DROE Tool Plans

Just a quick update… I obviously have not had much time to maintain the DROE tool over the past few years. My original hope was that I could keep up with new features and new requests, but unfortunately that has not been the case.

My plan now is to clean up the source code, remove any personal information that might be there, then post everything to my blog. That way, anyone who has some experience with AutoHotkey can download the code and make any modifications that they wish. Stay tuned!


B2W Bingo

I recently started listening to the Back to Work podcast that Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin started a little over a year ago. Those of you that miss the regular posts on 43Folders will find the Back to Work podcast to be a refreshing alternative.

Since I was doing a lot of traveling, I dug in and listened to the first 69 episodes (more than 90 hours!) back to back. To keep myself sane, I started a little game. Beginning with episode 1, I collected all of the catch phrases and recurring bits from the show. Initially I envisioned that this could become some sort of drinking game since there is a live broadcast of the weekly show.

I decided instead to take advantage of the wonderful interactive tool created by Frank Ledo and make a “bullshit bingo” card. Granted, a bullshit bingo card is generally reserved for boring meetings where attendees attempt to boil the ocean by using buzzwords in earnest. That’s not the case for B2W, but the bingo tool is just incredibly handy.  I’m sure you’ll find your own uses!

Click the picture below to access the playable card. Refreshing your browser will generate a new random card pulled from this list of phrases.  I would also recommend checking out the Back to Work podcast.  If you are not yet acquainted with the show, I’d suggest listening to the first 5 episodes, then sampling every 7th episode after that.  As long as you stick with prime numbers you should be just fine.



Weekend Planning Template

I told my wife I wouldn’t drink tonight.  Besides, I got a big day tomorrow.   …actually a pretty nice little Saturday.  We’re gonna go to Home Depot.  Yeah, buy some wallpaper; maybe get some flooring, stuff like that.  Maybe Bed Bath & Beyond, I don’t know.  I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.

– Will Ferrell as “Frank the Tank” (Old School)

I’ve been away from blogging for a while, and it’s been a long time since I posted any new content.   I figured I would ease back into things with another simple template

This one is aimed at simplifying your weekend planning process. I know we all have our various systems for managing our tasks and to-do lists, but for those of you have who have spouses or significant others, you may find that your task management systems are not really compatible.  (Read, “My wife isn’t into GTD, productivity apps, or nerdy web sites”.)  In addition to that, you may both have some pretty ambitious (and potentially conflicting) plans going into the weekend.  Since we have young kids, we can’t just each run off in our own directions and do as we please. I have found that sitting down with my wife at the kitchen table on Friday night after the kids are in bed and sketching out a plan for the weekend can alleviate a lot of stress and avoid some major conflicts.  This gives us a chance to let each other know what our expectations are for the weekend, what we would like to accomplish, and where we need help/time.

The best medium for this for us seems to be good ole pen and paper.  To speed things along, I’ve created the template shown here. I keep a small stack of these printed (double-sided) in the kitchen.  The front side of the template contains a simple task list arranged into columns.  Each task row has a space to indicate status (see key at the top of the page), a space to indicate priority (A/B/C), and a space for the task itself.  To fill in this page, I would recommend Read the rest of this entry »

Simple Coin Toss

Here’s a cute trick.  This is a bit old, but since I have actually used it a few times in recent months, I thought it was worth sharing.  (Click the image below to view full size.)

I can’t remember if I first found this on Lifehacker or on the Minimal blog, but both seem to be re-posts.  Based on the image tag I think it came from this blog on Tumblr (now inactive).  If I’m mistaken, please post a link in the comments.

You can’t think about it too hard, or it won’t help.  Enjoy!

“When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin.  It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for.”

The Triple Hat Trick

Here is something I am trying for 2010… I hesitate to call it a new year’s resolution, so let’s just call it an “experiment”. Sometimes it is tough to get focus with my big fancy fiddly collection of GTD lists. There are just too many items on the lists, and even when I filter on just the “next actions” the list is still pretty long. To gain focus, I plan to identify no more than three critical tasks that I want to accomplish in a given week.  Sort of a hat trick if you will. The screenshot below shows the template I am using each week. The template is available on the Downloads page.

I expanded the concept just a bit to cover two other areas where I wanted to improve. The first was *redirection*. I found that the majority of the meetings and conversations I had were not ones that I scheduled nor were they topics that I selected. As a result, a good percentage of the work I did during a given week ended up being external requests and/or tasks that I didn’t even know existed prior to the start of the week. To help shift momentum, I added another hat trick for “Agendas” to the top of the page. This list is for meetings or discussions that I want to drive during the course of the week.  Difficult conversations and project roadblocks are definitely candidates for this Agendas list.

The other area I wanted to improve was Read the rest of this entry »