2023 Week 17 – Buckle Up!
I had a pretty good week last week. I was only in the office for two days as I took advantage of two work-from-home days and attended a conference at the NCAA Hall of Fame. The HoF facility is very nice and full of sports history. I left the conference full of ideas related to my job and look forward to flushing them out to see if they can be implemented in my organization.
I don’t know what it is, but when I work from home on a Friday, Saturday always feels like Sunday for the first few hours of the morning. I know one thing when I work from home, I get SO much done! It’s probably because I rarely have meetings that day, and there are few interruptions.
I usually enter the weekend with a clear inbox and satisfaction that I made progress on my active projects (of which I typically have 25-40 at any time). In true Getting Things Done (GTD) style, I identify a “Project” as anything that takes more than one step to complete. The largest list I keep is my “Waiting For” list!
Try GTD if you…
- Feel overwhelmed by the amount of things you need to keep track of
- Worry about forgetting small details
- Wear lots of hats in your job and life
- Starts lots of projects but have trouble finishing them
- Have never GTD’d before (everyone should GTD at least once in their lives)
I’ve preached the gospel about the GTD organizational methodology for 20+ years. It’s what’s helped me succeed in business (and personal life) and sleep well at night, knowing that I didn’t let anything slip through the cracks that day. So if you feel you’re always forgetting things, a quick read of the GTD book might help!
Enough about work, on to my favorite pastime, food! I FINALLY made a takeout order from Futuro Pizza last week. When they first opened (during the Pandemic times), you had to order your pie a day or two in advance & not knowing my schedule (if I’d be working downtown or not), they fell off my radar.
Futuro was born of necessity. During the beginning of the covid19 shutdown, in an effort to find a way to feed our family, we began making and cooking pizza for our family and friends. Word spread like wildfire and before we knew it, we were cooking 50 pizzas a day. So, we decided to make a go of opening a brick and mortar restaurant.https://futuroindy.com
The owners have years of experience in the service industry & are making it a point to treat their employees fairly. I’ve seen several social media posts about how they care for their employees. I feel guilty that it’s taken me this long to try them!
Our first order was a Detroit Style Futuro Classic (they also have Chicago Tavern style) pizza with Pepperoni, Sausage & Mushrooms, and an order of four breadsticks (the garlic butter sauce is delicious!). Unfortunately, we dove in before snapping any pictures but remembered afterward.
Two people can get two meals out of this pizza. The pictures above show what was left after we were done the first night (I enjoyed the leftovers for dinner the following evening). This is a SOLID pizza. I shied away from “Detroit Style” for years because I thought it was the same as Sicillian (all dough and little sauce/toppings). I learned I was wrong after an order from Jett’s Pizza introduced me to Detroit Style. Now it’s one of my favorites, and Futuro does it justice. The worst part about ordering pizza from Futuro is I have to smell it all the way home to Fishers! Our total order was $33 for pizza, breadsticks, and tip. I think the quality and portion size you get is a bargain, and I look forward to ordering it again soon!
When was the last time you used the AM radio in your car? Me? Maybe twice in the previous year, when I wanted to listen to a Reds game while camping and when I tuned into emergency road information while traveling. The Early Chirp newsletter (worth checking out) had a short piece titled Inside The Fight To Keep AM Radio In Electric Vehicles. According to Safety Experts, AM Radio Waves are still useful in the case of a national emergency. Still, automakers have been slowly removing the AM band from their latest automobiles.
Sticking with the Automotive theme, a Bloomberg article titled “Extreme Acceleration Is the New Traffic Safety Frontier” outlines the dangers of the huge horsepower increases in current vehicles. Electric Vehicles (EVs) can be especially dangerous with sub-4-second 0-60 acceleration times, and don’t get me started on the Clowns driving the overpowered Dodge Chargers.
And finally… If you’ve ever driven to Chicago, you have undoubtedly seen the Oasis rest stops on the toll roads. What makes them unique is the placement upon a bridge-like structure over the highway. But, once a popular place to stop, these days they are disappearing. The It’s History channel on YouTube explains why.
Apple Reminders – GTD App Worth Using
As a big fan of the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology I make a lot of lists. Lists are a simple way to get things out of your head and off your mind so you can focus on what needs to be done now.
In the past I’ve always used the Tasks feature in Outlook and synced it with whatever smart phone I was using at the time. Now that I’m 99% Apple (I still run windows on the Mac using Parallels for certain Windows only apps I need for work) I’ve switched to using the Reminders application available on iOS and OSX.
Reminders is a simple to-do application that wirelessly syncs across all of my devices using iCloud. Those of you with an iPhone have probably used the app in one form or another & are saying to yourself “yeah, so what?”…
So… Have you used Location based reminders yet? This single feature got me to dump Outlook tasks and immediately switch to the Reminders App.
Most people have a few different types of reminders (tasks) they’re keeping track of. Some with due dates and some without. Once the due date/time hits you get an alert and you either do it, snooze it or ignore it. How would you like to get an alert any time you arrive or depart a particular location even if the reminder has a date/time alert or not?
This is the one feature that made the switch worth it. Here an example. The trash at my house is picked up every Thursday morning. I like to have a alert on Wednesday evening to remind me to set the bins out. In the past I would set a weekly reminder for 7pm every Wednesday night. That’s great if I’m home but if I’m not I’d probably just dismiss the alert & forget about it by the time I got home. Or I’d get home, park in the garage, go inside, & then remember. Having to back the car out to get the bins out…
With location based reminders I get an alert as soon as I pull into my driveway every Wednesday! It’s not based on a time, it’s based on a day & location (the date is optional). This works well for a lot of things. If I need to talk to someone as soon as I get to the office I’ll get a reminder when I pull into the parking lot, no matter what day of the week or time it is.
While this is a great feature there are a few quirks that keep the application from being perfect. Options for recurring tasks are somewhat limited and it’s not integrated with Outlook (Mac or Windows version). There’s no snooze option on iOS but there is on OSX…
That being said, it’s a lightweight application that syncs almost instantly between my Mac & iPad. Entering multiple items is a easy as pressing Enter to separate each reminder. You can create unlimited contexts (categories) to group your reminders. Finally, you can share your reminders and lists with other iOS users. This is great for team tasks or sharing within a household.
All in all this is great app for those of us that like to make GTD lists and need a place to keep them organized and accessible among several devices.
If you’re interested in learning how to use Siri to create reminders check out the video below from TeachMeiOS.com
Review – Our Groceries App
I’m a list maker. I find lists are the best way for me to get things out of my head and free that thinking energy up for more important things. To keep all of our family lists in sync we uses the Our Groceries application.
Our Groceries is a free “cloud” based tool that’s accessible via the web, and applications designed for Blackberry, iPhone and Android. It’s a simple list maker that keeps everyone updated in near real-time. The free version is ad-supported and has small ads at the top of the screen. You can purchase an ad free version for Android and Apple.
My family uses Our Groceries for our master grocery list as well as errands, gift ideas, and even dinner ideas. It’s also a great way to make a packing list for vacation. Creating a list is a one step process and once it’s created you can start populating it right away. One of the cool features is that Our Groceries remembers your list items even after you check them off. Enter an item once and it’s always available for quick entry in the future. This is great for grocery lists where you’re adding the same things every week.
The magic of Our Groceries is in the synchronization. Once all the users in your family are connected (a very simple process that’s done via email) every time you add an item it’s automatically synchronized to the other users lists. Cross something off and it crosses that item off on their list. This all occurs within about 10 seconds.
When our daughter says she needs something from the store, we tell her “add it to the list”. There have been times where I’ll be at the grocery store and my wife will remember that we need something. Se adds it to Our Groceries on her phone and it magically shows up on my phone just a few seconds later. I really can’t stress enough how cool this application is.
Other features of Our Groceries allow you to input your favorite recipes and with one click all the ingredients get added to the shopping list.. Using the web you can drag and drop items so they are in the proper order when you walk through the store. I always put all of the produce at the top and frozen items at the bottom. The next time that produce item is added it will automatically end up at the top of the list. If you want to get really fancy you can assign categories to items so they’re grouped together.
The uses for Our Groceries are nearly endless. You don’t have to synchronize with other people, you can use the application by itself as well. Check it out and let us know what you think!
GTD Review and a seasonal photograph
I ran across a really good review of Gettng Things Done by David Allen at The Simple Dollar website. Trent does a great job describing the various chapters in the book and gives it a buy recomendation at the end of the review.
Took this picture in July but it’s pretty appropriate now since the leaves are turning and starting to fall in the backyard.
The Weekly Review
It’s Sunday… It’s 5:00 am… It’s a cool fall morning and I drag myself out of bed for my weekly ritual. It’s called the “Weekly Review” and it’s an essential part of the organizational philosophy called Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen. It will consume the next 2-3 hours of my morning as I review the activities/notes of the past week and get ready for the week to come.
Those of you who know me know that I’m somewhat obsessed with orginization and the GTD method. It comes from years of trial and error with other systems. I’ve found the GTD system just clicks with how I function.
Clearing my head of unwanted distractions allows my creative energies to flow and ultimately it helps me relax. The outcome of this weekly appointment I have with myself is a clearer understanding of everything on my plate. From emails to phone calls, from meetings to projects, everything gets touched and the next action for each activity is clearly identified.
Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to attend David’s 1-day seminar in Chicago as well as loan copies of his book to friends and co-workers. Some have adopted the GTD principals & others really need to give it another shot…
Now that the decks are cleared and all loose ends are tied up, I can go upstairs and relax with another cup of coffee… I’m cooking 3-meals this afternoon to get ready for the upcoming week. More about my cooking obsession in a future post.