Clkl continues to think up cool ways to organize. Check out her photostream. for more. (At least I'm assuming she's a she.)
This is pretty cool. Google is continuing its march to world domination with a presentation tool to replace Power Point. Check out the Google Operating System blog for more deets. (I just made the word "deets" up. Does it sound plausible? It makes me laugh anyway.)
I availed myself of some free career counseling recently, offered through my employer. At 37, I'm still not sure what I want to do when I grow up, and I figured I'd get a professional perspective on the situation.
Mr. Counselor didn't have any brilliant ideas, but one of his insights has stuck with me. He encouraged me to pursue career paths and projects that were fun. Rather than thinking about possibilities that would build upon my current skills, or that would be lucrative, he encouraged me to think about what I actually enjoy doing.
Man's got a point.
I've taken his advice to heart with regard to blogging. Recently I was offered a couple of opportunities to write on other Web sites. They seemed like a good idea at the time, but in the end I found myself chafing at the deadlines and external expectations. For me blogging is like having my own newspaper or publishing company. I get to say whatever I want. No one edits me or tells me what or when to write. If I don't feel like it, I don't do it. If I don't have a great idea for a post, I wait until I do.
Reading through the 423 blog feeds I've collected in Google Reader (yes, I'm mentally ill), I often wish other bloggers would do the same. So often you see posts that appear to be posted just for the sake of posting. The same link shows up everywhere. Bloggers thank each other and link to each other in a perpetual love fest. I yawn.
As the RSS/blog thing grows, I think it behooves us all to be a bit more selective in our posts. With RSS time no longer matters. People aren't going to forget about you if you don't post every day. When you've got something to say, your post will show up in my feed aggregator or in a blog search.
Until then, don't apologize for not posting. Don't feature a story that we've all seen several times already. Unless your blog is a personal diary, don't post the mundane details of your life. Wait until inspiration strikes, or you find something really unique to share. We'll be here waiting for you.
It will be more fun that way, don't you think?
If Google were to disappear from the face of the earth tomorrow, I'd be screwed. Not only is my whole GTD system in Gmail, but I use their other applications: Reader, Blogger, Notebook, Toolbar, and Documents for just about everything I do.
Google makes everything better. I love being able to email posts to myself or others straight from Reader using Toolbar. I love being able to easily copy text and photos to my Notebook. I love opening attachments in Documents. I love the fact that everything's online, and that I can access my files from anywhere. I love sharing articles through Reader on this blog. Most of all, I love Gmail. Being able to hit "archive" and know that my emails will be easily accessible with their fantastic search technology, but out of sight, is nothing short of miraculous.
The only Google offering that I haven't loved so far is Bookmarks. I still like the social nature of del.icio.us, but I'm Google will eventually take over that market too.
I noticed something cool on del.icio.us the other day. You can subscribe to keywords and get a feed of all the sites people are bookmarking with that term. I subscribed to GTD, and although there are a lot of sites I already knew about, not to mention a bit of porn (is the acronym GTD short for some sexual practice?), I've found some good stuff in there. You can even add the subscription to your feed reader. Just click on the tab that says "subscriptions."
Like many GTDers who have yet to achieve Black Belt status, I have trouble with my weekly review. This morning I had a revelation as to why. The truth is, it makes me anxious.
When I look at all my projects and next actions, I feel like I shouldn't be wasting time doing even more planning. I should be working! I berate myself for spending time on all this GTD stuff when I could be doing something constructive on all those projects I've been procrastinating about.
But that's the whole point of GTD -- taking time to plan and think. Somehow we have to convince ourselves that it's worth taking an hour or two on Monday morning to plan ahead and get beyond the day-to-day concerns. Otherwise we'll be treading water, doing what comes up rather than what's really going to get us where we want to go.
So this morning I took a deep breath and reassured myself over and over that I was doing the right thing. I went through my lists and thought through a few things, and felt a little bit better.
My anxiety stems from the fact that I procrastinate a lot and I fear that GTD is just another way to avoid doing real work. But the truth is that GTD helps me with my procrastination by helping me avoid feeling overwhelmed. GTD breaks things down into small, manageable chunks that I can deal with. Creating those chunks takes time and effort, but it's worth it.
Cranking widgets is my dream.
I thought this post by David Seah was very interesting. He's been documenting an attempt to create a new habit for himself -- getting up early and going to a coffee shop every morning to plan his day. He likens planning his day to graphic design: An unplanned day is like doodling on a blank piece of paper. A planned day is like using the techniques of his art to create harmony and usefulness.
Like David, I've been working on creating new routines for myself at work lately, and planning my day has been one of the most helpful habits I've tried. Right now I use Vitalist for my task list. It's ok, but I find that it doesn't allow you to create a list just for that day. Instead you have a dashboard that shows you "upcoming tasks." What I don't like is that when you complete the tasks for your current day, new ones for tomorrow pop up. You can't just display your current day with tasks organized by context. It makes you feel like you can't catch up.
So instead of using the dashboard, I find myself hand-writing my daily list in my notebook, which is a good thing because it forces me to think about what I'm going to do that day. It makes me think about the meetings I have scheduled, when I have to leave work, and what deadlines are looming. And best of all, I get to cross things off my list when they're done.
The other day I showed up early to a meeting and there was no one else in the conference room. I started going through my notebook and jotting down things that were on my mind -- the proverbial GTD "mind dump." There was something about being in that conference room that inspired me and allowed me to see things more clearly than when I'm at home or in my office, where it's easy to get distracted. Maybe once and a while I should stop in the cafeteria and emulate David...
Here's an interesting and inspirational post from Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. Though I'm not exactly wired to enjoy public speaking, I kind of understand his point:
I feel most alive when things go wrong, and routine gives way to emotion. With any luck, something will go wrong today too. I sure hope so.