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coachdan007

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About coachdan007

  1. @Johnny, I read through this thread and your notes. I will add a few thoughts of my own..in no particular order... First, I view GTD as completely experiential, like riding a bike or hitting a golf ball. There is only so much reading and research that can be done. It is, at its core, trial & error. This is what leads to people constantly tweaking their "systems" and personalizing them to their purposes and circumstances. The real "A-ha" moments for people come when they see that what they thought would work doesn't (and it doesn't for any number of reasons; e.g. Tools, Personality, Environment, Bandwidth, etc.). David Allen's work added to others before him and introduced a number of new or sharper views into certain aspects of Personal Productivity. Namely, the idea of "Next Actions" was a GTD-ism. That these are next physical actions. The "new" definition of what a "Project" was. How this list should be separate from a Next Action list. That a Project list needed to be monitored regularly, pruned, and driven forward. This dichotomy of NA's and Projects has been, I think, a large part of the frustration people feel as they adopt GTD. Most people want to be able to zoom in and out of their various views of projects quickly and seamlessly. It is this desire that sends most on the hunt for "the perfect GTD tool". How can I see a list of all my projects? How can I see where each project is at? How can I see all my tasks associated with that project to give me a sense of the overview of this project, specifically, AND to make sure there are no tasks missing from this list? How can I see only my next actions? How can I see only my next actions relative to my context? This leads to the other GTD-specific concept- the idea of Context as a way of parsing/prioritizing next actions. In theory, David talks about being able to "crank widgets"; i.e. to only focus on a single type of task and thereby create some momentum or "get in a zone". Therefore, the idea of cranking out a bunch of calls is a Phone Context, the idea of cranking out emails is the same. This new concept is a second principle unique to GTD that causes some people frustration. It's because the theory of Context is better than the reality for most people in most use cases. There is tremendous value in the concept, but the practical outworking can be counter-intuitive and most people 'feel' this disconnect. What this feels like is you are cranking phone calls and there is a logical next action to document the call or immediately walk over to someone to update them or to get online and upload or send a document, blah,blah blah. In my experience, people don't build a house by cutting all the lumber, then stacking it all in place, then hammering all the nails. There is a natural shifting of context related to the task or project at hand. Sometimes, a rigid adherence to the concept of context can become a stumbling block for GTD adoption. Finally, the last GTD-ism was "the weekly review". David Allen "created" very little in the way of "new" information. What he did was verbalize an idyllic workflow. The idea of a weekly review was not a new invention, but its critical importance to being able to achieve some peace of mind was powerfully articulated. I still believe that the weekly review is the only thing that one needs to have. Everything else is negotiable in my mind. That and a list to look at and add to daily is the whole thing. But the idea of taking time every week to check the boat for leaks and scrape off the barnacles and check the compass heading is just a no-brainer. You mention your use case, which is helpful. What you have not mentioned is what type of problems/challenges/obstacles are you trying to solve/overcome? Do you have trouble keeping everything straight? Where at? School? House work? Are you unfocused or prone to distraction or procrastination? Why is going paperless such a critical need? Virtual access? Going green? Sharing? As you move through this journey, I will share a couple of resources that are "outside" the typical GTD-box. The first is Autofocus by Mark Forester. Mark's systems (he has several) are very unique and intuitive. They, too, have their limitations but, as I read your Evernote approach I was reminded of how Mark's Do It Tomorrow book would dovetail with what you are doing presently. Another that I consider to be one of the unique and overlooked treasures of personal productivity is FlyLady. What David Allen is to personal productivity, FlyLady is to homemakers. However, most people miss the HUGE lessons that FlyLady's systems teaches that have nothing to do with homemaking and have a ton to do with creating structure fo those whose days have none (freelancers, sales people, musicians, artists, writers). The power of Habit and Routine as it relates to personal productivity is largely ignored. Her philosophies of "starting where you are"; of "baby steps" (Not the Bill Murray/Richard Dreyfus Movie); of overcoming perfectionism and procrastination. Tons of great stuff for a stay-at-home Dad. If it appeals to you, then make sure to look at the unassociated-with-FlyLady-but-based-on-her system iPhone App called HomeRoutines. Another system is Agile Results. Great book. It takes the concepts utilized in Software Development environments that utilize Agile Methodologies and applies them to personal productivity. He even has a post on his Blog about how he uses his system with Evernote. Here it is. Another is Zen-to-Done. Another is the Pomodoro Technique. The ideas of the last two are more about focusing on what is important now. Pomodoro is elegant in its simplicity (Just start timeboxing your tasks), yet profound in its application (you can get really really good at figuring out just how much work you can *really* get done in a day. Or how long a project or task is *really* gonna take. Well, Johnny, Good Luck with your journey. As you see from the responses you've received, the over-arching principles are universal. But the implementation is all yours. I hope these resources are helpful for you. Trust me when I say that all of them are pertinent to the discussion even if they don't seem so at first glance. -Dan
  2. I actually built my own stylus and LOVED it. First, let me say that I bought the one being sold online for $15. I was such a piece of garbage. I literally broke the clip off of it within 30 seconds of unpacking it. Then, it just felt like a plastic straw with foam on the end. I was so disappointed. I watched the video referenced above, then someone in the comments section reasoned that any metal barrel pen should work, in theory. I went to Fry's, bought a circuit, threw it away and kept the foam. I went to Staples, bought a metal pen, pulled out the guts and started threading the foam down the barrel. This is the challenging part. I had to cut the foam into a rough triangle to make sure it was small enough to poke out of the pen tip and yet wide enough inside the barrel to touch the sides. I worked amazingly well. So well, in fact, that I ended up wearing down the foam and it was too much trouble to re-thread it. However, back to the thread topic- I'd love to be able to do this within the Evernote environment. -Dan
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