Resources for Time Management

I’ve been experimenting with some new tools for time management that I think are interesting and well worth sharing. I think that I’ve mentioned before that I use a hybrid of David Allen’sGetting Things Done‘ system, J.D. Meier’s ‘Getting Results the Agile Way‘ and the tools Peter Bregman describes in ‘18 Minutes‘.

What do I use from what? I use GTD as the overall scaffolding for my approach this includes both the action lists, next step thinking as well as the horizons of focus. Peter Bregman’s book and J.D. Meier’s overlap somewhat. Both ask that you consider – what is this year about? and what is this day about? – in an effort to make sure that you have your attention on the things that matter the most. Working between these three books you should have a good sense of the big picture – Work, Relationships, Family and Self Development – and how what you’re going to do in the coming year supports each of these.

There are some useful templates from Peter Bregman here and from JD Meier here. Check out this link for a guided 30 day introduction to JD Meier’s methodology.

I live and die by my calendar and have been experimenting with a new calendar app on the iPhone and iPad called ‘Tempo’. Definitely a step up from the calendar app that comes preinstalled.

List managers are a bit trickier. I’ve tried lots including lists in evernote which works quite well – I do like the fact that evernote syncs everywhere but I seem to be settling on ‘Things’ which is about as complicated as I want my list manager to be. Another one worth exploring is ‘2Do’.

I’d be interested in hearing what approach you follow for increasing your productivity and what are your favorite apps productivity/time management apps. Add your voice to the comments below.

Virtual Scouting

I was recently describing my process of scouting locations to one of my friends and their response made me think that it would be worth sharing here.  My process is evolving but here is how I’m currently approaching things.

I’ve been working on a project to photograph rocks at the waters edge.  My first move was to find some places where there may be suitable rocks.  For this I turned to google maps in the satellite view and at a decent magnification scanned the coast line close to home. Here’s a screen shot from google maps:

Once I’d found a good location such as the one above I plugged the location into the photographers ephemeris an iPhone app.  The app lets me work out the location of sunrise and sunset.  I realize that I could probably use The Photographer’s Ephemeris to fill the same function as google maps, and I may well transition over at some point, but I feel like I have more screen real estate with google maps than I can have with The Photographer’s Ephemeris.  Here’s a screen shot to from the PC version of the Photographer’s Ephemeris that can be found here.

Since I’m dealing with the ocean I check on the tide table to see whether it will be high tide or low tide.  There are lots of resources for this information.  Because it’s handy I generally use the iPhone app Tides.  There may be better applications for this available but this is easy and it works for me.

Then finally I check the weather using either the 10 day or hourly forecast on the weather channel website.

I’ve tried winging it many times and I’ve had spotty success.  With the process described above I’ve had a little more consistent success.