Getting Things Done?

Are you all familiar with the Getting Things Done® (GTD) productivity plan? It’s a registered trademark so I put the thingie there. What’s it all about, Peppermint? Well … it’s about getting things done, folks. There’s a book (here) and seminars (here) and a whole store full of products (here) that tell the entire tale – but the jist of it is that we all have stuff to do, and this is a method for organizing your things to more productively get them done.  You’ve probably heard of it, maybe even read the book. There are a lot of GTDers out there.

See? Liz has the book. Although whether or not she’s even read it, or implemented it, is a different story altogether.

Note that it’s a METHOD for getting things done, but the “doing of stuff” is all on you. Since the “doing” part is where things tend to fall apart for me, I affectionately refer to it as GND, or “Getting Nothing Done” (no trademark).

A week or two ago, Christine told me that she was going to read the book because she’d seen a blog post on using Evernote as the backbone of your GTD system. (As an aside, it’s not just for Asians – it’s just that I attract a lot of Asian friends – true story.) I decided to give GTD another go because she was so excited about her new Evernote system – and I already used Evernote for other things. Plus most of my things are digital things and my current system has been to haphazardly strew things across the desktop of my computer, let emails pile up in my inbox with no note as to what needs to be done with them, and then my ever faithful “Post-It Note On The Monitor” method that has served me well for so many years. Evernote has a lot of plug-ins across a lot of programs, so by adding “add to Evernote” buttons to my browser, my Google Reader, my email program and an app on my Droid – I can pile things into Evernote like crazy.

I, personally, set up my Evernote system using the One Notebook strategy (via 40Tech) because I already have several Evernote notebooks and didn’t want to clutter up the whole works. I’m not sure which one Christine used – her exact answer was “Mostly the one from that health-something website” .. she’s helpful like that. “You know, the website … with the text. It has colors on it and some writing. That one.”

A Google search for “GTD and Evernote” turns up a plethora of options, so no worries. (She also said “somewhat from this dude,” too.)

So now I have a way to move most of my things to one central location where I can sort my things and prioritize my things, but actually doing my things is something I have to continue to work on. I’m very good at avoiding things in order to do cooler, funner things. Which spurred this conversation between Christine and I online this afternoon:

Peppermint: my evernote system isn’t making me any more productive, but it is keeping me organized for now. I still avoid the stuff, but at least it’s cohesively there if I decide to do it.

Christine: That’s exactly how I feel about it.  It’s not magically going to make me WANT to do some of the stuff. Especially after I read that article about procrastination that I sent you yesterday.

Peppermint: Yea, I’m still GND. But I can GTD if I want. I haven’t even read that article yet.

Christine: It totally made sense to me.

Peppermint: I’m procrastinating on reading the procrastination article. It’s in my GND file. I’ll have to call my system “GAFTD” – Get A Few Things Done. But I like GND better because it’s more accurate, really.

Christine: Mine is “WTOIGND” – Wasting Time On the Internet Get Nothing Done.

Peppermint: Maybe “FTIESODIMGTDIIHNETD” – File Things In Evernote So One Day I Might Get Things Done If I Have Nothing Else To Do

Christine Newman: Or “SOAEC” – Sit On Ass Eating Chocolate

Peppermint: I should post this on my blog. I’m going to clip it to Evernote so one day I might do that.

And that’s just what I did, Internet! So I can officially remove one thing from my GND file. Go me!

On a related note, I was talking to Liz about GND and she said that I’m a “workarexic” – a delusional workaholic who never thinks she works enough (like an anorexic,except applied to work). So there you go! An official diagnosis AND a new word to throw around at cocktail parties (should I ever actually be at a cocktail party).

Have a great weekend everyone! Get things done! You know … if you feel like it.

Or don’t. It’s all up to you!

Stuff That Doesn’t Suck

Yup, that’s right. It’s time for an installment of Stuff That Doesn’t Suck. Or “STDS” … which … yea, I didn’t think this all the way through. Let’s not make it into an acronym. Let’s just spell the whole thing out.

The Paperclipping Digi Show

About two weeks ago I received an email from Izzy Hyman, producer of The Paperclipping Digi Show (at asking if I’d be interested in being a guest on an upcoming show. The email hit my inbox right as I was walking out the door to head to the office and I’m not going to lie to you, my three faithful readers – I started hyperventilating within seconds. As someone who had attempted to talk Liz Tamanaha down off a ledge in the hours preceding her recent appearance on PDS, I was not prepared for the tables to be turned. “I still have so much life to live,” I reasoned. Plus my health insurance is reeeeally sketchy, I’m not sure that it would even cover a public speaking induced cardiac event.

I panicked all the way to work, sat at my desk and panicked, instant messaged a couple of friends (phone a friend! I want to phone a friend!) to ask for their most believable excuses for getting out of doing something – but in the end I realized what a gigantic baby I was being. My (much smaller and quieter) rational side finally got a word in edgewise and I told myself, as I have many times in the past, that I can’t go through life passing up new opportunities simply because I break out in hives at the thought of speaking publicly. Even my son would be like, “Stop being such a baby, you great big baby. Why don’t you pull up your great big baby pants and just do it?”

So yesterday I plugged in my headset (freshly chewed by Sisko and hastily repaired by me with the help of of YouTube – explanation is at the end of the podcast) and pretended like I was just on a regular old phone call. Just a phone call with three people I’ve never met before who were going to ask me questions that I imagined I should have some sort of answer to … JUST A REGULAR PHONE CALL.

You can listen to me in all my “ummmmm” and “uhhhhhhh” glory in PDS022 – You Say Opacity, I’ll Say Opacity. And if you listen to that, this next little bit of Stuff That Doesn’t Suck will be a redundant, but I never let that stop me.

Writing Motherhood by Lisa Garrigues

I mention this book, Writing Motherhood (note: that’s an affiliate link) at the end of PDS022. I was searching the other evening for books on journal and memoir writing because I find them to be really useful for scrapbooking. They’re typically intended more for actual book writers, but with the growing popularity of art journaling (and just journaling in general) there are a lot of options available that are specifically catered to writing for hobby/craft purposes. What typically happens is I find one book that looks interesting, add it to my wishlist, then I follow the “people who bought this book ALSO bought…” links and then it’s straight down the rabbit hole from there. Hours later my wishlist is bursting at the seams and I have 40 tabs open in Firefox.

I read the preview pages on the Amazon listing for this book and was instantly intrigued by the author’s writing style, her laid-back approach towards exploring and chronicling the intricacies of motherhood, and the summary where she lays out the strategies you’ll implement throughout the book. I won’t bore you with my endless driveling because the concept is pretty straight forward – become a better writer by writing. Garrigues gives you the “you can do it!” speech that you may need in order to set aside some time each day to write about the journey of motherhood. The highs, the lows, the unprompted hugs and the days where it feels like everything you own is covered in vomit. You know, the beautiful symphony that is “motherhood”.

The first couple of chapters lay out her tips for setting yourself up to succeed and not letting yourself fall prey to all the excuses. Basically you buy a journal, a few pens that make you happy (Sharpie retractable black pens, for me!) and you set aside some time on most days to write two pages – or for 15 minutes. Each chapter provides “invitations” to write – not homework assignments – in the form of phrases, single words, monumental events or even seemingly unrelated objects in everyday life. The idea being that the more you write, the less daunting the task will become. And her rationale behind physically putting pen to paper in this technological world is worth a read all on its own. I was smitten with the poetic way she explained that the hand has a direct connection to the heart and will forever look at handwriting my thoughts in a journal in a totally new light.

The best part is, many of those 2-page writing sessions may translate into scrapbook pages for you. I’ve been in a bit of an inspirational rut when it comes to scrapbooking, mostly due to time constraints, but also because I feel as though I’m at the point (and my son is at the age) where I have so much I want to share with my son about who I am and what it means to be his mother – but could use a little help when it comes to navigating the way. Even if you decide to keep your Mother’s Journals to yourself, though, you’ll find that when you sit down and actually put the words to a page you become more in tune with who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re headed – and more aware of and appreciative for the subtleties of everyday life.

The Todd Shot

And just so I don’t leave things on a heavy note – the boy gave me an impressive Todd Shot tonight before digging into a bowl of popcorn. Todd (of The Todd Shot) is a certified popcorn addict – so this is a double homage to the man who allowed him to play Angry Birds on his iPad until the battery ran dead.

(poor quality low-light shot courtesy of my Droid X)

(and yes, I know his glasses need to be adjusted, it’s on the list of things to do tomorrow)

I have a Confession

I’m back to work! And I have a new kit for you today called Confessional. One of The Flock asked me if I had something I wanted to get off my chest, but the inspiration behind this kit wasn’t that serious. Sometimes my son and I have these little back and forth conversations where we “confess” things that really aren’t all that secret at all. Normal, everyday things – like “Don’t tell anyone, but peanut butter cups are my favorite.” And then the other one acts as though they just heard the most earth-shattering information in the world. Like “WHAT?! PEANUT BUTTER CUPS?! I feel like I don’t even KNOW you right now. I need to sit down.” Mini-confessionals about nothing in particular that give us a moment to laugh and joke with one another about the everyday minutiae of life.

So I’m sorry to disappoint, I don’t have any deep, dark secrets that I want to release into the world! I’ll keep them deep and dark for a while longer. Haha. But I do invite you to share some of your own, or even some not-so-secret secrets that you’d like to get out in the open.

Confessional by One Little Bird

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Kitty was the one who suggested this play on words with the “two”getherness – it entered the conversation right after I told her I was getting married in a couple of weeks. Some might call me crazy for working on products right up until I tied the knot -but I’ve never shied away from being the crazy one. Haha.

Don’t let the name fool you into thinking it’s a “wedding” kit, though. It’s really not that precise! It’s about sharing your life with someone – anyone, really. It would even be great for a set of twins! The world is your oyster, really. It’s very versatile. You can pick it up for 20% off through Monday, 10/18.

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations, Marie! I’ve emailed you with details for claiming your prize.

Thanks to everyone for participating.

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