you gotta have a tool box

So, I’ve been settling in at my new job.  I love it.  The company is great, the people I work with are great, and everyone wants to work hard and I feel appreciated.  It’s cool.

But in my six months off in between jobs, I’ve learned some things.   Sure, I’ve read Getting Things Done and tried to put the methodology in place, but with most things, I want to use a tool; either web based or an application.  Sure, I also have a Moleskine, but I consider that a portable utility.

While I was off, I did some contracting, or perhaps consulting is the better term.  I needed a new set of tools to help me be successful.  Now, what I learned and have used is helping me in my new job.  I wanted to write about some of them.

Here’s a quick list of my current toolbox:

Remember the Milk is a slick web app that allows you to keep track of todo items and assign them a context to them, a due date, tags, and keep up with recurrences.   I like it since since RTM has a Twitter account, so if I got to add a todo item quickly, I can send a direct message to rtm via IM and it ends up in my inbox to be processed.  I can even do it via SMS so I don’t have to be around a computer to put those distracting thoughts in their place.  The site is slick, well done, thought out, and sort of fun to use.  I am considering upgrading to a Pro account.

IWantSandy isn’t a porno site.  Rather is is a PIM that is interactive.  I don’t use it much but I do find it handy every once in a while.  For example, I used it today.  IWantSandy also has a Twitter account, so you can direct message Sandy with commands.  Today, I direct messages Sandy via IM like this:

d s remind me in seven days to email Doug about lunch

To which Sandy replied:

Merhaba, Jpabian!

I scheduled this for you:
Thu, 5/29 2:54pm Email doug

  • email and sms reminders at 2:54pm
[ Archive ]
[ Forget ]
[ Mark to-do ]
[ Download ]

Here when you need me,


FYI: If you need help, just ask: help

So now I don’t need to think about it and I get a remind to do it.  And if you follow the GTD methodology, you know this will take less than two minutes and I can fire off an email to Doug.  Pretty handy.

PBwiki is simply a personal wiki site.  I like being able to get to it from anywhere and I have a place to keep thoughts, notes, contact info, and other random tidbits of information.

Both Thinking Rock and iGTD are pretty cool apps to help manage a ToDo list within contexts and projects.  I was first using Thinking Rock, but found the integration with with iGTD to attractive to resist (I found iGTD2 not quite ready for Prime Time).   If an email comes to me, while I am on my Mac, I can simply hit F6 and that email is put into iGTD.  Then I can process it and put in the right context.  It’s really been helpful for me.

I also like Thinking Rock.  There is a little learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really powerful.  You can also keep your .xml file on a thumb drive and use it on any system, (Thinking Rock is a java app and cross platform).

If you got others I missed, please let me know.  I know that in the past, I changed my time management / todo list proceedures around a bit, but this so far seems to be the most successful way I’ve come up with.