You can find out what I'm up to in near real-time via: Twitter (@sholden) Instagram (@sholden), or Facebook (sholden). I also recommend checking out my AztecMedia.net produced sites: Chvrches Fan Podcast (@chvrchespodcast), ThePodCraft Beer Show (@thepodcraft, @techguysteve, Untapped, @techguysteven); Tech News Radio (@technewsradio), Air Gapped Networks (@airgapnet), Jersey Boys Podcast, and Veteran Stories. [Updated: May 9, 2021]
While this cup is no longer available, the quality of Skeletal Dropkick cups, mugs, etc. is excellent and uniquely designed. Plus there are great sticker options. So enjoy!
I highly recommend them.
About two weeks ago I decided to move my personal David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system (aka "External Brain/Trusted System") to Obsidian.md (a "free" personal knowledge management application -- note I previously thought that Obsidian was open-source but it is not).
I don't have a huge set of reasons for the switch, it just seemed like something I was very interested in doing after testing Obsidian over the last 6 months for writing, note-taking, organizing, etc.
My previous personal system was Nirvana (for everything GTD-related, but Reference), and Google Keep (for Reference). This system was up and running from January 2019 until now. Before that, I had a customized GTD-system in Google Keep. The full Google Keep system was ~5 years old. Before that, it was all Microsoft Outlook-based.
My work GTD system is Microsoft Outlook based with all my References in Microsoft OneNote or in the Windows filesystem.
Setting Things Up
My first step was to relieve my concern about being able to work across all devices. So, my first three next-actions were:
- Get Obsidian working in Linux on my Chromebook.
- Get Obsidian working on my Windows 11 Desktop.
- Sync those two systems using Google Drive.
This was pretty straightforward and was probably working seamlessly in less than 10 minutes.
Then I had to figure out how to get things to work on my Android Phone and Apple iPad:
- First I tried an Android sync tool called Folder Sync, but the changes were not very dynamic. I had to force a sync from the application before I'd see any updates in Obsidian.
- Then I realized for the Apple iPad, the options for syncing seemed to be limited to two: Apple iCloud or Obsidian Sync (paid service). With my primary data files on Google Drive, it seemed like Obsidian Sync was the better option.
- So I paid for Obsidian Sync (to get both Android & iPad sync going). I can report that this has worked very well, I've had no issues, and it is very responsive on both my Android phone and my Apple iPad. Definitely worth the money.
Now that I could trust that data would be synchronized, and available no matter which device I was using, I just started learning more about what other people have done:
- Reading up on GTD related posts on Reddit.
- Watching the following YouTube subject matter experts (SMEs):
- Signing up and reading through this excellent weekly newsletter.
- Reading through all the Obsidian documentation.
- Reviewing Markdown formatting options.
The current setup is pretty minimal after migrating my current Tasks and Projects from Nirvana, and my current active Notes (Project Support, References) in Google Keep.
Future Projects To Work On
I have used this tool -- keep-it-markdown 0.4.3 -- to migrate all my notes out of Google Keep into .md files to Google Drive. However, I still need to import those into Obsidian.
I also need to migrate a couple of lists in Nirvana -- Later & Someday/Maybe -- to Obsidian.
There is also an effort to figure out if there are other Obsidian plugins, themes, or templates I should be using.
Questions, comments, suggestions, etc. welcome!
The play-by-play instructions (started via this recipe post):
- Using a skillet, heat to high for about 5 minutes and then down to medium
- Grilled some onions and green peppers in olive oil
- Added a handful of cherry tomatoes
- Added a cup or so of leftover tri-tip steak (use any meat or no meat if you want)
- Sprinkled on some bacon bits
- Added a handful of Gnocchi (straight from the bag, not boiled)
- Then two big handfuls of baby spinach
- Cooked for 10 minutes after adding all the stuff. Added a little water after 5 minutes.
- Added some pepper and parmesan cheese after serving on a plate
Last Spring 2021, I made a decision to upgrade our beach camping solar power options by picking up this setup from Jackery:
And then in June, I had this idea why not use this setup at home day-to-day to power up the following devices (vice using a power plug), and stay off the grid:
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ (cellphone)
- Garmin Fenix 3 HR (watch)
- iPad Pro 11‑inch (2018 tablet)
- Apollo Wearable
- Go Pro Hero 4
So, since June I have not plugged any of these personal devices into a home power plug that was pulling power over the grid.
However, I was starting to notice that the Jackery solar panel was starting to take some sun/weather damage. So I did some research, and upgraded to:
The Renogy panel is significantly more weather resistant and should allow me to re-charge the Jackery with the SolarEnz cord much easier.
This is working great. I'm very happy.
All product links are to Amazon.
Unfortunately, I don't have a good place for such a large calendar in my workspace, so I created my own versions for 2021.
Here are my personally updated ones for 2022. First a vertical version (prints 8.5 x 11-inch):
And a smaller horizontal version that I have cut out, and laminated so I can easily place it right on my desk right under my monitor:
Please let me know if you have any comments, suggestions, or corrections. Thanks! Happy New Year!
The team created a PDF of the results that I'd like to share via this link (pdf download).
Here is their Executive Summary:
In this report, we sought to understand what type of working environment would lead to greater overall happiness in individuals. In order to dive deeper into this topic, we did extensive research on different working styles within the US as well as other countries. We also researched how COVID-19 may have affected the way individuals view working and how working from home may affect the way individuals choose to work going forward.
After gathering our research, we constructed a 16-question survey to better understand individuals' demographics, attitudes towards working, and their current levels of satisfaction and happiness at their current jobs. Our research questions targeted asking about different work style preferences such as working completely in person, working completely online, or having a hybrid work style. We also asked individuals about their current work type status such as part-time, full time or unemployed, as well as their education level. We also incorporated questions asking about individuals' current levels of happiness and whether or not they are satisfied working at their current job or satisfied with the current amount of money they make.
We ran multiple extensive SPSS analysis to include: descriptive (for the mean, standard deviation, and frequency), associative (bivariate correlation), differences (one-way anova), and predictive (simple regression).
From the data results, we conclude that there is a weak positive correlation between age and happiness. The older a person is, the somewhat happier they are likely to be at their job. We also found a weak positive relationship between the older you are and the less likely you are to leave your current job. The rest of our research questions involving: pay in monetary form, education level, and work schedule, all have inconclusive effects on happiness. This means there is no clear pay level, level of education, or work schedule that has a greater effect on one's happiness.
My current personal external Getting Things Done (GTD) brain/tool is Nirvana. I recently decided to move some of my "content" related items in my Someday/Maybe list to external list options in tools that are native for that type of content.
For books I moved them to an Amazon Book Want To Read List. This is using Amazon's Wishlist option.
For movies and TV shows, I am using the Watchlist feature in IMDB.
One of the benefits of this approach was it got each of these content types into a more "non-text" list in Nirvana with more visuals, and it helped to speed up my review of my Someday/Maybe items during my GTD Weekly Review.
I also have a Wishlist on Amazon for physical things I might want to purchase. When something new comes a long that looks interesting, but I don't know for sure that it will be useful, I put them in this list. And then I review it every month or so to see if any items are really something I need. Not just something I wanted at the spur of the moment.
If you have any suggestions on other types of list tools for content, then please let me know.
I was recently cleaning out my office at work so that I could share the office with another co-worker, and I came across the printed versions of David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) Journal #2 (2007) & #3 (2008) which were produced for members of GTD Connect.
I reached out to John Forrister at GTD Connect to see if it was OK for me to scan the two journals I had into PDFs and post them. He kindly said it was OK to post them, but he also surprised me by sent me the PDF versions so I wouldn't have to scan them. The icing on the cake was that John also sent GTD Journal #1 (2006 or 2007?) which I had never seen. Thanks John!
So here they are:
GTD Journal #1 table of contents:
- Cleaning and clearing
- The 5 Phases of GTD workflow - Restated
- The powerful “10” factor
- ROI for a paper-based filing system that works
- Writing your own testimonial
- One GTD List that’s already working for most everybody
- Apropos of nothing special
- A case for a soft focus and serendipity
- Just a second–is that another blog?
- The Budding Gourmet
- List Talk
GTD Journal #2 table of contents:
- Who’s Connected
- A “Personal vs. Professional Conversation”
- Validating Voices
- Categorizing Action Lists The David Allen Way
- Decision Making And Next Actions
- Have Your Lists Become Listless?
- How Old Do You Need To Be To Get Things Done?
- Book Review: The Power Of A Positive No
- When A Checklist Is A Next Action
- David Allen’s Personal Tool Kit
GTD Journal #3 table of contents:
- Speed is Key: Making the Most of Your Computer Time
- File Folders? Priceless!
- Reducing Your Junk Email
- The Strategic Applications of GTD
- The Weekly Review Booklet
- This is Your Elephant on GTD
- A Capture Tip for Travelers
- Next Time In...
- A GTD Reminder
- A Message to David
- Email, Hamsters and Literacy
- What Goes in My Tickler File
- Getting Things Done with an iPhone
- Rumble Strips
- GTD and Martin Buber
- GTD at Home: Improving Communication
- The Benefits of GTD
- GTD Tips from a Commuter Mom
- GTD & Vacations
- More on GTD & Vacations
This photo is part of my Blurry collection.
The last two months have been going well. Mother's Day in May was great, and so was Father's Day in June.
We have been slowly getting back out to our favorite places to eat, visiting breweries, attending church in person without masks, seeing friends, and having more group events at our house.
Getting vaccinated has a ton of benefits!
Biggest news is that Carson graduated from High School:
Another nice piece of new news is that my niece Hayley and her husband Alex are having a baby girl in December:
I have also been able to teach two Getting Things Done (GTD) classes in-person at work which has been very enjoyable. One class was in May and the other in late June.
LOOKING FORWARD TO
The epic D&D battle I have been DMing for several months has finally ended, and we are on to a new "underwater" related adventure created by our other DM Darren.
We have several mini-vacations coming up across July & August: one week in Mission Beach at a condo rental; a weekend retreat at The Oaks; a couple of days in Las Vegas for Def Con; and then beach camping at San Elijo. It will be nice to get out and about, but also not have to travel too far from home.
TECHNOLOGY, TIPS, & SUGGESTIONS
If I had to pick a single glass style to drink craft beer out of I think it would be this one (Amazon link):
Since May 20th I have been charging all my mobile electronics off-grid using this setup from Jackery (originally purchased just for camping):
This includes: cell phone; iPad (didn't realize what a power hog this was); Garmin watch; bike lights; Go Pro & other camera batteries; all the new Rode podcast/audio recording gear; and a variety of smaller battery packs. Hard to say the total impact to our home electrical bill, but kind of a fun experiment. It will be interesting to see how long I can do it. My cell phone does get charged when it is in the car, so that makes things a little easier. I am not charging my main personal Chromebook computer this way until we go camping this summer.
QUOTE I'M THINKING ABOUT
"Saying no saves you time in the future. Saying yes costs you time in the future. No is like a time credit. You can spend that block of time in the future. Yes is like a time debt. You have to repay that commitment at some point. No is a decision. Yes is a responsibility." - James Clear