These posts are about the technologies, strategies, and best practices that I use to be more productive.

One of my favorite ways to procrastinate is to change my task manager. It’s fun and feels super productive, but it’s a trap. An equally fun and falsely productive pass time is debating with strangers on the internet about task management apps.

This post is not a salvo in that war, just the documentation of a decision I made for my specific circumstances. I am a huge fan of both OmniFocus and Things; they are both excellent apps. However, I recently switched over from OmniFocus to Things, and I wrote this post to organize my thoughts. Hopefully, it helps you too.

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Because of some structural changes at my work, my team was moved to a different department. This new department is full of subject matter experts who are very good at their technical work; however, they do not have much skill in transferring this knowledge to others.

Enter my team!

This week I had to work with one of these experts to prioritize a list of projects she wanted us to work on. As part of the preparation for this meeting, I decided to articulate my method for prioritizing training creation. She found the visual I made very helpful, so I figured I would share it here and explain my thought process.

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I made a video about how I use Drafts to do a GTD style brain dump and then send those action items to OmniFocus. This version prompts me with a trigger list so I don’t forget about the critical areas of my life that are not front and center at the moment.

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I have written before about the hierarchy of tasks (i.e., action items) in OmniFocus. In this post, I will zoom in on the base unit of productivity, an action item, and identify the characteristics every action item should have.

I like using OmniFocus and calling tasks “action items.” Regardless of the program you use, and whatever you call the things you need to do, you should think about how they are composed. As of March 2021, I think these are the essential parts of an action item. When I clear to neutral every day, I make sure each action item that goes into my system has been reviewed for each of the following characteristics.

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Except for the contexts of my high school students’ minds and technology, I am probably too young to be considered old. However, when it comes to personal computers, I am something along the lines of an Ent.

The first computer I have memories of using had a single 75 MHz processor. An iPhone 12 has (essentially) six processors in it, which total (at least) 13,400 MHz of proceeding speed.

My formative years using a computer were colored by having to choose the one thing I wanted to do with my computer, which on that computer was usually the MindMaze game in Microsoft Encarta.

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