Month: January 2013

How My Son Has Changed My Productivity

About a year ago I had the privilege of becoming a dad for the first time. With that privilege has come a lot changes, one of which was an adjustment in how I get things done. Here are a few things that I have learned:

Time Constraints Are Your Best Friend

Now that my son is mobile I am finding that my free time has become more limited. So when my son finally lays down, the race is on to get things done while he’s asleep. This limited time has forced me to become smarter with what moments I have to myself.

Sunday Evenings are Sacred

My nights during the week have become shorter due to all the additional work that comes with my son, so any preplanning I can do on Sunday night has become sacred territory for me. On Sunday I prep my task list and review my agenda for the week. This is the time in which I capture all the commitments that may have fallen through the cracks. If my Sunday night goes well, then the rest of the week should also go well.

Ten Minutes of Prep is Vital to Avoiding Chaos

Before leaving anywhere with my son, my wife and I do a quick ten minute check of everything baby related that we need with us in case my son has meltdown in the aisle of the grocery store. For me, the ten minute prep is now something I try to do before each meeting that I have at the office. I ask myself questions to make sure that I have clarified agendas, expectations and what the desired outcomes should be.

The first year with my son has been a blast. I can’t wait to see what is around the corner.

My iPhone Note Taking Apps

When it comes to iPhone note taking apps I am pretty sure I have at some point bought and tried a majority of apps that are in the App Store.  Over the years I finally whittled the list down to just a few core note taking apps that I really do use on a day to day bases.  Here is a quick rundown:
Squarespace Note
I don’t think I could have designed a better looking than Squarespace Note.  Launch the app and you are greeted with a blank white screen and a keyboard.  That’s it.  From there you type your note, and with an upward swipe of your finger your note is off to a predetermined destination of your choice.  You can choose between sending your note to Evernote (my current choice), Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook, Squarespace or an email address that you have preconfigured.  It’s dead simple and I love it.

Since I use Spootnik’s Omnifocus sync service I can email myself tasks and have them drop straight into my inbox.  However, there I times when I do not want to open up my email and have my inbox become full with new messages.  I simply just want to send an email out.   Captio let’s me do that.  Just simply choose a default email address that you want to send your email to and then you are set to go.   Then when you launch the app, you simply type your message and hit send.

iO6 iPhone Notes App
For times when I just simply want to jot down some quick info that I know I will quickly throw away, I stick with the stock Notes app.  I personally can’t stand the faux legal pad, however it does work seamlessly and with iCloud sync it’s a quick and easy way to get between my iPhone and my Mac.

Wendell Berry’s Standards for Technological Innovation

From the author Wendell Berry in 1987:

1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces. 4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
6. It should be repairable by a person ofordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
8. It should come from a small, privately-owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.

From “Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer“, Harpers Magazine, 1987.


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