Getting Things Done with Mindjet

I’m surprised I haven’t come across this video before because GTD or Getting Things Done is one of my favorite thoughts or strategies and Mindjet MindManager is my favorite tools for implementing GTD. I promise you it’s worth your time to watch if you have a lot of information and effort to coordinate…

I don’t seem to get to that wonderful state by working harder and faster

I have been a huge fan of David Allen for well over a decade; his work influences everything I do in my life and business practice. I actually had the chance to interview David 7-8 years ago; the interview is posted here as part of a 12 part series I did on ‘Getting Things Done’ on the Internet; http://e1evation.com/2012/09/30/david-allen-interview/. You, David, might especially appreciate this post on gtd in gmail; http://e1evation.com/2012/10/05/getting-things-done-gtd-in-email/

Live & Learn

David-Allen

“Folks, can we hear it for sloth, indolence, and procrastination?!” That’s how I have started many of my seminars over the years. And it always gets thunderous applause and raucous cheers. I think it hits a nerve.

I’ve been working on both (self-forgiveness and sense of humor) for decades now, and still find it quite challenging at times. But you know, when I’m in a loving, whole, and healthy state of mind about myself and about life, everything’s cool. Where I am, doing what I’m doing, is exactly where I need to be and what I need to do. God’s on her throne, the mail is coming, my dog loves me, and tomorrow is just fine right where it is, not showing up until then.

And I don’t seem to get to that wonderful state of mind by working harder and faster. Sometimes it helps, but more often it just perpetuates…

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Adding feeds to feedly…

What to do when you come across a nice fat juicy list of thought leaders or award winning blogs? Add them to feedly of course! Here’s how…

polldaddy.add( {
type: ‘slider’,
embed: ‘poll’,
delay: 100,
visit: ‘single’,
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Do you use an rss reader?

How I apply David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’ to social media and ‘thought leadership’ marketing…

When I’m teaching social media, I don’t spend a lot of time talking about whether or not social media works for lead generation or thought leadership — that’s been pretty well established at this point. I usually start out my classes by saying that the single most important issue in social media today — especially for my students were who are mostly business owners or traditional marketing professionals — is ‘how do I add social media to my already overflowing plate and still get home for supper?’. Most of the people in my classes are struggling to keep up with e-mail let alone manage a blog, four social networks and an e-newsletter…

As a consultant, every minute that I spend on my own Internet marketing is a minute that I can’t bill to a client, therefore, I’ve had to force myself to become pretty efficient about how I do things like process e-mail, consumer information and published to the Internet. My constant inspiration in this process has been David Allen’s classic work ‘Getting Things Done‘. I recommend it to anyone who will listen. The heart and soul of David Allen’s book is this diagram:

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How I apply Getting Things Done [GTD] to social media and ‘thought leadership’ marketing…

Thanks to David’s methodology I use as many containers as I need and not one more. I usually handle information only once — especially if I can process it in 2 min. or less. Here’s an attempt to depict what my thought leadership process looks like:

image

If you’re looking for a way to become more efficient about how you develop and document your expertise, comment below or use the contact form to get in such. I’d love to talk with you about applying David Allen’s Getting Things Done [GTD] principles to your world…

How to Create, Keep, and Grow More Time

“Time, why do you punish me? Like a wave crashing into the shore, you wash away my dreams.” Hootie and the Blowfish

I remember listening to this song for the first time, circa 1995, and thinking to myself, “What garbage.”  Wasted time, at least for me as an undergrad, didn’t really mean that much at the time.  I don’t really know the exact moment that time became precious, but it seemed to happen overnight.  In one instant, that which was plenty all of a sudden became scarce.  Work, family, friends, and that little selfish individual inside were all conveniently requesting a share.  In a second, I was left with just an empty pie tray and no pie. Hootie’s words came ringing in my ear, “An hour only lasts for one second, one second”…damn them!!!  I decided that I will respect time and make it a friend.  After much thought and meditation, I began exploring all things productivity. Continue reading “How to Create, Keep, and Grow More Time”

Good weekend thinking;

“Epipheo.TV talked with David Allen about how to hack through your to-do list and free up your mind to focus on what’s most important to you. It’s a very short, very fun video.” via How to hack your to-do list (and quiet the monkeys in your mind) | GTD Times.

Going back to our Getting Things Done [GTD] decision diagram for a minute…

The in basket I’m using more often than not is Google Reader. When I see ‘actionable’ content, I decide where is the best place to share that content using the following diagram:

I focused in an earlier post about sharing via Twylah and other tools — today the focus is on curation and blogging as a means of Getting Things Done [GTD]…

How do I decide that something is bloggable? Well here are some guidelines that I use…

  • When I come across content that is so brilliant that I could have written it myself if I would only take the time. Seriously, when I come across really good content that I want to expound upon and call out to my clients and readers…
  • When I find a great illustration or infographic
  • When I find a great YouTube video
  • When commenting on this content gives me a change to share something about my brand by agreeing, disagreeing, adding or subtracting…

You get the idea, right? Anything I find on the Internet is fair game as long as I remember to do three things:

  • Block quote and indent the content I am curating
  • Provide a link back to the original source
  • Be ready to move the content if requested by the owner

I firmly believe that when you curate effectively everybody wins. The original author gives exposure to my readers. My readers get a different perspective. Finally, my post is easier to write and I get the Search Engine Optimization [SEO] benefits from the content I curate…

Here are some thoughts from Suzanne Bird-Harris and a few others on the rationale for curation and some ideas on how to structure a curative post along with a screencast on how I do it using Windows Live Writer, a free blog editor from Microsoft…

Personally? I think curation is one of the best ways to supplement the original thinking on my blog. Here are some thoughts on curation in the blogging process…

Personally? I think curation is one of the best ways to supplement the original thinking on my blog. Here are some thoughts on curation in the blogging process…

Personally? I think curation is one of the best ways to supplement the original thinking on my blog. Here are some thoughts on curation in the blogging process…

http://storify.com/e1evation/thoughts-on-getting-things-done-gtd-in-curation

Here’s the diagram from the video…

In order to be found in the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’, there are two main activities you need to master; FINDING and SHARING great content. Another way of putting it is…

  • Deepening your expertise
  • Documenting your expertise

Here’s how I do it [By the way,  there is a Mac version at about 17:00 but you need to understand the principles in the Windows version. Sorry, Mac boys and girls!]:

Here is the mindmap of my screencast:

Here are the direct links to the tools I use in the screencast:

http://storify.com/e1evation/my-most-important-curation-tools

By the way,  this post and this post might also give you some insight as to how I apply Getting Things Done [GTD] principles to this process. Comment below or connect with me so we can talk about how this applies to you and your situation…

The Tools David Allen Uses to Get Things Done


Lifehacker curated this story from The Atlantic:

GTD guru David Allen recently spoke in an interview with The Atlantic about all the things that keep him organized and productive. He uses a combination of low-tech tools and digital applications to accomplish what he says is the number one thing people need to do to gain control over their lives: “externalize” all the stuff thats coming in.” Full story at:The Tools David Allen Uses to Get Things Done.

Go to the source if you’re interested in David Allen’s approach…

Me? Here’s my list of GTD tools. Almost all electronic and besides the hardware, free or freemium and completely cross platform:

[listly id=”25l” layout=”full”]

I’m always trying to explain things in a way that is as simple as possible but no simpler, so I thought of another way to take a pass at David Allen’s Getting Things Done [GTD] principles as applied to the curation process. Here is the workflow map:

Here is how I apply it to the curation process:


Now, let me talk you through it:

Here are the two posts I mentioned in the screencast:

Over at Lifehacker today, they’re talking about the Dark Side of Getting Things Done [GTD] but here at e1evation, llc, it’s all rainbows and unicorns and we’re talking about how to apply Getting Things Done [GTD] to the curation process…

Now if you haven’t read David Allen’s classic productivity work, this would be a great weekend to do it. You can click the image to the right in order to purchase and download a copy to your Kindle or Kindle software immediately. I like to repost he Getting Things Done [GTD] workflow diagram as a reminder of the options…

…in this screencast we’ll be using Google Reader as the ‘in basket’ and the ‘stuff’ we’ll be processing is the articles that come from our trusted sources. We’ll be using Twylah and Power Tweeting to process our actionable items. Give it a view…

Why Twylah?

Questions? Feedback? Want to apply Getting Things Done [GTD] to your curation process? Use the form below or connect with me in social media…

[ contact-form] [contact-field class="zem_slink" title="Record label" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Record_label" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">label</a>="Name" type="name" required="true" label="Name"/] [contact-field label="Email" type="email" required="true"/] [contact-field label="Website" type="url"/] [contact-field label="Comment" type="textarea" required="true"/] [/contact-form]

Steve Dotto has a great post over at Stepcase Lifehack:

Evernote has become, for many of us, the hub at the center of our digital lives. We store everything — from notes to images to web sites to expense reports — in Evernote.

While many productivity apps have built-in Evernote integration, many still don’t. Fortunately there is a terrific technique that allows you to integrate Evernote into almost every app or program.”via How to Use Evernote for Everything [Video].

If you’re an Evernote fan like I am, you’re going to love this…

Me? I’ve posted many times on how important Evernote is to me — especially as Getting Things Done [GTD] ‘container’. Here are some of my greatest hits…

I’ve also done 5 screencasts on various aspects of Evernote and I put them in a playlist for you here…

One last thought. If you’re a Getting Things Done [GTD] fan, you might also enjoy this powerful but inexpensive book…

Click to view and/or buy…
And this one’s only $.99; looks intersting although I haven’t read it…

Click to view and/or buy…

Stick to the 3-B Plan when Emailing Busy People

Gregory Ciotti writes this:

If you want to get in touch with influential people (aka: BUSY people), you need to know how to contact them. Despite the buzz around social media, far more people use email to communicate than any other online medium, and business today still gets done over email, not through tweets. Sparring Mind’s Gregory Ciotti explains how to make things happen over email with the 3-B Plan.

Why it’s Important to Know

Knowing how to write outreach emails might seem like a no-brainer or maybe even an unnecessary skill to have, but I can assure you the opposite, on both accounts. If you’re serious about networking and building your platform/personal brand, you MUST know how to email important people. Important people are busy people. You can’t rely on random encounters to get in touch with people who can help you flourish; while it may happen once in a while, the rest of the time it’s up to you.

Due to the fact that tweeting is so impersonal and a cold phone call is so annoying, email is the ideal platform for reaching out. For busy people, even their inbox is something that is viewed as a “task,” meaning they want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Understanding how to properly email people is a skill that sets you apart from others (trust me, I’ve received some truly awful emails) and is essential for making things happen with influencers.

The 3-B Plan

When deciding whether to read or delete an email, our brains go through this common evaluation process:

1. Who is emailing me (and is this spam)?
2. What do they want?
3. How long will this take?

Getting a “pass” on all 3 of these can be tougher than it looks, especially for busy people. Here’s my 3-step technique to avoid the trash bin.

I call it the 3-B plan. I always double-check my emails to make sure they follow the guidelines below, and I’ve been able to get some fantastic response rates.

Brevity

If there is one thing that busy people value above all else, it’s brevity. If you were receiving upwards of 50-100 emails per day, or had so many obligations that you were only left with a short amount of time to check email, it’d be easy to see why. In order to get your messages read ASAP, it’s best to make sure your opening email follows the ASAP rule: as short as possible.

I wouldn’t put a set limit on email length, because it’s a case by case basis. The important thing to remember is to always edit your emails at least once to trim unnecessary information. People don’t need your enthralling life story over email, they just need “who, what, why” so they can get back to business.

Blunt

Being blunt doesn’t mean not being persuasive, it simply means getting to the point without trying to be clever. Stories and jokes are essential for other forms of writing, but NOT for emails. Get to the incentive on why the other person should respond right away.

If possible, list a number in the title to signal commitment time (Ex: “3 quick questions”) and state exactly what the email is about in the subject line.

Basic

I sometimes am in disbelief that this one needs to be said, but it’s so true. I’ve had emails where people send what looks like a newsletter, emails with tons of images in them (so I have to click “display images” to even read it), and emails with a DOZEN attachments. When it’s your first time emailing someone…

Keep it simple, stupid.

Read Greg’s complete 9-step email guide here.

Source: Stick to the 3-B Plan when Emailing Busy People
To this I would add one thought that is becoming obvious to me lately. I divide information into two categories; just in time and just in case. Just in time is information that affects relationship and revenue and should go in an inbox. A link, however, is most often just in case information. Now, think about the context of the person receiving the information and where they will receive it. If your communication is ‘just in time’ then follow the rules above to get a response – I even go so far as to try to limit my communication to the amount of space available in a single smartphone screen or limiting the message to a single thought so that the busy person on the other end [who is hopefully a Getting Things Done [GTD] practitioner] can do it in two minutes or less. If I’m sending a link, however, why not send it to them in their favorite social network? You will find them in a context where they are already looking at links anyway! I believe that if you think about the context in which a busy person will be reading your message and you communicate accordingly, you will eventually move to the top of the heap. What do you think?

Good stuff, David. I’m doing a series on Getting Things Done [GTD] on the internet. Coincidentally, I wrote about Email last week here: http://e1evation.com/2012/10/05/getting-things-done-gtd-in-email/

Live & Learn

PrintI’m productive. Efficient. I’ve been told by many – obsessively productive and efficient.  I chew up tasks and spit them out.  Yet, one can always be more productive, right?  I’ve been in a life long search for the Holy Grail of a Zero Email Box solution at the end of each day.  A search for the best To-Do program.  A hunt for a better way to manage projects. A race to squeeze more into each day.  I believe being more productive is possible. Within reach.  Just within the ends of my fingertips.

So, when I came across Robin Sharma’s post titled “Become The Most Productive Person You Know”, I was like Zeke on his bone – on it.   When Sharma opened his post by stating: “I want to help you create explosive productivity so you get big things done (and make your life matter)…”, I was giddy. …

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On Friday, I launched a series on Getting Things Done [GTD] on the internet. I wanted to include this 2010 interview with David Allen but as humbling as it is to admit, I couldn’t track it down on my own site! :-D

Fortunately, I did locate it and I share it with you here as part of the series. The action starts at about 1:50 into the recording…

This is what inbox zero looks like…

Having a system or process for any ‘easy to empty’ inbox makes me feel good and ready to take on other creative activities…

I work with my clients to help them reach inbox Nirvana as often as they’d like by applying David Allen’s Getting Things Done [GTD] principles to ‘personal news aggregation’ using Gmail and Google Reader…

If you’d like to experience more of the peace and productivity that comes from effectively handling email, please connect with me using the form below…

Getting Things Done [GTD] on the Internet…

Today I’m announcing an epic series called Getting Things Done [GTD] on the Internet. Every Friday for the foreseeable future I will post on some aspect of applying David Allen’s classic work “Getting Things Done” to the basics of Internet marketing…

I’d like to start by thanking those of you who have not read David Allen’s book — you have given me a competitive advantage for years! Seriously, though, I’m continually surprised at how many people have not read this classic work. For me, it ranks among the three best business books I’ve ever read. It’s right up there with the seven habits of highly effective people and that is saying a lot for me. In fact, I think these two books go together like peanut butter and chocolate; Stephen Covey‘s book provides a strategic framework on David Allen’s book gives great insight on how to implement Covey’s framework…

Allen says:

THE CORE PROCESS I teach for mastering the art of relaxed and controlled knowledge work is a five-stage method for managing workflow. No matter what the setting, there are five discrete stages that we go through as we deal with our work. We (1) collect things that command our attention; (2) process what they mean and what to do about them; and (3) organize the results, which we (4) review as options for what we choose to (5) do. This constitutes the management of the “horizontal” aspect of our lives—incorporating everything that has our attention at any time.

Allen, David (2002-12-31). Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (p. 24). Penguin. Kindle Edition.

In my practice, my emphasis is on what I call “practical, tactical social media“. Chapter 2 of Allen’s book gave me a tool that I apply in multiple was to the social media process…


In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be talking about how to apply this diagram to everything from email to social media management, including…

  • Getting Things Done with Gmail, Google Apps and Google Tasks…
  • Getting Things Done with Google Reader for ‘Personal News Aggregation‘…
  • Getting Things Done with WordPress for Business Blogging…
  • Getting Things Done with Twitter for social media…
  • Getting Things Done with social media management…

I’ll also entertain ‘how would I apply Getting Things Done [GTD] to ________’ kind of questions if you have one you’d like to ask. I’ll share theses posts each Friday so you can ponder them and implement the parts you like over the weekend so stop by next Friday for Getting Things Done with Gmail, Google Apps and Google Tasks…

Here’s a reminder of some of the basic principles…

  • Save Gmail for ‘just in time’ information…
  • Use Google Reader for ‘just in case’ information…
  • Use ‘Priority Inbox’
  • Use Getting Things Done [GTD] principles for processing your email…

Questions? Feedback? Comment below…

How to do an Ultimate GTD Weekly Review

Cover of "Getting Things Done: The Art of...

Lifehacker is offering courses online; today they tackle the Getting Things Done weekly review:

You are only as good as your GTD system.

In the Getting Things Done system, without a solid weekly review, your productivity will not be at an optimum level. The weekly review is one of the most overlooked aspect of GTD, mostly because it seems to take too much time or may seem “overboard”. The fact is the GTD weekly review is essential to get more done with relaxed control.

In this Lifehack Lesson you will learn how to do one of the most thorough weekly reviews that will boost your productivity and get you one step closer to having a “mind like water”. Get the course here: How to do an Ultimate GTD Weekly Review.

If you’re not familiar with David Allen’s classic work on ‘Getting Things Done’ I strongly encourage you to look into his system!

Peter Bregman posted this at Psychology Today

I’ve come to the conclusion that I use email to distract myself. Whenever I feel the least bit uneasy, I check my email. Stuck while writing an article? Bored on a phone call? Standing in an elevator, frustrated in a meeting, anxious about an interaction? Might as well check email. It’s an ever-present, easy-access way to avoid my feelings of discomfort.

What makes it so compelling is that it’s so compelling. I wonder what’s waiting for me in my inbox? It’s scintillating.

It also feels legitimate, even responsible. I’m working. I need to make sure I don’t miss an important message or fail to respond in a timely fashion.

But it’s become a serious problem. When we don’t control our email habit, we are controlled by it. Everyone I know complains about email overload.

Email pours in, with no break to its flow. And like addicts, we check it incessantly, drawing ourselves away from meetings, conversations, personal time, or whatever is right in front of us.

Source: Coping With Email Overload | Psychology Today

Go to the source if you’d like to read the rest of his thoughts. I’d like to share with you a way that I have found to control my email habit…

Tools without thought or tactics are worthless so I try to remind myself that email is best used as a tool for ‘just in time’ information – information that affects relationships and revenue. All your ‘just in case’ information belongs in a virtual newspaper like Google Reader. Think of how much lighter your email load would be if you didn’t let newsletters and other detritus in? How often have you started down the path to Inbox Zero and then been waylaid by a Victoria’s Secret or Cabella’s catalog in your inbox. There’s a time and a place for that; the time is your ‘personal news aggregation’ time and the place is Google Reader. My advice? Use Gmail for email with a touch of Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero and David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’ and you’ll be an INBOX HERO in no time!

If you’re looking for help in this area, try my online book on ‘personal news aggregation’ or how to create your own personal news agency. You can register free at http://elevation.company/pna. Here are two recent lunch and learns I did on the topic of Gmail and Google Reader as well…

How to be an ‘Inbox Hero’ with Gmail…

How to be a Google Reader Rockstar…

Email Is Not Broken; We Are

Gmail logo

Here’s an interesting perspective on the ‘problem’ of email…

There’s a constant flow of “email is/is not broken” articles across the internet, but most of them miss the point. Email as a system is not broken, but we, through our email behaviors, are.

Nearly all of the articles written recently about fixing email have concentrated on technology and building a better client or implementing the specs more closely or bringing two systems together. These are all great ideas and have a ton of value, but they will not fix the inherent issue that people are experiencing with email, but which most articles fail to articulate: we think email is broken because we are overwhelmed by it and get less real work done because of it.

So instead of asking how we can make email better/faster/cooler, we need to ask ourselves how we can get more work done while still using email. Unfortunately, many experiences have shown over the past decade or so that this problem is not easily solved by new technology, as much as I would love that. It is solved by teaching people better email behaviors. This is certainly a less sexy solution, but guess what? It’s the attainable one. Here are some ideas that I’ve come across from others, and that warrant further investigation. They are all designed to help us get more real work done, which is the real problem with the email timesink.

Source: Email Is Not Broken; We Are

You can go to the source and read the author’s perspective, but while you’re here consider this: I think email is ‘broken’ because we let the wrong things in to begin with — in other words, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Most peoples’ inboxes are like their kitchen junk drawers – how can they expect to find anything of value in there? Instead, try using email only for ‘just in case’ information – information that affects relationships and revenue and all that goes along with it – and use an rss reader like Google Reader for all the ‘just in case’ info. That philosophy alone will make your email infinitely more manageable! As you get more efficient, you can add David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done‘ principles to your approach…

If you’re looking for more ideas like this, check out my free ebook on ‘personal news aggregation’. Go to http://elevation.company/pna/ and click the register button. You might also be interested in this recent post I did on effectively consuming information

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