Thanksgiving weekend

I spent Thanksgiving day with a friend’s family. It was a good day, but pretty loud and chaotic, which is to be expected when you put sixteen people (including three small children) together in a house on Thanksgiving.

I spent Black Friday home alone, working on some personal organization. I almost managed to update the map on my TomTom GPS, but hit a snag when the new map was too large to copy to the device. That led me on a wild goose chase that ended when I found a notice on the TomTom site that said they were aware of the problem and working on a solution. But it was a fair amount of wasted time. (I’d thought, at one point, that maybe they’d purposely made the new map file just a little too large, to force people with older devices to upgrade to newer ones, but apparently it was an honest mistake.)

I also continued my work on getting stuff out of Backpack and into Evernote. I’m almost done there, and I should be able to close down the Backpack account soon. I’m getting enough stuff into Evernote now that I’m starting to think about how I’m organizing things, and what kind of adjustments I should make. I read the book Evernote Essentials yesterday, and also listened to a podcast with a lot of Evernote tips, so I could hopefully stimulate my brain a bit and come up with some good ideas on how to best use Evernote. I found both the book and the podcast helpful, though there weren’t any earth-shattering revelations in either of them.

I had a page in Backpack titled “GTD”, and I was using it to keep, basically, GTD-related lists, like a “someday/maybe” list, a “waiting for” list, project lists, and stuff like that. But I stopped doing anything resembling a weekly review quite some time ago, and I haven’t really been keeping up the lists. So, for instance, one list item was to use a $10 Best Buy Reward Zone certificate before it expired… in 2011. So I’m not entirely sure how best to clean up and re-structure those lists in such a way that I’ll be more likely to use them.

I really like the general idea of consolidating as much stuff as I can in Evernote, and cutting down on complexity a lot, eliminating OneNote, Backpack,  DevonThink, and whatever else I can. But I also noticed that Things for iPhone and iPad is free this weekend, and the Mac version is 30% off. So maybe keeping my GTD stuff in Things would be a good idea, while using Evernote for reference material and archives. But Things doesn’t have a PC version, or a web version, so I’d only be able to access it on the Mac and iOS. Which probably isn’t really a problem, given the way I’m using my computers these days. (Also, “Things” is a horrible product name, and tends to produce a lot of irrelevant (but amusing) results when Googled.) I’ve already downloaded the iPhone and iPad versions, and have played around a bit, and like what I see. I’m planning on downloading the trial version of the Mac software today, so I can see if it’s going to work for me or not.

Meanwhile, I just ordered two 500GB Samsung SSDs, for $189 each, with the general idea of replacing the old-fashioned drives in my MacBook and ThinkPad. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time now, and I kept putting it off. But I keep hearing, over and over, from friends and random internet sources, about how much difference an SSD will make, so I finally had to go ahead and do it. So next weekend’s project will likely be replacing either the MacBook or ThinkPad drive. Or possibly both, if I have enough time.

I’m also thinking about going to NYC to see The Imitation Game, the new movie about Alan Turing. I don’t think I’ll talk myself into doing that today, given how cold it is outside right now. But maybe tomorrow, if it’s a little warmer.

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