Evan Genest's Learning Log

These are notes to myself. If you discover them and find them useful I would love to hear from you. Most of these are related to travel I did, books I read, or tech notes for Matomo and the LAMP stack.

Browse my topics here

Getting Things Done


Update 2023: Ingestion and Timing

This is the pipeline:
(1) Capture the items -> (2) Build a backlog -> (3) Update the calendar

  1. CAPTURE Do this part all day long, every day: "capture things to lists". Write things all the time in: pocket moleskine, Apple List, or directly to calendar. When possible add estimation: minutes to complete that item.
  2. BACKLOG Twice a week, schedule a 30 minute session to populate the backlog from the lists. It's easiest if this is part of your routine as a recurring event. Make a plain text file for a backlog. Open it in VSCode, append the new list items. Put in your lists as single lines per item. Each line is a todo. Start most of the lines with a number at the front to show estimated minutes for the thing. Use the keyboard binding shortcuts (hence VS Code) to move them around, especially Alt + Arrows to swap and order. Once it is ordered by chronology based on urgency/ease/impact.
  3. CALENDER Every day have a calendaring event. Allow up to 30 minutes in Apple calendar, on the desktop, to move in backlog items into today or tomorrow. Get a better than average scheduling app on the phone. Tiimo is $30/year. It has timers per task, lots of automation, lots of community suggestions for built in events. It can take in events from Apple Calendar. Once they import to Tiimo, fine tune any start/stop times, and in the case of things that are asynchronous but will just need to happen at some point in the day,

Update 2022: How it's going

The final stage of my daily process is leaky: once I schedule things, they either end up being the 4/7 things that didnt get done that day or they get put on my calendar but I am not living in my calendar, so the day comes and goes.

Meg says she had success with the Rule of Threes I shared with her after That Conference 2019, so I will try that. The rule is: lists of to-dos for today, this week, and this year are all threes. Do them and you're done. It's got a bit of Mark Twain's "to start the day I eat a frog" advice in it.

Original 2022 Post: David Allen reboot

I re-read my old copy of Getting Things Done, the book by David Allen. I'm rebooting the lists.

I told RG at work about it and he commented "It probably doesn't help that the two people I've worked with who were hardore GTD guys were super unproductive, haha. They spent lots of time organizing their tasks and little time completing them. That combined with my own failure to stick with it (or most systems, really) may have soured me on it a bit."