I finished reading the GTD book today. I picked up Ready for Anything last week, so I guess I can start reading that now. I’m doing well, I think, with implementing GTD at work. I have my files organized. I have a project list. I have a “next actions” list, organized by context. My Lotus Notes inbox is still a bit of a mess, and I wouldn’t say that I have *all* my projects in the project list yet, but I’m off to a good start.
Month: May 2007
Apple rolled out “iTunes Plus” today, their DRM-free, higher-quality audio format. Any songs you already own that are now available in the new format can be “upgraded” for 30 cents a pop. I think this varies if you’re upgrading an entire album — my collection came to $11.70 for 44 songs, including two full albums and a handful of miscellaneous tracks. I decided to give it a shot, but I couldn’t get the purchase to go through. I guess a lot of other people are trying, too. Maybe I’ll try again in a day or two. Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide if I want to preorder the new Paul McCartney and Ryan Adams albums.
There’s a good article on iTunes Plus over at Ars Technica.
The NY Times had a review of Satoshi Kon’s new movie Paprika in Friday’s paper. It’s a fairly positive and reasonably well-informed review. Of course, regardless of any reviews, I’d still be dead set on getting out and seeing it ASAP, since Kon is my very favorite anime director right now.
As usual, this movie is only playing in NYC, and not anywhere in NJ, as far as I can tell. I caught a cold after going in to the city to see Once this past weekend, so I’m kind of hesitant to go back in and expose myself to all those big-city germs again any time soon. Oh well, maybe if I just take a megadose of Vitamin C, and avoid touching anything, I can get through it without picking up anything nasty!
I went into NYC and saw Once today. It’s really good. It’s a shame it’s not in more theaters. I haven’t listened to The Frames recently, but this film reminded me of how good they are. I may need to pull out a couple of old Frames CDs now, and/or pick up the Once soundtrack.
more GTD at home
Last night, I started trying to use Backpack for organizing some lists related to implementing GTD for personal stuff. Backpack seems like a good choice, since it’s web-based, and hence available on my PC or Mac, and also at work if need be.
The first thing I figured out is that the to-do list functionality in Backpack is interesting, but mostly useless. It looks nice, but it’s really missing a log of functionality. You can reorder lists, for instance, but you can’t easily move an item from one list to another. (I could get Backpack to let me do this occasionally, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it consistently.) Also, you can’t move a list from one page to another. It’s a lot easier to manage lists simply as part of the body text on a page, in either a plain old bulleted list or numbered list. You can move stuff around easily, just using good old cut & paste. You don’t get the fancy checkboxes this way, but I can deal with that.
I’ve also considered something like GTDTiddlyWiki, or one of its variants. The idea there would be to stick the HTML file into my FolderShare directory. Then it would, in theory, get replicated between my desktop PC, iBook, and work PC, so I could access it from any machine. I’ve heard that all of the GTD wiki variants tend to bog down if you stick too much stuff in them, though.
GTD progress – weekly review
I spent some time today screwing around with different ways of doing GTD stuff in Lotus Notes. I tried the free GTD for Lotus Notes database created by Brett Philp. I also played around with Things To Do 2 by Chuck Connell. Both of these databases are well-done and interesting, but neither one quite worked for me.
I wound up going back to the method detailed in the GTD and Lotus Notes document available from DavidCo. The basic idea there is to use the to-do functionality built into the Notes mail template, with a few tweaks. That works pretty well, but there are still a few things I don’t like. I’m going to try and ignore those things for now, since I’m the kind of person who can easily spend *way* too much time just messing with my “system”, and never get any real work done.
Once I got a bunch of data into the Notes to-do screen, I did my first weekly review. It was definitely an incomplete review, since I really haven’t gotten everything into the system yet, but it was kind of instructive. I really do have a lot of stuff on my plate right now. I’m somewhat intimidated by the prospect of getting everything into one system and really getting my head around it all. I definitely haven’t experienced the “stress-free” part of GTD yet, though I think (and hope) that I’m on my way!
You know, I hadn’t even noticed that Star Wars Celebration IV started today. I was never seriously thinking about going to this, but it does look like fun.
GTD at home
I cleaned out the top drawer in my main file cabinet at home today. I labeled all my folders, nice and neat. I threw out a bunch of stuff I didn’t need. I shredded a bunch of old credit card bills and other stuff like that. It took me about three hours to do all this; from around 8 to 11pm.
I don’t think I’m going to go much beyond this in terms of organizing my “stuff” at home. I just don’t think I really need to go nuts on the personal stuff. It’s mostly the work stuff that’s out of control.
I really need to get back to reading the GTD book. I just haven’t had time to pick it up in the last few days. Well, I’m tired and I’m heading off to bed now. Remember, there’s a three-day weekend to look forward to at the end of this week…
GTD progress report
I picked up a Brother PT-1950 labeler from Staples yesterday, then went into work and labeled and alphabetized all my files. I’ve got two file drawers in work with old reference material, so it’s a bunch of stuff but not a ton. It took about two hours to work through. I also managed to throw away a couple of boxes full of stuff, and got some stuff off my desk and into folders. Sunday night might have been a weird time to do all this, but spare time during normal work hours is hard to come by. I haven’t really gotten started yet with the whole inbox processing thing. Oh, and I’m about halfway through the book.
I had a little problem with some MP3s today that turned out to be easily fixable with Vbrfix. I remember using this program for something a while ago, but I’d pretty much forgotten about it. Basically, if you’ve got a VBR MP3 that iTunes (and/or your iPod) cuts off before it’s done, then you might have a problem that’s fixable with Vbrfix. I never bothered to learn all the details, but basically iTunes just thinks that the file is shorter than it really is, and Vbrfix cleans up the header so iTunes understands it.