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Monday, August 17, 2009

1 week into the sabbatical

I'm now one week into the SEEF3M... one of the objectives was to feel what being an entrepreneur was like. I've definitely accomplished that:

  • At night, I can't wait for the morning to come so I can get up and work on stuff. Slightly different than my day job.
  • It's really easy to just let the day go away... It's amazing how fast a day goes! I find myself working maybe 2-3 hours a day of real work, which was discouraging to me until I figured that at my corporate job, that's about how much real work you do too. But through Toodledoo, I'm trying to get myself more efficient and accomplish more in a day.
  • My main project, NOTtheBookstore.com, is in the middle of selling season for the fall semester, and it's going pretty slow. I'm barely breaking even on revenue with all of the marketing costs I spent on it. So that's led me to freaking out that I'm not getting a paycheck and wondering how I'm gonna make money. I guess just like an entrepreneur eh?
If you asked me today how I'm feeling, I would be thinking "Thank god I have a real job to go back to" instead of "this freedom is great." Last week it was the latter, but a little dose of reality today. I'm doing some traveling over the next couple weeks, but still plan on doing some work each day. Hopefully I can work on getting some new projects going and get re-encouraged again!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Starbucks is loud... Barnes and Noble has free wifi?

This is more of a "Twitter" post, but since I don't have Twitter I'll borrow the blog:

Sitting at Starbucks doing some SEEFADing. Starbucks is really loud, with the blenders and the loud soul music that's blaring. Where else could one SEEFAD... I remember reading Barnes and Noble offering up free wifi now. I'll hafta check it out...

DOH I think I went over the character limit. And there goes the !#@!@! blender again, the employees must need earplugs to be under OSHA compliance...


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The task to end all tasks: GTD

I'm about 1.5 days into my 3 month leave (it actually started on Friday, but I'll take that as a day off. I used it to clean the house a bit). I decided that the #1 thing I need to do is to get GTD going. With every task in my head, I tried to break down step by step until I got to the "next action." And the next action was always "get my GTD system working." So here goes.

I had tried a few times with a few tools, but it all fell apart. I looked online for help, and there are a LOT of GTD lovers out there (not even counting Jason and Scott, who commented on this blog). Here are two of the posts I found:

I then took an inventory of the tools I had:

  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Google Notebook
  • Toodledoo plus iPhone app
  • Gmail
I was already getting overwhelmed and starting to overanalyze. So then I figured out what really needed to be done. I needed something to collect materials (inboxes), sort/organize into categories, allow me to use it on my iPhone, and a place to store reference and someday/maybe items. Then I tried to figure out which tool was best for which "job to be done."

Then I had the relevaltion: the thing I really need is something to sort/organize. I could always collect "inbox" stuff from a bunch of different sources, just needed to keep a master list handy so I don't miss any. For sort/organize, Toodledoo, OneNote, and Google Notebook were all fine. For on the go for my iPhone, Toodledoo had a really good iPhone app that I had already bought. For someday/maybe and reference items, OneNote was the best because it allowed you to type anywhere you wanted and clip screenshots. OneNote really fits my "scattered thinking" style, so I was just about to choose it until I realized that it's a Microsoft product, and I was really close to switching over to a Mac!

So I'm going to give Toodledoo a renewed shot. I just wish I had done this when my free trial of "Toodledoo Pro" was still going, because it allowed you to do "sub-tasks." That would be extremely helpful for me to define steps to get me to a next action. Anyone have thoughts on if the upgrade is worth it?

There's only one thing I'd like to be able to do that I haven't figured out how yet. It's if I take a picture of something, what's the best way to get it into my workflow? Toodledoo doesn't support attachments via email, and OneNote doesn't allow you to get emails.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

And so it officially begins...

The three month leave of absence begins as of tomorrow. I think the first order of business will be to do a renewal of my goals... starting from high level to what I want to accomplish in my 3 months, down to what I want to accomplish today.

One thing I really would like to get right is to get a system working that allows me to do the "GTD (Getting Things Done)" concept... I'm a scattered thinker, so having this method buttoned up would allow me to know exactly what to do when I feel like doing something else for 10 minutes. Right now I tend to check the stock market, play Mario Kart, and see how many people have read this blog (not many if I don't post new entries). I've struggled with many different methods; an iPhone ap (Toodledoo), Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Excel, and iPrioritize. I've read tips on how to use Outlook, Gmail, etc. I think I have a couple of issues: 1. I don't take the time to maintain my GTD list, and 2. I haven't found the right tools yet. If anyone has tips, I'd love to hear them!


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