Gaurang's Blogs

Why I love Evernote so much - for all my notes / journals keeping?

I take notes extensively - round the clock, be it while traveling, watching movies, in middle of lectures, meetings, you name it, I take notes of things everywhere. Recently I touched 10,000 notes and it was becoming increasingly hard to manage those. 

Keeping all those notes in flat files ( Word files ) was making them useless as I couldn't search through them / edit them readily. I edit my notes extensively so it was crazy hard to achieve that in Google Docs as well as then you have unsegregatted notes spread across hundreds of documents. 

I used to use Catch app as well which worked nicely for segregatting the notes and it was easy to use but it shut down its services in ~2011 leaving me with a few options.

That's when I started using Evernote ( started in 2011, turned premium a month back ) which turned out to be blessing. It was such an amazing app to use as it allowed me store thousands of notes including voice recordings, tables, images so that was pretty great and served my notes taking habit well. 

So what are some of the most appealing features of using Evernote?

1. It stores all the versions of your notes - For Premium user 

So let's say if you are writing on a particular topic and you are adding new points everyday and refining the writeup then it becomes important to see different versions of the same note and to see how the note/ your thought evolved over time. 

Evernote lets premium users access different revisions of the notes and you can rollback to any of the other versions of the note. 

Imagine having this feature for thousands of notes, it is truly a blessing. 

Apple notes doesn't have this feature and if by chance you change any text and navigate to the other note, the accidental changes you made can't be rolled back. So beware!

2. Syncs across multiple devices - I use 2 Macs, 2 phones ( Android, iPhone ) 

Since I use multiple devices most of the times, I have to ensure that everything is synced all the time as I keep on taking notes in one of those devices at any given point of time (whenever required). 

Apple's Notes app is awesome but doesn't have a web interface and can't be used on android devices - so a thumbs down.

3. Documents scanner & Business Card Reader 

Evernote can scan documents with ease and saves those documents in PDF Format which you can share using any social media platform / email / any other service.

4. Web Interface is awesome, so are native apps for different platforms 

Since I use multiple devices ( macs, ios, android ), there are native apps for them so everything works out of the box. When I use friend's machines then I login using web interface which is equally powerful.

5. Web Clipper - AWESOME AWESOME!

Suppose you read a lot of blogs and you frequently clip the webpages / copy paste the contents from the webpages then Web clipper tool is awesome for you as it has extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and once you are done with installing them, you can clip entire webpage ( 2 modes - in identical formatting & simplified formatting ), bookmark it within evernote.

You can also tag those clipped webpages and categorise them for faster retrieval of content for notes making, reading. 

To get fully functional one month free premium account, register here. 

After one month if you choose not to renew the premium account ( which is the paid one ) - you will still get the basic evernote account and all your previous notes on evernote will be safe ( I tried that and all my notes are intact ).

Different Evernote's packages are as follows:

BASIC

PLUS

PREMIUM

Capture everything that matters.

Access Evernote wherever you are.

Take ideas into action with the complete Evernote experience.

 
 
 

Basic features:

  • Clip web pages & images
  • Find text in images
  • Share notes with others
  • Add a passcode lock on mobile
  • 60 MB of new uploads per month
  • Sync across up to 2 devices

Plus adds:

  • 1 GB of new uploads per month
  • Sync across unlimited devices
  • Access notebooks offline
  • Forward emails into Evernote
  • Find text in images
  • Customer support via email

Premium adds:

  • 10 GB of new uploads per month.
  • Sync across unlimited devices
  • Find text in images, PDFs, and Office docs
  • Annotate PDFs
  • Enhanced customer support
  • Scan and digitize business cards
  • Present notes in one click
  • Browse the history of your notes
  • Discover related content
  •  
 
 
 

To get fully functional one month free premium account, register here. 

Should you pay for the Premium / Window Seats in Airplanes?

While boarding a plane or a train or even a bus, have you ever thought of getting a Window Seat? 
Just about everyone wants one for sure. While if you have luxury of time which you get when you book travel tickets earlier - you can get window seats pretty easily, it's a bit tricky when you are flying. 
 
Reason being most of the good seats are already gone - thanks to e-check ins and the leftovers are either in middle ones or they face aisle. 
 
Now even if you get the window seat by any chance, chances are there that those seats would be around the wing. Now sad part about having a seat near a wing is that it obstructs the view completely / partially - if you are super lucky. 
 
Now, either you would want the rear seats which gives you ample of view but they are least sought after seats - mostly because you receive refreshments in the last, there is enough noise because of the lavatory. 
 
My personal preference is to get the front seats ( 1,2,3,4 ) as they have zero-wing view which is great as then you can enjoy the view of nature outside, the clouds, the moon and other planes sights too which makes it easier for you to pass out time or go into dreamy land with lots of cotton clouds around. 
 
AirAsia offers you the 1,2,3,4 seats at a premium ( INR 400 - 650 ) which is not the case with other flights like SpiceJet, Vistara as although they are amazing carriers, their business model revolves around selling premium economy and premium seats which is not the case with AirAsia. 
 
So if you are a travel freak and love to admire the nature around, I bet you would like to get a window seat in 1,2,3,4 seats which gives you the best possible view. 
 
I paid recently INR 550 for the 3F seat, although it hurted my pocket a bit, but those 2 1/2 hours of flight time, I enjoyed
pretty much. Also, I got priority check-in and express baggage checkout which was icing on the cake.
 
So if you can afford to spend some extra bucks, absolutely try getting 1A, 1F as they have extra leg space or else target 2A,2F,3A,3F seats in the plane, most likely the AirAsia as you experience the premium without paying any premium amount.

Few words about Branding

Branding means singularity. That helps people in identifying and forming the mental model to remember and relate things. 
Even for human beings, there has to be something which helps them in remembering things distinctly. 
 
For example, talking about Sergey Brin and Larry Page will you recall Google, Richard Branson links with Virgin Group, Bill Gates is all about Microsoft. 
 
So as an individual, focus on building your legacy. Invest all your years in your domain and become the top 1% in whatever you are pursuing. 

Finally got rid of Braces

After 4 long years, I got rid of braces.

Total amount spent : About a lac. 

Any major problem? Absolutely not. 

Then why this long? That's a long story but I will tell anyways :)

So here it goes. 

I always wanted a perfect smile but my teeth were irregular. The mental picture which I had of me was mismatching the reality. The teeth were somehow making my smile ugly so almost in every pic of mine, I have this straight face with a subtle smile. Things were insane but wanted to laugh out loud internally but never really laughed out like I should have. 

My first treatment started when I was 15 but after 4 extractions and 4 sittings, I was bored and exhausted of tooth extraction as dentist was pitching for 1-2 extractions and it didn't make any sense to me ( thanks to my ignorance about knowledge of dentistry ) and also it used to take me half hour to cycle to reach my dentist's clinic. So I quit with braces still placed for next 2 years until I somehow thought of removing them.

Thereafter the second treatment in December 2013 which was such a distrastrous move. Things went well for 6 months and after that I moved to Ahmedabad for my new Job. 

And I was there for a year during between I did to-fro between Delhi and Ahmedabad 8 times and missed 4 sittings. I used to fly down / travel through train just for my dental appointment + meeting with family. 

It was exhausting and I didn't want to change my dentist due to investment bias and also because I think one shouldn't change doctor in mid of any treatment.

One fine day I left my job and stayed there in home city for 6-7 months during which the treatment continued with lesser problems. 

But then I moved again to Ahmedabad and this time it became harder for me to adjust with the travel exclusively for my dentist. I was losing my patience so I changed my dentist ( Third treatment ) - "Fine Feather" which is one of the best chains of dentists in Ahmedabad. 

My dental treatment continued and they were understanding and did well. After about 8 months, treatment was going good and according to them only 2-4 sittings were left. 

Somehow, I left my job again, and this time I moved back to Delhi. I did go back to Ahmedabad next month for my appointment ( basically flown down to Ahmedabad and came back by train to average the costs for 30 mins appointment ). 

Now, the work was getting crazier and I didn't have luxury of time to do this drama over and over. but still next month, I was all set to go to ahmedabad for my dental appointment but I got late and missed my train. 

What a relaxing feeling it was, to skip the 17 hours journey (one side) for that 30 mins appointment. 

I started talking to dentists around - to get different opinions. 2 dentists told me about the Open Bite I got because of some reasons ( perhaps while aligning the teeth, open bites is generally caused ). 

This time I chose Sudha Rastogi Dental College ( Fourth Treatment ) for my treatment and I was assigned a good ( sort of perfectionist dental/ ortho dontics student ). In about 6-8 months, she fixed the open bite. 

But while there were 1-2 sittings left for final touch, I was sent to Goa for official work for a month and somehow I couldn't fix an appointment just before the departure with my dentist. Since I had to interact with countless people for the event I was hosting in Goa, I thought of getting rid of braces there only. I googled and found Naik Dental Clinic ( Fifth Treatment - minor ) in Porvorim. The orthodontist had a pleasant personality and was very empathetic. He used to tell each step he was gonna perform and took time to listen to all queries I had.

Finally I was here, on verge of getting rid of braces 

and after 1 hours of the process, I was like this: 

So what are my learnings from this entire mega project: 

  • If you have any dental treatment due, get it completed in your school time or max college time. Delaying beyond that will cause you a lot of trouble as you won't have luxury of time ( I know the reason now - I should have been smart enough to do it ).
  • Find the best doctor around - the one who is empathetic and can give you appointment time when you desire ( 2/5 times, my dentists were rude enough to not give appointment when I actually wanted ).  
  • Get tooth wax when you have braces, it saves chances of bleeding. 
  • Ensure that you get the treatment from a dentist preferably having chain around your city or state or country - depending upon your schedule in 1-2 years as if you will keep on moving around, you will have hard time getting appointment in the time it should be.

Drupal Delhi Community Meetup at Srijan Office

 

 

Travled 1500 kms on train last weekend

So Mumbai is my love and I love being there but this time I had to explore more places just one. Since I am in Goa,I thought of making a plan where I will be traveling to and from Mumbai but little did I know, the plan changed and I reached Lonavala first and then the Pune to finally reach Goa. 
 
So how did it all start when tickets weren't already booked?
First goal was to book tickets to Mumbai and I really wanted to explore what Tejas Express is, how does it look like. Reaching to the Karmali Station was a bit adventurous as I left for Panjim just 2 hours before the train's departure and I booked my tickets 4 hours prior to it and I got additional 10% discount too. Then at the Panjim Bus stop, I was finding the bus for Karmali Station which took a few minutes to figure out and thereafter I waited for 15 minutes for bus to move.
Only 60 minutes were left and I was calling my gods to help us reach the bus on time. 
 
Journey was really nice and surroundings were pretty scenic. There was one very old yet massive church on our way. 
 
In about 30 minutes we reached over the flyover below which there was a railway track and we were finding a way to reach there as we wanted a shortcut to reach sooner or else we would have definitely missed our train. 
 
A local old man helped us find the way out which was a bit off road, there was a stair case and we were just blindly following him. We walked for about 10 minutes on that railway track and we could see the station and people waiting for the train. The moment we reached the station, the Tejas Express was also approaching the station.
 
It was a decent looking train and I was super excited to board it. I grabbed my seat and after that I started roaming around the train, checking out what does make it super special. 
 
So it is one of the fastest trains in India which can touch 160 km/hr on certain tracks while average is 80 km/hr. It has got IR fitted Soap and Water Dispenser which is a great thing to have when you have unclean hands and moreover it saves a lot of water as well. Entire train has got CCTVs which is great as then you don't have to worry about security. All gates of the Tejas Express are power controlled so no one can accidentally open them and that prevents accidents greatly. 
 
The entire journey was pretty scenic and I loved the journey. I caught naps in between but it was worth it and all refreshing. 
 
Although I chose "No Food" Option, the food was really amazing and it is better to order Food or else you have to pay INR 220 per meal instead of INR 365 for entire meal. 
 
By 11 PM we reached the Mumbai Station and I wasn't much tired anyways. 
 
The next day, I went to Lonavala as I got the train from CSMT station which was LL Express. It was about 30 minutes late but still left the station on time. 
 
We reached Lonavala at 12:30 AM and it was cold out there. Our hotel was 3 kms away yet Auto charged INR 150 for dropping us. It was find as we didn't have any option nor I had enough strength left to bargain or walk in mid-night -- being absolutely unaware about how safe that place is in the mid-night. 
 
We reached the hotel in 10 minutes - the last 300 meters route was a bit shaky and we thought we have reached the wrong place but it was the real hotel with imaginary road. 
 
I was completely exhausted and I slept the moment I reached there to wake up at 6 in the morning. I strolled around the hotel and I loved how beautiful the hills looked like and how amazing was the breeze. 
 
I got a call from my friend in Pune and he summoned me to come there and hurriedly I left for Pune after having a fantastic Poori Choley breakfast which was included in the breakfast. 
 
Deccan Express - the train was 30 minutes late and I started reading book in the waiting room. The moment our train arrived, I jumped into it and god, it was a pretty chair car train. There were oldies who were busy doing make up behind our seats. The journey was fun as I was sitting alongside my favorite person. The entire route passed through hills and suburbs and looking outside the train is what you cannot skip.
 
It was Sivaji Jayanti and entire city was either singing valours of Shivaji or they were carrying saffron flags, statues of Shivaji on roads. It gave me a great feeling of pride as Shivaji is one most inspirational personality to me and to entire India.
 
We strolled around in the roads of Pune, the subway markets were pretty and they looked like the ones we have in Janpath or Pallika Bazar. It was sunny outside and yet I could see hundreds on road, celebrating with full joy the Shivaji Jayanti. 
 
I had to leave for Goa immediately so I was finding bus/ train options and I could find a train - Goa Express which was leaving Pune at 4 PM and I got the tickets of it. It was super slow Mail express and to cover 550 Kms, it took 14 hours.
Since it was a sleeper train, I could work and sleep which I did throughout the journey. It was exhausting but I loved how I traveled little over 1500 kms in the train seeing the wonderful cities of Maharastra. 
 
That's how my weekend looked like. Share your travel stories at www.myindianodyssey.com

Engaging with your audience well

Social Media is all about engaging with the target audience ( prospective customers - now, 1-5 years down the line ), interacting with them and staying relevant for them. 

Major brands have mastered the art of connecting with their audience. Some of the prominent examples are: Apple, Zara, Westside, and the recent amazing experience I had with Sennheiser. Here is what happened with me when I posted a post about how amazing my sennheiser headphones were:

and after not so long time, I started receiving notifications from Sennheiser itself. 

now that's what leads to user's/ consumer's delight, doesn't it? 

Someone from their marketing team took out a few seconds to interact with their customer by leaving a comment. 

Indeed that gesture is memorable for the consumers and it delights them, it keeps them loyal since the element of personal touch is dear to everyone ( afterall most of us still are human ). 

So as a marketer, you need to engage with real humans over the digital platforms. If you will master this and start creating content which touches their minds and hearts equally then no one can stop yourself from becoming a great communicator. 

What are your views? Leave a comment!

Installing Php7, Mysql, Phpmyadmin on Debian/ Ubuntu

Since PHP7 is prerequisite for Drupal8, I had to upgrade the Php version to 7 from 6 and also the Mysql versions which certainly introduced multiple changes in the implementation. 
 
Following are some of the links which were extremely useful in setting up the LAMP setup correctly. 
 
 
It is important to know that once you have upgraded to MySQL to Version 5.7, you cannot login into PhpMyadmin as the root user. Following link helped me understand that.
 
 
1. Run mysql_secure_installation to remove the test database and any extraneous user permissions added during the initial installation process:
2. sudo mysql_secure_installation
3. It is recommended that you select yes (y) for all questions. If you already have a secure root password, you do not need to change it.
 
Set Up a MySQL Database
Next, you can create a database and grant your users permissions to use databases.
1. Log in to MySQL:
2. mysql -u root -p
3. Enter MySQL’s root password when prompted.
4. Create a database and grant your users permissions on it. Change the database name (webdata) and username (username). Change the password (password):
5. Create database webdata;
6. Grant all on webdata.* to 'username' identified by 'password';
7. Exit MySQL:
8. Quit
 
Some of the commands which always help me while reinstalling Php7, PMA, MYSQL are:- 
- UPDATE mysql.user SET Password=PASSWORD('password') WHERE User='root';
FLUSH PRIVILEGES; 
- CREATE USER 'newuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password'; ( This is for creating a new user which you will use for logging into PMA as root users cannot login from Mysql 5.7 onwards)
- GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON * . * TO 'newuser'@'localhost'; ( This is used for granting super user permissions to the new user created ).

About Jagriti Yatra

Thoughts for entrepreneurs

By no means I am a successful entrepreneur and certainly it will take 3-5 years more to become a successful one. But there were learnings from past initiatives which I have compiled and I wanted to share.

Follow are they: 

 

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