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:
– My WordPress Blog
– My Typeface Blog
My Ning
Journler (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.)


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


Posted in 37signals, Backpack, Basecamp, GTD, Online Productivity, Packrat by jquig99 on March 9, 2007

I’m a big fan of 37Signals. They have killer products, which include Basecamp (a collaborative project management system which I’ve used with my team for 2 years), Backpack (a space where you can create your to-do lists, gather ideas, notes, files… online. Also collaborative.) – I used this as my GTD system for awhile, Campfire (Instant group chat) which is great for remote teams and can integrate with Basecamp. Their next release is a CMS product named Highrise (coming soon!).

37Signals also has a very active blog, Signals vs Noise, which talks about their products and the industry at large. It’s one of my (endless) feeds that I read each day and one that always gives me something to add to my account.

I started using Basecamp at the urging of one of my Art Directors. My team was growing quickly and we needed to implement a more robust project management system. It fit our bill for a number of reasons:

> Functions as an Internal and/or Client Extranet
> Schedules Milestones and ToDos by Team member
> All interaction tracked by project and email
> Tracks time
> File sharing

It really gave order to chaos pretty quickly and as they have pretty flexible pricing plans, our Basecamp was able to grow as we did (during this time frame – 2 years – we grew from 2 people to 12). We’ve tried to implement other agency-wide systems with no success. Great flexibility, great price, great product.

The other product I’ve used from 37Signals for the last year is Backpack. To me is a more personalized productivity tool.

> Makes ToDo lists
> Adds Photos
> Set reminders
> Keep a calendar
> Send email to Backpack
> Tag Pages
> Keep it private or share!
> Plays well with email
> Send alerts to your cell phone

After I read Patrick Rhone’s great article (listed below) I started implementing GTD on my Backpack system. I made a page called “Inbox” where everything was dumped and then created pages for each of my actions (@calls, @email, @work, @mac, etc.) and then individual project pages. The project pages were shared between team members and I could also send items back to my computer to integrate with Basecamp.

While this has turned out to not be my GTD system of choice, I still like the product and still use it. Again, flexible payment plans, great flexibility, great price, great product.

Links I’ve found useful for Backpack GTD:
> What’s the Next Action
> GTBackpacked
> Backpack: New GTD Implementation Ideas by Patrick Rhone
> Packrat – a Mac Widget