Sunday, June 24, 2007

Back to the Productivity Search

As my loyal readers know, I'm not only about the absurdities. I've been doing my own search through the various apps for my own productivity package (here and here, if you're interested). I read all the various GTD blogs out there, because they're interesting, and full of ideas.

And all of this was fine and good when I kept my office online as an independent project person. Now I'm working for the government, and can't add anything to my computer, can't get to many of my fave Web2.0 sites, and I've only got Outlook now. What's a girl to do?

I need to start search for Outlook GTD tips, and think text & paper. So I'm always checking the GTD feeds.

And here's yet another great productivity blog that I've only just discovered -- Productivity 501 (doesn't hurt that he's also running a contest!). The name of the blog appeals to the intellectual in me, who would always like to think that I'm functioning beyond the first year, undergrad level. The author, Mark, is a business consultant, with a tech background.

My first browse this morning has netted me a very useful article -- on creating passwords. I've never taken passwords too terribly seriously over the years, but now, working for the government, I must. So here are some great tips! With this advice coming from a techie, I'll be applying some of these principles, as I change my multiple work passwords on a regular basis.

In another article, he's got a great argument for credit cards -- they protect you more against fraud:
"With checks and debit cards, you have to get your money back if it was taken by fraud. With a credit card, the credit card company acts as a buffer. The money doesn’t come out of your account until you pay the bill."
Overall, Productivity 501 has some very good ideas on the subject of productivity... plus a few more topics that strike the writer's fancy -- like his updates on Free Academic Podcasts. The entries on productivity are not, for the most part, which software to use, or tips on using Outlook/Gmail/fill-in-the-blank-program, there are blogs enough on those more technological tips. These are more personal, more personnel, and more about your whole life than just about what you do on the computer, which is a pleasant addition to the whole GTD roster.

All that said, I do have a problem with the site's accessibility. He does have a search box, and the bottom of each entry does have links to 'possibly related' entries, but browsing around I really felt the lack of tags, or some other kind of sidebar thematic linking. I found myself wanting to tag lots of the entries "tools" -- because he seems to share a bit of an obssession with me, finding the right tool for the job (that's my one beef with Metro in the kitchen, he's always using the wrong utensils!).

I continue the search for my own system!



PJ said...

Good tips on choosing a password. I tend to use the same password for everything, but on the plus side, Hotmail rates it as Strong (lots of different kinds of characters in it).

raincoaster said...

Somebody once said that the difference between men and women is that women can put together an entire house using nothing more than a size eight wedgie sandal and some duct tape, whereas men are religious about the fact that nothing but a ball peen hammer must ever touch a ball peen, etc.

Looks like you two have flipped things around there. On the other hand, your vehicle runs and his keeps crapping out.

BTW: I just repaired my toilet using twist ties from Safeway.

Metro said...

Of course the actual right utensil is the one that works--in this case usually whatever one I happen to be employing.

As to the vehicles: My little scoot takes me places Mme durst not venture in our car. Small wonder it occasionally runs rough.

michaelpanda said...

oh man, that sucks when work sticks you with a crappy computer that you can't add anything to. especially since as you noted, there are so many better and more efficient programs out there that would let you be so much more productive if only they would let you access/add them!

*sigh* security. whatevahs :)

Lori said...

Thanks for the comments, folks.
I've got to come up with a new system, 'cause I'll be changing multiple passwords on a regular basis now...and my usual system is quite limited.

I'm only neurotic about "the right tool yadda yadda" in the kitchen -- frustrates me when he's trying to use a fork instead of a spatula to, well, do what a spatula does. (What would that verb be?)

Is that the same scoot that got you stranded on a logging road? That would be a different logging road than the one YOU drove on in the car and knocked a hole in the gas line....

@Mr. Panda
You know, I see the reason for the control -- the systems are so closely integrated that any 'unauthorized' additions would throw everything off.
It ain't all bad!