[nSLUG] Rise & Fall of the PDA

Daniel MacKay daniel at bonmot.ca
Thu Aug 27 15:12:07 ADT 2009


Johnathan writes:

> Personally, my big problem with planners and PDAs (including the
> Hipster), is that there is actually work required in maintaining  
> current

It is a discipline, no question.  In these days of fully indexed Macs  
(I assume WIndows does the same thing) or wikis which have fulltext  
searches, exactly where something goes is less important than it used  
to be; I can search for "thibideau" and find emails, Word (ugh)  
documents, pdfs etc.

But, what it comes down to is pain vs. gain.  If you are in pain from  
forgetting things (or worrying about forgetting) then you will welcome  
any new habits that will lessen that -- that's why you see so many  
starry-eyed happy GTD / Daytimer / Palm / Hipster addicts wandering  
around and proselytizing -- they're giddy from having this massive  
amount of pain removed.  I remember the feeling.

For me, one of my main tools, starting a few years ago, is an Oddmuse  
wiki that I call my "intel" database. It's got:
* day pages (e.g. a page called 2009-08-27)
* event pages (e.g. 2009-08_Camping_Trip)
* person pages (e.g. JohnathanThibodeau) for anyone I've had a  
conversation with and gotten the name of

... and I just toss anything into it. If I learn something about  
Johnathan - it goes on his page. If I have a meeting or lunch with a  
bunch of people, it goes on the day page , with links to all the  
people's pages (with names written in WikiText).  So I can use the  
wiki backlink to find all the connections I've ever had, to  
JohnathanThibodeau.

You can play around with a sandbox Oddmuse wiki here: http://bonmot.ca/GorillaNotes/ 
  -- delete anything you want, create pages, fool around, try out the  
markup. The whole wiki is a sandbox.  Day pages are notated thusly: http://bonmot.ca/GorillaNotes/2009-08-27

Definitely the course helps quickly get you to a happy place of never  
forgetting anything and not overcommitting yourself.  One of the rules  
is, if it's going to take less than X seconds (GTD says 120, Daytimer  
was 300) then just do it now instead of writing it down.

> My solution: get someone else to do it.

That would be Delegation, and the more you can do (following the rules  
of Good Delegation of course) the happier everyone will be.

However, the upshot is, if you're not in pain, there's no reason to  
change anything.



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