Setting Contexts

Posted in, Online Productivity, Social Networking by jquig99 on July 31, 2007

Thanks to Pownce, I was introduced to today. It’s a social network for productivity geeks! I was so excited – still am (if anyone wants to pass alomng an invite…) – only to find that the development team behind it seems to have gone their separate ways in the last couple of weeks.

Would love to hear any experience on this platform, or/any any updates. maybe someone else can take it on ?

Invites? Updates? Bueller??
(Crossposted to Social Days)

Update: I did receive an invite (Thanks, Kristi!) and have been making my way around. It’s an exciting collaborative tool – someone should really pick it up and run with it if it’s been abandoned.

Advertisement Quote of the week: Why brainstorming is a bad idea

Posted in brainstorming, Mind-mapping, NovaMind, productivity by jquig99 on July 31, 2007

I can see this point – but I am a firm believer in brainstorming (and mindmapping along the way!). Brainstorming generates more than ideas. It generates community, teamwork, it teaches being open to new ideas and paths of thinking. There are no wrong ideas in a brainstorming session.

But again – this is a different point of view… Quote of the week: Why brainstorming is a bad idea: “
Often wrong, never in doubt.
Quote of the week: Why brainstorming is a bad idea
JUL 31, 2007

From Frans Johansson’s book The Medici Effect:

Brainstorming [is] used in nearly all of the world’s largeset companies, nonprofits, and government organizations. And the reasons seem obvious… ‘The average person can think of twice as many ideas when working with a group than when working alone.’… But is it true?

In 1958… psychologists let groups of four people brainstorm about the practical benefits or difficulties that would arise if everyone had an extra thumb on each hand after next year. These people were called ‘real groups’ since they actually brainstormed together. Next, the researchers let ‘virtual groups’ of four people generate ideas around the ‘thumb problem’, but they had to brainstorm individually, in separate “


BTW – is one of my must reads each day.

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Merlin Mann on Inbox Zero

Posted in 43Folders, GTD, MerlinMann, productivity by jquig99 on July 30, 2007

I was able to watch Merlin Mann’s presentation at a Google Tech Talk from Last week (7.23.07). At Inbox Zero, you can download the actual presentation, watch the video of his actual talk, as well as the article that make up the series.

This is a great resource to keep going back to and refining you own GTD process. I review these every couple of months for a refresher (and a reminder – my email habits can go downhill fast!). I’m going to share this presentation and video with a couple of my GTD-minded co-workers.

BTW – if you’re on Facebook, join the Merlin Mann Fan Club!

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Back to Backpack!

Posted in 37signals, Backpack, OmniFocus by jquig99 on July 29, 2007

I’ve started using 37Signals Backpack (in addition to my OmniFocus set-up) again after it’s recent upgrade. I’m using it for random lists – blog ideas, photo setups, podcast ideas…my someday/maybe/must-have lists.

I love:
1. The dividers – I can move them around anytime I want
2. The way you can move sections of text, reorder the pages, move things to other pages
3. It feels a lot faster
4. Page feeds!

This is a lot of fun to play with, and I know it’s going to be really helpful now that I’ve got two (hopefully) active blogs and am looking to start 2 podcasts.

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Backpack 2007

Posted in 37signals, Backpack, Online Productivity, Packrat by jquig99 on July 26, 2007

37Signals has released their new version of Backpack, their simple organization system.

New features (from the website):
1. Move anything anywhere on a page
Now you can order the elements on your page anyway you’d like. You can have a note on top of a list or three files then a photo then a note then a list. They’re your pages to organize the way you want.
2. Move stuff to other pages
Moving stuff on a page is hot, but now you can also move stuff to other pages. One page getting cluttered? Go on, just drag it to another page. You can even create a brand new page by dragging the item to the “Make a new page” button.
3. Search!
You can now search all your Backpack pages from any page. The search field is right under the “Make a new page” button.
4. Page dividers
Page dividers let you compartmentalize your pages to keep your stuff even better organized. You can label the dividers anything you’d like.
5. New toolbar
We’ve cleaned up the toolbar and put it at the top of the page instead of under the page title. This keeps your pages nice and clean. Everything under the toolbar is yours.
6. Multiple photo galleries per page
You can now group photos in galleries and add as many galleries to a page as you’d like. You can also move the photos around inside a gallery!
7. Better titles for lists, notes, and pictures
Now every list gets a title (it defaults to “List” but you can rename it anything you’d like). Note titles are optional. Picture galleries can be titled now as well.
8. Page feeds for shared pages
Every shared Backpack page now has an RSS feed. This helps you stay up to date when someone else changes the page. You can also subscribe to all your pages at once on the “My Pages” screen.

I’ve started using it again after about a six-month layoff and am really liking the changes (especially the drag/drop and the dividers). Packrat, the invaluable Backpack desktop app, is reportedly working on an update to utilize all the new features (It’s now updated!). This app easily integrates Backpack use into any established GTD system (or your own non-specific…).

My Backpack compatriot is surely going to write one of his detailed posts on this update (He’s a big Backpack fan!). I’ll point to his post as soon as it’s up Update – it’s here!).

Relevant Links:
37Signals announcement

New blog…Social Days

Posted in Blogroll, productivity, Social Days, Social Networking, Twitter by jquig99 on July 23, 2007

I’ve decided that I’m posting about Twitter and Social Networking here too frequently, which is not really what this blog was created for. So I started Social Days, which will discuss my social networking experience. Setting Contexts will continue to focus on David Allen’s GTD system and my evolving adaption of it (as well as the tools that contribute to my system).

Anyway – how productive is Social Networking, anyway?

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Widget Watch: Avalanche – A free Basecamp client for Yahoo! Widgets – The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

Posted in 37signals, Basecamp, Online Productivity by jquig99 on July 20, 2007

Widget Watch: Avalanche – A free Basecamp client for Yahoo! Widgets – The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW): “Basecamp is a popular and powerful web-based project collaboration and management service from 37signals, makers of other TUAW favorites like Backpack and Highrise.”

I’ve not used my Basecamp account for a while (new job, new system!), but this would have been handy when I did. Except I’m not really a Yahoo!Widget-kind of girl…but I applaud the functionality.

(Via The Unoffice Apple Weblog – TUAW.)

UPDATE: The 37Signals Product Blog has a new post on Avalanche (more detailed!) with comments by one of the developers.

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Epicenter – Wired Blogs

Posted in Jaiku, lifestreaming, nano-blogging, Pownce, Twitter by jquig99 on July 18, 2007

Epicenter – Wired Blogs: “”

Battle Of The Micro-Bloggers: Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce
(w/a graph!)


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37signals Product Blog: Create Backpack reminders via e-mail/SMS

Posted in 37signals, Backpack, iCal, productivity by jquig99 on July 16, 2007

37signals Product Blog: Create Backpack reminders via e-mail/SMS:

For those fans of 37Signals Backpack (I’m one of them!) – a great script that adds reminders when offline. I’m going to revisit Backpack, I’m having iCal issues and I think this might be a great stop-gap until I can get them straightened out.

(Via 37Signals Product Blog.)

Networks Try ‘Twittering’ To Spread Their Message –

Posted in Twitter by jquig99 on July 16, 2007

Networks Try ‘Twittering’ To Spread Their Message –
“TV networks are all a-Twitter about the latest marketing play for their new TV shows.”


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