My list of reading and listening sources

No blog worth its name can be without somekind of list. Here is not one but two(!) lists for you to disregard:

First up is a list of the sites that I try to visit and read every day:
  • Boing Boing - A never ending source of articles and links that will steal your time.
  • 43 Folders - The personal productivity/lifehack site.
  • PvP Online - My favourite online comic.
I have a lot of other sites on my list, but these are the ones that I prioritize. And I use Bloglines for reading.

The other list are my favourite podcasts:
  • Diggnation - Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht comments on the weeks top stories on digg.com. Hilarious!
  • Mashup of the Week - Great music delivered to your doorstep.
Note to podcasters: Keep the length of the show down! I have stopped listening to This Week In Tech and The Daily Source Code because of this. I can stand Diggnation's 40-50 minutes because it contains a lot of information. But 40+ minutes of tech guys who talks unstructured in each others mouth (Twit) or a ex-VJ who talks mostly about himself (DSC). No thank you. On the other end of the scale we have Merlin Mann (43Folders) who started a new podcast were the shows is around three minutes. Perfect!


Productivity points

If you remember my post regarding The Printable CEO, you remember that this is a system that rewards you with points for completing different types of tasks.

I have just installed MasterList Pro that calculates "Productivity Points". Another way to pat yourself on the back.

Speaking of MLP, this is a GTD-centric task- and projectmanager:

MasterList Professional is a Windows desktop application for successfully managing your professional and personal projects and tasks. Unlike time management programs, it focuses on giving you oversight, control and dominance over all of the competing claims on your time and energy.

I will try out MLP and see what it can do for me.


I'm a Wordpress blogger

I got my invite from Wordpress today, so I have created a WP account and started to play around with it. Me like. I have yet to decide if I like WP som much that I'm willing to give up Blogger. We'll see...

Lotus Notes and GTD

In my post @Contexts and Real-Life(tm), Mike of BrownStudiesBlog commented and mentioned that he had rearranged his Lotus Notes years ago, and written about it on DavidCo's forum:

Here's what I attempted with reasonable success at my last job in blending GTD with Notes. Keep in mind I'm still a GTD novice and that Notes was strictly for work-related stuff; I adopted a few strategies I had seen elsewhere on this board. So, mail arrives in the inbox. I may have 5 to 10 long- or short-term projects in play, and I have specially named folders for them...

[DavidCo Forum]

Interesting way of using folders, and I particularly like grouping in projects. I have folders, but they are grouped in more general areas and because of that may include messages pertaining to several projects. This in turn makes archiving impossible.

Thanks for the tips Mike!


The proximity candy jar

It's scientifically proved, a clear candy jar in arms reach is emptied faster then a opaque jar out of reach.

Secretaries ate an average of 7.7 kisses each day when the candies were in clear containers on their desks; 4.6 when in opaque jars on the desk; 5.6 when in clear jars 6 feet away; and 3.1 when in opaque jars 6 feet away…
[Boing Boing via 43Folders]

So the reverse should be applicable, if we need to establish a good habit we should put it "in arms reach". This ties to my previous post, where I wrote that I am worried that tasks in my Next Action lists disappears in the pile (read "is forgotten"). A regular reviewing process should help, but the problem still exists in the time between.

The candy jar experiment tells me that the Overprofilic Alpha Geeks that Dan O'Brien (father of Life Hacks) interviewed did the right thing. A simple window with the most current tasks always on the desktop. That is their clear candy jar, their radar screen.

Flock: A social browser

I downloaded the new Flock browser yesterday to give it try. If you haven't heard of it, it is a browser based on the Mozilla codebase, and with a lot of social software a integrated

Flock includes a built-in RSS reader, which allows a user to read all of their favourite blogs in one place, without the need to separately navigate to each one. Various Web sites and software programs already provide this functionality, but Flock is one of the first to integrate it into a Web browser.

The browser also facilitates blogging by the user with a "Create a blog post" button located in the main navigation bar. The button launches a sophisticated blogging tool which integrates on a drag and drop level with Flickr, a popular online photo management and sharing service which was recently acquired by Yahoo.

Flock integrates with a number of popular blogging services, for example, Wordpress, Six Apart and Blogger, according to Decrem's own blog.


This is however a developer beta, so expect a lot of rough edges and bugs. I was mostly interested in the built-in blogging tools, but I couldn't test it since Flock freezed up when it tried to connect to Blogger. Ah well, there is still a lot of good stuff in it, like Favourites synced with del.icio.us, the Shelf which works somewhat like Scrapbook for Firefox and aggregated RSS reader.

I found Flock very interesting, but I can't help thinking; "couldn't this be done in Firefox?" Flock may be riding the wave at the moment, but I expect that the same functionality will appear in Firefox eventually. Meanwhile, try Flock.

[Screenshot from Ramblin' Gamblin']


The Printable CEO

David Seah has develop a ingenious paperbased method for battling procrastination and staying focused, The Printable CEO.

This reminds of my old post The Whip and The Carrot where I promoted keeping a log to track progress and rewarding yourself for making progress. David has ingeniously combined the both in one nicely designed system.

Additional links:
[The Printable CEO Revisited]
[The Printable CEO Remixed]


@Contexts and Real-Life(tm)

Short story: I use Lotus Notes at work (it's a bloated piece of software cursed with elephantisis, but I have to use it) and most of my tasks starts as an e-mail in my Inbox.
As the GTD follower that I am, I use Notes "Copy to To-Do" button to transfer the e-mail to my To-Do lists. I have several To-Do lists sorted by the well known "@Office, @Agenda, @Internet" and so on.

Not what, where!
Now, when I have used this system for awhile, I have noticed some problems.
First of all, looking at my contexts I notice that they have become "what to do" instead of "where to do it". I have @Office, @Internet, @Computer, but they are all actions that I do in the office. I should really have one @Office Next Action list.

Wheres the summary?
I have also NA:s that are of different priorities. Some are more important than others, but they are spread out over a group of To-Do lists so I have no overview. Another problem with Notes is that I can't connect NA:s to Projects. I also have the nagging feeling that Actions that I put in my To-Do lists disappear in the pile. They get sucked up and there is no reminder, signal, that tells me what to do, with what, and the importance.

Apart from redesigning my contexts, I would really need a tag function in Notes. With tags I can slice and dice my NA:s any way I want. TAGS! Do you hear me IBM?

If I where a Mac user I would try Kinkless GTD.

I have planned to stop using To-Do lists and instead move to an all e-mail version using folders for contexts. I already archive e-mails in different folders for my projects and areas of responsibility. This article, CNN:Seven rules for a tidy Inbox, gave me some ideas.

Organizing your e-mail with a folder for each project you're working on may seem like the obvious choice, but it's not the most efficient way to plan your workday. This type of arrangement makes it impossible to look at e-mails quickly and decide what to do next.

(Read the article, its good)

Until next time...
Since I plan to rearrange my Notes, I might just as well try this solution. More about the results later...

Polyphasic Sleep

After my own experiments with my circadian rythm, I recently found Polyphasic Sleep. It's also know as the Uberman Sleep Cycle and is a method in which one sleeps 6 times, every 4 hours, for 20 minutes, during every 24 hour period. Why? Well, only sleeping 2 hours a day instead of 7 or 8, give you 3 extra months of awake time each year! The blogger Nick Busey is attempting to live under this sleep schedule, and is logging it all in his blog Ubersleep.


The Noguchi Filing System

A rather unconventional filing system, proposed and used by Noguchi Yukio. Instead of filing A-Z it uses "frequency-of-use sorting" which solves several problems with a conventional classify-and-file system.

I like Mr Yukio's way of thinking, so I just might try this.

read more | digg story


More anti-procrastination hacks

In my last post I mentioned three different anti-procrastination hacks that shared several similarities. Now, 43Folders has two new variants
  • Jeff Covey, a 43Folder reader, shares his method, The Progressive Dash. It's the original Merlin Mann Dash combined with a system that automatically picks out next item that gets the 10 minutes treatment. Iterate until satisfied.
  • Merlin Mann presents his variant, (10+2)*5, where each 10 minute dash is followed by a 2 minute break. Repeat 5 times until the hour is up.
I wonder if this constant starting and stopping is good? When will you let yourself sufficient time to get into the Flow? For more important tasks I feel that D. Keith Robinson suggestion of 60-120 minutes for each task is more appropriate.

Doing it in dashes or butterfly strokes

When you browse around in all the different blogs regarding GTD and personal effectivity, you'll sometime find suggestions that have a common core. One I have found recently is methods to overcome procrastination.

All three suggests concentrated work within a given timeframe. Keith R. and Mark F. also says that you first have to decide what your most important task/project is. Mark F. also suggest that we do it first thing in the morning, before phones, e-mails or IMs has ruined our concentration.
None of three suggests that we complete the task, just that we start and at least move it a step on the way. This is taking the granularity of GTD one step further, doing the Next Action incrementally.

In summary: Doing something is better then doing nothing at all. Giving yourself a fixed timeframe makes it easier to start the work since you know there is an end. Try to do that work during a undisturbed time of day. And finally, when you at last manage to get that heavy train of thoughts rolling, you may find that it's hard to stop.


Yay! Comments!

Kudos to Ross Hollman, Strategize, who told me how to turn on "word verification" for comments.
I missed that setting, proberly because I was too angry at the time. Maybe I should RTFM...

No more comments

The #%&¤! comment spammers has started to infest my blog with their dumbass "advertising". Since Blogger doesn't have any tools for blocking users from commenting, I have to close down comments completly.

I totally hate this guys, it's like having grafitti painted inside your apartment.


Stockholm Subway map for PSP

A website owner published a JPEG image of the New York City subway, so Sony PSP owners could load it and have it hand. Now the New York City MTA wants a charge the website owner $500 for this obvious public-interest service.

Since then Engadget.com has started to collect PSP ready subway maps from all over the world. Naturally I pitched in with a map over Stockholm subways.

Download the JPEG image here ->

As a side note, calling the maps "PSP ready" is a bit wrong. They are after all normal JPEG images and you could properly use them on a iPod Photo/Nano or any other portable gadget that can display images.



I found this in a toy store the other week. It contains games so kids can practice different skills. Spelling is obviously not one of them...


iPod Nano scratching

Kudos to John who pointed out the Make article about restoring the iPod Nano with Brasso. The article writer, Todd Daily, writes:

I don’t think the nano has a problem with being excessively prone to scratching.

Todd basicly means that things get scratched when you use them, get over it. That is true of course, but I still think that the iPod Nano is prone to scratching. I have a Sony Ericsson K750i phone that I got about a month before the iPod Nano. It has had the same type of treatment, I put in my pockets, some times together with other things. No scratches. None at all.

Apple says that the Nano has the same material in the case as earlier models. My guess is that the combination of black shiny plastic and a tiny format made scratches on the iPod Nano more visible then on earlier, white, iPod models.

Looking at my Sony Ericsson phone and my Sony PSP, I suggest that Apple pay a visit to Sony and get some tips on high quality material for the case.