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A Key Concept in GTD thinking

One of the most profound concepts of GTD: “Your head is for having ideas not for holding them” – David Allen

Nozbe

Improve your Psyche with GTD

I ran across this video today of David Allen, the founder of the GTD Method. He gave a TED talk about GTD and how to clear your mind. In it he talks about improving your psyche using GTD principles. Interesting to watch. Even if you are already using GTD, you will both pick up some new concepts and it will bring the old ones back to you anew.

Please post your comments and let us know how you are using GTD?

David Allen Seminar Video on the GTD Method

David Allen Seminar Video on the GTD Method

Here is an older David Allen Seminar video providing his insights on the GTD method. Even though I’ve read the book and listened to his tapes, I still picked up some great things on this video. He was speaking to employees of Google.

Watch it and see if you didn’t pick up anything new. I’m sure you will learn from it.

Which is the Best GTD Software?

There are often heated arguements about which is the best GTD Software. Some people like one or another tool. Some would argue that the features of this software is better than that software.

I use Nozbe, but is it best? This is probably a matter of personal preference. It works well for me, but for other people, they may prefer Remember the Milk, or Evernote, or something else. Perhaps it is not software at all. Perhaps there is a preference towards paper and folders.

Personally, I think you should try out different tools and methods and see which resonates with you. Most systems have a free trial, so give them a try. If you do not know what software solutions are available, check out our GTD Software Directory for ideas.

To answer the question definitively, the creator the the GTD method spoke on this impromptu video and discusses the best tool. Take a look at the video and you decide.

David Allen on which is the Best GTD Software or Tool

 

 

How to use GTD Software to track your Must-Visit Restaurants

How to use GTD Software to track your Must-Visit Restaurants

While I usually write about various software and how they work within GTD, this is a bit different. Tonight I discovered how to combine two loves; GTD and eating. I discovered how to use a GTD Software to track my “must-visit” restaurants While browsing the website foodnetwork.com, I ran across a great idea. What if you can keep track of all of the restaurants you want to visit within your GTD software tool? Okay, I know it is probably not an original thought, but I discovered that a good GTD software tool and a little technique can put you on the road to food exploration and adventure.

As you may know, I use Nozbe as my primary GTD software tool. One of the great features in Nozbe is the ability to create a new task entry via a Twitter direct message. Although I’ve known about this feature for a while, I really have not found a way to make it useful in my life. Nozbe also has a number of other ways to get a task into a project task list, such as email or via a mobile app. Tonight, however, was one of those “ahaaa” moments where it all comes together. Let me explain.

First off, I found a great tool for finding restaurants that have been featured on the Food Network. You put in a location and it gives you a Google map of the various restaurants that have been highlighted on one of their shows. This is great, as I found a lot of restaurants in Los Angeles near me to try out. But how do I keep track of them?

I keep much else in my life in Nozbe, so I figured that I should create a project in Nozbe called “Restaurants”. I then clicked on the Tweet link from the Food network page highlighting that restaurant. This opened a new window where I could compose my message.

To send to Nozbe’s tasks, you simply send a Direct Message (or DM).

In the Twitter message window, I deleted the extra stuff added by the food website (like the @foodnetwork notification and some extra wording) and just left in the name of the restaurant and the link back to the page. I added the words “DM Nozbe” at the beginning and #Restaurant at the end of the message. Then I sent it. A couple minutes later, I had a task entry in Nozbe with the name of the restaurant and the link, all within my Restaurants folder.

If you use Nozbe, you quickly become familiar with some short codes that they have. #projectname is a short code to add the name of the project. So I used #Restaurant at the end of the tweet to put it directly with my restaurant entries. Here is a sample tweet:

using nozbe to twitter restaurants to eat at

How to use Twitter to add a restaurant to your Nozbe list

So now I have found not only a way to keep track of restaurants I must try, but I have also found a way to make the Nozbe Twitter integration worthwhile. There are articles I need to read, there are gmail emails that I must refer back to, and there are various websites that I want to follow up on. This can be done via a Twitter direct message to my Nozbe account. To facilitate this, I have also installed the Google Chrome plugin “Just Tweet this” that allows me to send any page that I’m on to a twitter post. The key thing to remember is that this is not posting to my twitter roll, rather I am sending it to Nozbe via the “DM Nozbe” command + any project I want to append at the end of the message. Very cool!

Just as a footnote, there is a Nozbe javascript bookmarklet that will also post a web page directly to Nozbe, but I like the Twitter method more as it seems to be more efficient. With the bookmarklet, you have to close the window, and I have had a couple minor issues with the short codes. So the Twitter method is by far the best way to go in my opinion. Let me know what you think and how else do you capture lists of things in GTD software?

Nozbe Desktop for Windows Review

Nozbe Desktop for Windows officially launched today. I’m happy to say that I got to get my hands on an early copy of the new Nozbe Desktop software a couple weeks ago and have been using it since then. As a regular Nozbe web user, I am finding some distinct differences and some things that need to be addressed in this new software. Did I say new? Yes, it is and you can tell it has some unfinished areas. There are some amazing things that I think will carry this software to its success as well.

Let me share some things that I have found with this new Nozbe Desktop for Windows software.

First, the setup and login were really easy. I went through the pains of the early Nozbe Android release and this is far easier and more stable. After clicking on the installer, you go through the normal Windows installation process and soon after you have your nice new Nozbe icon on your desktop.

Clicking on it, the first time, you are required to login. Within seconds, the software had synced down my categories, projects, and tasks. Wow, that was easy!

Now comes the adventure. As I wade through unfamiliar territory (not ever having seen a Nozbe desktop version before), I see many similarities to the web version. However, the Nozbe Desktop for Windows software has a slightly different, more Outlook-like feel with the left ribbon for your Next Actions, Inbox, Projects, Contexts and Calendar.

nozbe desktop for windows

The clean new screen of Nozbe Desktop for Windows

There is a big plus sign at the bottom right. Obviously this is for a new task. Here is my first problem with the new software. I strongly dislike controls being at the bottom of the screen. Everyone is used to toolbars at the top of windows. To have the new task button at the bottom right is 100% opposite of where I would look for it. Most people’s eyes on websites and software tend to look for the top left to click on something.

Okay, I can live with this so long as I have a keyboard shortcut. ctrl+N would be the logical choice. Wait, there are not shortcuts yet? I see. This is a first release. I look forward to the updates of Nozbe Desktop for Windows.

Let me go through the ribbon actions one by one.

Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Next Actions

The Next Actions section works very similar to the web version of Nozbe. This is the one area that I like a lot. It has most of the expected functionality. You can drag and drop to reorder, you can edit the tasks by clicking on them. You can quickly add multiple tasks. The one complaint here is that I don’t like the right side editing of the tasks. I am so used to editing below the task with the web version, that I find it cumbersome to move to the right each time I edit something. All-in-all the Next Actions section is a good feature of the software.

Nozbe Desktop for Windows – The Inbox

The Inbox works as expected. It is your easy collection center for adding new tasks. Keeping with GTD methodology practices, you should enter your tasks as you think of them and Nozbe Desktop for Windows shines here. Once you click the big plus sign in the bottom right, you are given an empty task line. Simply hitting the enter key saves the tasks and opens a new task entry line for you. You do not need to click the plus sign each time. It assumes naturally that you are ready for the next task immediately upon saving the previous. I like this. It makes for fast entry.

Nozbe Desktop for Windows - Entering Tasks

Nozbe Desktop for Windows - Entering Tasks

One slight comment about entering tasks, is that I don’t find the written shortcuts (such as #projectname) that you can write inline on the tasks to be working in all cases. It seems to work for the project name, but not for dates or contexts. Could just be the way I wrote the tasks out, but it would be nice if these work correctly as I like using these shortcuts when I enter a task.

Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Projects

I live in projects. As a consultant who works on many different client projects and as a family man with many home projects, these are an essential part of my life and the GTD System. Nozbe Desktop for Windows really makes this easy as well. You can quickly add projects and rearrange them. You can filter them by broad categories. I keep them organized as Clients, Home, Outside Organizations I work with, and so on.

Again, the problem I have here is that you have to go to the bottom of the screen to control things, such as adding new projects or filtering projects. Nozbe, please move it to the top of the screen!

Nozbe Desktop for Windows-Projects

I must say that there are counters in the bottom-of-the-screen control bar. I like these. They show you how many projects you have, how many tasks you have open and completed. These are great information. The funny thing was that I went back to the web version of Nozbe and found that they were there too, but for some reason, I never noticed them. They really stand out in the Nozbe Desktop for Windows version. Nicely done!

Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Contexts

Contexts are usually the area that trips up people when they start tracking by way of the GTD method. In actuality they are really useful and easy. They are simply the where or “with what” that you need to execute the task. For example, phone calls, errands, at the computer and others are all ways to group tasks. It is another form of category that allows you to quickly execute a bunch of tasks across a lot of different projects together. Say for example, you are sitting down at the phone and want to make all of your calls first thing in the morning. By click into the Nozbe Desktop for Windows Contexts section, you can quickly call all the people from all of the various projects you have and get things done quickly. This is an excellent section of the software that allows you to power through tasks quickly.

Nozbe Desktop For Windows - Contexts

The Nozbe Desktop for Windows makes this easy. Click on the Context and away you go. You can drag and drop to rearrange tasks, edit the tasks, and reschedule the tasks quickly and easily. You can add follow on tasks here too.

Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Calendar

Here is where I live. I setup my review of my day in the calendar section and each morning, I start with this section to see what tasks I missed yesterday, reschedule them for today, and re-prioritize my actions for the day.

Nozbe Desktop For Windows - Calendar

Nozbe Desktop for Windows - the Calendar Section

This is my biggest complaint about the Nozbe Desktop for Windows: Drag and Drop does not work in this section!!! I want to quickly slide a task from yesterday to today and alas, it does not drag. I have to click into the task, click on the date, choose the new date (Could we add a “today” link on the popup calendar please?) and then save the task. Not a big deal, but not nearly as easy as drag and drop.

Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Summary

The Nozbe Desktop for Windows software is a step forward for the Nozbe portfolio, but it is interesting that while so many software solutions are striving to be Cloud-based, Nozbe is working to be desktop-based after having a successful cloud solution. I find this ironic. But, I understand that in order to round out their offerings they need this Windows (and Mac) desktop software.

So how do I like this solution? I have to say at first, I wasn’t sure I liked it. Probably this is because I am a daily user of the Nozbe web solution and it is much more polished and I am used to it. But as I work with the desktop version of Nozbe, I am finding it in some ways easier. The best thing is that I have a choice. I can use the desktop when I need to or when I am not on my computer, I can log into the web, or even use my Android phone. This allows me to manage my day from anywhere at anytime. Nozbe is so much a part of my life, I would be lost without it.

I use the email to Nozbe function a lot too and it is great to capture tasks in an email and forward them to Nozbe. Then when I open the Nozbe Desktop for Windows, I see the tasks waiting for me.

Overall, this is a nice software solution for anyone looking to manage their tasks or if you are starting to implement the GTD (Getting things Done) methods. Give it a try. If you don’t have an account, click below to get started.

Systemizer Mind Mapping Software Review

Mind Mapping Software from Systemizer

A key feature of the GTD Method is to use mind mapping software to plan out your high level goals. Say you have a goal in mind, but you do not know how to get there, then by using a mind mapping technique, your brain will quickly fill in the gaps between where you are and where you need to be in order to reach your goal.

You of course can do this by pencil and paper, but a more effective way is to use a mind mapping software which is designed for just that purpose.

A mind mapping software such as Systemizer can help ease the burden of developing these creative flows. The Systemizer Software will relieve your stress knowing that you have mapped out and systemized everything so you no longer have to worry because that’s what happens when you store all that information in your brain or on pieces of paper scattered all over the place or tucked away in files you’ll never open.

Get the Systemizer Mind Mapping Software now!

Systemizer Mind Mapping Software Features and Benefits

What we like about Systemizer is that there are a number of built-in features that help you to:

  • Wipe Out Your “Analysis Paralysis”
  • Keep You Focused on the Goal
  • Streamline  Work, Personal, and other Activities
  • Manage Your Tasks
  • Manage Your Projects
  • Increase Your Productivity
  • Systemitize Your Business or Personal, Work Related Processes
  • Create Presentations Fast (this is really cool and  makes great impressions!)
  • Organize Your Thoughts and Information
  • Use It To Create Your Own Business, Personal Dashboards

systemizer mind mapping software

 

Mind Mapping Software Reviews

Here are some of the recent reviews of the Systemizer Mind Mapping Software:

“I just purchased. I am looking forward to getting myself organized in my business”

“I’ve run Buzans iMindMap for a few years now but never really scratched it’s potential and found it too overpowering. You’ve got it just about right I think and I’ve already created a process map far more complex than I’ve ever achieved in iMindMap and yet its simple!!”

“I’m very happy with my purchase”

“I am excited about this app because it was developed from an IM perspective which is really what is missing from other mind map solutions… And at this price its a no brainier to grab it.”

Get the Systemizer Mind Mapping Software now!

If you are serious about applying GTD principles in all areas of your life, not simply task management, then download this mind mapping software to help you prioritize your goals and plan how to best achieve them.

The New Systemizer Mind Mapping Software Lets You Create Stunning Systems & Mind Maps To Increase Your Productivity!
Get the Systemizer Mind Mapping Software now!

GTD Software Revew: Nozbe

My Life Before Nozbe

There is a point in one’s life where they simply have to stop and realize you have too much going on and too much falling between the cracks. Commitments are not being handled and your integrity has fallen to a dreadful level. This is where I was at when I discovered GTD or Getting Things Done.

There are many ways to apply GTD (Getting Things Done, the methodology by David Allen).  You can use as simple as paper and pencil to create your various lists, or you can get sophisticated and use modern software.    When you read the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity there is an excitement.  Immediately you want to get started and get your life organized.  The problem is determining which application you should use for tracking your projects, your tasks, your contexts, and your calendar.

There are a multitude of software applications available and the old fashioned pencil and paper is not quite adequate.   When I was looking for a good system to dedicate myself to, it was very difficult and confusing.  So many systems look alike.

I am a Windows user, so a Windows application is a possibility, but what about when I am not at my computer?  I needed an application that I could use with my phone, or even log into from someone else’s computer.  Well that means I likely need a web-based application.   That narrows the list a little bit.

After looking at varying GTD Software systems, I finally settled upon Nozbe.   Nozbe was the application that seemed to fit the bill.  First and foremost it followed the GTD method as defined by Mr. Allen very closely.   Second, it was a web based application, which means I can access it from any Internet connected computer.  Thirdly, it had the mobile apps I needed.   When I first started using Nozbe, I was using an iPhone.  Well guess what, there’s an app for that!    Now however, I am using a Droidx and need an Android application.  They fortunately just released the Android version of Nozbe.

Nozbe


Try Nozbe out for Free Now!

A closer look at Nozbe

Let me introduce you to this GTD application that really made a huge difference in my life.

First of Nozbe works with the concept of Project.  The projects contain tasks.  Tasks can be assigned a duration, a due date and time, and a context.  If the task is a key action, it can be flagged as a next action by simply clicking the star.  Additionally, the Next Action flag is automatically activated for those tasks hitting their due date.

In setting up the projects you can group projects with a Label.  So I have the higher level areas of my life, such as personal, work, health, family, etc. as labels.  Under those labels, I have various projects.  For example, under the Work label, I have a project for each of my clients and a project for my boss.  So any delegated activities go in my boss’ project.  Any actions I need to take for any client goes in the client’s project.

Nozbe Introduction Video

Try Nozbe out for Free Now!

I stick with the GTD rule of only 1 or 2 actions are key to moving a project forward and so those become my next actions.   Like pure GTD, there are no priorities.  Instead you focus in on what is needed to advance the project.

The last aspect of Nozbe that I enjoy is that it has set me in motion for Taking Action!  I find that having all of my to dos in a trusted system generates the focused action that  I need to get things done.

Getting Nozbe

If you are looking to get organized once and for all, accomplish more things and move your life forward then you need to get Nozbe.  The good news is you can try Nozbe out for free.   So get into action now and give Nozbe a try.

Try Nozbe out for Free Now!

Nozbe

 

 

 

 

 

 

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