Setting Contexts

To Tag or Not to Tag?

Becoming a tagging kung-fu master | 43 Folders

I have become obsessed with tagging. Well, maybe not obsessed, but it’s becoming important to consistently tag across my applications and services. Which is why this article grabbed my attention.

List of Apps/Services I use tags:
Yojimbo
– My WordPress Blog
– My Typeface Blog
My Ning
MarsEdit
Pathfinder
Backpack/Packrat
Highrise
Facebook
del.icio.us
Gmail
Journler
Mail.app (MailTags)
DevonThink Pro
– etc.

So I’m starting to develop a list of tags (and the consistent format) that I’ll use across formats. While I refuse to keep a Sticky Note(s) – I’ll figure out a easily accessible file that I can open quickly (sounds like a QuickSilver trigger!).

(Via 43Folders.)

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Quick update – MailTags and Pukka

Posted in Code Sorcery Workshop, Del.icio.us, GTD, MailTags, Pukka by jquig99 on April 15, 2007

This weekend, updates to two applications that I’ve previously blogged about, MailTags and Pukka, have released updates.

MailTags 2.0, now at Beta 10, released it’s new update yesterday (see changelog here). Besides an number of bug fixes, there are a couple of new features.

> Auto Save to IMAP settings
> Color codes tags to see which are/aren’t saved to server

I love MailTags – with my new job I’ve been forced back into the PC realm (although I’ve brought my Macbook Pro each day to do my real work, then transfer it to the ThinkPad), so I haven’t figured out how to get my new email into Mail.app. And I miss how easy my setup was – my system was tweaked so that I didn’t have to think, only do. Now I have to think more.

This makes me crazy – especially when I read my favorite blog, Tim Gaden’s HawkWings.

The other application that’s been updated this weekend is Pukka: (from Version Tracker)
> Many memory optimizations have been made, which should result in a faster startup time as well as lower overhead while running.
> Pukka is now much more adaptive to the bookmarking API in order to avoid connection problems.
> Preferences have been greatly reorganized and optimized, making it easier to find what you need as well as see all of the options available to you. [Pukka -> Preferences…]
> A new option has been added to bounce the dock icon upon successful post. [Preferences -> Interface]
> A new option has been added to quit immediately after a successful post. [Preferences -> Interface]
> Two options have been added for the dock menu: turning on or off the showing of account names and turning on or off the tag and bookmark menus beneath them. [Preferences -> Interface]
> More

These are two applications that I (have) used everyday. In fact, Pukka has made it easy to bookmark any and all things that interest me, which then feeds from del.icio.us to my Tumblr, where I can then read at my leisure (as well as share with others).

The New Kid on the Block – iGTD

Posted in Actiontastic, GTD, iGTD, MailTags, productivity, Quicksilver, Software by jquig99 on April 11, 2007

There’s a new kid on the (very) crowded GTD space – iGTD. I’ve been playing with this app (which seems to get an update almost each day) for a week now, and while I’m not ready to leave Actiontastic yet, this is a great alternative.

What I really like about this app (besides it’s simplicity, MailTags integration and the AutoBackups) is the actual website. There’s an a active forum (which the developer seems to be very involved in), a blog, a wiki, a “Tips and Tricks” page, a page on Keyboard shortcuts (and who doesn’t love those?), a page just on Quicksilver integration (see editorial comment on Keyboard shortcuts), a Help/Feedback page, a Thanks page and finally – a page to Donate*. And people should.

Merlin Mann has also been taking it for a spin and shared his thoughts today on 43Folders.

Features include: (from the Wiki)
> Tasks
> Contexts
> Hierarchical Projects
> Process your tasks
> Keyboard Control
> Quicksilver Integration
> iGTD on the menu bar

While this is not my GTD app of choice, iGTD is a clean, powerful application that let’s you get on with your work in a “mind like water” manner.

* Jon! Time to add a Donate button (or page) to Actiontastic!

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More on Mail Integration w/Actiontastic

Posted in Actiontastic, GTD, Mail Act-On, MailTags, Online Productivity by jquig99 on March 28, 2007

A little more about how I work with Mail.app and Actiontastic

Once I download my email I quickly go through and, using MailTags, quickly tag my email by Project and Keywords. I can then assign the email as a ToDo or an Event. If it’s a ToDo, I assign it to the @Inbox calendar (which syncs to iCal on the first Actiontastic sync).

MailTags - 2.0b8(Beta)

After I’ve tagged each email, I use Mail Act-On to sort them quickly into folders (using rules that I’ve set up) with 2 keystrokes each.

Mail Act-On

Once finished, I sync with Actiontastic, which puts anything that’s in the @Inbox calendar into the Inbox. The URL of each message is part of the message so that it can be recalled if needed.

For more information, click this link.

My GTD System (March 2007) – Daily Process

I decided that it was time that I actually put down my current GTD system, with all of the individual tools/applications that I’m currently using (on my MacBook Pro). This includes my daily, weekly and monthly routine. I labeled this with the current month because I am always tweaking my process and looking to test and apply better tools to help me be more productive.

Collection:
My primary tool for the collection process is a 12-month Daily 2007 Moleskine diary. I had used a general lined Moleskine notebook for the last year and wasn’t sure that the Diary would have enough room. What it has done is keep me focused in what I write – I don’t use it to keep my schedule, just my notes, thoughts and actions.

Everything is then put into Actiontastic. I’ve posted about this application before, and I have really adopted it as my GTD application of choice. As soon as I get to work, I open Actiontastic and put everything into the Inbox function from my Moleskine.

I use (mostly) Actiontastic’s integration with Quicksilver to get things into the Inbox. I’ll go into how I use Quicksilver (my favorite Mac app) in a separate post, but I use the Quicksilver=>Actiontastic Inbox throughout the day.

I then open Mail.app and using Mail Act-On, MailTags and an Applescript (“toiCalInbox” set up to run as part of my Mail Act-On rules) included with the Actiontastic download. In Mail.app I also have folders set up for review (@Action, @Hold, @Respond, @Wait On, @Someday). Once I sort things into my folders, I run my “toiCalInbox” script which sends actionable email to iCal, then I hit the sync button on Actiontastic which brings it all into the Inbox. Sounds like a long process – in actuality only a few minutes.
Inbox

Processing:
Once everything I need is in the Inbox – and while I do send things throughout the day, I only process first thing in the morning, after lunch and before I leave for the day (this is flexible as needed) – I hit the Process Inbox button (looks like a “Play” button). In Actiontastic I’ve set up my Projects and my Contexts (@calls, @emails, @errands, @mac, @meetings, @shopping, @waiting for, @web, @work) which also sync to iCal. Each item is processed to the appropriate Project and Context, which sets up the Next Actions and ToDos (as well as what’s Done). The new “Anti-Drawer” feature sets up the Start, Due dates (which also has a Paused flag), URL (messages, etc) and Notes.

Inbox processing

Once I’ve processed my Inbox (again – this happens in minutes!), I hit the sync button so that everything is brought back to iCal (each context is a separate calendar). Which is great to then sync to my Blackberry 7100g (via Mark/Space’s new Missing Sync for Blackberry). I’m then free to actually work without having to really focusing on process. As each item gets done, I can tick it off and then during my Inbox processing times throughout the day everything continues to sync so that it’s all up to date.

Projects

Contexts

I’m adding the screenshots that I’ve posted before to illustrate the process. In my next post, I’ll focus on my weekly and monthly review process and the different applications that I use for those purposes.

Event Maker 0.4 – Quickly adds To Dos/Events to Calendars

Posted in Event Maker, GTD, MailTags, Quicksilver, Software by jquig99 on March 11, 2007

Event Maker 0.4 is an application that I use when I have to quickly create a new event, either from a phone call or an event from an email message (one that doesn’t include an invitation). Using a trigger that I created in Quicksilver, I’m able to call up Event Maker and fill in the fields. I know that there are ways of using the Quicksilver text “send to…” functionality, but I still haven’t mastered all that QS has to offer.

Event Maker makes it easy to compose and add to iCal both To Dos and Events in seconds. I have a tendency to use this less in creating Events/To Dos from my email as a recently added feature in MailTags allows me to do these right from my MTs pane. Still – this app is a great to have as part of my GTD process.

Mike Abdullah’s Event Maker is available from MacUpdate.

Below are screenshots of Event Maker in action:

Event Maker’s Opening Screen

To Do Screen

Alarm Menu

Last screen

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MailTags – 2.0b8(Beta)

Posted in Apple, GTD, Mail Act-On, MailTags, Software by jquig99 on March 9, 2007

I received this update on my VersionTracker feed about an hour ago. MailTags (by Indev) works with Apple’s Mail.app to add metadata (comments, due dates, projects and priority) to messages for classification and easy searching (with Mail’s built in Search or your Mac’s Spotlight). I’ve been using MailTags in conjunction with Indev’s Mail Act-On (which builds Mail rules sorting through simple keystrokes) for about a year and it really has changed the way I’m able to work throughout my day. In a typical day, I receive over 150 email. These 2 applications allow me to quickly sort through my Inbox in minutes, and get it back to zero.

New Features:
> IMAP tagging and indexing of IMAP messages
> Coordinate your metadata in your workgroup
> Create multiple iCal Events and To Dos

MailTags also plays nice with Actiontastic – which I will illustrate with some screenshots later today.

MailTags will cost $29.95 once it’s officially released (During the beta – $25). Scott Morrison (the developer) is extremely responsive and works very quickly on updates and upgrades. I’ve been quite impressed in any email exchange I’ve had with him and I encourage anyone who uses this software to buy (or in Mail Act-On’s case – Donate!)