Monthly Archives: May 2008

Getting Things Done on Vacation

GTD Holiday
I go on Holiday tomorrow!

2 weeks in the sun (hopefully) visiting the Algarve in Portugal. It is a well deserved break as I have been working flat out over the past few months and it is one of those vacations that just jump up at you last minute.

I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my wife and children and hopefully getting some great snorkeling in the sea. My eldest son and daughter have their fins and masks ready so I have a few snorkeling buddies on this trip.

Running my own businesses, it is impossible to switch off, and not in my best interests to do so. This means that going on vacation brings with it a whole new set of challenges to ensure that I Get Things Done whilst out of my normal environment. Two weeks in this electronic information age is a real long time to be cut off so I have had to plan well to ensure that all bases are covered. My emails will keep coming in, and my phone will keep ringing. We are working on closing some of our largest deals right now so I have to keep my finger on the pulse.

Back in the office, my usual system consists of OmniFocus on my Mac combined with my iPhone and a trusty Moleskine Cahier in my back pocket, of course with the golf pencil. Wherever you may see me, there is never a Moleskine too far away. I know I have said it many times but the inclusion of a simple notebook into my method of self organisation has had the largest impact on my success. I can take those little notes, as and when they pop into my head. Everything is collected, I have a great hit rate at collecting tasks. All helps in reducing those pesky Open Loops that must be avoided at all cost!

The Mac is not going with me. The 17″ MacBook Pro is great but I don’t want to take it to a beach resort with me. The iPhone and a few Moleskine’s will make the trip. I am also taking my EeePC with me, armed with a 3G USB card that has just been enabled so I can use it in Portugal without it costing the same as a small car per MB! So, email, and web browsing will hopefully be available, and at broadband speeds. This will also save me some call costs as it will cost me 50p (around $1) per minute to call back to the UK from Portugal. I have Skype on the EeePC so I can call home for 1.2p (around 2 cents) per minute, and that is much better.

One thing I find whilst on holiday is that my mind goes into overdrive. I think because it has less things to think about, with the most taxing decision being what type of shellfish to eat that evening. So I always seem to have fantastic ideas, most that I want to immediately research, but can’t because I am on holiday. I have been known to fill a notebook on holiday, and even used to make notes well before my obsession with carrying one with me everywhere.

So, the reliance upon my notebooks becomes even more of an issue whilst away and it is always handy to have one ready to collect the ideas and thoughts that enter my head. Every time I go away I always have a great list of tasks that need adding to my system currently in use. This time, I am going to try to process whilst away and utilise the facility in OmniFocus where you can email tasks to it. Therefore, I am to email all of the tasks to myself on an account which only OmniFocus is tracking so when I get back to my Mac, hopefully all of my tasks will be entered with the correct contexts and due dates ready included. This will save me some time when I get home which will let me focus on other issues that will no doubt require my attention.

I have some great books to read whilst away, all of which I will review on this site when I return.

Blog posts may be scarce, if not at all but I may try to blog midweek to see how my ability to process tasks whilst away is going.

See you all in two weeks!


David Allen – Making it all Work

The new book from David Allen is now available for pre-order at the Amazon bookstore.

The book is being hailed as the sequel to the fantastic “Getting Things Done” and aims to start with the GTD book left off. Concentrating on winning at the game of work and the business of life.

I have already pre-ordered this via Amazon and I am sure lots of other people will also be doing who have been involved with the GTD Methodology.

Here is some blurb from the David Allen’s website.

From the author of the bestseller “Getting Things Done,” comes a new book that will change your life. “Getting Things Done” hit a nerve and spawned a movement with businesses, students, and techies all the way from Silicon Valley to Europe and Asia. Now, David Allen leads the world on a new path to achieve focus, control, and perspective. Throw out everything you know about productivity—”Making It All Work” will make life and work a game you can win.

Getting Things Done Mind Mapping Templates

SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOGIf you are not already, now is a great time to subscribe to this blog in your favorite RSS reader so you can keep up to date with all the posts.

I have just come across these Mind Mapping templates that follow the Getting Things Done Methodology. They are quite simple but good to make a start with.

They are based on MindJet MindManager. Download the Mind Maps directly from here.

OmniFocus 1.0.2 is Out

I apologise for the OmniFocus related news yet again, this blog really is becoming a blog about OmniFocus, but the guys at OmniGroup have just released OmniFocus 1.0.2.

I am downloading it as we speak, and will report on the findings.

I am going away a week today for a two week well earned vaction to the Algarve in Portugal. Looking forward to the break and I have collected a few great books to read whilst away. I will write a few posts over the next few days and try to make time to blog whilst on holiday as my trusty EeePC is going with me.

So, the release notes from OmniFocus 1.0.2 are as follows

OmniFocus 1.0.2 – May 14, 2008
This update to OmniFocus focuses on adding support for additional languages, as well as fixing some stability and interface issues and other minor bugs.

Over the last few months, most of our attention has been focused on OmniFocus 1.1, where we’ve been adding support for synchronization, and on writing OmniFocus for the iPhone. We plan to release both OmniFocus 1.1 and OmniFocus for the iPhone in late June (if they’re ready!).

Additional languages
OmniFocus is now available in Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Simplified Chinese. Please let us know if you see any problems with any of these translations!

OmniFocus should no longer crash when dragging images from mail while editing.
Instead of crashing, just a log an exception when pasting rich text that has odd formatting properties and use defaults instead.
Fixed a hang occasionally seen when using a two-button mouse.
Worked around a Leopard bug (5728015) which would cause OmniFocus to crash after used the Help menu to search for a menu item.
Fixed a memory leak.

Improved OmniFocus’ memory of which windows were open the last time you used it. (OmniFocus used to sometimes open windows that you’d previously closed, or forget their current position or size.)
Right- or control-clicking on an item now changes the keyboard focus to that item before bringing up the contextual menu. This ensures that all the items in that contextual menu will be validated against the appropriate target item.
The reset button on the view bar should show up when making changes while a perspective is active.
Remove contextual menu items that were not applicable to sidebar items.
Updated some labels in Data Preferences.
Fixed a bug where the “Show in Context Mode” menu item would say “Show in Project Mode” until you first switched modes in a window.
When Software Update finds an update with the same major version as the currently licensed application (e.g. OmniFocus 1.x), it should now correctly indicate that the update price is free.
The license window will no longer continue to display “No license available” after a license is added.
Fixed the help link in the Mail preference pane on 10.4.
When a chosen keyboard shortcut is already in use by a menu item, we now present the full path that leads to that menu item.

The code used in OmniFocus is now signed for Leopard’s benefit. (For more information, see Leopard’s code signing release notes.)
Focusing on a project now saves any edits that are in progress.
When synchronizing with iCal, we now set an appropriate local time to incoming dates without times. This should help solve synchronization issues for people in New Zealand who are using daylight savings time (where the local date differs from London’s date when it’s noon in London). It also means that we’ll apply the default due time setting from Data Preferences to items created in iCal.
Worked around an operating system bug which could delay automatic backups after waking a computer from sleep.
License files will no longer be created with the “execute” permission enabled. (The files were never actually executable, and shouldn’t be marked that way.)
Removed a Console log message which would sometimes appear when executing AppleScript.
The online help now correctly indicates that you hold down Option to copy a file rather than linking to it when dragging.
Added logging to the Mail Rule processing script so that it’s easier to for users to determine whether or not it’s getting called by Mail.

New OmniFocus GTD Video – Perspectives

My regular readers will know that OmniFocus is my current GTD system of choice. I am busy as hell at the moment and this is pushing my GTD and organizational skills to the limit!

One thing I love about OmniFocus is the size of it. I am always finding cool new ways to use it. Anyway, the OmniGroup have just released a new video on OmniFocus, that covers the use of Perspectives.

The video is not yet on YouTube, and only on the OmniGroup site as a Quicktime .MOV file.

The direct link to the movie is here, check it out and feel free to comment…