How to get things done with jott

At its most basic level, webapp Jott is a voice to text transcription service: you call Jott, leave a message, and Jott transcribes it and emails you or your contacts the text. That alone can capture the big idea that pops into your head on the drive to the office, but Jott can do a whole lot more than send you email. With Jott's built-in links and tools that capitalize on its email-sending abilities, it can give nearly any personal organization system a go-anywhere, add-anything boost. Today we've got a quick primer on how to turn your phone into a ubiquitous capture tool that zaps info into all your favorite organization apps by voice.

Getting Started

If you don't already have a Jott account, have your cell phone handy and head to their sign-up page . Fill in the forms, confirm your email, add 1-866-JOTT-123 to your contacts and/or speed-dial and make the confirmation call.

Once you log in, head right to "Contacts" and add "My Phone" (first name, last name) as a contact with only your own phone number. "Wait," you might ask, "doesn't Jott let you have all your messages sent to your phone as a preference?" Precisely—that's every single Jott, which isn't something I want to deal with. By having "My Phone" as a contact, you can skip your email inbox and leave yourself notes on your cell phone—which comes in handy when trying to remember a number or address while driving.

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Next, hit up "Groups" and think of any sets of emails and phone numbers you might want to message all at once using one phrase, such as "Co-Workers" or "Family." After that, head to "Jott Links" and enable any of the growing number of Jott-enabled webapps—including Lifehacker favorites like Remember the Milk and Google Calendar —you use.

You owe it to yourself to check out Jott's simple How To guide before calling, but the basic technique is simple. Dial the number, wait for the "Who do you want to Jott?" prompt, and then say either "myself" or one of the contacts, groups or "Links" you set up. After the confirmation and beep, you can speak clearly for less than 30 seconds, and your message will be translated by a mix of computers and humans (your privacy, they say, is assured) and then sent to the right inboxes, phones or web apps. I've had pretty decent luck with both the accuracy and turn-around on the service, but your mileage may, of course, vary.

Filter and customize your Jotts

Sending yourself email from a dial tone can be pretty handy, but only if your Jott messages don't get lost amid your other messages. You could filter all of them into one folder or label by the "@jott.com" sender, but why not organize your messages by topic? If your email server allows the common [email protected] format (detailed here ), simply add that extended email as a Jott contact and set your filters accordingly (like I've done to record my feature ideas). If your can't accept "+" emails, think of a unique phrase you can say in your messages—like, say, "gigantic awesome idea"—and have your email client file accordingly. If you find yourself using Jott a lot, you can use this method to set up a Gmail/Jott to-do list .

Gmail as a journal

Weblog White's of Henry Lane posts about using Gmail as a repository of personal information…

Jeremy Harrison

Our business has grown quickly over the past 18 months. One challenge has been finding the right system for email, schedules, to-dos and new business leads to handle our growth and keep things organized.

Here’s what we’ve done so far to get organized, and what I’m looking at to make the system better:

    My quest started when I read “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. This book helped me radically reduce stress by dealing with all the loose ends that come into my life & business. Allen’s book provided me with a system to process all “clutter” that used to rattle around in my mind — even when I wasn’t at the office. Prior to reading this book, I typically had 1,000 emails in my inbox — many of which were in there because I thought I might need them in the future. Now that I’ve applied the principles in this book, my email inbox is completely empty most evenings when I leave the office. Best of all – I no longer wonder if I’m forgetting something, because everything is accounted for in my system. I now have a system to process everything — whether it be email, calls I need to make, or even remembering to pick up a loaf of bread on my way home from work. This book is a must read for every small business owner.

People tend to like Outlook because of the way it integrated Mail, Calendar & Tasks. Originally I feared I’d lose that integration when switching to Gmail. On the contrary, I was able to integrate Gmail with Google Calendar seamlessly, and then I found a powerful plug-in for Gmail called “Remember the Milk”. With a couple of free plug-ins, my inbox has mail, calendar and to do items all on the same page — like I had with Outlook. With a click or two, I can turn a mail message into a task, or attach it to a calendar item.

I setup my Jott account so I can create a to-do item, add a topic to my next staff meeting agenda, add an event to my calendar, and more. All by making a free phone call.

A typical call to Jott goes something like this:

JOTT: Who do you want to Jott?
ME: Agenda
JOTT: Agenda. is this correct?
ME: Yes.
JOTT: (beep)
ME: Discuss the designers role on the new project from ABC Company
JOTT: Got it.
ME: (hang up)

Phase two of the system begins Monday

I made all these changes, and it’s helped me be a lot more productive. But as my productivity has increased, so has the number of new business leads coming into our business. I need a better system to track those prospective customers — wherever they’re at in the sales funnel.

I spent some time this weekend researching dozens of free open-source and paid options for CRM software to manage by sales prospects. I even loaded a couple of free options up and tried them out — but most options felt clunky — like a system that would complicate my work flow. If it’s complicated, I won’t use it. (Nor should I).

The best choice appears to be a paid program — SalesForce.com. The deal-breaker for me is the way they integrate with the suite of Google products that have helped my productivity so much. In fact, last Spring they rolled out a specially branded product: “Salesforce for Google Apps.” I’ve setup a trial membership, and I’m giving it a 30-day test that begins Monday.

I’m optimistic that this will help keep everything integrated and will position our team for further growth. But I won’t know how well Salesforce will work until I put it to work for us.

I’d love to hear what other small business owners are using — what works and what doesn’t. What works for us may not be ideal for another business. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. But if things aren’t integrated and simple, it will never work. If you have ideas or questions, let’s discuss them below, your comments are welcome.

Editor: When you're out and about and think of something you want to remember, you can leave yourself a voicemail you have to transcribe later, or you can use the excellent voice transcription service Jott . We've covered many ways you can get things done over the phone with Jott , but today guest writer Brad Isaac has a new one: how to add to note-taking application EverNote with Jott.

Get Things Done Over the Phone with Jott

At its most basic level, webapp Jott is a voice to text transcription service: you call Jott,…

Lifehacker readers already know about EverNote, great note-taking software that now offers a beta that includes a web-based side, too. Today I've got a cool hack that you can use to get your ideas into EverNote using the Jott service on your cell phone. What this means is that you can speak into your cell phone while driving in the car and record your notes automatically into EverNote. Here is how it is done.

To set it up you will need an EverNote Beta account and a Jott account. Both are free. If you missed the recent EverNote beta invite giveaway , I have a few invites, so I can give them out to the first few people who post in the comments. Be sure to leave an accurate email address in your comment so I can get it to you.

EverNote Free Today Only, Plus Beta Access

Windows and Mac OS X: Get into the invitation-only beta version of note-taking application…

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The next thing to do is to check your EverNote account for an email address that allows you to send a message directly to your EverNote database. That will be the entry point for Jott. In essence, you'll send your Jotts to EverNote by putting that email address in your Jott.

What's the quality like?

Some of you or most of you are probably concerned with quality. I will tell you this. This current paragraph that I am writing right now has been translated unedited from Jott. How does it look? You be the judge. I find it to be pretty darn accurate, as far as how well it translates or transcribes what I am saying.

You can see Jott got every word right—The only mistakes were human error. I wanted to say "Most of you" instead of "Some of you" and "transcribed" instead of "translates", so it is an awkward sentence. But that's not Jott's fault, it's mine.

In fact, I wrote most of this blog post using a few phone calls to Jott. I did some editing (with the exception of the call above) for clarity, however it seemed to recognize almost all of my words.

Here are a few tips to improve recognition from Jott:

  1. Make sure you are speaking very clearly.
  2. Slow down a little bit.
  3. Make sure you are in a semi-quiet room or car—turn off the radio.
  4. Beginners may see improvements if they start by taking handwritten notes and reading them carefully to Jott. Once they get the hang of it, you can ditch the notes and just talk away.

One important feature of the new EverNote to Jott users is that you can combine notes. Since Jott only allows for 30 second recordings, to write longer notes, you will have more than one note in EverNote. Here's how I set things up.

Step 1: Go to Your Evernote Setting Screen

On the EverNote beta page, go to your settings screen and copy your EverNote email address (not mine!) to your Jott account.

How to get things done with jott

You can use Callwave to direct your voicemail to your email and Jott to place random action items in your inbox.

Whether you are receiving paper mail still, or you’ve received verbal instruction from your superior, make sure that each task you’ve got planned has its own email.

Categorize Your Tasks

If you want to categorize your tasks, you can use Mac or Windows to do this, or you can also use Outlook Tasks or Outlook folders or another system that you prefer.

We don’t suggest that you use more than seven categories. If a task has a deadline, include them in your Calendar and set your deadlines in the Outlook Tasks section.

You can also try using ‘Personal’ and ‘Professional’ categories too.

Empty Your Inbox Every Day

The first thing that you need to do is empty your inbox each day so that you are processing every single item in your inbox.

You can either file it into one of the categories that you’ve created, or you can complete it. Either way, never make an exception to this rule for the sake of consistency.

Label Actions with Next Step

How to get things done with jott

If you are filing tasks that you want to complete later, then make sure to label the tasks in a way that is clear and obvious.

Make sure that the description of the task is clear, and make sure that you include the next step in the task so that it can jog your memory when you come to do it.

Follow the ‘Two-Minute Rule’

Every time you handle or read a task or a step that might take you less than two minutes, then try to complete it right there and then.

Don’t put it off.

Read Your Tasks, Every Day

Once you have emptied your inbox, go through each of your task category folders, and read what you’ve got in there.

While you are doing this, you will be able to remove items that have been completed, or that are no longer valid, and you can also edit items if you have updated information to add.

Create a ‘today’ List or Folder

How to get things done with jott

This part doesn’t have anything to do with GTD, but it works really well for us.

We have a shortlist of things that we have to complete every day. When we go through our inbox, we make sure to add the most important items, and then include items that need to be completed that day and add them to the list.

We go through the list methodically, making sure that we keep to the rules.

The steps that we have taken you through today above are going to give you a small taste of GTD, and the best part is that it’s not going to take you more than a minute to learn it.

This is going to take those to-do items out of your head and put them into a system that you can trust so that you can start to relax. It is also going to be able to motivate you to get things done, and have a sense of satisfaction at the end of it all.

Remember, it’s tough to see just how easy concepts like this are until you apply them yourself, so we definitely suggest that you try them ASAP.

Talk about GTD – Jott is a service that you can call in todos, reminders and more, as well as organizing them online.

I’ve been trying to incorporate Jott into my routine for the last couple of weeks (with less success than I’d like – my fault). But I have a feeling that’s all in the past.

Jott Links: Now you can update your blog, Twitter™, add to your 30 boxes™ to do list or send a message through Yahoo Groups™ – all with Jott! For example, when Jott asks you “Who do want to Jott” just say “Twitter”, speak your message and your update will appear in text on Twitter.

Twitter™, Jaiku™, Zillow™, 30 boxes™, Blogger™, Word Press™, Live Journal™, TypePad™ and Yahoo Groups™ are all accessible with Jott.

Jott Folders: With Jott Folders you create preset categories for your Jotts to self. Set up folders for family, expenses, to-do list, or anything that you want. Then simply say the name of the folder the next time you leave a Jott and it’ll be waiting for you in that folder at Jott.com.

Jott Reminders: With the new Jott Reminders, Jott can remind you of important events 15 minutes before they start. Just say “Reminder” and Jott will ask you for the date, time, and subject. Now you can stop worrying about remembering those important appointments in your busy life.

Profiles: Want to personalize your Jotts? Just create a profile to add your customized signature to the end of every Jott. You can include your name, picture, e-mail, title, and more.

Status alerts: Now you can update your mood on your blog, personal home page or other sites. Say “status” when asked “Who do you want to Jott?” and say how you feel that day. Your status will then be posted to the Jott flash widget wherever you put it.

There’s also a Jott Lab with new fun widgets and desktop apps.

This looks like it just got a whole lot easier to integrate into my system/routine (and a whole lot more fun!).

Managing tasks and keeping notes readily accessible and easily searchable has been an ongoing challenge for me. In 1997 I took a Franklin Time Management class and clearly understood the necessity to effectively manage my tasks and time. However, carrying an awkward organizer with me wherever I went wasn’t convenient, and I often found it annoying to pull my organizer out when I needed review my schedule and often difficult to quickly locate notes that I had taken previously.

Fortunately. through need, advances in technology and the synergy of creative minds, many electronic productivity tools have surfaced in the market over the years to help with staying organized and getting things done.

Task Management

Over the past several years I’ve used tools such as Jott and Remember The Milk (RTM) to help me with managing my tasks. Over a period of time I found myself growing more and more frustrated with the two productivity tools. Jott started charging money for a service that did a mediocre job with converting speech-to-text. I tethered RTM with Jott for adding tasks through speech. in other words, I was using two productivity tools to do what one should have been able to do independently.

I can’t expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday’s tools and expect to be in business tomorrow. Fortunately, I found a very powerful yet easy to use productivity tool that has been working extremely well for me. Several months ago I started using ReQall as a replacement for both Jott and RTM. What exactly is ReQall? According to the marketing blurb on the ReQall website:

“ReQall is the best memory tool you may ever have, connecting all the ways you communicate in one easy-to-use reminder system. Use it on the web (no software to install!) or download it into your iPhone or BlackBerry smartphone. . By integrating voice input, speech-to-text transcription, automatic organization and multi-platform reminders, ReQall goes beyond typical to-do and reminder applications.”

I’ve been using ReQall to manage my tasks and shopping lists. From my experience ReQall does a much better job with speech-to-text conversions than with Jott. ReQall’s web interface to manage tasks is simpler to use. I’m able to add tasks via the following; web (text), iphone app (text and voice), firefox plugin (text), phone (voice), and instant messaging (text). Plus, I appreciate now having a single solution (ReQall) to do what I had been doing with two (Jott and RTM).

ReQall also allows me to add meetings and schedule tasks for specific dates and times. For example, on my iPhone I can launch the ReQall app and say the following note:

“Meet with Mike on Friday at 3pm”

The above voice note gets converted to text by ReQall. Adding my ReQall meeting feed to my Google Calendar I then see a meeting on Friday at 3pm with Mike! I also synch my iCal with Google Calendar so that my schedule stays current and easily accessible no matter where I’m accessing it.

If I want to add an item to my shopping list, all I have to do is say “buy” and whatever it is I need to pick up at the market. Whoala, the item gets converted to text and shows up in my shopping list. My shopping list can be accessed and individual items checked off from my iPhone while at the store.

Though ReQall is currently a very useful productivity tool, there’s room for improvement that will increase ReQall’s value. Features I would like to see include:

  • A ReQall desktop widget for Mac (RTM already has a desktop widget for Mac OS X)
  • Ability to view all To-Do’s and shopping list items via the Firefox extension
  • Ability to check items off as completed via Firefox extension
  • Ability to check items off as completed via the IM interface
  • iPhone app: Have shared shopping list entries show up in my shopping list AS WELL as my recipient’s shopping list
  • iPhone app: Auto refresh when starting app, making changes to items, and at specified time intervals (e.g., every 15 mins)
  • iPhone app: Ability to change user/pass from the ReQall app instead of having to go through the standard iPhone settings app

I look forward to seeing what ReQall will rollout throughout 2009!

“Computers are magnificent tools for the realization of our dreams, but no machine can replace the human spark of spirit, compassion, love, and understanding.”

Note Taking, Journaling and Retrieval

Over the past six months I’ve been using Journler to record and search through my notes. Journler was great so long as I had my laptop next to me when I needed to retrieve notes. Ultimately, what I needed was a solution that would allow me to securely access my notes from my iPhone as well as from the web. I also wanted a productivity tool that would let me take photos with my iPhone, or other camera, of whiteboards at the conclusion of a work meeting and would place the photo into my notes and preferably convert the words on the whiteboard from the photo into searchable text (OCR).

Last month a co-worker of mine asked about Evernote. Simply put, Evernote is incredibly useful! According to the Evernote website:

“Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.”

I’ve now migrated all of my Journler entries into Evernote. It goes without saying, I don’t store anything sensitive in Evernote unless PGP’d. I can access my notes from the web browser on my laptop, the Evernote application, and from my iPhone. Imagine I was in a meeting this morning and I took a picture of the whiteboard where the word “Monkey” was written. Evernote will convert the writing into text and make it searchable. Therefore, I can search my Evernotes for the word “Monkey” and the picture of the whiteboard will be a returned result. That’s awesome!

How to get things done with jott
Screenshot: Evernote iPhone App

Additional features I would like to see in Evernote include:

  • Strong crypto that can be applied to specific notes requiring a separate password to encrypt/decrypt for enhanced security and privacy – see next bullet point regarding two-factor authentication;
  • Two-factor authentication with support for one-time-passwords (see PayPal Security Key)

Overall, I see productivity tools finally getting to a point where there’s a noticeable benefit in my productivity in using them. ReQall and Evernote are two such productivity tools.

“When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.”

Jeremy Harrison

My system is all based on the “Getting Things Done” process of dealing with all the “stuff” in your life — based on the best-selling book. Here’s a chart to see how it works, compliments of Toodledo – a nice tool that many folks use for managing their lists.

Now, six months later it’s time to review successes & failures of the system I talked about. Some of the things I use have worked very well, becoming a permanent part of my organization system. Other parts haven’t worked as well as I’d hoped.

Let me review both.

Things that are Working Well.

  1. Google Apps Mail. I’ve used Google Apps for over a year now and it has worked great with the GTD organizational system. Any non-actionable material that arrives in my inbox that has information I might need is immediately archived. This takes it out of my inbox and files it away. I tag some of these items with labels, but it really isn’t that necessary. Due to Google’s powerful search, I can instantly pull up any reference item by typing a few words in the email search. If I search for a topic I need, every message sent or received with those words are instantly at my fingertips. This has been the most succesfuly part of my GTD system.

  2. Google Apps Calendar. While it isn’t quite as robust as their mail program, Google Apps’ Calendar tool has been very reliable. Any actionable item or piece of reference information that I need at a specific time in the future goes on the calendar – either in a specific time slot or on a day without a time. My team is able to easily share calendars helping to put everyone on the same page, and it — like mail — syncs easily with my PDA.

Things For Which I Need to Find a Better System.

    Delegating Action. I’d like to be able to read an email in Gmail, see that it needs delegated, hit a button that says “Delegate” which promptly opens a new mail window. I send that message to the recipient, and the system should automatically add it to a “Waiting for” list with a link back to the mail message. This is a gap in my system. Currently I send the message, then label it “Waiting For” — but then I have to remember to view the messages with this label to make sure things are happening. The GTD Outlook plug-in had this feature, but I am grateful for many other reasons to be away from Outlook. (See Success #1 above).

Once I buy a new phone/PDA, I will then be able to address some of these gaps, and I will update you again. In the meantime, I’d love feedback from others who have maybe found better ways to Get Things Done!

Lifehacker has a good post on how you can use Jott and Evernote together.

Jott is a transcription service. So using the iPhone app, you can use your voice to leave yourself a note, and Jott automatically transcribes it.

These notes need to be processed just like your in box — they are really another in box, in fact. When processing them, the less than two-minute actions should be done right away. Longer than two-minute actions should be put on a list.

But what about the non-actionable stuff you just want to remember? For example, there are a few key things after a meeting that you want to write down for reference, but they aren’t necessarily actionable. That’s where Evernote can be useful. Evernote is basically an electronic notebook, which allows you to group your notes into notebooks, tag them, and sort them by title, date, etc.

The way to use Jott and Evernote together is to email those “reference”-type jotts to your Evernote account. Jott will have already transcribed it, so it saves you that work. Then, once in Evernote, you can title the note, tag it, and put it into the notebook you want. The article shows you how to do this.

About

What’s Best Next exists to help you achieve greater impact with your time and energy — and in a gospel-centered way.

We help you do work that changes the world. We believe this is possible when you reflect the gospel in your work. So here you’ll find resources and training to help you lead, create, and get things done. To do work that matters, and do it better — for the glory of God and flourishing of society.

We call it gospel-driven productivity, and it’s the path to finding the deepest possible meaning in your work and the path to greatest effectiveness.

About Matt Perman

How to get things done with jott

Matt Perman started What’s Best Next in 2008 as a blog on God-centered productivity. It has now become an organization dedicated to helping you do work that matters.

Matt is the author of What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done and a frequent speaker on leadership and productivity from a gospel-driven perspective. He has led the website teams at Desiring God and Made to Flourish, and is now director of career development at The King’s College NYC. He lives in Manhattan.

“Over the years, I’ve tried syncing my computers any number of ways, from trusting my entire life to a flash drive to uploading everything to Google Docs. Very few options have been idiot-proof enough to make up for my abilities to misplace things, forget to update file versions and generally fail to double check that my computers are all in sync.

I need a forgiving synchronization method — something that doesn’t require me to initiate back ups or juggle versions. Dropbox seems to be that method. I’ve actually been using it for over a month now and have encountered an impressive lack of problems.” – Link

Drive-by Tips for Centralizing Your Content on the Interne

“There are so many ways to manage information online, and many ways to centralize various types of information. The main decision is in deciding which data you want to centralize and aggregate so that you can choose the most appropriate method of pulling it all together.

I’ve called this drive-by tips because I’m not going to beat around the bush – I’m going to get straight to the point and direct you to the services you need to start getting your information together, so get ready for a fast ride!” – Link

7 Ways to Use Evernote

Hard Drive Zen with the Humble Folder

How to Tell When Your Hard Drive is Going to Fai

“Hard drives form the basis of our computing. The use of computers comes down to manipulating data, and the hard drive is, of course, where we store all our data; family albums, music, work documents, email, the list goes on.

Most of the components in your computer are electronic devices. They don’t fail with time like a mechanical device such as a car. But your hard drive is one of the few mechanical devices used in modern computing, and as such, it’s destined to die eventually.” – Link

Increase Productivity and Relieve Pain with the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard

“If you have been looking for a way to increase your productivity without having to train your mind to think or behave in a completely new way, then many will point you to the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard. Well, they’re wrong, as I discovered; the time and effort to re-train your mind is quite extensive, but the time spent is worthwhile!

If you’re prepared to make some sacrifices – or rather, put up with some inconvenience – Dvorak can certainly save you some medical bills and some time.” – Link

How to Get Things Done with Jott

“I first tried out Jott last year, and was really impressed with what it could do. You call their number, say something into the phone, and it sends it as a text message back to you. And it works — aside from a few odd names and strange words, its transcriptions are pretty much spot on. Apparently they run your voice message through a speech-to-text engine and then run it by a human operator for double-checking.” – Link

Interprocess Communication (IPC)

The basic design principle of Solaris Zones is that a process in a non-global zone is only able to use IPC to communicate with other processes in the same zone. For file-system-based IPC, such as pipes (using fifofs ), STREAMS (using namefs ), UNIX domain sockets (using sockfs ) and POSIX IPC, the unique file system name space of a zone ensures that IPC communication is within a zone.

Other IPCs, such as Solaris doors and System V IPC, have attached a zone ID to the communication objects so processes running in a non-global zone are able to access or control objects associated only with the same zone

The journey of an old coot to learning new things – especially how to work smarter not harder.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I JOTT’ed it; Now I Have To Organize It

The last blog discussed collecting “stuff” – ideas, honey-do’s, don’t-forget’s, things-I-gotta-do’s. I am getting pretty good at that. Between JOTT and GyroQ, I am collecting lot’s of stuff. And I mean lot’s of stuff.

The problem is that collecting lot’s of stuff doesn’t simplify life. it certainly doesn’t get me more efficient. I am now learning the next step in GTD – I have to get organized. And I don’t mean by that that I have to have a place for everything, and everything in it’s place. In GTD-speak, that means I have to process the “stuff.” I have to think about the stuff I have collected, and do something with it. And that can be anything from throwing a “stuff” thing away to filing it for future reference to assigning it as an “action” in a project to doing something about it the next two minutes. But, bottom line, I have to do something with all the stuff I have collected.

The recommended time for that is early Friday afternoon of each week. that gives you a little time to act on some of the “stuff” before the end of the day.

So, that is what I am going to do tomorrow afternoon. that is unless my 5 month old grandson is here, in which case, I will be more than happy to once again procrastinate. Well, maybe not. But the next time I write, I hope to be able to report some success. Let’s see if that happens.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jott It Down

If you are like me, you find your self on the road, or at least away from your computer frequently during the day. As I try to adopt GTD as a lifestyle thing, capturing those stray thoughts is tough. I have not learned the art of text messaging while I am driving (I understand that it is discouraged). And those funky note pad things that stick to your windshield are ridiculous. who can write on those while winding through traffic? Who can write on those anywhere?

Well, once again my faithful mentor, Eric Mack, came through. When I presented my dilemma to him, he suggest that I just “jott” my thoughts. Say what? Yeah, there is a new, FREE service at Jott.com. You sign up on the website for free, enter your email and phone number, and, after validating same through a quick 866 phone number and replying to an email, you are setup. Then, you add their 866 number to your speed dial, and jott away. When you call the number, they ask you who you want to jott to, you say “me” and after they confirm your choice, you talk away. If you are quiet for a couple of moments afterward, they assume you want to do another jott, and they ask you again.

Now what is really kewl, is that you can jott to other people. Just set up a list of contacts, either one at a time, or in groups. You can send “jotts” to your office, your kids, your spouse, even different accounts you set for yourself. Be sure to watch the video demos they have on the web site.

By the way, Eric and friends are busily putting the finishing touches on a template that will convert your Lotus Notes email file into a hotshot eProductivity workplace. So then, when you receive one of your jotts from yourself, you just assign it to an action and/or project, and you are ready to drive on!

Pretty slick. give it a try. And just Jott it down

Getting Started

For just a little more than a year, I have been self-employed [read: company bought out, and just about everyone was laid off.] It was a real struggle for awhile. I am a retired Army officer who has been developing Lotus Notes applications for the last 12 years. At the ripe old age of 63, I am competing for business with a lot of folks who have been doing this longer, and maybe a lot better. But I am doing alright.

Anyway, last November I met Eric Mack while doing some work for one of his clients. Over and above the work we did together on that project, Eric introduced me to a book titled Getting Things Done, by David Allen. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that book would open the doors to an amazing new way of thinking about what I do on a daily basis.

Fast forward 10 months, and suddenly I find myself with several new projects, all of which are competing for my time and attention. Enter GTD – a process that purports to lead to “stress-free productivity.” And thus the reason for this blog. as Eric mentors me and I learn to incorporate this system into my work, I intend to record my journey on the road to “stress-free productivity” – the wins and the losses; the ups and the downs. And hopefully you, my readers, might pick up something along the way that might help you, too.