Yojimbo: Changing of The Guard

Recently, I have found myself in the market for a new way to manage all the little info bits that come ones way in this great big digital world of ours. For years I have been using Notetaker for this purpose. It has basically functioned as a “digital commonplace” for me and I have written about my use of it before. In recent months, I have found myself growing away from it. I have begun to outgrow it’s “notebook” metaphor as it is not as flexible as I would like. In addition, it’s outlining capabilities are far outshined by OmniOutliner Pro so using it in this way feels redundant and is often confusing when switching between the two. Don’t get me wrong, it is a wonderful program and has served it’s purpose well for a long time. I think I have just grown away from it.

I think I have found what I have been looking for in Yojimbo. First off, this app is just plain beautiful. The very Apple like interface makes it a joy to use with very little learning curve. Everything just plain make sense. It allows me to quickly and easily dump information into it in a iety of ways. It allows me to search that information very quickly – even via Spotlight and Quicksilver. Notes default to plain text but invisibly and intuitively become rich text if you apply formatting. It can store URLs or archive whole web sites for offline viewing. Organize it all by grouping items into iApp style “Collections”. There are even some predefined “Smart Collections” that will auto sort your data based upon predetermined criteria. You can even encrypt individual items in your database. As for now, I have taken everything I had in Notetaker and several other places and dumped it all into Yojimbo and have been very happy in the few days since.

There is not much more I can say about this app that has not been said better already elsewhere. Check here, here, here and here for some excellent reviews. These reviews also mention several of Yojimbo’s shortcomings which, while a little frustrating, I can live with for now. Especially because the developers, Bare Bones Software, seem so committed to making it better. I mean, it is a young application (currently at version 1.2) that needs a little time to grow. I am willing to give it that time and hope that it will grow with me.

Lifehack.org Productive Interview Series

Leon Ho of Lifehack.org has honored me with being the first interview of a new series they are starting posing four short questions to productive people. I guess they are starting with the least productive and working their way up ;-).

Productive Interview Series: Patrick Rhone

GTD Hack: Let’s do Someday/Maybe sometime.

As regular readers may know, I recently got married to my best friend and love of my life Bethany. What many may not know is that we did nearly all of the planning, setup and coordination ourselves for not only the wedding but also a reception of about 300 invited guests. Needless to say, between that and our regular life commitments we were swamped for months and had very little time to socialize with friends. Our friends are very important to us and it really does pain us every time we have to turn down a dinner offer or request to hang out but we just did not have a moment of free time for months.

In order to make sure that we got caught up now that the dust has settled, I put these requests on my Someday/Maybe list and treat them just like other tasks on that list (i.e. “Have dinner with Rodney”). During my weekly review I take a look at the friends I need to catch up with on the list and, if there is time open for the following week, move that request to a project or next action as appropriate (i.e. “Call Rodney to schedule time for dinner next week”).

There are still several folks on the list so, if you are one that should be, I promise to get to you… Someday/Maybe.


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