43 Folders

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

Keeping in touch

Lately I've been thinking a lot about keeping in touch with people, and how I can improve in that area. I'm not talking about making contact in the context of next actions (eg call Joe for roofer's name), but about staying in touch with people simply for social reasons -- all the old friends from high school or college, former colleagues, the aunts and uncles I never seem to find the time to call or write to...sure, I have a small group of people who I automatically stay in touch with, but the other ones tend to weigh on my mind a lot, and there's always that horrible feeling of guilt when I do finally get in touch with someone for not having made contact earlier or more regularly. I'm curious to hear about what systems other people use to remind themselves to stay in touch with people.

I'm still in the beginning stages of implementing GTD and am using kGTD and iCal to track my projects, but haven't found a great way to use these tools for the above goal. Ideally, I'd love some script or template that allowed me to create a project heading of "keeping in touch", let me list the people who I want to keep in touch with (possibly even with links to Address book), and add a revolving timeframe for each contact that automatically synced to iCal (e.g. I'd be able to enter that I want to get in touch with "John" every three weeks, and every three weeks his name would pop up on my to do list). Even better, I'd love to be able to attach a context to each person (so that some people were typically "email," others "phone call," and maybe even "make plans for dinner" or something like it). And, as long I'm dreaming, some easy way to change dates, so that if John called me a week before I was due to get in touch with him, I could easily reset my time schedule. Sure, I could probably set this up manually (or some of it at least), and might end up doing so, but I'm looking for a really easy and seamless way to integrate this (Ethan, are you reading???), because I know I'll never use it otherwise.

Anway, any tips or ideas would be much appreciated!

About shannon




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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