Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Getting Things Done
Merlin Mann | Oct 15 2006
I love this term, because, in his humorous way, David captures how any thing we want to accomplish in this world eventually has to manifest itself in an intentional physical activity. Seemingly over-huge super-projects like "World Peace," "Cancer Cure," or "Find Mutually Satisfying Vehicle for Jim Belushi" all still come down to physical actions, such as picking up a phone or typing an email.
And David is wise, in that interview, also to highlight the importance of what he refers to as a "'look-into' project," which just means that even deciding if a project is interesting and useful to undertake can be a project in itself. It also means that, even with an outcome of "deciding," that meta-project still consists solely of physical actions. In this case, it's the physical actions that help you locate the additional information you'll need to make a timely and wise decision about whether to proceed at all. In sum, no matter what, it all still should come back to widgets and how they get cranked.
Like a lot of you, I've struggled with how you turn "thinky work" into physical action widgets, but here are a few of my favorite task-verbs to get you started in the right direction. They're presented here in a rough approximation of the order in which I use them in my own "look-into" projects:read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 12 2006
read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 11 2006
When I was up in Toronto last week, I was interviewed by Samantha Grice from the National Post about 43 Folders, productivity stuff, and the sad sorry state of my own day-to-day productivity. Very "Brady's Bits."
As a sidebar to the little profile she wrote, Samantha also asked me to draft a few words on my favorite fast tips for getting it together.
Although these will each be painfully old news for you who've been with 43F for a while, I wanted to share the original draft of what I came up with, because it's sufficient as a cocktail-napkin version of what I think 43 Folders has to say to people. You may share it with the disorganized and confused in your own life, if you like.
I also loved the limitations of this particular exercise: 300 or so words in five bullets that represent my best day-one tricks. Due in minutes. My kind of challenge. Although I did go over on word count, and I'll own that.
Herewith: **Merlin's top 5 super-obvious, "no-duh" ways to immediately improve your life.**read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 10 2006
As I mentioned yesterday, today 43 Folders and The David Allen Company are happy to bring you the first in a series of wide-ranging conversations that David and I recently had about Getting Things Done.
So, let's kick things off with a goodie. Here's The David's take on that devil, Procrastination.
read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 9 2006
Starting tomorrow (Tuesday), 43 Folders and the David Allen Company will be bringing you "_Productive Talk_," a joint podcast series featuring audio of conversations that David and I had during a recent visit near his offices in Ojai.
This was a lot of fun for me to do, especially since it gave me the chance to ask David many of the questions that you and I have both had about Getting Things Done -- so, as you might expect, there's a heavy focus on implementation and best practices, as well as how to troubleshoot problems in your own GTD system. Lot of good stuff that I think you'll enjoy and will learn from as much as I did.
Subscribers to the 43 Folders Podcast (subscribe now) will receive new episodes of "Productive Talk" automatically, although you can also just stop by either 43 Folders or The David Allen Company's site for all the latest web-based updates.
Tomorrow's inaugural episode is on procrastination, with more episodes coming once a week or so for the next few weeks.
Here's a little sample from an upcoming episode to give you a taste of what's coming:read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 1 2006
If you're a fan of Getting Things Done, you're familiar with the Four Criteria Model for choosing tasks. It's where the rubber meets the road in GTD, because it's the way you decide, in the moment, how any one of those wonderful tasks you've been tracking in your big system actually gets done.
As common sense as it seems to GTD'ers, this model is one of the more controversial aspects of Getting Things Done for a simple reason: it posits that priority is not the only factor in deciding what to do at a given time. It's just one of four factors, which include, all told:
When I'm helping coach people on getting it together, they're often puzzled by this seeming bit of new-agery -- partly, I suspect, because most of us have been conditioned all our lives to think that pre-ordained Priority stamps always trump everything, all the time, always, forever, in all cases, end of story. But is it true, reasonable, or even physically possible to always work this way? Can you will yourself into doing only your identified high-priority items anytime, all the time?
Nope, and I'll show you one reason why.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 29 2006
GTD Connect [TechGTD]
Members of David Allen's GTD Connect membership program can login to hear a technology panel that David conducted with tech über-geek Eric Mack, DavidCo CTO Robert Peake, and myself down in Ojai a few weeks back.
We talk about all kinds of stuff related to tech in general, and how we use GTD and technology in particular. One nice thing you learn: Robert, who is the wildly gifted tech stud at DavidCo, is a big Mac user. Pretty cool.
Note that this is made available as part of the GTD Connect for-pay service, so I don't have a way to preview this for folks who aren't a member. But for Connectors who are joined up, I think you'll enjoy the conversation. It was a lot of fun to do.
Merlin Mann | Sep 26 2006
43F Wiki user ThePolack has been putting together some great kGTD tutorials, including a useful introduction to using the Projects and Actions sections that covers several of the features that most folks only figure out after a few weeks of regular usage. Handy.
But, I want to especially highlight his tutorial on using timed and dated actions in kGTD. These are powerful features that have caused considerable confusion for users, and ThePolack provides a lucid explanation of how the different events work and how you can use them to manage all those little periodic tasks that pop up in your life.read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 18 2006
Merlin Mann | Sep 15 2006
My usage of Mail Act-On, while far from novel, has revolutionized the speed with which I can blow through email processing.
If you've never seen it before, Mail Act-On is a very clever Mail.app plugin that lets you create key commands that execute Rules you've generated in your Preferences. Sounds pretty dull, right? Absolutely. Until you start putting this stuff into action and learn how painfully slow all that draggy mc drag drag business is. Here's how I've set mine up.read more »
|EXPLORE 43Folders||THE GOOD STUFF|