if you’re trying to write a long note and you pause to think, Siri will assume you are finished and cut you off mid-sentence.

So I have a new system that I find works even better.

Dropvox is an iPhone app that will a) record your voice and b) automatically save the recording to Dropbox. There are other apps that will do a similar thing, but I like Dropvox for two reasons.

1) It has a HUGE RED BUTTON making it easy to press while driving.
2) It has a setting that will start recording as soon as the app opens, which means you don’t even have to press the button!

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 5.41.37 pm
Of course you can record notes into Evernote directly but it takes a few clicks and the in-app record button is the size of ant’s balls. This is more like an elephant.

So while driving I can activate Siri and simply say “Open Dropvox” (making sure I over-emphasise the “VOX” so it doesn’t open DropBOX by mistake) and, when it opens, I start recording my note. When I hit the huge red elephant-sized STOP button, Dropvox will automatically upload the file to Dropbox.

Now – here’s the magic.

On my Macbook I have a Hazel rule setup to grab new notes in the Dropvox folder under my main Dropbox folder, and open them in Evernote! So when I get back to the office after my meeting and open my Macbook, I’ll magically get my audio note open in Evernote a minute later (once Dropbox has synched).


The Polaroid Philosophy.

Do you remember the days when things were limited? When you might buy one new album of music every couple of months? When you had to buy photo negatives by the roll and be careful what you used them on? When there were only two channels of television? When there was one newspaper to read? When you had to go to the library to get your hands on a new book to read?

Today we are inundated with media options. Some people say it’s too much. Some people say we are oversaturated. Some people say all of this content is making us less appreciative.

polaroid photo

Photo by Andrew Saltmarsh

I’m starting to agree. I remember appreciating music much more (or at least it seemed that way) when I’d buy a new album rarely and then listen to it over and over and over, becoming familiar with every nuance, every note. Today I still love those albums. Putting them on gives me the feels, releasing an oxytocin burst of the warms and fuzzies. Is it somehow due, at least in part, to their familiarity?

Perhaps less *is* more.

Over the last decade I’ve become something of a miner bird, foraging on bits and pieces of media all day long – a song here, a song there, this blog, that blog, 10,000 Twitter feeds, 1,000 Facebook feeds, 100 books on my iPad, watching YouTube clip after YouTube clip, TV torrents by the bucketload – from dawn until midnight. And it’s not limited to the media I consume, it also extends to the media I produce. I might take 10 photos a day and several videos. I tweet. I Facebook. I blog. It’s too easy to produce gallons of crap.

Less is more.

What if I limited myself?

I limit myself in other areas of life – eg I only eat ice cream (and sugar free at that) on weekends – what if I limited myself digitally as well?

What if I limited myself to taking one photo every day? If I’m only allowing myself one photo, it had better be the best photo I can take.

What if I limited myself to listening to one album of music every week? No more shuffling. One album. I’d have to listen to it over and over until I knew the grooves inside and out.

What if I limited myself to writing one Tweet / Facebook post per day and writing one blog post per week? I better make sure they are good.

What if I limited myself to one episode of TV per day? One YouTube clip?

What if I reduced my Twitter feed to ten people? The same with Facebook. They better be the best feeds I can find.

What if I reduced the feeds in Flipboard and Zite to only one or two? Would it make me choose what I read more carefully?

I’m going to treat my media consumption and production with the Polaroid philosophy. I’m going to force myself to set artificial limits, a media diet. Because I really do believe that less is more.