43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Hipster PDA

“The HipsterPDA” is our fancy name for a stack of index cards and a binder clip. It’s a tool for ubiquitous capture that we love. Be sure to check out the original post that started it all: “Introducing the Hipster PDA”.

Page-a-Day PDA

calendar_image_large.jpgEvery year, somebody gets me one of those Page-a-Day calendars for Christmas. I never have the heart to tell them that I really don't want another, and every year I try to stick it out and dutifully tear off a sheet each morning.

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Making friends with paper (again)

Information R/evolution

I really enjoyed this video presentation by Michael Wesch on how we make, find, and share information in a world where we've shed the idea of paper as our sole medium for storage and communication -- where ideas can munge and mix freely, thanks to digital collaboration.


Now, of course, as a fan of paper for certain kinds of work, I always feel like jumping in at this point to defend our pulpy little friend from what sometimes turns into a blanket party.

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Active Voice's free Hipster PDA templates

Active Voice Writing & Editorial Services in Baltimore -- Downloads

Cool-looking collection of CC-licensed Hipster PDA templates include iconic "capture notes," research notes, and (here's a new one for me) a "yarn sorting card." Neat stuff.

Simply drag and drop them to your desktop, or right-click and "save as." Templates are formatted as .png graphics and can be printed as-is or inserted into a formatted document. They can be resized to fit everything from a 3x5 card to a daily organizer to an 8.5x11 sheet.

Kvet.ch features an excellent article on how to print D*I*Y Planner HPDA cards (see the end of this page) directly to 3x5 cards for Mac users. The technique should also work nicely with the templates offered here.

Podophile on Actiontastic for GTD with your iPod

Getting Things Done With Your iPod

My head swims with the number of Mac GTD apps that have sprung up over the last year or so, one of which is the Quicksilver-friendly Actiontastic. Although I haven't spent more than a few minutes playing with Actiontastic, as described by Podophile it appears to merit a look for Hipster PDA-centric iPod fans:

Syncing to my iPod is obviously another big feature for me. At the click of a button, all of your Projects and Context Lists are sent to your Notes folder, making it easy to review them anywhere you happen to be. Obviously, you can’t add or edit items directly with your iPod, but that’s why I always carry my Hipster POD with me. It’s easy enough to input any new items when I get back to my computer.

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Crossword-maker Merl Reagle on index cards

YouTube - The Hipster PDA in Wordplay

In the Will Shortz crossword puzzle documentary, Wordplay, Merl Reagle discusses how he uses index cards to collect and track ideas on the go.

[ via: The Hipster PDA in Wordplay - Lifehacker ]

I love two things in particular about this.

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Michael Angeles: Hipster PDA gear

The evolving configuration of my LowFi PDA | urlgreyhot

Michael’s Hipster PDA

Michael Angeles on his super-slim lofi setup and a very cool-sounding pen:

I now carry around the Fischer Space Pen I got for Christmas a few years ago, a Nick(it) wallet I got for free in the goody bag from MAD Museum's Mad About Dance event, and a small stack of index cards.

Problem is that I often take the pen out and throw it in a bag or something so I find myself on a subway train with an idea, but nothing to write with. Tina pointed to the Inka Pen, which looks perfect.

If I attach it to my keys, I'll never be without it. Sweetness.

Ooooo...Daddy like. Anybody else tried this Inka Pen? Looks like a very clever design. (See also: Gizmodo: The Inka Pen Lets You Write Underwater)

7 Principles of "Idea Dumping"

7 Idea Dumping Tips (How To Manage Diarrhea of the Brain) at LifeDev

LifeDev lays out some good tips for "idea dumping," based on these seven ideas.

  1. ALWAYS carry paper
  2. Be descriptive when writing it down
  3. Plan for not planning on it
  4. Good environments matter
  5. Think big picture down
  6. Organize your thoughts
  7. Know when to stop

Of course I'm a big fan of #1, but I also think there's some terrific advice in #3 (Plan for not planning on it):

One problem with the way we typically brainstorm is this: it’s unnatural. We bang our heads against the wall while chanting “think, think”. If you’re like me, your brain doesn’t like to be told what to do. The second I sit down and “make” myself be creative, my brain goes on lockdown. Nothing in, nothing out. There’s no such thing as forced creativity.

I’ve found that the best way to allow your mind to form ideas is when I’m doing something else. You have to be ready at anytime to jot something down. I know this point is a lot like #1, but I can’t stress it enough.

Back to GTD: Do a fast "mind-sweep"

This post is part of the periodic “Back to GTD” series, designed to help you improve your implementation of David Allen’s Getting Things Done.

Whether you learned GTD from the book or heard it from The David himself (via one of his excellent seminars), you know that the vital first stage of Getting Things Done is Collection.

As laid out in Chapter 5:

Basically, everything is already being collected, in the larger sense. If it's not being directly managed in a trusted external system of yours, then it's resident somewhere in your psyche. The fact that you haven't put an item in your in-basket doesn't mean you haven't got it. But we're talking here about making sure that everything you need is collected somewhere other than in your head.

And, as David succinctly states elsewhere in the book, if you don't use a dedicated inbox in the context of a healthy collection habit, your whole house or office turns into your inbox. And that just doesn't scale. Failing to do so in recent weeks may be why you've fallen off the GTD wagon.

So, just as you learned Collection as the first step in implementing GTD (and to subsequently maintain your system), it's precisely the place to start when you're trying to properly get back into it.

And for the errant GTDer, I feel like the most powerful collection exercise is what DA calls "the mind-sweep."

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New GTD resources page

52 Reviews » Getting Things Done, Resource Edition

52 Reviews has a handy reference page on popular GTD implementation tools. Although, personally, it looks incomplete to me without Kinkless GTD on there :) .

Many of these will be familiar to GTD fans, but there are a few I hadn't seen or that are worthy of a second look:

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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