Boosting Ubuntu's Productivity: 20 Tips: Page 3

Posted October 19, 2010

Matt Hartley

Matt Hartley

(Page 3 of 3)

16) Voice calls on Ekiga go to Asterisk voicemail – Most of you are familiar with Ekiga. However how many of you know that you can use Asterisk to handle voicemail for your Ekiga needs? Do you have folks calling you at the worst possible times? Let Asterisk handle the incoming call with voicemail so you can keep working.

Once you get Ekiga moved to port 5061 and Asterisk to SIP port 5060, you are ready to get to work and allow Asterisk to handle your incoming calls. It essentially acts as a personal assistant. If instead, you are using something like PC-To-Phone and Phone-To-PC calls, then you may be able to gain an already setup voicemail for your Ekiga client without needing to bother with Asterisk at all.

17) Use different user accounts – One Ubuntu user account for work, another for home use. Why? Because it's a fantastic way to keep your work life and non-work life completely separate. Not saying this is practical for everyone, however those using their computers both for work and play might find this helpful.

So how does this allow you to be more productive? By keeping a thick line between your home and work life online. Best of all, if you maintain multiple social media accounts, this will help you keep them separate. It is even worth pointing out that by keeping both a work and personal user account, you are adding a symbolic divide between the two spaces in your life. It allows people to still use the computer without being sucked into work at every turn on the weekends as well.

18) Run two LCD monitors – Outside of my laptop or netbook, the idea of using a desktop computer with a single monitor is just foreign to me. Some have questioned whether my apparent "need" for two monitors is a matter of enhanced productivity or, instead, pride in having a desktop with two monitors attached. I think it comes down to enhanced productivity. Allow me to explain.

When I’m working on a project, I need to be able to have certain websites open to me while I write. This means I can either bounce back and forth from one window to another, or simply look to the right of my left monitor for the same information. Clearly, using two monitors properly can do wonders for enhancing your productivity.

19) Virtual Box instead of dual-booting – I apologize ahead of time if this seems too obvious. That said, it still blows my mind how many people dual-boot their computers into Windows to access legacy Windows software that doesn't run in WINE.

Like many of you, I use desktop Linux full time. And my most used distro of choice is Ubuntu. Now for other projects, there are times where I need to access the occasional Windows application. But instead of booting into Windows after logging out of Ubuntu, I already have it running in the background in seamless mode through Virtual Box.

By taking this approach, I save tremendous time as I can stay within my Ubuntu desktop while still accessing the needed legacy application that forced me to boot into Windows in the first place.

20) Let crontab do that for you – At its core, crontab is awesome, there is no question about it. But unless more of us start becoming familiar with it, using it effectively means constantly having to translate the strings into something that makes sense to those of us running it.

I have found that I am good with simply setting up my scheduled tasks the old fashioned way as it's clear that things will get done without fail. And there is clearly a timesaving element to having crontab handle certain backup routines and other tasks so I’m free to not deal with them.

For those wanting the same productivity benefit, perhaps using GNOME Schedule is just what you've been looking for instead of entering crontab data in manually. Either way, crontab is a huge time saver once you have it setup to handle those little things you'd rather leave to an automatic schedule.

ALSO SEE: Why Does Everyone Hate Ubuntu?

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Tags: open source, Linux, Ubuntu, Linux downloads, open source software

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