Monthly Archives: February 2007

Online Collaborative Mind Mapping – MindMeister

Mind MappingJust stumbled across Mind Meister at Well, how fantastic is this!

I am such a fan of Mind Mapping, of which I probably map at least one item a day, and this will be a topic of conversation of many coming blog posts on this site. Well, Web 2.0 meets Mind Mapping in the form of Mind Meister. This is an online Mind Mapping tool that seems to work brilliantly. You can even share maps with other users. Sure, it is not as featured as MindJet Mind Manager but, this is free!

This is currently in private beta, however, I have a few invitations left (around 20) so be sure to post a comment to this post and include your email address and I will invite you to try the beta.

This is something that has got me quite excited as I am a big believer in the benefits of Mind Mapping and having such a fantastic free tool such as this really will help spread the word and benefits of Mind Mapping.

Be sure to post a reply to this post and give it a try for yourself!

The Planning Models – Natural Planning with GTD

In a previous blog entry, I introduced Chapter 3 of the Getting Things Done book by David Allen. We looked at Horizontal and Vertical focus with respect to our projects and I explained the difference between these two methods of project planning and review.

We are now going to look at the three planning models that are covered in Chapter 3 of the GTD book. These planning models are:

  • The Natural Planning Model
  • The Un-Natural Planning Model
  • The Reactive Planning Model

Lets start by looking at the Natural Planning Model. The Natural Planning Model really is nothing new. It is not some fantastic new model devised by David Allen to help us plan and manage our projects. it is however, the planning model that is recommended by David in his Getting Things Done book. The Natural Planning Model is based upon the planning that we do on a daily basis, using just our brains. For example, think of how many tasks we plan on a day by day basis that we do not even bother to write down as these are normally classed as mundane tasks. For example, getting dressed, or driving to work. All of these can be thought of tasks but we just go ahead and plan them without any thought whatsoever. We utilize the planning aspects of our brain that are conditioned for this natural type of planning.

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The War of Art – Win Your Creative Battles

Well, I have just finished reading the War of Art, by Steven Pressfield and I thought I would write a few words about my experiences with the book. I first heard about the book via a post at and I added it to my book reading list. A few months later, and a bit of spare time found me with the book in hand.

Being an avid martial artist, I had read the Art of War by Sun Tzu on numerous occasions, so I was intrigued by the title “The War of Art”.

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Getting Things Done (GTD) Search Engine –

GTDSearchHello All,

I have been working on a customized Google Search Engine that only indexes sites related to Getting Things Done and also other sites that add value in the personal development and motivation areas.

Please check this out and let me know what you think. It is work in progress so please be nice :-). I am adding sites to the index right now and I will be opening a public submission page for you to submit your GTD or productivity site and I will strictly police this to ensure that we can all use it as a tool to make it easier to find some GTD information when we need it.

You can access the page by clicking on the GTD Search page button in the header graphics on this site or by going directly to

The AJAX API looks cool and that is my next task as long as this is well received.

Free Hipster PDA (hPDA) Templates

Good post at showing some free hPDA templates.

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 3×5 card to a daily organizer to an 8.5×11 sheet. features an excellent article on how to print D*I*Y Planner HPDA cards (see the end of this page) directly to 3×5 cards for Mac users. The technique should also work nicely with the templates offered here.

The link to the free templates can be found HERE.

Getting Things Done (GTD) With Email

Just read a good article over at The Getting Things Done Blog that covers a GTD Email setup. Now this is something that I am not up to yet with my own GTD journey as I have not finished the book but I will one day blog about the way I currently do my email, as I think it is pretty cool. However, my cool email system is currently on Windows with Outlook. I am a total Mac user and I am not going to need my Outlook account within a matter of weeks so I will be totally using my Mac for email.

I currently use Entourage and Mail. I like the look of mail but Entourage has the cool Project Centre that I have been using to tie everything together. So, I will be looking for ad devising my own GTD system utilising the Mac for my email, of which I recieve rather a lot every day.

The link to the article is HERE and be sure to read it as it is good.

The Travelers Gift – Book Review

Travelers GiftI have been away for the last week in The English Lake District, hence why there have been no updates to the site. Whilst I was away, as well as getting in a good few chapters of the Getting Things Done book, I also took the time to read a book that has been on my bookshelf for quite some time.

The book I read was The Travelers Gift, Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success, by Andy Andrews. The book is in the same vein as titles by the great Og Mandino, and if you like Mandino books you will love the Travelers Gift. These books tell a story, and the story has meaning. I personally find these a great read. Don’t get me wrong, I love the generic motivational books from authors such as Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, and Brian Tracy, but I also feel that books such as this help to capture your imagination by guiding you through a story with meaning. The lessons to be learned from the book are intricately woven into the story line, providing substance and example behind their interpretations. I guess you can tell that I liked the book.

Anyway, the book is about a guy called David Ponder. David is made redundant from a chemical factory where he has worked his whole life. He then faces various life challenges and his life takes a drastic turn. This turn leaves him facing a journey of a lifetime that will introduce him to several key figures from the past, each with a message, and related story to tell, that make up the seven decisions that determine personal success. We start by visiting president Harry Truman, and end up with the Angel Gabriel. The last two chapters bring the whole story together and it leaves an excellent and positive impression on your mind.

Don’t just take my word for it but be sure to purchase this book and see for yourself. US readers can order the book from and UK visitors can order it from by following the links.

I liked the seven decisions so much that I have created a mind map of them. The PDF of the Mind Map can be downloaded here. I am a real big fan of mind maps and tend to use them a lot. This is something that I have not yet blogged about here but I aim to mind map the whole Getting Things Done book once I have finished reading it as well as other topics related to personal success and motivation. I am very interested in your comments and feedback about the Seven Decisions Mind Map and if this were something you would like to see more of on this blog. Also, do you want these as PDFs or would you also like the mmap file as well for use with MindJet Mind Manager? Until next time.

Chapter 3 – Getting Projects Creatively Under Way

I am now through with chapter 3 of the Getting Things Done book from David Allen. Chapter 3 is titled Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning. This chapter is the longest so far in the book and looks at the way we should, and probably already do identify and manage projects. This is the last chapter in part one of the book, The Art of Getting Things Done and acts as the supporting act to part two of the book which looks to be where the fun really starts.

Chapter 3 starts by explaining what David refers to as Horizontal and Vertical focus. The theory behind these is quite easy. We all have things to do in our lives. These can all be classed as projects. Some projects are small, such as remembering to buy a card for your wifes birthday or remembering to pay the milk bill, whilst others can be significant. Significant projects can include tasks such as planning a holiday, wedding, or other engagement through to launching a new product at your workplace.
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Want to get more done? Start earlier in the day

Just read a great post over at Lifehacker. This is a link through to the Open Loops website and an article about getting more done in a working day, and going home on time. For me, I like to start early, plan, and get home on time to spend the quality time with my wife and four children. I know this is not the same for everybody so give the article a read and see what you think.

His premise is this: we can get into the habit of staying later at work…when we don’t really need to be there. Studies have shown that the more work you get out of the way in the early hours of the day, the more thoughtful and efficient you actually can be.

I can definitely attest to this in my own life – for the past month, I’ve been getting up Mon.-Fri. at 5 AM, and I’ve never accomplished more.

Lifehacker post is here and original post is here.

The Ultimate Getting Things Done Index

I was looking through some other Getting Things Done Blogs when I came across a post from GTD Wannabe. This post talks about the Ultimate GTD Index.

Utilmate GTD Index

There are some other interesting posts on the GTD Wannabe blog so I have added this blog to my links page on this site.

This is the link to The Ultimate Getting Things Done Index and this is the link to the Getting Things Done Blog I got it from.

Be sure to check it out!