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Mar. 1, 2009

Chapter 9 - If it's on your mind, it's probably not getting done.

As part of the Ready for Anything Yahoo! Group, I'm leading the charge to read a chapter a week of Ready for Anything. I will be posting my submissions to the group here.

This chapter, more than anything else, outlines the true definition of what the "Getting Things Done" methodology is about - clearing your head. I do mini-mind sweeps all the time - mostly in my head, and not writing them down, which is silly.

I have spent the first few weeks of 2009 REALLY working on capturing everything and putting it in my system. I've done that pretty well, but I've slipped - here is a great reminder of what happens. The idea of buy milk / buy a company REALLY hits home for me - there is no line between business and personal, but my mind still wants to.

The chapter was kind enough to have me write down the two things I have to do tomorrow morning - put the recycles at the curb and ensure I take the car seats out of the car so they can go in my wife's van. Now written down, and I will see it on the "put it in front of the door method": it's on the coffee maker.

Review of Pocketday

I had some time off recently, and was staying around the house, so I had a chance to play with Pocketday, which bills itself as "The Ultimate Today Screen for your Blackberry". This is a nifty little tool that, while interesting, didn't suit my needs.

Pocketday's power is in the "Today" level of screen. It is a nice clean interface, and provides a good snapshot of standard "top level" vital Blackberry stuff: battery remaining, signal strenght, time, date. The default puts a Google search bar at the top of the screen, which is very handy, and links to Google mobile. All the remaining sections are configurable for the order they appear in, their colour, etc.

You have access to your missed calls, unread email and text messages, memos, appointments, tasks, weather, stocks, clocks, news, etc. The weather, stocks and news are all configurable, and the number of tasks, e-mails, upcoming appointments, etc., are configurable.

Pocketday has one great feature, which I used to try it out - it lets you create a task from an e-mail, just like I can on my desktop. Works as advertised. A real plus!

There were two main drawbacks to Pocketday. Pocketday and the BB's SMS messaging don't interact as well as Pocketday and the BB's e-mail do. When you read an SMS message, it doesn't mark it read on the BB. You have to go to the message list on the BB to do that, which means exiting out of Pocketday. Everytime I got one, I had to go into the SMS application and mark it as read. Really, quite an annoyance.

The other thing is the interface. It is a very nice looking interface for a Palm from 2000. We've all grown up now, and garish clashing colours that you set yourself don't really cut it any more.

A nice application, but I'm giving it a pass. YMMV.

Chapter 8 - Closing Open Loops Releases Energy.

As part of the Ready for Anything Yahoo! Group, I'm leading the charge to read a chapter a week of Ready for Anything. I will be posting my submissions to the group here.

(Hello folks! Sorry that this is exactly a WEEK late. Chapter 9 will come through later tonight. Anyone else have any comments on this one?)

For anyone that has ever listened to the GTD Fast CD's, do you remember the part when David Allen says "Have you ever cleaned a garage?" It is wistful. I've done that, cleaned a garage, a basement, a closet - and felt great after. This is precisely what he is talking about doing in this chapter.

Tackling the big projects gives you a mental lift, the "sense of accomplishment", which gives you a huge mental boost. It provides a fantastic feeling of freedom, and in David Allen's mind, it unlocks some creativity.

I'm not so sure of that, but then I've neglected to write down each idea that I get while I'm cleaning my garage, so who am I to judge? Now excuse me, I've got a basement to clean...

By the way....

This chapter has 3 of my all-time favourite quotes in it, especially Edison's and Fr. D'Souza. Fr. D'Souza's, especially, hit home - the feeling of "if only I do before I start" or "if only I have before I begin". Remember: Carpe Diem