The Internet is flooded with productivity tips and this is another post to add to that mix. How many productivity boosting posts have you read this week? Ah, I digress.
The point of productivity tips generally is to make us more effective and efficient with our time. So I was reading one such post today. I wanted to add one thing desperately to this list and that is the habit of creating a daily list.
I am a GTD [Getting Things Done] methodology buff and have been creating monthly, weekly and daily list for quite some time now. I mostly use technology to perform my GTD. For a long time I resisted paper and pen as I wanted to be completely digital, but alas I wasn’t as effective doing just that and I was loosing focus.
So, I decided to write every day tasks on a simple post-it note first thing every morning. As day progresses and I finish my tasks, I start marking them off. Most times I also allocate the estimated time required for each task which allows me to plan my day better. What have I achieved doing this? More or less, I get 80-90% tasks completed each day. What remains is generally a low priority task or something where I have a dependency on someone or something else. Using this simple hack, I get more done everyday and my day remains focused.
As you can see from the list above, I have done the important tasks and low priority works remains!
I know what you are thinking, that there is no rocket science behind this, but then rarely is. It is all about what works best for you and what gets you focused and on top of matters.
This post is a response to Guy Kawasaki's post on 14 practical ways he uses Evernote. I have tried few times to get using Evernote as part of my personal information stream but it got all too difficult for me and did not make me productive. I believe in a simple [still sophisticated] system that makes me productive and in which my information stream can flow easily. I try to learn from the experts such as Steve Rubel and take the bits that are going to work for me.
I made a move to Posterous because of one most important thing, it was going to allow me to focus on my content and spend less time on getting setup. It has made writing easy for me. And since than Posterous is becoming a main part of my information stream. So let me touch on 6 ways to use a combination of Posterous and a bit of Gmail as a part of my personal stream.
To create a personal stream, I have created a Posterous blog which is protected and private. Only people with the password will be able to view the contents of my personal blog.
1. Taking Notes: – With multiple ways of adding content to Posterous taking notes is real easy. I can create a quick email and add tags in the subject line and I have added a note to my Posterous stream. I don't need to remember the name of the file nor on which computer or laptop or email I saved the file. I just have to either perform a quick search or sort by the tags that I have used.
2. Take Pictures & Videos: – [I can technically copy each and everything that Guy Kawasaki has used in his post except that Posterous has it's iPhone app]. I take pictures, screenshots and just put it send them to Posterous again via the email. For me the most common pictures are the pictures when I am in a store and want something but I think I might be able to get it cheaper elsewhere, I take a picture along with the price and then post it to Posterous as a reminder. I also take pictures of the books that I want to read later on and put it in my Gmail account in the 'Books to read' thread that I maintain. I don't use Posterous iPhone app a lot just yet, but email it in.
This pictures can be cheques, prescriptions, photos and videos. Post it, tag it/put a good description and then find it later on through the search.
3. Save Document: – I use my Posterous stream to save documents that I want to use for reference later on. One can send documents from word documents to PDF files along with other files types.
These are more of reference documents or brainstorming documents that I want to use for reference.
4. Photos of Business Cards: – I don't do this a lot myself but one can take photos graphs of business cards and send it to Posterous along with the name on the person/service in the subject line which will make searching easier later on when needed. I find it much more easy myself to convert the information from the Business Card to my Contacts manager.
5. Brainstorming topics: – I brainstorm and I brainstorm a lot. I use notebooks/email/Post It notes/Mindjet Mindmanager and now Posterous as a tool to brainstorm. If one is running a personal information stream on Posterous, one can send a topic on Posterous that needs brainstorming and then either keeping on adding information to that post or adding more information in the comments field. If the blog is public, than one can even create a private post and share it with a person with whom brainstorming needs to be done.
I at times brainstorm a topic in a graphical format in a notebook/sticky post, take a picture and send it to Posterous.
6. Retain Content and Websites: – I use Delicious as a bookmarking tool and I also use Google Reader, but when I read something that is inspirational/thought provoking or a venture idea for future I want to record it. So again, I post it on Posterous with description/tag for future use.
In summary, I am using Posterous a a good Content Archival System and between Posterous and Gmail I have a good system going on.
I don't miss Google Notebook at all now.
How are you managing your personal stream [Now don't tell me that you don't have one]?