Getting Things Done

I’ve been working hard on being productive. It ultimately comes down to just doing things. But organization and keeping track of things is incredibly important. Here are some things I do to help. I’ll also add while I’m not super productive (I can procrastinate like no other) I still feel good when I get things done.

Remember The Future

Often I think of something that I should do and immediately forget it. For example, I should text my friend to let them know I’m thinking about them, or I need to replace the air filter in the furnace. But after I have that thought it will immediately leave me as I move on to the next thing. Then ultimately I’ll remember again, then forget, and the cycle continues. It’s for this reason that I’m in love with Evernote. It’s perfect for short bursts of thought unloading. And now that Evernote has a reminder feature it’s almost priceless in the utility it brings.

I’ve heard that some have a difficult time using Evernote effectively. I think people confuse it with a service like Google Drive where you can store things and write things keep them in sync. They are similar in that aspect, but the difference lies in the amount of time you should spend in each. Evernote is for quick reference and quick jotting down ideas or tasks. I equate Google Drive for writing longer passages and more of a collaboration tool.

Nag Yourself Bro!

Another service that I use is called Remember The Milk. It’s a tasklist service that’s been around for a while. It can remind you when a task is due through mail, text, push notification, and even your calendar. Remember The Milk is good for tasks that need to be done with some sort of recurrence. It’s also good for keeping a more in-depth set of priority. RTM also ties in to almost every service imaginable like GMail, Evernote, Google Calendar, and more. The latest integration with Evernote allows me to set a reminder on Evernote and automatically show up in RTM as a task. You can do the same with GMail messages. I’ve been using RTM less lately, but I still find it useful for tasks I need to complete on a schedule.

Put It On The Calendar

Setting a date is important for me. As much as I say I’m spontaneous, I’m also forgetful. Dates can set a target to aim for, and when I meet those goals it can help me feel accomplished. When a friend suggests that we should do something together, I will almost immediately say “put it on the calendar”. Sometimes my life can go lazy to busy in moments, and before you know it I’ll forget about hanging out with friends, doing regular maintenance on the car, or other things that are just as important as big projects. When I block out time for a task or just casual time with a friend it will help other things fall together.

Go Easy On Yourself

The first thing I think a lot of people do when making a list is to write down all the big things they want to accomplish, then they take another look at it and get overwhelmed and exclaim, “NOPE!” The key is to break down big tasks into smaller ones, and to put things on list that are necessarily tasks such as watching a movie.

I’m also a big fan of the To-Done list. Occasionally I’ll complete something that wasn’t on my list at all, but I’ll write it down so it doesn’t seem as if I’m doing nothing. It can help me realize I’m being productive even though I haven’t felt like it.


All of these things help me get things done even if it’s something as simple as taking the trash out, but overall it also makes me feel better than a lazy slug.

The World of Tomorrow!

Do blogs get dusty?

It’s 2012, in case you haven’t looked outside your window. If you have… it looks like a 2012 out there, doesn’t it?

My last post was about a gaming tournament, which was a ton o’fun – but unfortunately, I lost. I lost hard. But there’s always next year. And there’s even talk of throwing Tetris in the ring, so I should annihilate at something. Brian was mostly a good sport about it, and we both had fun, and our eyes were melted after the experience.

I’m not really one for New Years resolutions. I’m also not a fan of deadlines. Then you can never fail! But in all honesty, I have created a secret “List of Betterment” which I have stored safely in a notebook. I want to focus on expanding some horizons (ugh… cliche #1) and making 2012 unforgettable.

I turn thirty this year. While this is no more than another year passing, I do enjoy breaking my life down to eras (college, adulthood) and placing those eras into epochs. My twenties will be behind me. I generalize my twenties as “finding myself” or “soul searching”, essentially creating the foundation for who I’ll be going forward. I’ve found the person who I love, and who loves me for me (Not because I’m tough like Dirty Harry). We’ve bought a house, and “settled down” so to speak. As for my thirties, I see that as fortification and expansion, becoming stronger, and more versatile. These are all generalizations, I know. But it’s time to tackle some life goals, and to just do things.

Speaking of doing things. I’ve finally started something I’ve wanted to do for probably 5 years. It’s nothing life breaking, but it’s something I’ve had a lot of fun doing. I’ve started a podcast. This is something I could have done a long time ago. But who wants to listen to just me talk about organizing Legos, and the timeline in the Legend of Zelda?

Double Jump Spirit

A few months ago, I sent a tweet out if anyone would like to start a podcast with me. I didn’t expect an answer. However, I got an answer from Lindsey, KNITTING LEGEND, and legitimate adult. I honestly didn’t know if this thing was going to take off, or if we were going to start it and it was going to be one episode about organizing Legos. Fortunately, Lindsey and I have a similar sense of humor, diverse opinions, and we’ve had a lot of fun making it. I couldn’t imagine a better co-host. Our ninth* episode will go up next week, and while we may not be moving mountains with deep discussion on politics and society, we are pretty damn entertaining. We even have a mascot named Stallone, a unicorn who used to work in the rainbow mines. We’re listed in iTunes, so you know it’s LEGIT.


As for the future, I’ve got some things on my docket. Expanding my retro gaming collection, going to Dragon*Con, making some videos, and some home renovations. I hope your 2012 is what you want of it. The end is nigh!

*Yep, double checked, #9.

Sup, Internet?

*As a good friend often notes… Not Edited

Remember when people said “sup?”… *cricket chirps*… So yeah, I’m obviously behind the times in updating my blog. I’m not going to promise a blog post a day, or anything like that. But I will recap a few things that happened to me in 2010 in case it’s another year before I post here again.

First, on April 30th , 2010 I proposed to my best friend, with an elaborate plan to surprise her. It went off without a hitch. I wasn’t too nervous, but I did run a stop sign that day. If you haven’t heard the story, just ask me sometime.

Secondly, in August of 2010 Erica and I closed on a house, and are now homeowners. Our house is awesome, and I have a sincere intention of dying in it.

Other than that 2010 was a stagnant year for me in terms of creativity, and personal growth. I have plans to change that in 2011.

I didn’t post to my blog much in 2010 because I felt that I didn’t have anything to say about the world, technology, politics, etc that wasn’t already being said. I’ve since decided that was stupid. 2011 is go!!!!!!!

iPhone = Connected

I love my iPhone. It has really been the best decision I’ve made in a while. I haven’t been able to be at home as often, and thus, felt like I was drifting away from the interwebs. Well no longer.


With my iPhone, I am able to sync my contacts to my Gmail Contacts, and sync my calendar to Google Calendar over the air. The iPhone doesn’t support this functionality natively unfortunately. I use a service called NuevaSync which has been pretty reliable and totally free. When I make an update to a contact on my phone, it’s instantly in my Gmail Contacts both for accessibility and for backup. Same for Google Calendar.

I use Gmail through the iPhone mail app using IMAP. It works flawlessly, and the email application on the iPhone is so integrated with everything else.

The Google Reader webapp is very nice is almost like using it from my PC. It’s easier to keep up with 100+ blogs daily.  It’s nice because anything I read on it marks read on Google Reader, and with Safari I’m never limited in my browsing experience. I have yet to see a mobile browser as awesome as Safari on the iPhone. I tried a Samsung Instinct once for internet. It was horrible.

Twitterfon for the iPhone is well programmed too and is my preferred way of reading tweets, next to Twitterfox. Both are programmed by the same guy, which I just found out recently.

Text messaging and just the plain ole phone are even better on the iPhone in my opinion. I love the conversation view for texts.

I also have Remember The Milk for my iPhone which helps remember what I need to do. It doesn’t matter if I don’t do it, I still know what I need to do.

I could go on and on, but I’ll save that for another post. So, have you thought about an iPhone? What do you like or not like about it? (besides cost, and carrier). I’m interested to find out.

Organize Your Life

Long time no post? Yeah. Will you look past it?

Here are two sites that will help organize some regular tasks in your life if you let them. Both are very innovative and boasting features you cannot find anywhere else.

Starting with Remember The Milk:

Remember The Milk is a to-do list website optimized for complete customization. It has several features that will help keep track from the littlest task to the largest project.

You can create just a normal to-do list. You can create categories, as well as tag each task individually. You can set re-occurrences, set locations (on Google Maps), due dates, estimated time to complete, priorities, notes, and urls for each individual task or by selecting a batch and applying those attributes.

Remember the Milk also has a week itinerary printout so you can see your tasks for that week and print them out It has feeds to output elsewhere and integration with Google Calendar. It even has a module for the Google Personalized Homepage.

But wait there’s more! Mobile support. Reminders by IM, email, or SMS (or all of the above). Groups, or sending tasks to a friend.

All of these things, and it’s free! It’s definitely an awesome service if you are into keeping yourself organized.


The next site is GrandCentral. (No not the subway station)

GrandCentral’s tagline is “one number for life”, meaning no more changing phone numbers. GrandCentral gives you a free phone number in your area code (or not in your area code if you want) that will forward to any phone you want. You can forward to all phones at once or to particular phones at certain times. You can also select an incoming phone # that you want directed to your cell number or home number, no matter what.

GrandCentral also throws in some pretty slick features on top of basic call forwarding.

You can:

  • Select any mp3 as your ringtone for incoming callers (even on an individual caller basis).
  • Access your voicemail on the website or phone, and download (as an mp3) it to archive.
  • Screen calls and send them to voicemail directly.
  • Even listen in as a caller leaves a voicemail and jump in if you want to speak to the caller.

You can even mark telemarketing numbers as spam so they will never ring your phone again (and they’ll never know). Add to that call recording, individual voicemail greetings per caller, switch phones mid-call, voicemail storage. Additionally you can forward, download, and add notes to your messages.

Meanwhile, this is keeping your real numbers private. You can see a record of each call on the website and the time the call was made.

All of this is free. They are in beta right now and the premium features (call recording) are free for now. They will always have a free service. This is almost something worth paying for as they develop. I would like to see an option to forward calls to a program like Skype, Gizmo, or Google Talk so you can answer right at your computer if you are there.

Hopefully you take a look at these sites, and I would love to hear your comments about them.