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June 3rd, 2005

Trying to Get Things Done

There’s been a lot of talk recently both online and in mainstream press about personal productivity tools and theories. I’m already getting tired of reading about Getting Things Done, even though I first heard about it just a few weeks ago.

Tools like Backpack, 43 Things, Tadalist, and even various wikis are getting similar press, as are blogs like 43 Folders and Lifehacker.

It’s interesting that this is all cropping up this year, because I’ve been feeling overloaded for a little too long now and have really begun to think about two main things:

  1. How can I cut back on the number of things that get added to my to-do list?, and then
  2. How can I work my way through the remaining items more efficiently?

With regards to cutting back, I’ve done a pretty good job. I’ve eliminated a couple of the main responsibilities that were taking my attention away from what I should have been focusing on. There’s still some more trimming and rearranging to do, but it’s better. But with regards to finding a way to deal with what’s left, I’m still kind of fumbling, using bits of things here and bits of things there, trying to see what works best in what situation.

For instance, our personal wiki is still the best choice for collaborating on a shopping list while my wife and I are at work. Tadalist is best for short-term to-do lists, like “Things to do before my parents come in town this weekend.” 43things helps me remember my long-term goals and gradually work towards them. And I’ve just started using Backpack and think it might be the best tool for organizing ideas about my various web projects.

The main thing is that while I enjoy trying these tools out, I don’t want to spend more time deciding on what to use and how to use it than I do actually doing things. It’s a challenge.

Posted in Everyday Life

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