Moleskine DIY Hack - Repositional Glue Stick

Glue-stick2 One of my co-workers recently came up with this handy DIY Moleskine (or other journaling notebook) hack to let you easily put in and remove productivity templates from DIYPlanner.com.

Find the template you want to put in your moleskine, print it out, cut to size, and then use 'repositionable' glue to secure it in the moleskine.  I added a 'shopping list' to one of the back pages of my moleskine.   Now I can use this for a couple of weeks, and then pull it out & add another fresh one without messing with a list of old items permanently in my moleskine.

Another reason, I like this is because it is sort of like creating your own post-it notes, but having control of the content, color, and size of the note.  The index card size ones at DIYPlanner.com seem to be ideal for the Moleskine.


Learn Some Hacker Skills Online from SANS & Paul Asadoorian

Fellow FriendsInTech.com member Paul Asadoorian is presenting two upcoming SANS@Home courses:

Metasploit is a fantastic tool for testing your network and applications.  Come learn about all of its new features! You can use  discount code "PaulDotCom" and save 20%!


Setting Up My GTD Moleskine 2009

Moleskine I'm going on my fourth moleskine as my primary David Allen Getting Things Done (GTD) capture device.  The first one covered 2005, for some reason 2006-2007 was captured in one, and last year (2008) went into a single moleskine.

Here are some of the steps I've refined in setting up my 2009 moleskine:

  • Use my Dymo labler to print up my labels (see below) and contact information in case I loose my moleskine.
  • Contact information is taped right up front and includes cellphone, email addresses, home phone & address; and $20 reward notice if returned.
  • Labels: References - Information [start on page 1]; Inbox - Notes - Tasks [starts on page 9]; Calendar [page 192]; Contacts [page 190]; Roles & Responsibilites [page 188]; and Projects [page 174].
  • Print out a small 2009 year calendar via Pocketmod (tape on front inside cover)
  • Print out a small DIY Planner Hipster PDA GTD Reference Card (tape on back inside cover)

Some things I've learned over the last couple of years:

  • Form-factor and ease of pen & paper has been very beneficial to me.
  • Thinking of the "notes" section as an Inbox has really made it more appealing to capture everything in the moleskine.  I start each day with a new line and keep things in chronological order.  Once I process something, I mark it done using a yellow highlighter.
  • I rarely capture items in the Calendar section except for personal items.  Work items seem to end up in Outlook without making it to pen & paper.
  • I do capture more Contacts than Calendar items using the moleskine.  It happens mostly when I'm on travel, and capturing some new information away from my computer or cellphone.
  • Previous years I have not had a Projects section, but after attending a David Allen Roadmap Seminar this past summer I started doing this, and it has paid off as a good Weekly Review resource.  It also turns out that at times I only have my moleskine, and I can do some productive brainstorming during downtime with just the Projects list in the moleskine.
  • Another item added after the Roadmap Seminar was the Roles & Responsbilities section.  This is great to review from time to time during downtime, and it helps to keep perspective on what is important to me at 30,000-ft and higher levels.

Do you have any good GTD moleskine tips that I might consider?  Leave a comment or drop me an email.


New York City (NYC) Career Help - Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mike & Mark over at the Manager-Tools Podcast are presenting a free one-day Career Crisis Skills Conference at the Marriott East Side in Manhattan (New York City) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday, October 18, 2008

There is a first come, first served limit of 300 attendees.  So head over ASAP and reserve your spot.

The major topic areas of the conference will be:

  • improve your resume;
  • prepare for interviews;
  • how to do a job search; and
  • a detailed breakdown of the actual interview.

Conference Update - GTD Roadmap, New Media, MT Communications, Office 2.0

I was recently able to attend a David Allen Getting Things Done (GTD) Roadmap seminar during one of my regular trips to Washington DC. 

It was a fabulous one-day conference. 

As someone who has been practicing some form of GTD since 2004, it was great to finally get to learn from David Allen in-person.  The Roadmap material was, frankly, excellent for someone in my situation who tries to practice GTD on a daily basis and is maturing in the model.  For instance for me, my Runway is pretty well managed, as is my Horizon's of focus above 20,000 feet. But I do struggle with Projects (10,000 feet) and consistent Weekly Reviews.  This year (2008) could be considered the year of getting a handle on both Projects & Weekly Reviews. After this seminar, I definitely think I have some good best practices to move forward with.

There are three other conferences that have my attention right now:

I will be at the upcoming New Media Expo (NME) 2008 speaking on "Getting Started With Audio Editing - Hands-on With Audacity." More information about my Audacity related resources over at AztecMedia.net/Audacity.  Christy is going to go with me this year, and we hope to get some Jersey Boys Las Vegas interviews completed for the Jersey Boys Podcast. And yes, we will be seeing the show again while we are there. ;-)

I am also planning  to attend the Manager-Tools.com Effective Communications conference in San Antonio, TX on September 9-10, 2008.  This should be a great conference and if you are a manager, you should really consider attending.  Or at the very least, go over to Manager-Tools.com Getting Started page and get started.

The other conference that is on my radar but I don't think I'm going to be able to attend is Ismael Ghalimi's Office 2.0 Conference.  David Allen is going to be giving the keynote which is great, but the line-up of other speakers is impressive, and the content seems right up my alley.  If you are interested in attending, you can save $100 off the conference fee by using this link that Ismael gave me.  For those who are GTD Connect members, David recently interviewed Ismael for the In Conversation podcast.  It is a very good podcast that examines what Ismael is up to with regards to Office 2.0, and gets deep into the personal GTD systems Ismael is deploying.  He is definitely an impressive 'cloud/virtual systems' guy.

 


Open Source Project Management Links To Research

I was about 30 minutes down a rabbit trail that was derailing my David Allen's Getting Weekly Review when I ran into this article that I pulled out of Global Services Media back in March 2006, and since this relates to a #1 crisis currently at work I came over to my computer to type in the URLs into my task list. 

Then I thought, since I'm already chasing rabbits, lets make a blog post.

Some open source tools for project management to check out:

There are probably now a ton of other options. If you have suggestions, then let me know.

But now is the time for the end of this rabbit trail ...


Getting - Busy Four Day Weekend Recommendation

4updaykeeperThis Memorial Holiday weekend in San Diego looks very busy for us.  When things start to look like they might get potentially out of control with the family schedule, I've found I like to have a 'low-tech paper' calendar for the family to look at in the kitchen. 

I usually print out a couple of pages for each day of the weekend using a 'day keeper'  template from DIY Planner.  But since today is an off day from work, it is really a four day weekend, and a four-up Hipster DIY Planner page can get all the information I need on sheet.

I just printed a single page, and add all the stuff I know is suppose to happen. Now when Christy gets back from volunteering at the kids' school, she can get her items on there, and in theory, we should be pretty well scheduled. 

Have a great weekend! You can follow mine via twitter if you want.


Executive Staffing With Stay-At-Home Moms

Sue Shellenbarger @ WSJ.com recently had a very interesting article in her Work & Family column called "How Stay-at-Home Moms Are Filling An Executive Niche." 

I think this idea is extremely beneficial for both the consultant and the business.  The consultant gets to keep their skills current and in use. The business gets access to "C-level" expertise at an extremely reasonable rate.

Some links mentioned in the article:



My Getting List Manager Analysis Of Outlook & Pocket Informant

I recently read a post by Kelly Forrister "What makes a good Getting list manager?" But it wasn't until I read Eric Mack's analysis of her post that I made the connection that I should evaluate what I do.

Here is the criteria:

  1. Sorting lists by context
  2. Ability to assign a due date
  3. Portable for on the go access
  4. Easily accessible
  5. More attractive to you than repelling
  6. Doesn't force priority codes
  7. Place to capture additional notes
  8. Ability to search and sort in various ways.
  9. Robust enough to handle all of your stuff.

My system for handling Getting Runway "Next Actions"  is an IBM X61 TabletPC with Windows Vista running Outlook 2007 teamed up with an AT&T Tilt with Pocket Informant 8.

As I read through the list, I find that Outlook + Pocket Informant do the majority of the items pretty straight forward for me: sorting (#1); due dates (#2); easy access (#4); search & sorting (#8); and capture notes (#7)   Neither seems to force priority codes (#6) but offers them if you want them.

I gain portablilty (#3) not so much from the list manager software but more from the platforms.  The IBM X61 is the best PC laptop I've ever had, and I have it with me nearly all the time I need it. Outlook is usually always running and usually only a click or pen gesture away. If I'm going some place without my X61, then I have a good sync with the AT&T Tilt Windows Mobile Phone so I don't miss many @phone, @store, etc items.  Using this setup to capture is pretty straight forward, but I actually use a combo of 3x5 cards and Moleskine for the most of my capture which is probably a topic for another post.

The part that is probably completely personality preference is #5: 'is this attractive enough to you to use it or not? ' It is probably also one of the most important questions that you need to tackle or you'll have a hard time getting things done.

What works for you?


"Box House" - More Options But Plan For More Mondey

The "Shipping Container" home concept from 2005 was an interesting idea.  Prefab houses/dwellings/offices have been around for along time, and for some reason I am intellectually interested in thinking about architecture items like this especially from an efficiency and cost-effectiveness standpoint.

I noticed that the WSJ.com recently published an article related to this topic entitled "The House In A Box" by Sara Lin.  The article examined three solutions: Flatpak, NextHouse, and Rocio Romero

All-in-all the 'house' part seemed to be what was expected by the owners, but the estimated up front costs of actually start-to-finish seemed to be anywhere from 20-50% off target.  So, if you are considering something like this, expect to pay more than you are being told.