i need a reality check

MIAW + SmartTime

Posted in random by josh duncan on February 16, 2009


I am failing at “Making It All Work”, David Allen style.  The last week has been crazy and I have had to focus all my energies on just staying afloat.  So, instead of having my own personal review of MIAW, here are some great ones I found before I bought the book (at this rate, Allen will have a new book out before I finish):


As usual, Allen’s approach appears to be a combination of business-speak and Zen enlightenment (with a sprinkling of sports metaphors about “winning your game”). The concept of self-management alone connotes the idea that you’d manage your monkey mind they way you would an unruly underling at the office.

Buzzard Blog

I found the book full of common sense brilliance. Reading this book in conjunction with a two day re-booting my GTD system for the start of a new year was extremely helpful.

The Simple Dollar

In fact, when I put it down, my initial reaction was “Getting Things Done is stronger for engineers and left-brain types – Making It All Work fits better with right-brain types.”

Jason Spenser

Seven years later David Allen still remains a fresh and insightful voice in the field of business and personal development. He electrifies his reader with his profound and poignant down home style that is at once practical as it is philosophical.

On a side note, I am testing a new iPhone application called SmartTime.  The app lets you scheudle tasks and events and synch with Google Calendar.  It has several cool features such as filtering by tags and managing multiple projects and calendars.  I can’t say I have figured it all out yet but I am working on it.  For $9.99 it is worth checking out.

Tagged with: , , ,

Are You Making It All Work?

Posted in random by josh duncan on February 2, 2009


Just started listening to the new book from GTD guru David Allen, Making It All Work.  Billed as a companion toolkit to the now classic, Getting Things Done:

David Allen shows us how to excel in dealing with our daily commitments, the unexpected, and the information overload that threatens to drown us. “Making It All Work” provides an instantly usable, success-building toolkit for winning “the game.”

It is still early so check back in a bit for a review/recommendation.

I have been off and on again with GTD for quite some time.  I have found that when I am not swamped, I am too lazy to keep up with a system and when I am swamped, my system is not ingrained enough to keep up.  Basically, I am still at level 1 GTD, list management (trying to find a spot for everything hence the Tetris reference).

In an effort to improve my GTD skills I am going to try and be explicit on what I am tracking and how I am doing it.  Here is my current system and tools:

  • Evernote – Vacation ideas, gift ideas, and other long term items that I will want to look up at some point in the future.  You can access Evernote on your computer, on the web, and even on your iPhone so there really is not an excuse not to use it even more.  So why don’t I?  It may just be me. but it seems like overkill when you are trying to quickly capture something.
  • TextPad – work to-dos. Have been using TextPad for years since it is so light weight and you can manage multiple tab lists for different projects.
  • Outlook – work calendar.  When there is something I have to get done (reports, presentations, etc) I try to schedule time in advance on the calendar to make sure I get it done in time.  I am getting better at email management but quite a ways away from “InBox Zero”
  • Google Calendar – family events.  My wife and try to put all our events online so we can track all the b-day parties, dr. apts, soccer games, and other out of work stuff.  Its great for helping to avoid double bookings.
  • iPhone Task List – for errands.  I don’t even know the name of this app but is really nothing special.  Just something to track all the stuff I need to get next time I am at Target, Costco, etc.
  • del.icio.us – web site tracker.  Used for saving good web articles, web references to access at a later time.

More to come here.

Tagged with: , , ,

Genghis Khan GTD?

Posted in random by josh duncan on December 14, 2008

The January edition of Real Simple has a hilarious article poking fun of to do lists.  This parody includes lists of Khan, Annie Oakley, Mozart, and Bill Gates.

A few of my favorites:


  • Pillage
  • Plunder
  • Have shirt taken in
  • Pillage


  • Powder wig
  • Powder face
  • Compose symphony
  • lunch

The article is not online yet but should be shortly.  Check back and I will post the direct link.

Tagged with: ,