Productivity, Tip of the Day

Tip of the day: Going quickly to an item in the Entity Model Diagram

After a conversation recently about how difficult it was to find stuff in the EDMX diagram because it can often be a right pigs breakfast, I stumbled across this today.

In Visual Studio there is a Model Browser that is available when viewing the diagram. It appears in the same space as the solution explorer. If you don’t see it in the tab list you can add it by going to View–>Other Windows–>Entity Data Model Browser. Like this:

Menu to open Entity Data Model Browser
Menu to open Entity Data Model Browser

Once there, you can open the tree to get the item you want much more easily that finding in on the diagram.  Open entity types to see a list:

The model browser window
The model browser window

Right-click the entity you want to move the diagram to and select “Show in Designer”

Show in Designer
Show in Designer

The designer will shift to the location of the table and put it in the centre of the window for you. It will also select the table.

It may be a really simple thing, but I wish I’d discovered it sooner.



I keep hearing about friends using The Pomodoro Technique and I’ve decided I really need to just try it out for myself. I’m not yet sure if it will work for me, but I’ve been hearing positive things about it.

To that end I set myself the task of a small project using it, that is to create a web page with a pomodoro timer with a visible indicator of time left and that makes a noise when the timer expires. The final pomodoro is to write up this blog post.

This task has a mix of things I already know about (putting together a web page with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery) and things I would have to look up (like how to get a web page to emit a sound at a given point, have it respond to events at timed intervals, and deploy it to the web via Amazon’s AWS).

What I found was that 25 minutes actually goes past very quickly. Secondly, and this is more because it is the Christmas holidays, I still need to discipline myself not to jump to Facebook or Twitter each time my phone beeps or chirrups a notification at me. Similarly, in work I would probably have to discipline myself not to jump to Outlook or Skype when they pop up notifications.

On the whole, it looks like it could be fairly advantageous and I’ll continue to see if it helps productivity.

For the moment, if you do want to have a look at the very simple pomodoro timer that I created, then you can access it here: – I’m also happy to take suggestions on improvements if you think it could be made better.