Still coping with post-travel and time zone exhaustion, Jean and James recap some of their favorite things about attending the Release Notes Conference in Mexico. We managed to check off goals both personal and productive at a gathering that supports both.
For this international episode, James was in Cancun in advance of the Release Notes conference while Jean was in still in Portland getting packed and ready to come to the conference. Jean and James talk about issues with out-of-date packing lists, strategies for updating external checklists like packing lists, and how Jean’s current mobility issues have affected her travel plans and packing list.
Is there a packing list app that you love using? We’d love to hear about it as well as any tips, tricks, or lifehacks regarding packing lists. Feel free to contact us on Micro.blog or Twitter at @theweeklyreview or send us an email at email@example.com.
James and Jean are on a streak of doing their weekly reviews! As we reread the original GTD book, we take a closer look at weekly review “trigger” lists offered by the author and others, and come up with some modifications of our own for ferreting out uncaptured open loop items.
In this episode find out if Jean and James’ remarkable weekly review streak continues. Since it’s iPhone season, the discussion naturally turns to the new iPhones and Apple Watches, favorite new features in the new products and iOS 13 and whether to upgrade to the latest and greatest.
About a year ago OmniFocus 3 for Mac added the ability to add multiple tags to projects and actions. James recently reviewed all of the tags he has created over the past twelve month.
In this episode James shares his discoveries with Jean, talking about tags he’s found useful and some he’s found to be completely useless. Jean shares thoughts on her use of tags. James describes a new way he is using flags in Omnifocus and Jean and James briefly discuss using guinea pigs and cats as organic reminder systems.
James and Jean have completed their weekly reviews for two weeks in a row! 🎉
This week we talk about the importance of defining projects. Jean has a bad habit of saving projects as individual actions and not spelling out the steps. Without assigning clear “next actions,” your weekly review will cease to inspire you to get anything done. By clarifying the next step for each project, you’ll never stymied by the question “What should I do now?”
How does it feel to do a weekly review after a long hiatus? That’s the topic of discussion for this episode as Jean and James discuss doing their first weekly review in a while. Jean describes her strategy to getting things done until she is back on her feet again. James reveals how many projects he has in OmniFocus. Jean and James give an update on their efforts to reduce the amount of physical mail they receive.
There are some great online tools to deal with email inboxes, but what can be done about all the paper mail that comes to our doorstep? Jean and James talk about how they cope with that daunting stack of envelopes, flyers, and catalogs that can pile up especially during extended periods of travel, and discuss solutions for cutting down the amount of junk mail received.
While criss-crossing the country in July, James listened to the Getting Things Done audio book. In this episode, James talks about his newly refined thoughts about his trusted system and how hearing about GTD through a different medium helped him to understand the system in a different way. Jean and James recommit to doing some form of weekly review each week.
This week we turn our focus from Jean’s “tumble in Trieste” to James’ latest adventure in the Canadian maritime province of New Brunswick, where his father was born and raised. After the death of his father last year, James and his sister had many of the typical issues to deal with, plus one unique challenge: how do you best dispose of a U.S.-registered automobile in Canada? (Hint: Roadtrip!)
This episode follows up on Jean’s mishap on her trip with Jean discussing some reflections and lessons learned. Topics range from travel-specific subjects like travel insurance and packing for a day trip to more universal thoughts like being willing to accept help when offered and trying to keep a positive attitude even when things have taken an unexpected turn for the worse.
In this episode Jean tells the story of her ill-fated day trip to Trieste, where she injured herself and had to cut short her summer in Slovenia. Jean talks about her odyssey from an Italian piazza to her arrival back home in Portland, Oregon. Along the way, a few thoughts and tips on what you might want to bring on a day trip even if you are trying to travel light.
For this episode, Jean is in Slovenia and James is about to take a trip to the east coast.
Jean talks about the possibility of declaring OmniFocus Bankruptcy. James suggests that it would be a shame to lose all the work already done capturing items into the trusted system. Jean and James talk about handling to-do items that you will definitely not be able to get to when on a trip.
Finally, a little more about things you can’t wait until the last minute to do, as well as the fate of traveler’s checks.
UPDATE: This past weekend, Jean tripped and tore a tendon in her left knee while on her trip to Slovenia. She had to return home early due to the injury and is now back in Portland. You can send support and well-wishes to Jean via The Weekly Review or directly at @macgenie on Micro.blog or Twitter.
Lep pozdrav iz Ljubljane! / Greetings from Ljubljana! 🇸🇮
In our first intercontinental podcast episode, Jean talks about how living away from home, either in a hotel or a small apartment, makes it possible to form new habits that can stay in place once you get back. It’s a lot easier to:
stay decluttered when your place is small
prepare (not necessarily cook!) three simple meals a day when your kitchen is minimal
Leaving things to the last minute is the bête noire of the organized person, right? But Jean and James have found that sometimes the last minute can be your friend, as long as you are cognizant of what absolutely must be settled in advance. Sometimes the choices you make at the last minute can surprise and delight you.
Photo: New fleece cage liner purchased for the guinea pigs in a very whimsical pattern, a last minute choice over DIY fleece liners, which would have been a boring solid dark color.
James is finding that even thought it has been a number of weeks since WWDC, he is still living in his head, not checking in with his trusted system, but still feeling productive. Jean talks about creating a daily ‘punch list’ of items to do on that particular day.
Jean makes the suggestion of setting an OmniFocus reminder to check OmniFocus daily. James is revisiting the book The Power of Habit to try to turn a daily check-in with his trusted system into a daily habit, even when he’s off in ‘in my head’ land.
Jean leads off a discussion about the delight of making spontaneous plans and how to decide whether they are feasible in the context of all our other commitments. Making time to be with the people you love has become Jean’s top criteria when deciding whether to make new plans on the spur of the moment. James points out that GTD is designed to make spontaneous joy possible, not to squelch it.
Photo: Spontaneous friends: Jean with New Zealand friends Devon and Maryanne, hosted by LA friends Allison, and Steve
This week Jean and James talk about their time at WWDC 2019. Bringing a long-planned project to its conclusion, the LIVE near WWDC concert was well-received. The annoucements from Apple hold promise to make developers and users alike more productive. Also, James is trying out new style of blogging, inspired by Brent Simmons. Jean is making preparations for her trip to Slovenia.
Your trusted system holds commitments you have made to others and also to yourself. From there, you can fulfil your commitment or drop the ball. In this episode, Jean and James talk about a third option—renegotiating your committments.
This episode also represents a renegotiated commitment of its own — shorter episodes for the summer while Jean and James are traveling and not able to record every week.
Plus: Jean gets some Slovenian phrase homework and James mentions the comedic properties of the phrase “Where is my hat?” in French.
James and Jean review their plans for WWDC week in San Jose, and what is still on their to-do lists. James reveals the secret phrase needed to obtain The Weekly Review stickers (hint: just ask!), and Jean talks about efforts not to overthink the Micro.blog meetup.
There are still some tickets left for Live near WWDC. Get yours today to avoid disappointment, because they will sell out before the show on June 5th. We hope to see you there!
This past week, App Camp For Girls announced some difficult news. In this episode, Jean talks about her history as founder of the non-profit and aspects of the program, including the curriculum and volunteers, who have had such an impact on many lives. James describes some of the challenges of producing a big benefit concert with changes being announced just weeks away from the event.
On June 5th, Jean and James will be performing nerdy music in San Jose: LIVE near WWDC
So we lasted a whole five weeks since our Emailiversary show (Ep. 52) before we took up the topic of email processing again, probably because it has been a hard week and we are behind on email. Luckily we both have a sense of humor about it.
We also discuss listener follow-up to last week’s episode Whelmed, with a pledge to try a new suggestion as soon as we get unwhelmed after LIVE near WWDC.
As the annual James Dempsey and the Breakpoints LIVE near WWDC benefit concert for App Camp For Girls approaches, James reports he has spent the past few days being ‘whelmed’ with show preparations.
Jean and James talk about these sort of times when you are so focused on a set of urgent tasks at hand that you might not look to your trusted system for guidance for a day or two. James wonders if it is okay to operate keeping a finite number of pressing tasks in mind for a short period of time.
Have you been ‘whelmed’ before? If you have tips, tricks, suggestions, or life hacks of how you deal with similar situations, we would love to hear from you on Micro.blog, Twitter or email us!
On June 5th, Jean and James will be performing nerdy music: LIVE near WWDC
Jean returns from a week in Florida with her dad and siblings, where they took on the task of clearing out the home that the family has occupied since 1963. She shares her fresh insights into how to deal with stuff that has sentimental value, how to organize a family photo swap, and the joys of hiring a junk pickup service. Jean also describes the benefits of doing hard work on a project that has an immediate payoff.
Photo: Jean and brother Bob, circa 50 years ago, uncovered in the decluttering.
Jean and James talk with Ish ShaBazz, an app developer whose company Illuminated Bits recently released Capsicum, a new approach to the task management notebook. We learn what led Ish to the idea of building a notebook app, the power of round-trip translation with Boomerang, and how it felt for Ish be featured in the documentary App: The Human Story.
We also find out what the weather was on our birthdays in our respective hometowns in Florida and New Jersey, a nifty little feature of Capsicum’s integration with historical weather information.