Preparing For Work Meetings

I have too many meetings at work. (But that's a topic for another day.) And I take very detailed notes during each one so I have a running history of our project I can refer back to, so I know what's expected of our team, and what we expect from the other groups we work closely with.

There's nothing unique about that. It's just meeting notes.

But what I want to share today are two quick iOS Shortcuts I use to prepare for each meeting.

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Three Things Today

Every task management app has a feature that will let you postpone, delay, or snooze a task. You can tell them to push a todo item out by a day or a week, etc. But I like to think Three Things is smarter than that. It's designed to be flexible and forgiving - pragmatic and realistic. When you defer a task, it won’t accidentally reschedule it for a day that’s already overflowing with commitments. It literally will not allow you to schedule more than three tasks per day.

It fits my brain. Maybe it’ll fit yours, too.

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Better Recurring Projects Using OmniFocus and TaskPaper

The point of this story is to say that checklists – particularly ones that recur and involve multiple, detailed steps – can be an amazing tool to have at your disposal. And learning to use them was a huge part in my own journey towards letting go of all the crap in my head.

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I May Have Gone Overboard with My Keyboard Shortcuts

I live and die by my keyboard. And here are the shortcuts I couldn’t do without. (Maybe this post should have been titled "A Love Letter to KeybaordMaestro".)

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Triage Your Email in the Car with Siri

With this script, Siri will speak a summary of your unread emails and then allow you to take action on each individual message. You can listen to the full email body. Or, you can archive, delete, mark as spam, mark as read or unread, and send a reply.

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My Favorite Email Spam Filtering Rule

All of my email is hosted at FastMail across two domains: tyler.io for personalclickontyler.com for business And across those two domains I basically have just three email addresses. rth@tyler.io is my primary email address that I migrated to when I switched away from Gmail five years ago. And then there’s support@clickontyler.com, which...

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Categories
Productivity Nerdery

Moving Projects Forward

One of my favorite benefits of following a GTD workflow is that it eliminates a lot of the decision making for you. When it's time to get work done, just fire up your task manager of choice, switch to your list of available next actions, and pick one. Having defined,...

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Categories
Productivity

Permission to Forget

I think it was David Allen who said you can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything you want. It’s ironic how an attempt to do everything will actually keep you from doing anything. —Shawn Blanc A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I had reached "OmniFocus Zero". I...

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Categories
Productivity

Moving to a More Comprehensive Weekly Review

Your weekly review is probably the key to keeping your trusted system running smoothly and most importantly out of your mind. For years, my review was little more than going through my list of projects every Sunday morning and making sure each was in an acceptable state. But after reading Kourosh...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Must, Will, Might

Last month I came across a clever post about using just two GTD contexts by Matt Henderson (by way of SimplicityBliss). Like many of us, he’s experimented with lots of different ways of managing contexts. There’s the traditionalist approach where your contexts mimic the tools or location available to you:...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

No Phone Thursdays

One experiment I've been trying for the last two months is taking twenty-four hours each week to be entirely phone free. My goal is to give myself time back to focus on things that matter - rather than living in a half-distracted state all the time. I've chosen Thursdays. Anecdotally,...

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Categories
Productivity

My New Email Routine With SaneBox

I’ve written before about cutting back on notifications. Today I want to talk a bit about how I’m using a paid service called SaneBox to reduce unwanted email notifications even further. I initially found out about SaneBox six months ago from David Sparks. His enthusiastic recommendation was enough to get me...

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Categories
Productivity Reviews

Connecting Amazon Alexa's Todo's with OmniFocus

Last week Amazon Alexa and IFTTT hooked up in a big way. They now have triggers that allow you to do things whenever you add an item to your Alexa to-do or shopping lists. This is awesome because now those items don't have to live within Amazon's ecosystem. With a...

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Duplicate Tasks

I put everything into OmniFocus - my trusted system. Throughout the day I'm constantly hitting my OmniFocus keyboard shortcut to add whatever task just occurred to me to my inbox. It's quick, painless, and lets me stay focused on my work without breaking my train of thought. Later in the...

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Categories
Productivity

Where do External Triggers Belong?

The great thing about blogging vs a shorter medium like Twitter, is you can have actual, in-depth conversations. There's nothing better than someone replying to a post you wrote with one of their own. So here's one... Last week I wrote about External Triggers in OmniFocus. Sven Fechner of SimplicityBliss picked...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Creating a Weekly Preview from your Weekly Review

I've long felt that the two most important aspects of following GTD are having an inbox where you can quickly record any task that occurs to you and then the regularly scheduled review that keeps your system on track and up to date with your priorities. For me, the weekly...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

External Triggers in OmniFocus

In OmniFocus, and in other GTD systems I'm sure, there is the concept of a sequential project. A sequential project is any task with two or more steps that have to happen in a specific order. You can't move on to the next step until you've completed the first step. An...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Lowering the Project Threshold

One part of GTD and OmniFocus that I've always struggled with is the idea that any action that requires more than one step is actually a project. It sounds simple, and I agree with that definition in theory, but I've never followed through in practice. My OmniFocus project list has...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

My Inboxes

I'm not one of those people who feels busy all the time. I typically never feel overwhelmed no matter how much is on my plate. But I know and have worked with lots of people who always seem to be in a hurry and are frazzled trying to remember all...

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Categories
Productivity

Handling Repeating Tasks and Routines in OmniFocus

After reading my last post about my OmniFocus setup, Evan Lovely asked Could you talk more about your Routines? What's in there? Does anything repeat? Do you set defer or due dates on them? He's referring to a Single-Action List I have inside my "Personal" folder called "Routines". Inside this project are...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

My Evernote @Inbox

The best Evernote realization I ever had was to create an Evernote notebook called "@Inbox" and make it your Default Notebook. (The @ in front of the name ensures it will be sorted to the top of your notebook list.) From then on, you can quickly save notes and web pages...

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Categories
Productivity

My OmniFocus Habits - Four Years Later

I've been using OmniFocus since the Kinkless days. Over those many years, my life has changed in countless ways, and with it, so has the way I use OmniFocus. Perhaps the best compliment I can give the app, is that it's always managed to be exactly what I needed it...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Constraints

I often find that constraints, real or artificial, can be a huge motivation and productivity boost when I find myself stalled on a project or piece of work. Forcing yourself to work within a specific limitation can cause you to find a creative solution in a direction you might otherwise...

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Assigning Relationships Between Tasks and People in OmniFocus

For years I've used on-hold "waiting" contexts named after coworkers and family members to denote tasks that I've assigned to other people and am waiting on them to finish. But a few weeks ago I had a realization that there are two other types of relationships between tasks and people...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

How I Manage My Email

I'm probably not going to say anything new. But I wanted to put down on paper my system for staying on top of email since I so often see people with overflowing inboxes. And I'm not trying to specifically call out anyone I've worked with in the past with an...

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Categories
Productivity

Day One Journal Total Word Count

After my previous post I got curious as to the total number of words I've written in Day One so far. A quick Google search didn't turn up any obvious solutions, so here's a short PHP script that gives you a total. Just pass it a path to your .dayone...

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Categories
Productivity PHP

A Happy Side-effect of Journaling Every Day

Back in October I wrote a post about how I've adopted a routine of journaling what I'm currently working on throughout the day in addition to a final recap of the whole day each night before bed. My one year anniversary of starting my journal passed back in February with...

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One Concrete Action

Never underestimate how crazy busy your life will become when you have kids. Our first son, born this past New Year's Eve, hit us like a ton of bricks. Taking care of him, on top of a day job, has meant my side business has taken a backseat at times. Nonetheless,...

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Choosing the Right App

Just a quick reminder that occurred to me today. Always remember to use the appropriate tool. Don't be afraid to split your data across multiple apps and inboxes when appropriate. For example, I store all of my action items and tasks in OmniFocus. But last night I remembered I needed to buy...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Finding Related Messages in Apple Mail

After migrating my company's email away from Gmail a few years ago, I've become firmly entrenched with Apple's Mail.app on the desktop. Everything works great, but I do miss having access to Rapportive's Gmail extension. It's great at providing extra information related to the person you're emailing with. To make...

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Using Hazel to Highlight any Uncommitted git Changes

Today I thought I'd share one of the more esoteric Hazel rules I use to monitor the files on my Mac. (If you're not familiar with Hazel, an indespensible Mac utility that everyone should own, here's a brief intro.) This rule monitors the folder containing all of my git repositories and...

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Categories
Productivity Hazel

OmniFocus for People Who Work From Home

Two and a half years ago, when I first wrote about how I use OmniFocus, I was working a full-time job in addition to my committments at home and my freelance work. A year ago this week, I left my day job and ventured out on my own — devoting...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Cutting Back on iPhone Notifications

Like most of you reading this, I have my iPhone with me 24/7. Lately, I've caught myself compulsively checking it for new notifications. Even when it hasn't made a sound or buzzed recently, I still have the habit of hitting the home button just in case there's a missed notification...

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Categories
Productivity

How I Use OmniFocus to Organize My Life

I've noticed a resurgence on the web of people talking about OmniFocus and how they use the app to manage their task lists. Despite being a user for nearly three years — since the first public beta — for some reason I've never gotten around to writing about why I...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Sort Apple Mail Messages Using the Keyboard

I don't know how I ever missed this Apple Mail plugin, but you absolutely have to give MsgFiler a try if you're a heavy keyboard user. It lets you move messages into any folder in your mailbox using only the keyboard. Press ⌘9 to pull up a TextMate-like list of your...

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Mercury Mover

MercuryMover is a System Prefence pane that lets...

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Categories
Productivity Reviews