fleetfootmike: (Default)
So. In my quest to re-GTD my life, I need to find an app that will handle my projects/actions/etc. There's a lot more to pick from than there used to be, and so I need to decide what features I can't live without:
  • Collect inbox items from Email
  • Collect inbox items from phone/PDA todos
  • Collect inbox items from documents (e.g. need to read/edit this file)
  • Attach documents/emails to actions
  • Sync action lists to phone/PDA
There's probably more of these, but that'll do for starters.

Of the ones I know about, Midnight Beep Inbox fits all these, BUT I don't trust the task management interface, as previously discussed. Inbox v2 promises to fix all this, but the first Beta isn't out till Feb 1, and I'd really rather not wait that long.

The main alternative options are iGTD, OmniFocus and Actiontastic. I shall be weighing these up over the course of the evening and adding to this post.


OmniFocus wins. Largely because I like their range of products, and the rest of the stuff they write is pretty damn bulletproof. iGTD suffers from v2 being Leopard-only, and being written by someone whose first language isn't English - the menu entries just... grate a little. Actiontastic isn't, as far as I can tell, finished to its author's satisfaction.

As for Inbox? My shareware fee covers v2, so I shall at least audition it in February if/when I get Leopard. But for now? OmniFocus.

And now? To de-stuff.
fleetfootmike: (Default)
Anyone following my earlier post on GTD should watch this: GTD guy David Allen talking at Google on the basics - very entertaining, very clear, much better than I explain it.

N.B. should this link disappear for any reason, I have it as a .mp4 - yell if you need.
fleetfootmike: (Default)
....aka "GTD", is the title of both a book (by David Allen) and the personal organization method it describes.

I've been (doing my best to) adopt it for most of the last year, with a few slips along the way, and I did promise [livejournal.com profile] bardling an update and [livejournal.com profile] telynor a blog on the whole thing. So here goes... )
fleetfootmike: (Default)
I have, after spending a few hours tweaking and tuning my Mail environment on OS X, acheived the happy state of 'Inbox Zero'. My inboxes on my .Mac, GMail, home and work accounts are all empty. The stuff I couldn't figure out what to do with is in folders called Archive on each IMAP server, just in case, but I'll be interested to see if I need to touch them.

This is part of my getting organized plan, using Getting Things Done, a methodology for doing exactly that, with the help of a few nice Mac apps and addons, specifically Midnight Beep's Inbox
and MailActOn and MailTags.

What happens now, I hear you ask?

First off, I've reset my mail checking interval to every thirty minutes, and REMOVED the 'fetch new mail' button from Mail's toolbar. In between times, the intent is not to touch Mail.

Every time Mail's icon shows new mail, I'll go process my inboxes. The plan is to quickly scan each mail, from subject only if possible:

Is it something I need to take action on?
Hit Ctrl-I, which tags it with 'inbox', and transfers it into a folder called 'GTD Inbox'
Is it Junk that's got through the filters?
Junk it via Mail's interface
Is it mailing list traffic for a list or newsletter that doesn't have its own folder/filter?
Set one up, file it. Do it NOW.
Do I genuinely need to keep it for reference?
Tag it using MailTags, then hit Ctrl-A, which tags it once more with 'archive' and transfers it to my 'Archive' folder on my Mac (not the ones on the IMAP server. Mail ONLY goes in here if it's tagged).
Is there any reason I shouldn't delete it? Hint, this means there's something missing in my process!
If so, think VERY hard about whether I really need to keep it, and if so, devise the appropriate addition to the process
Delete it.
No. Really. If it doesn't fit into one of these categories, I don't need it.

This should take me, at most, two minutes.

[Additionally, first thing in the morning, and over my lunch break, I will go through mails my filters has caught (which are generally mailing lists, news etc), as part of my reading various forums and other sites. Anything important gets tagged for Inbox or Archive.

As soon as OS X 10.5's mail comes out, which allows me to read lots of this as RSS feeds, I'll be changing the list options for as many as I can to 'don't send me mail'. In the mean time, a script will run every week that clears out ANY list mail older than 2 weeks.]

Next step: move to the Midnight Beep 'Inbox' application. This has a Collection which runs every minute or so, and collects every new item in various places, specifically my GTD Inbox mail folder. Here's where I actually process the mails tagged for action, either dealing with them if they take less than 2 minutes, or adding actions/projects to my GTD action list. And the e-mail itself? either gets deleted, or tagged, archived, and attached to the relevant action.

From there? Back to my current work context in MB Inbox, pull the next action off the top of the list, and crack on till the next Mail call.


fleetfootmike: (Default)

April 2017



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