Tagged: gtd

Using GTD contexts to navigate the creative process

4 GTD contexts to navigate the creative process

As I wrote about applying Ben Elijah’s model to replace my @computer GTD context, I noticed an interesting pattern. Creative1 projects follow a predictable trajectory through the four creativity-related contexts. It’s not always a perfect mapping — simple projects may skip stages. In general, projects unfold in a consistent way. It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of work it is either. Creating a blog post, a diagram, a cost model, developing a software application, and building a guitar amplifier all follow a similar path. 1. Open:Shallow Projects of any reasonable size begin in the open:shallow quadrant. The point of this phase is...

Find In OmniFocus Revisited

REVISITED: Quickly search everything in OmniFocus with one shortcut key

I’m clearly not the only one who has moments when I’m not sure where (or if) I stashed a task in OmniFocus. The original post generated more interest than I expected. It didn’t seem right that such a handy function should only be available to OmniFocus Pro users. OmniFocus Standard edition users can now join the party too. Edi’s comment on Kourosh Dini’s Using OmniFocus site steered me toward another way of solving the problem. This new approach doesn’t use a custom perspective, so it works in the OmniFocus Standard edition. I started using the custom perspective long before discovering...

Find in OmniFocus

Quickly search everything in OmniFocus with one shortcut key

Without a tool like OmniFocus, staying on top of my responsibilities would be tough. With hundreds of items active at any time, sometimes things get misplaced. “Haven’t I already created that project? What was I waiting on from David? What else do I need to discuss with him? Who did I lend that Pink Floyd CD to?” Questions like these dictate a comprehensive search before I can answer them. If I’m not exactly sure where I’ve filed a task, I search all remaining tasks instead of rummaging through multiple projects or contexts. This happens several times each day. The manual...

The Context Quandary: 6 ways to make @computer useful again

The context quandary: 6 ways to make @computer useful again

Contexts made perfect sense as I read Getting Things Done, but the experience didn’t live up to my expectations. For edge cases like @errands1 and @agendas, they were wonderful. For the bulk of my tasks, contexts added little value. That’s because the situations where I don’t have access to a computer and the internet are as rare as rocking-horse poo. With more than 80% of my tasks landing in the @computer context, it was next to useless as a filter. I experimented with various approaches to making the @computer context as effective as @errands. Let’s do a quick recap on...

photo credit: yomo 13 via flickr cc

Are you absolutely sure you’ve processed all your inboxes?

New systems can be wonderful for helping to manage our complex lives. But they can bring yet another channel for potentially relevant and meaningful input. The more inboxes you need to process, the more likely you’ll overlook one of them. The impact can range from inconsequential to disastrous depending on what you missed. David Allen has often said, “you can only feel good about what you’re not doing when you know what it is”. You can’t get a complete picture of your options if there is stuff1 lurking in an inbox that you’ve forgotten to process. Fortunately, this is easy...

How to track "Waiting For" responses in Gmail

How to track “Waiting For” responses in Gmail

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every email request you sent was efficiently carried out before the due date? In a perfect world you wouldn’t need to track these hand-offs. Sometimes life happens and tasks get overlooked. Unless you track these hand-offs, you can guarantee some of them will fall into an abyss. If you care about the outcome, tracking these “waiting fors” is a must. Even if you don’t use Gmail, these concepts translate to most email applications. The Getting Things Done method advocates using a Waiting For list to track any responses or items you are waiting on others...

Missing spanner

Don’t make this mistake when you loan things to others

Have you ever loaned an item to someone and felt certain you’d remember it? I’ve done it many times. Then my attention turns elsewhere and that’s the last I think of it until one of two things happens: The person returns the item and I think “oh, that’s right, I’d forgotten I’d loaned you that”; or I need to use the item again. As I turn the house upside-down looking for it, I have a vague recollection of having loaned it to… somebody. The solution Eventually I learned that unless I wrote down who I’d loaned things to, there was...

Stop washing great ideas down the drain

For a long time I thought I was weird. Many of my more imaginative ideas happen when I’m in the shower or bathing the kids. Warm water and white noise seems to be my recipe for creativity. I’ve since discovered that this is quite common. Perhaps I’m not so weird after all… Capturing ideas in this environment is a challenge and many of my great ideas (they seemed great at the time anyway) went straight down the drain, never to be seen again. This recurring pattern sent me on a search for a solution. Here’s three options for capturing ideas...

Supercharged Notes: the easy way to make your notes more useful

Pen and paper are still the fastest and easiest way to capture notes and ideas, especially when diagrams are involved. But digital tools are so much better for searching, editing and sharing information. Why choose one or the other? What if there was a way to get the benefits of both? I’ve tweaked and refined an approach over the last 6 years that works well for me. Some of my colleagues have also found value in this approach, so I’ve finally written it up in an ebook. Supercharged Notes: Seamlessly integrate handwritten notes into your digital life explains how to:...

Overloaded motorbike

How to migrate your stuff from Toodledo to OmniFocus

After using Toodledo as my trusted GTD system for around four years, I recently switched to OmniFocus. OmniFocus is one of the applications at the top of the task manager food chain, so I was surprised how few import options there are. I’ve recorded the process that worked for me and I’m hoping others making the transition will find this useful. If you’re migrating to OmniFocus from another task manager, most of this will apply as long as your current task manager can export data in CSV format. You cannot import Toodledo’s CSV output into OmniFocus without first massaging the...