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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Remember the Milk gets a refresh on the iPhone! Sweet!

Remember the Milk (RTM) came out with a long overdue iPhone update today! And it is really nice. I recommend that if you haven’t signed up for RTM, you should right now! It is the best online and mobile To Do List and Task Manager out there…

I took a few minutes to do some screen shots of the refreshed interface. One of the nice new features is the ability to use a swiping gesture to go back to your main menu. All in all a very nice update. The only thing missing is Continue reading “Remember the Milk gets a refresh on the iPhone! Sweet!”

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”

Postaday2011 is almost done! I’m excited, but in a split personality sort of way.

Today I finally hit 60,000 visitors to the site! Thank you to everyone that comes back to see what I’m rambling about…

My wife asked me tonight if I’m going to do the challenge next year? The reason she asks me, is because almost every night over the last couple of months, I sit in front of my computer and start to comb Reddit, Google Reader, Twitter, and Google+ for interesting things to blog about! Stumped, I finally, after an hour or two of getting caught up in mindless internet crap(Facebook, porn, etc…), I come up with a post.

Some days I just know what I’m going to write about. Those days are starting to be harder to come by. With my busy work and family life, I don’t have a lot of time to develop a long thought out article like I did a year or two ago. It’s not that I can’t still do it, but with the pressure of having to come up with a post every day, I end up falling back on a topic that I originally wanted to take a couple of days to put together. Instead, I write a shortened, not as well thought out post and fire it out into the blogosphere. It usually leaves me disappointed.

However, the one trend I’ve been noticing on my site is the increased traffic compared to previous years! I now consistently get 150-200 visitors a day! That is a huge increase for a small blog like mine! Posting a topic daily is bringing lots of people here. It has also brought more interaction with you, and my comments, which were non-existant before last year, are coming in on a daily basis. Thanks for that too!

So it’s a double edged sword for me. Do I sign up for the challenge next year and keep churning out content(though of questionable quality), or do I scale it back and try to flesh out more thorough posts? It may sound like an easy solution to just scale it back, but I am quite surprised that I get a lot of traffic on my Photo of the Day posts. They are usually short and sweet. Maybe the amount of content isn’t as important?

What have you enjoyed about coming to my site? Do you enjoy seeing daily content? Or do you wait for something deeper, or do you wait on a topic that I tend to come back to semi-regularly(like GTD or RTM)?

 

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?”

How is Wunderlist for implementing GTD?

Over the last couple of days Lifehacker has been rating ‘The Best To-Do App for…Linux,

wunderlist
Image by αnnα via Flickr

Windows and OSX. The winner each and every time was Wunderlist! I made a joke on Twitter that Lifehacker must be getting kick backs from them…Really, how can the same To-Do App be the best on each and every platform?

I tried Wunderlist and maybe I haven’t spent the time to appreciate it more? I saw it as a simplistic To-Do List app. Entering in data seems a bit cumbersome. I think I am spoiled with task entry on Remember the Milk. If I enter “Go on a mountain bike ride on Sunday” on Wunderlist I get a task that says that but has no due date. If I do the same in RTM, I get a task called “Go on a mountain bike ride” and it automatically puts the due date on the task.

I have to manually click the due date with my mouse pointer to create a due date in Wunderlist. I have to manually drag the task to a list to separate it from others. In other words, using #hashtags doesn’t seem to create tags that can be saved as Smart lists. The same goes for tasks that repeat. Wunderlist can’t manage repetitive tasks.

As for how it works for GTD, I see a few nice touches. You create manual lists and drag tasks to them. If you add tasks to your Inbox, and process them, you can organize your priorities quite nicely. One of the big ‘flaws’ of Web based To-Do Apps like Nozbe seems to be the difficulty in getting the Inbox to Zero. At least with Wunderlist you can drag them out of the Inbox to other lists. As for repeating tasks, David Allen says that you use a digital Calendar for repetitive tasks, so I guess you could use Google Calender for tasks that repeat, but why?

I just don’t get it? What am I missing? I get that it looks pretty, but what features make it the best?

Any of my readers using Wunderlist? What makes it a great GTD solution? I really want to know…