31 December 2005

Using Sheets in Devonthink and GTD implementation

French 'femina geekoides' Mogore has developped an interest in GTD and recently alluded to the possibility of creating a blog on GTD en français. Surprisingly there seems to be no plan to translate the book in French. Her delicious list on GTD has a link to an interesting new web based task manager, TaskFreak!, a todo list written in PHP. Taskfreak screenshot I have, as far as I am concerned, decided to go back to basics and living in Devonthink, using exclusively the template I have designed for this purpose GTDthink, which seems to be what works best for me. I combine it with using Airset for my hard landscape, which allows me to see my calendar from within Devonthink. Looking at TaskFreak! however gave me the idea of looking again at using sheets, one of Devonthink latest release new features, for my implementation. I had already toyed with the idea a while back when I discovered on the Personal Productivity Show #012, Safari Software's product MasterList Professional, a task management software, which has evolved from an Excel spreadsheet template. The sheet function of Devonthink, combined with replicants, seems to offer interesting possibilities. The only down side, is that for the time being, it is not possible to create link from a sheet or a record. I have created such a sheet, which I am now testing. If it works well, I shall update the template I had uploaded on my blog a while back, together perhaps with a list of reviews to be regularily conducted as part of the gtd process.

25 December 2005

To Douglas Johnston (A Million Monkeys Typing)

I have been trying to email Douglas Johnston for a little while, but my emails seems to be bouncing! I have therefore decided to resort to posting my message on this blog. (The original was of course in French). Dear Douglas (but also dear Jennifer and dear Conor), Please allow me to send you my best wishes for Chrismas. There is very little in my view to be said about comments recently made by Lee Philips, they do not deserve it. Thanks again, on behalf of so many GTD-ers for your altruism and generosity. Bien amicalement. Pascal

13th Sign You're a GTD Disciple

Your wife and daughters offer you of all things ... a Bonsai for Christmas!

12th Sign You're a GTD Disciple

Your daughters offers you for Christmas a 6.5 centimeters pen, which with its 3.8 centimeters top, will be perfect for your Moleskine.

The 11th Sign You're a GTD Disciple

Santa Claus brings you Getting Things Done Fast for Christmas

23 December 2005

GTD Week

If last week was "Clear your clutter" cum Autumn cleaning week rolled into one - it is quite frightening to see how much junk a family of five can accumulate in a year, and at the same time how much stuff which has not been used in the lasr 8 years deserves to be disposed of-, this week has been decreeted GTD week. After the end of the semester at the university and falling very badly from the GTD bandwagon, it was time to regroup and get back to basics. In this respect, Des Paroz's was as ever spot on and a great source of inspiration. His post on Knocking Down Walls: GTD Ownership vs Orthodoxy, which pointed back to his Shu-Ha-Ri and GTD, an all time favourite of mine, was coming just at the right time. Likewise, the long expected latest release of Des and Cameron Reilly's The Personal Productivity Show on TPN - Episode 017. Cameron was away on hols, lucky devils it is summer down under, but Des nevertheless did great. Of particular relevance for me was what he said to the effect that : "This time of year is a common time to be a bit out of control, but the quieter period many of us have coming up is a great opportunity to get things back on track for the new year - clean up your inboxes, review your projects lists, brainstorm for new ones and rethink the optimal time for a weekly review". The quote comes from his blog posting, but he elaborated nicely on the theme in the podcast. It was interesting and encouraging that it is not only GTD white belt like myself who fall down and bite the dust in this way. Keep up the good work lads (Hope you enjoyed the Cricket last summer would probably! ;-) Of course as a Frenchman I am neutral in such matters).
In my letter to Santa Klaus, I must say, in the stricted confidence that I have asked for a copy of David Allen's Getting Things Done Fast. Let's hope that the letter arrived. Let's cross fingers.

06 December 2005

OmmiGraffle as a substitute to PowerPoint ?

Since switching from a wintel machine to a mac in July 2004, I must say that I have progressively walked away from using PowerPoint. I must say that I have had some rather unpleasant surprises when preparing presentations on my mac and later trying to use them in lecture rooms at the university where wintel machines are the standard issue.
I tried using Keynote in September and although the graphics were great, I was not overall that impressed. Using Neo Office remained the best option
Lately I have started experiencing using OmniGraffle Professional instead. The result is in fact quite impressive. The hack is to save the OmniGraffle slides as a pdf files and to use Adobe Reader to show the slides presentation. This does not allow for sound effects as PowerPoint does, but I must say that I have never used that function in a public presentation yet.
I enclose a sample of the slides I used for a lecture I gave last week to Officer Cadets from the French Air Force École du Commissariat de l'Air who were visiting the University of Salford for a short course. The presentation was based on a paper I gave in March 2004 at a Mackinder Forum conference at the University of Oxford. They have been saved as jpeg files rather than pdf files as in the presentation I gave. They are best viewed on flickr as a large version of the file.

Mackinder Mackinder Mackinder