Two Aids to Production

I’ve been amazingly productive lately. Not only have I actually blogged a few times, I’ve been making huge strides on my to-do list. As a result, I’ve been really working with my to-do list! You see, I am a big believer in to-do lists — in spurts. Do a whole bunch of stuff, get it off the list, come up with new ideas and tasks, quickly get overwhelmed and bogged down in larger tasks that are harder to check off (and even harder to break down so that I get that oh-so-satisfying feeling of checking something off the list on a more regular basis).  But now I’m on a roll, and I want to keep it going.

But the other day, I ran into a problem. A brief digression: Now USB keychain drives are an amazing thing for keeping to-do lists. I have a to-do text file that I keep on my USB drive so I can quickly update the list (add a new idea, check things off, reorganize, etc.) wherever I happen to be, and whatever OS I happen to be running. As I said, a wonderful thing — except when you leave the drive plugged into the PC at home!

What I needed was a place to store new ideas (and I had come up with a few) that I could write up at work, and still access when I got home (ideally to cut-and-paste into my text file). I’ve used to do this, but the cut-and-paste isn’t easy: You first have to email the whole list to yourself and then do your editing. Then I remembered reading that Writely was again available. This online word-processor, recently purchased by Google, lets you create and store all sorts of written documents, and access it anywhere. So I registered and created a new document, with a 3-column table (actually more complex than my text file, but I wanted to try it out) with the task, a Priority column and a Due Date. While I was doing that, I had completely forgot what it was I wanted to add, but that came to me eventually. I was happy.

That is, until I was blathering on to a co-worker about how ingenious I was in finding this tool. He turned to me and said “Google Notebook.” This is the tool (a Firefox Extension) he uses when inspiration strikes at an inopportune moment. It is designed for tracking information found on the Web, but is just as useful for jotting down quick notes of any size.

So here I go touting Google again, but these are both two useful things for keeping your act together. If you have other ideas, online or off, I’m still interested.

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