Send mail to yourself

While stumbling along on the internet, I found this gem.
How to create a shortcut to send an email. Basically I use this to add a task to
You just click the shortcut on the taskbar, it’s all filled out, and click send to quickly add a task to your task list. And with toodledo, you can tag things and star things via the subject line.

Todd’s Practical GTD Agile Method

I love GTD, but it definitely has some issues that I don’t like. Here are some good links to learn GTD. I also recommend reading his book, or not. It’s long and boring actually. What I ended up doing is merging a few things between GTD and Agile. I’m definitely not any sort of Scrum Master or Agile guru by any means, but I do find some things useful about it when it comes to project management.

I use to implement my GTD / Agile Methodology, but my method is a little different and I will explain why. Come back here after you’ve read at least the first link above.

I organize by doing the following:

I use the tag system heavily. The folder system is too limited. If I want to categorize one item into two boxes I should be able to do so. They work exactly like the folders but it’s substantially more flexible. The folders just aren’t necessary.

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Tools I use

Some of the tools I use to manage my tasks (life) are the following:


The website is a task management system based around the GTD technique. It’s great because you don’t have to use a particular technique if you don’t want to. For example, I use the “tags” feature to assign tags to all of my tasks for organization. It also have a handy feature where you can create tasks by sending an email to a special email address. This is handy when used in combination with a “send email widget” you can install on your phone to quickly send an email. Whenever I send an email, it’s automatically “starred” so during my weekly review, I know what to turn into actionable tasks. You can assign due dates, priorities, contexts, etc. The only thing I feel it doesn’t or can’t capture very well are files and research. You can upload files, but it requires a more expensive plan to store data. I just use evernote for this, but evernote also has limits. It has a calendar, which I use heavily and I can sort things any way I want. I currently use onenote and also Instapaper. I looked around at a lot of different task management systems (including stuff like Jira), but I have found nothing better. It can create goals, store outlines and notes among other things as well, but I find the notes are better captured in the tasks themselves or with Evernote.


Using a pomodoro app is useful to doing 30 minute or 50 minute sprints. You can use an ordinary timer, but there are other apps you can use on your phone, which is easier to use if you’re at a coffee shop or something. These are very helpful so you can timebox your tasks so you don’t go overboard. It has many benefits, such as forcing you to get as much done as you can in 30 minutes, so you concentrate more. It prevents you from working too much on one task so you don’t waste time and you don’t get get burnt out on that one task.

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Task Management – 01

I’ve been learning a lot about how to manage my time (or tasks rather) more effectively. How do you get more done in a day without causing more stress and still have time for leisure. There are a few things that I personally do and I’ll just be keeping a log here on this site of some of the helpful tips and things I’ve been doing.

  1. Timebox your tasks. Use the pomodoro technique.
    1. Do 50/10 for things like projects, if you can. But sometimes this can be difficult.
    2. Do 25/5 for smaller things like homework or habits that don’t end.
    3. Alternate between difficult and easy pomodoros. For example in order “write book”, “clean out email inbox”, “do homework”, “lift weights”. Hard easy hard easy.
    4. There are many pomodoro timers for your phone. Get one.
  2. Do the most important things in the morning. After you get home from work, you won’t want to do them because you’ll be worn out.
  3. Change your environment. Coffee shop, library, or some other place to keep you away from distractions.
  4. Listen to ambient sound or noise. I listen to thunderstorms or rain + trains. It drowns out the chatter and noise from Starbucks and lets me focus a lot easier.
  5. Mix in easy very short healthy habits between pomodoros such as “drink full glass of water”. Or you can set them up to start the pomodoro instead of using your break time.
  6. Use the S.M.A.R.T. system for goals. More on this in a later post.

Next time, I’ll discuss GTD and the tools I use.

How to become great

I was reading an article about the gaming industry and I stumbled across a piece of knowledge that I feel was very valuable. It’s something I try to do everyday and I believe you should to if you want to become good at what you do.

“Embrace diversity, and  try  to  find  something useful  and  worthwhile  everywhere, from  every  person.  Make  an  effort to understand what they are saying, deeply,  and  incorporate  it  into  your own  way  of  thinking,  so  it  can expand.  Keep  your  own  opinions and  convictions,  but  relish  every opportunity to learn.”

-Paul Tozour