Getting Things Done

I have been swamped recently with work. No, it’s not of the homework variety that has been so commonplace over my last 13 years of schooling. It’s real, honest-to-goodness, work. With a million things to get done, I have been revaluating how efficiently I get things done and what system I use for day to day items.

Drawing my inspiration from this post via Lifehacker, I have compiled my way of Getting Things Done (GTD) system.

  1. GMail, like woah. Some claim that GMail is quirky and not as slick as Yahoo’s to-be launched email system. I disagree because GMail is invaluable when it comes to keeping track of “conversations” that sometimes can have over 12 replies a day to a single topic. I am a forgetful person that can’t keep track of the titles of emails. Search is wonderful, should I need to look things up too.
  2. Newsgator. This is my RSS feed reader and it saves me a lot of time in reading news which keeps me in touch with the world all the way over here in China. It brings together all the news I want from headlines of the New York Times to tech news from CNET to personal blogs I read.
  3. Superman Notebook. This allows me to record different items, ideas, events, etc. when I am away from the computer. I manually transfer things from the notebook to the computer when necessary. This seemingly mundane task of transferral allows me to review what I need to do.
  4. Google Desktop. I keep my to-do list always in view along with a electronic notepad (“scratch pad”) for longer notes to self.
  5. Mozilla Sunbird Calendar. I have been trying this utility out to keep track of appointments and meetings. Since I don’t need to forward items to my cell phone, email, or IM, this plain and simple calendar application works just fine.
  6. Blog. The blog helps me keep friends and family updated as to what is going on over here in China. It does not necessarily replace emails to individuals, though. It is a good way to document my experiences and organize my thoughts.
  7. Cell Phone and SMS. Exchanging quick messages via SMS is essential to remembering meetings and following up on details. I send messages out as reminders and for simple questions that may need immediate responses.
  8. FTP Server. I host a bunch of songs and videos for my cast to check out. They work on the “musical style” by listening and viewing materials.
  9. Google Groups. Similar to the FTP, I can archive all my messages and attachments to the cast so if they lose a document like a schedule or letter, they can go find it themselves. It also serves as a mailing list so I can distribute info to my cast and crew quickly.
  10. Flickr. Photo posting for the Ryan fan club, enough said.

There you have it, my way of GTD. That said, I am thinking of adding a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) to the mix but I am figuring that carrying another electronic device (cell phone, mp3, camera) would be burdensome. Integrated solutions (smart phones/PDAs) that can do it all are expensive though.

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