Setting Contexts

Bigger Isn’t Always Better – MinimalMac.com

Posted in GTD, Online Productivity by jquig99 on July 23, 2009

One of my favorite people in the world is Patrick Rhone. He introduced me to other ways to use Backpack through his thoughtful and well-written GTD white paper, has one of my daily-read Tumblrblogs and we’ve developed a wonderful friendship.

Minimal Mac by @patrickrhone

Minimal Mac by @patrickrhone

Two of our common loves are: 1) Anything Apple-related, and 2) Small, smart applications that run intuitively and unobtrusively. To this end, and adding yet another RSS feed to my overworked Google Reader, Patrick has started Minimal Mac – a site ” inspired by a clean, uncluttered, distraction free computing experience” (I paraphrased).

Applications already highlighted are productivity apps Notational Velocity and TaskMate. I know from our conversations that Patrick has a backlog of apps to highlight, but he’s also looking for recommendations and submissions, so reach out to him on Twitter (@patrickrhone) or email patrickrhone at gmail dot com.

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Feeling Nostalgic – Franklin Covey

Posted in Online Productivity, productivity by jquig99 on May 27, 2009

Last night, Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester asked a question on Twitter about which company missed the innovation curve. He said Rolodex, but there was only one company that came immediately to my mind.

My first productivity porn

My first productivity porn

Back in the nineties, when I was a wee small girl, I worked for a wonderful company (Nordstrom) that was very focused on their employees living balanced lives. For management, they brought in consultants to train the staff on how to prioritize and be more productive. That was my introduction to Franklin Covey and their planning system.

It was love at first to-do list. Not only did the system make complete sense to me, it allowed me to delegate and followup easily with people, and focus on just getting stuff done. GTD before GTD. They had great seminars and consultants who held workshops onsite and off to train – I worked for (at least) 3 companies who brought teams of FC consultants in – and bought tons of supporting material each year for their entire staff. And – for the total girl in me – there was shopping. I could go into there free-standing stores and buy themed planning pages (like Monticello, Compass or Millennium, which came in a keepsake tin), planners in different materials (I bought a Italian leather planner in Apple green at the height of my obsession) and all kinds of accessories that allowed me to make this system personal. Which I did for over 10 years and a bunch of different jobs. They were certainly the company that defined “Balanced Living” and “Productivity in the Workplace”.

Fits in even in my handbag

Fits in even in my handbag

Then things started to get less easy as more of my life ported to the Web (that would be Web 1.0 for those in the kiddie seats). The planner software FC released was buggy and expensive and didn’t print that well – as we were all still killing trees. My “book” started to be a point of teasing from my design/developer team and I started looking at other solutions, reluctantly, that would allow all of us to collaborate together and keep the team/projects on track as a whole. I found 43Folders, GTD and Merlin Mann as enablers of my productivity application/workflow addiction. Once Basecamp came out, my team (and I) never looked back.

Today, I use Field Notes to capture any idea or to-do, etc. before I enter it all in the appropriate 37signals product. Easy – and it works for all of my needs, work projects, personal projects, online/offline and mobile.

I still keep my old FC planners and pages – more of a record of who I was at that time than for any real work value. And I do check in on the website from time to time and am tempted by all of the fun new toys. But I’m over the new and different now – I’m totally focused on what just works and getting things done – a system that’s working for my life today – online. offline and on my iPhone.

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TaskPaper 2.0 Released

Posted in Getting Things Done, GTD, Online Productivity, productivity by jquig99 on December 1, 2008

One of the most popular posts of 2008 on this blog was the one I wrote on TaskPaper in February. So I was excited when I was notified by a comment here that TaskPaper 2.0 was out.

What I love about TaskPaper is that it’s a truly simple application that lets you get things done and out of the way quickly (and without a lot o “system”). It also is formatted in text, so any text editor on any platform can be used to edit these lists.

From the Website

From the Website

New in TaskPaper 2.0:

* Themes
* Search
* Quick Entry Window
* Feels a lot faster!

I’ve used the new version for most of this week and found it extremely easy to fit into my workflow. As a GTDgirl – I love the themes, even though I use the basic look and feel (to keep distractions at bay).

Take a look at this screencast for an overview of how TaskPaper works.

Hog Bay Software has done a great job with this upgrade on a terrific application. The developers are also incredibly responsive on support issues. All in all – well worth $29.95!

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TaskPaper: A Deceptively Simple To-Do List

Posted in GTD, productivity, To Do List Applications by jquig99 on February 26, 2008

TaskPaper.jpg
A few months ago I received an email asking me to check out this new to-do list application, TaskPaper. I’ve been using OmniFocus which is a full-featured GTD app. But sometimes you need something simple that allows you to just get your job done.

TaskPaper takes the principles of GTD and uses a clean user interface with the focus of an outline to easily organize projects and tasks. Project titles and tags are all hyperlinked to create easy filters to find whatever you’re searching for with a click – whether you have a couple of projects or thousands of tasks.

Another thing that I like about this app is the community that has sprung up to support it. A number of developers have released products supporting TaskPaper:

* TaskPaper.web — TaskPaper on the Web
* TaskPaper.vim — TaskPaper in Vim
* TaskPaper.textmate — TaskPaper in TextMate
* TaskPaper.tada — Ta-da List export to TaskPaper
* Blocks — Pure plugin framework
* TaskPaper.bbedit — TaskPaper in BBEdit
* Tasko — Online TaskPaper

TaskPaper is a great application for down and dirty project management – and makes your life easier at the same time.

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From What’s The Next Action: David Allen Has a Posse

Posted in David Allen, GTD by jquig99 on October 29, 2007