Balsamiq Excel 2 Calendar Table Generator

I spend most of my time at the office dealing with Balsamiq. As good as Balsamiq is to portray quick-n-dirty sketches of user interfaces, oftentimes you end up trying to redo one of their components because the quick-n-dirty solution just wouldn’t help you tell the story to your customers. This is the case of the calendar, which happens to be stuck on February 2008 since… err… February 2008?

Balsamiq OTS Calendar Control

Balsamiq OTS Calendar Control

The problem that I face often while dealing with time-based views is the ability to change the date from one day to another during a walkthrough with the client, and for that purpose Balsamiq’s calendar is not quite useful. For a while, I was trying different ways to make the calendars, using Labels and Panels to link between the .bmml files and all of them ended up in a nasty nested groups that would be very difficult to update, until I stumbled upon the wonderful Table component.

The Table component in Balsamiq is feature rich, it allows you to do a lot of stuff if you know Balsamiq’s markup, the problem now is to type the markup easily every time you are dealing with a view, for example, in order to get this:

Table Calendar View using Balsamiq's Markup

Table Calendar View using Balsamiq’s Markup

I would need to write something like this:

*Mo*	*Tu*	*We*	*Th*	*Fr*	*Sa*	*Su*
-26-	-27-	-28-	-29-	-30-	-31-	[1](uno)
2	3	{color:blue}4{color}	5	6	7	*8*
9	10	11	12	13	14	15
16	17	18	19	20	[21](dos)	22
23	24	25	[26](tres)	27	28	29
30	-1-	[-2-](asd)	-3-	-4-	-5-	-6-

And as you can probably imagine, changing the parameters consistently among different wireframes could become a nightmare easily.

This is why I created the Balsamiq Excel 2 Calendar Table Generator, which allows you to pick which month (or consecutive 2 months) you want to see from what date, and it will automatically generate the markup for you.

The Excel Spreadsheet allows you to select the current date, and the selected date arbitrarily, and it has the ability to provide a link to other wireframes just by typing the name of the files next to the date (in the Links tab).

Excel Screenshot of the Balsamiq Excel 2 Table Calendar Generator

Excel Screenshot of the Balsamiq Excel 2 Table Calendar Generator

Download the Balsamiq Excel 2 Calendar Table Generator here.

Hope this is helpful for you as it has been for me. Happy wireframing.

10 Reasons to Record Your Life (1 Second Everyday)

I was writing a post with a similar title, and soon after I started writing I realised that each of the 10 reasons deserved a post on its own. So, before this whole idea becomes too old, I’m going to briefly describe the 10 reasons, and hopefully every now and then I’ll develop each of the ideas into a post of their own.

  1. Increases Self and Social Awareness. What do you do, who do you do it with. How often do you see people in your network? This is a good way to bring those stats to life. Who knows, you could probably get inspired by your video, and pursue other crazy ideas like meeting with all people from your network.
  2. Journal for Positive Events. Our society is programmed to look at the downside of things. You’re never good enough, you don’t have enough. Perhaps you’ll think otherwise after doing this. Continue reading

Create and Track your QR Codes

The following tutorial shows how to create traceable QR Codes that could be scanned by mobile phones to generate traffic from printed sources.

Note: This tutorial assumes that you have the required computer skills to browse the Internet and copy and paste text comfortably and that you understand some basic terminology like URL, SMS, Smartphone, etc.

Background

QR Code stands for Quick Response Code, which is an evolved type of barcode capable of storing more information in its matrix-like structure. They are usually found on printed format but they could be found in emails or other electronic means. Due to their storage capacity QR Codes can contain URLs, phone numbers, text information and SMS data and smartphones with a built-in camera can use the code to read this information, interpret it and perform a default task, such as opening the text editor, the web browser or the address book. The following section contains a step-by-step guide on how to create a traceable QR code for URLs.

Steps

  1. Since we want the QR code to open the web-browser with our URL, what we want to do is find a landing page URL that is likely to appeal our target audience, e.g. a contact page on our website. Continue reading

My URL is Shorter (and Prettier) Than Yours

URL shorteners are unsung heroes, they’ve been there since 2002, bit.ly made them almost famous in 2005. Today blogs like Read Write Web (rww.to) and Tech Crunch (tcrn.ch) or large-scale social platforms such as Flickr (flic.kr), YouTube (youtu.be), Instagram (instagr.am) and twitter (t.co) provide automatic URL shortening, being the latter perhaps the main culprit generating advocacy. Why? Text-real-state. The famous micro-blogging platform allows only 140 characters per post, making it very difficult for people to share regular links in it and things get only worse if they want to add a brief description.

Today we can say, that URL Shorteners and Twitter go hand by hand making it easier to share relevant and reliable information across the world, but it wasn’t getting any better.

With something else in mind I decided to register the domain eam.mx. I wanted to have a meaningful URL for personal and professional proposes (which will be eventually unveiled as the site develops), so I decided to use my initials and the ccTLD of my beloved country, Mexico. Continue reading