03/27/2005 UPDATE: Adding the 43Folders wiki (better late than never).
11/12/2004 UPDATE: I remembered there were three links that I neglected to include in the GTD section, so I’m dropping them here. The GTD bulletinboard at davidco.com (and yes, they have an RSS feed), the very useful roundup of GTD principles on Matt Vance’s wiki, and finally, you can get a copy of the first chapter of GTD by registering here.
This post won’t surprise anyone paying attention to the recent GTD frenzy, but I needed a summary, just for my own reference and figured others might too. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, you might want to stay tuned. This post is going to try and cover a bunch of information about how to "do more with less" (as in, getting more done, with less stress/resources/etc). That’s the general gist, anyway. It’s not quite the ‘more with less’ that Jared writes about, but if you’re sitting at a desk for any part of given day, you oughta get some good ideas here. I briefly covered some of this in the manifesto, but I want to expand a bit here.
I first got turned on to David Allen‘s book, "Getting Things Done" back in 2000 or so. I was coming down off my Franklin-Covey high and had about a year or so of post "binder" experience with my Handspring Visor Deluxe (whoo!). I’d been trying to figure out how to accomodate the Franklin-Covey methods with my new virtual organizer. I wasn’t having a whole lot of luck and I really didn’t want to cough up more scratch for their Palm software stuff, since I’d heard it was kinda buggy (and expen$ive). So I trolled around newsgroups, etc and eventually fished out a reference to "Getting Things Done" (GTD). Not much else to say, since I’ve been a complete evangelist about the book ever since my first reading. I read that thing at least once a year, or selectively when I need a refresher or inspiration. For a while there I think I was a complete nuisance to other people at work, always talking about it and trying to get them to drink the Kool Aid.
That explains my fondness for GTD, but you might be wondering what the heck is a lifehack. Danny O’Brien coined the term for a talk (short version, long version) he gave at a conference earlier this year,
and it apparently rang a bell for a lot of people. Danny wanted to
find out what kinds of productivity/efficiency tricks people were using
in order to keep their stuff straight. He wrote to a bunch of smarties
and asked a lot of questions. Some people actually wrote back, and
there were consistent themes to their answers. "Lifehacks" is the easy
way of describing these themes. The two ‘versions’ of the talk that I
linked to earlier have a lot of geeky talk, so don’t be surprised when your eyes glaze over.
A lot of people really picked up on the lifehacks idea, and you can see the fruit of this over at del.icio.us under the lifehacks tag. Now we’re getting somewhere. If you haven’t messed around with del.icio.us yet, you’re missing out. The site is a lifehack all by itself. The basic idea is that it’s a "social bookmark manager." To understand what this means, consider how frustrated you are when you’re at home and can’t remember the link you bookmarked (put in your "Favorites," whatever) at work. That sucks! Del.icio.us solves that (and then some), since you can access your bookmarks from any internet connection. You set up an account (free and non-invasive), then add links that you want to keep track of. You organize the links by "tagging" them with words that you associate with that link. I’ll stop with the tutorial now, since I’m getting off track, but do look into it, if you’re at all interested in simplifying how you organize stuff on the web. If you want more del.icio.us tutorial, go see Merlin’s post. (quick tip: make a "wishlist" tag and send the link to friends and family before the holidays!)