Smartening up where my Remember The Milk (RTM) lists are concerned!

Remember the milkI have been a Remember the Milk & GTD user for a few years now. I absolutely love the marriage between them and their efficencies. Having said that, I have a confession to make. I find I am now starting to ignore GTD as a productivity tool, and it is not Remember the Milk’s fault! The fault lies solely on me. I’m getting lazy and complacent…

One thing that GTD doesn’t seem to address for me, is what happens when my lists, tasks, and projects become just like me. Burnt out… Overwhelmed… Scattered…

The solution is sitting right in front of me. I am a horrible weekly review user! Horrible! In fact, I can’t recall the last time I did a weekly review… I have gone from location and context specific lists, to simply sticking my tasks into a calendar type thought process. I mentally figure out when I want to attempt to complete the task, and add a due date to the task. Then the day comes up, and I don’t bother doing it as I have put too many random things to happen all on the same day. Did this really need to be done today? Ya, probably not. Just hit postpone, that’ll get rid of it…

GTD says not to rely on calendars for that reason! It is about tasks that I may want to do, to ones that need to be done on a certain day…

A quick online search brought me to http://hamberg.no/gtd/ with a short GTD review to help get me back in focus…

Here is a snippet from the article discussing the Calendar.

Calendar

calendar_picThe calendar is for things you have to do on a certain date or at a certain time, and nothing else! That’s right; no putting “install Bonzibudddy” on your calendar for next Wednesday if you just think you want to have it done then.

But… why‽

By only having items which really are time and date sensitive on your calendar it will be more useful, since it will actually tell you the things you have to do a certain day without being “diluted” with other items. The thing you want to do, but that doesn’t need to be done at a certain time will be on your next actions list any way, so you will be reminded about it and have the chance to do it anyway.

So, it is time for me to start asking a better question of myself when I have a new task…It is not going to be “When do I want to start this task? And, when do I want to be reminded to start this task?” It needs to be, “What is the next action step for this task, and in what context do I need it to be part of?” If it has a due date, I’ll apply it, but other than that, I need to develop the mentality that my contexts lists need to be trusted!

This week, I am going to do a weekly review, for the first time in probably 6 months! And, I’m going to re-jig all my tasks to be tagged with their appropriate context. And then?

Well, stop looking at my due dates & reminders for my Next Action Lists, and start looking at the Contexts and Getting Things Done.

Hopefully this tweak will move me from being a complacent GTD’r to a more efficient one!

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Producteev has updated their productivity suite! Check them out…

NoirI stumbled across this post at Lifehacker about the most recent changes to Producteev.

I’m currently using Remember the Milk(still love it the mostest), but Producteev has really been hard at work refreshing their app. They’ve even made it easy to import your RTM tasks directly into your account. I’m doing that right now, and will see how the import went. If it goes well, I’ll do a small review of the new interface on the site…

For now, here is a link to the Lifehacker article which also hosts a video of the changes…

“Comprehensive to-do suite Producteev has not only updated its web app and iPhone app, its now also showing some love for Windows 7 and Android users. The cross-platform task management app works great for group or individual tasks and has a revamped interface.”

via Producteev Is Now a Universal Task Manager with New Android and Windows Apps.

New ToDo.txt Touch iOS App Screenshots and first impressions

Today I was sorting through some past articles to share on Twitter and came across my review of the recently developed ToDo.txt. back in Feb 2011. I wanted to see if the project was still running and whether my links were working, and lo and behold there is a fresh update! It looks like only a couple of days ago they released the iOS version!

I am such a sucker for new apps like this, so I went and grabbed my iPhone and went over to the App Store. There it was, $1.99! Continue reading “New ToDo.txt Touch iOS App Screenshots and first impressions”

Sometimes you don’t need a productivity system! You just need to get off your butt!

This weekend we got a hell of a lot done around the house!

Cleaning up the mess
Image by Toms Bauģis via Flickr

It turns out that all I needed to do was stay in one location(at home), and keep one theme on top of mind. Lastly, it took communication between my wife and I.

We had all the pieces in place to move this project along. The GTD system tells us that for a multi-step project, we need to break it down into individual action items.

We are trying to downsize by the time our next baby comes, and have been buying and selling beds and furniture with this in mind. We both have asked ourselves, why wait until the baby is here, or when we have to move? In fact, that would be the worst time to do it!

So, unlike many weekends that come and go, we got up early every day and started. It felt great to slowly and steadily get stuff done!

This is probably the first time that I’ve had a larger project that has been broken down into sub-projects. But the bottom line is that once we got all the appropriate furniture, it came down to putting in the effort.

At some point physical effort can’t be something you write down. Get all the small tasks out of the way and hunker down!

For me what worked was having the motivation to get rid of things, and not have so much to move when we have to. Keeping that in mind, it made all my tasks have focus. I’d ask, “Do we need this?” “Do I want to move this into the new home?” “Have we used this over the last year?”

My bi-polar vacation and thoughts on productivity

I go back to work tomorrow after a hectic and fantastic two weeks off.This vacation has been the busiest, most stressful, yet most joyous, memorable vacation I think I’ve ever had!

For anyone that’s followed my blog lately, I got married last weekend. I took the week before and the week after my wedding off. How I handled the distictive differences of these weeks got me thinking about productivity. Continue reading “My bi-polar vacation and thoughts on productivity”

The Guru of Lists and how to make them work for you.

A graphic of an orangutan and a list, used for...
Image via Wikipedia

To start, I am NOT the guru of lists! Now that we have that straight, I want to share some great pointers from the To-Do List Master himself, David Allen. He recently shared his thoughts on why lists are so important in getting things done, and keeping organized… Continue reading “The Guru of Lists and how to make them work for you.”