Wednesday, April 13, 2016

iPhone and iTunes Catch-22 Solved! Windows 10

I was confounded when I updated my iPhone 6s to iOS 9.3 by a single problem -- the Apple Health app was corrupted by the update.  All of my health apps, that connect to the core Health app, were no longer connected, and the Sources list was totally empty.  My Apple Watch health functions were all broken, not on the watch, but on the iPhone Health app.  There were no graphs, nothing!  Everything else about the update seems to have worked.

The usual troubleshooting methods, forcing the phone to restart, etc., did nothing.  The Apple Health app is built in to the iOS, so there is no way to delete it and reload it.

As far as I could find, Apple and the support blogs never mentioned this problem.

Faced with a phone not operating properly, the choices are to take it to an Apple Store (and probably wait a week for it to be sent back, and pay a fee), or to try a Reset to factory settings.  That means that all the customization, downloaded apps, etc., are wiped out.  Fortunately, I had backups on iCloud, and a months-old password protected backup to my PC (which preserves the passwords in the apps, etc.)  So, resetting to factory, then Restoring a backup wasn't too bad.

But then came the bigger problem:  iTunes wouldn't recognize my iPhone on either of my Windows 10 desktop PCs. The phone interface didn't pop up when connected by cable, and all of the menu choices under File_Devices were grayed out.  So, there was no way to Reset to factory settings.  Restarting the PCs and the iPhone did nothing.

Through some searching, I knew that there should be an Apple driver, Apple Mobile Device USB Driver, shown in the Windows Device Manager, under Universal Serial Bus controllers category, but there wasn't!  More searching indicated that the way to fix that problem was to re-install iTunes.  So, more time and effort doing that, but the result was the same -- no driver, no iPhone device in iTunes.

Hence the Catch-22.

I contacted Apple Support, both by Chat, and by calling on the phone (and giving up after half an hour on hold).  I got nothing that helped, except the instruction to Reset the phone using iTunes, and to re-install iTunes, which wasn't possible or did no good, on either PC.

After much Google searching, I finally hit on one article that solved the connection to iTunes; once that was done, I could go through the the procedure and hope that the Health app would work (which it did, thankfully).

So here's the procedure for getting the Apple driver into Windows 10: .

I am so very grateful to Mitch Bartlett for posting this fix!  This is an eleven-step process, so I won't copy it here. It involves manually finding the driver and installing it to Windows 10 for the Apple device.  Once that's done, iTunes sees the device, and the rest of the Reset and Restore can be done.

iTunes: Fix iPhone or iPod Not Detected in Windows 10

I'm still finding apps that I have to re-enter the ID and password, that weren't in my previous encrypted backup.  And I'm backing up my phone to the PC more often now, not relying on the iCloud automatic backup.

BTW, iOS 9.3.1 came out not long after this problem, but nothing was mentioned about fixing the Apple Health app, so I don't know if that would have done anything for my problem.  Never saw a reference to my problem from the iOS 9.3 update.  Also, fyi, I had been running the 9.3 Beta on two iPads, for all of the nine or so updates, without major problems, so I had felt fairly confident in doing the update from 9.2 on the phone.  Never again will I update on the first day or days of release of an update!!!

Hope this post helps some other folks.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Just found the following post by Steve Zeoli:

Using TheBrain as digital bullet journal

"For the past 14 months or so I’ve been keeping a journal using the bullet journal method, which I wrote about here and here. During this time, I’ve found using a paper notebook quite fun and effective. I’ve been curious about how these same methods could be used with software on a computer and/or iPad. I’ve considered many apps for this, but none seemed to come close to matching the facility of pen and paper. However, I think I’ve finally found an option that could work very well for me.

The following discussion is a bit of a thought experiment on my part, rather than a report on my successful use of TheBrain for bullet journaling. That is, I’ve still only dabbled with TheBrain for this purpose, but I see real promise and wanted to share my thoughts."

Read more at -- many interesting ideas here, including "36 Broken Spokes" -- a log of cross country bicycling.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Update on TheBrain, Workflow, Mohiomap and Other Apps

The biggest news since I last posted to this blog is the release of TheBrain for iOS devices, the iPhone and the iPad.  This opens up new possibilities not available with the desktop version of TB, in particular, interactivity with other iOS apps. See .

Unfortunately, this interactivity, at present, is somewhat round-about, using other apps, particularly the new WorkFlow app. See .

Mohiomap has expanded from mindmapping Evernotes to include files from Dropbox and Google Drive.   See .

I am re-posting here some commentary I wrote today in TheBrain Forums regarding these developments:

". . . thanks for the excellent outline of the problem of connection and interchange between TB and the many other useful information repositories.  I've been searching for the golden solution for decades now, back to the days of DOS Lotus Agenda and before.  In October 2013, I posted a diagram of My Knowledge Network at .  

Much progress has been made, particularly thanks to Evernote, and to a degree, TB, but the current state is still short of the ideal IT brain.

I am appreciative of Zenrain's bringing the iOS Workflow app to my attention, and to the custom workflows he's developed for adding to TB iOS app inbox.  Look forward to even more.

One other app to mention is Mohiomap, which has expanded from mapping EN notes, to now include Dropbox files and Google Drive files.  They are doing some interesting things with auto-linking of tags and Wikipedia articles.  I am hoping they will expand to include other repositories, such as Instapaper, Pocket, and maybe email.

Cloze is also doing some interesting combinations of calendar, email, social, contacts and saved articles, both in a web site, and in iOS apps.

p.s. Another hope I had in October 2013 was for a project between David Allen and Charles Simmonyi that sounded like had a lot of promise; unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any sign of progress or further mention since I posted the following to a LinkedIn group:

"I came across Charles Simonyi today -- billionaire, two times in space in the Soyuz, author of the word processor that became Microsoft Word, and an early MS employee, and much more.

The "more" includes being chairman of a company, named Intentional Software, in Bellevue, WA, A year ago, they partnered with David Allen, author of "Getting Things Done" aka GTD, (GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company.) The problem they seek to fix is that "Many GTD Enthusiasts today are constantly looking for new ways to incorporate applications and their numerous computing devices into their workflow." That's me, and maybe you too.

Unfortunately, they don't have the solution yet -- at least, I couldn't find it. So, I did a Tweet to the CEO, and hope I will be able to report some interesting things later. The tie-in here is to TheBrain software that I mentioned yesterday, which has the new version 8 beta now available for free download. (I can't stress enough that you need to take a look at TheBrain -- it could change the way you handle information for the rest of your life!)

Read more about Charles Simonyi and the GTD project at Intentional Software, TheBrain, and knowledge management at these locations: ; ; ;"

p.p.s:  See for a current link to Intentional and the GTD project, which appears to have not gotten off the ground; the above links are through LinkedIn or may no longer be available, but currently, this one is."


Saturday, July 12, 2014

A quick update on Mohiomap:  there is a discussion on MM in the LinkedIn Evernote Users group that might be of interest to you.

       " posted:
        Have any of you been utilising Mohiomap to build smart mind maps out of your 
        Evernote data? I am curious about your experiences."

I provided some responses there, particularly about how I am linking my Mohiomap of Evernote notes to my "TheBrain" application on my PC (and which then becomes available on my personal webbrain page, and on my iPod, iPhone and iPad).

Here's a clip of some of my Mohiomap Evernote links in my personal Brain program:

(Click to enlarge)

See the Mohiomap discussion in LinkedIn here.

(note -- you need to be a LinkedIn member, and possibly, an Evernote Group member to view the post; go to .)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Quick follow up to previous post -- here is what my Outlook toolbar looks like with the addins I mentioned:

Click to enlarge

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sticking Yellow Notes on My Emails -- New "Notes4Email" from Caelo

I've been trying out a new add-in for Outlook on my PC (Office 2010, 32-bit, Win 7 Pro, 64-bit) for the last ten days or so.  I think it is a keeper, so thought I'd let you know.

"Notes4Email" is new from Caelo; they describe  "adding a Note to your e-mails" as "Outlook's most wanted feature."  (See .)

For me, the important things are that it is easy to write a note, easy to find the note, and that the add-in doesn't interfere with my numerous other ones.  It has passed these criteria with flying colors! (with a yellow color, that is.  :>)

I've been a big seeker of the perfect Personal Information Manager since back in the DOS days.  I still mourn the failure of Lotus to support and develop Agenda.  I became a fan of ECCO Pro, but unfortunately, that too became faded (but not dead, there is still a bunch of devoted fans, and I still have it on my 64-bit Windows 7 PC --- more on that maybe later).  In my previous posts here and in the future, you can see some of the programs I currently use.

But Outlook is nearly unavoidable, having driven so many others out of business or into obscurity.  So, I keep adding things to Outlook, to try to make it do all that I want.  They don't always work well together, and I've had to give up on some because of the crashes, or failures to load, that occur too often.

I get over 100 emails a day, so I really need something to make some standout, where I want to add a quick note; I don't have time to delete, or move to folders, all those emails every day.  I was already using "Single Click Filing," "Track Your Sent," and "eeminders" along with EverNote and OneNote add-ins.

Fortunately, "Notes4Email" is not one of those that crash or fail to load, and hasn't caused any problems since I installed it.  It works, and does just what it promises to do.  (I'll let you read the Caelo page for all those things, rather than repeating them all here.) But here are the highlights, quoted from their website:

"Easy, effective and reliable...
No complicated software, no additional database systems, no additional areas on your screen...
Simply add your comments in a native Outlook Note to your e-mail.
The note will be added as attachment so you will benefit from all features of Outlook attachments:
  • See the first line of your Note directly in the reading pane of the email
  • Simply click the Note attachment icon to see the entire content
  • Forward the e-mail to share your note with others or use Reply to send without the note
  • Use Outlook Search to search within your notes (Outlook also searches within attachments)
  • An additional yellow category ('Notes4Email') makes your noted e-mails clearly visible and even easier to find.
No need to learn Outlook Notes... No need to learn Categories...
Simply focus on the comments you like to add and Notes4Email will do the rest."

BTW, I also use Neo Pro from Caelo, which is a stand-alone program that integrates with Outlook, for custom organization of emails and particularly fast and robust searching.  "Track Your Sent" and "Single Click Filing" are add-ins also from Caelo.

The "Notes4Email" show in the "Hot" list in Neo Pro, so I can easily see all the emails where I've added notes in one place without searching for them.  Other Outlook Categories all show separately the emails assigned to them in Neo Pro without having to do a search.

See all Caelo products at: .

They provide free downloads and trials too.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Could Microsoft OneNote Replace Evernote?

An interesting question raised in the Evernote Group on LinkedIn:  

"So with the cross-platform release of Microsoft OneNote, are you still as committed to EverNote?" 

(See )

My answer is:  "Yes, definitely still committed to EN. I've had ON perhaps longer than EN, but use it only occasionally. I use EN multiple times each day. It's just easier/quicker to use EN, particularly using the desktop version."

One of the references in the post by Brian Bezanson is:  

"First look: Could Microsoft OneNote for Mac replace Evernote?"

Jeffery Battersby concludes:

"OneNote’s price, collaboration capabilities, and particularly its freeform note-taking feature make it a compelling application for capturing your ideas as quickly as possible. Whether it'll be a compelling alternative to Evernote remains to be seen."

Check out the features and pros/cons here: