Micro Persuasion: Become a Knowledge Management Ninja with Google Reader: "Like Gmail, Reader should be viewed as a database that you can build from scratch and continually hone."
Fellow productivity enthusiast David Barrett would like input on a new email reminder service he created. Check it out and let him know what you think...
I just built an email reminder service -- a sort of email version of the "43 Folders" technique for organizing future tasks -- and I'm curious what you think.
Basically, email a reminder to yourself at "firstname.lastname@example.org" or "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org" and it'll forward whatever you sent back to you at the specified time. Visit www.3mindme.com or just email email@example.com for more information. Anyway, I *just* made it and I'm looking for feedback on how to make it more helpful, and I'd welcome any advice you have. Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you!
12 Filtering Tips for Better Information in Half the Time | The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss: "In a digital world, the race goes not to the person with the most information, but the person with the best combination of low-volume and high-relevancy information. The person with the least inputs necessary to maximize output."
HD BizBlog- The Blog: Productivity in Context � Blog Archive � The Book of Days DIY Project: "...this journal is designed to become an ongoing record of my personal development, with tags and pointers to other resources."
Free Money Finance: You Only Need $40,000 a Year to Be Happy: "She then goes on to detail how she and her husband (plus one child) lived in New York City (a few years ago) on less than $40,000 for more than a year. And if you can make it there on $40,000, you can make it anywhere on $40,000."
Web Worker Daily � Archive Tip of the Week: Try Searching Instead of Planning for Career Success �: "To use a search strategy to move forward in your career, take small steps towards what you think you might like to do (and what might reward you financially), stopping and checking often to see if you’re getting the results you want."
Think you own that hard drive in your MacBook? (Friday): "During a recent trip to Europe, Dave’s MacBook died, giving him nothing but a black screen when turned on. He took the notebook into the Apple Store in Emeryville when he got back where he was told the hard drive was faulty, and he would require a new 80 GB drive at a cost of US$160 (Amazon.com has 80 GB drives for an average of $60).
On reluctantly accepting the price, Dave got his MacBook with new drive installed and then asked for his old hard drive back. The Apple Store staff then explained he could not have it back, because the drive was no longer his."
Exclusion: "When I was in college, the Dean tried to put together an advisory group of students. Nobody he invited joined--it wasn't worth the time. Then he named it, 'The Group of 100' and in just a few days, it was filled. The easiest way to have insiders is to have outsiders."
Thanks to Ben Casnocha for pointing me to this great article by Ed Boyden of MIT on How To Think. It makes me feel smart, because I do many of these already. My favorite is number 9, which should explain to my boyfriend why I'm always taking notes. (He thinks I'm weird.)
9. Document everything obsessively. If you don't record it, it may never have an impact on the world. Much of creativity is learning how to see things properly. Most profound scientific discoveries are surprises. But if you don't document and digest every observation and learn to trust your eyes, then you will not know when you have seen a surprise.
Atul Gawande is one of my favorite writers and a wise observer of organizations and people. Though it's ostensibly about medicine, this lecture can teach us all about ways to solve problems and get results.
I was just reading this thread on the David Allen Company forum and got inspired to look at my lists. I've gone back and forth about whether to keep my lists in electronic or handwritten form, and lately I've been using an Excel spreadsheet. I printed the spreadsheet out and took a look.
There are clearly many next action items on my list that I don't really have to do. They're more "could dos." I also noticed that the items at the bottom of my list are generally more pressing, because they're the ones I've added recently. It seems that I actually complete and add new items at the end of the list, and all the ones at the top just sit there.
So I was wondering whether one way to counteract this phenomenon would be to hand write my next action list. Maybe hand writing a list every week during my weekly review would make my list more realistic, simply because I would be too lazy to keep re-writing items I knew I wasn't really going to do? Maybe writing them down would make me think about them?
The productivity blogs have been rumbling about a couple of new organizational ideas to explore, including Mark Forster's book Do It Tomorrow and Mission Control. I haven't delved too deeply into them yet, but one idea bubbled up that I've put into practice, which is planning your day.
At work I use a writing pad from Tops that is divided into sections. Every morning I review my master task list and pick out the tasks I'm going to do that day. I write them on my pad in the left section.
Then I print my calendar for the day from Outlook and figure out how much time I have in between meetings. I then pencil in (on the calendar) my plans for accomplishing the day's Most Important Tasks and when I'm going to do them. It's a bit like the "Unschedule" in Neil Fiore's book The Now Habit.
During the day I capture new stuff - thoughts, new tasks, phone messages - on the right side of my notepad. At the end of the day I update my master task list with the things I've completed and the new things I've captured. Throughout the day I avoid looking at my master list or my email because they distract me. My end of day ritual includes email-responding and processing.
Kate Davis has a good post that's giving me some other ideas, and which matches my experience over the past couple of weeks. She's actually created a form for herself (available for download) with a checklist.
I might go there eventually, but for now I like the freedom of my ever-present notepad. I find that I'm incredibly lazy, and even having to look in my drawer for a notebook and find a page to write on, or find an index card, is too much work. I need a capture tool that is always available. Plain old 8.5" x 11" pads fit the bill. Otherwise, I don't write things down, and I end up in a downward spiral of non-GTDness.