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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What I love about the OmniGroup

Posted in Beta, GTD, OmniFocus, OmniGroup, productivity, Quicksilver by jquig99 on May 17, 2007

I beta test a lot of software and services. Most just assume that people know how to write up a bug or crash report. People don’t. Yesterday, the OmniGroup’s blog (The OmniMouth), posted exact directions, in light of the first beta build of OmniFocus, a detailed how-to.

It got me going – I couldn’t wait to participate. Oh well. So far, no crashes, no bugs. I’m backing up my database each day, with no need (so far – but I live in hope!).

What I’ve done so far – put in all of my projects and set my contexts. I’ve dumped everything in my Inbox, processed, assigned tasks and published to iCal. I’ve used the “Quick Entry” box, but haven’t tried the Quicksilver action yet. I’m also getting used to the keyboard shortcuts.

I have to say – I’m loving this app. It’s intuitive and simple. Great first few days.

What’s next is figuring out how to work with my email.

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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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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