My Portable One-Two Capture Punch

I have written before of my love for my Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase as my ubiquitous capture tool of choice. It is small, keeps me organized and is highly back pocketable. Always at the ready to help capture the action items that pop up in the course of my day. The three pockets help to keep a few spare index cards around (I use Levenger’s expensive-but-worth-it brand) and allow me to stash a few business cards to boot.

While it was great for capture, I needed something equally portable, pocketable and chic (style is important to me) for personal note taking. I often find myself in situations outside of work that require me to jot down things of a more permanent nature. For that, I am loving the new Field Notes notebooks. They have a durable cover, great grid style paper that takes ink very well and a fantastic sense of design nerd style. You get a three pack of these babies for just under 10 bucks and it is money well spent.

Due to recent health concerns, the idea of getting to a point where I can carry everything I need to get me through my day in my pockets is an especially important goal to me. Not to mention, once a baby girl comes along and I now have my hands full of strollers and bottles. These two items get my a long way there.

Remainders 09.21.2007 – Catching Up

I have a whole backlog of stuff to catch up on so this might be one long, rambling mess. Also, since it has been a while, some of this may already be old news to you. This being said, you may find a a gem or two in the rubble. Let’s get started.

**On the productivity front…**

Kelly Forester of David Co, recently wrote something that really resonated with me and has caused me to look through, reevaluate and clean up my lists. For GTD best practice, she argues that one does not DO projects, you DO next actions. One should review the projects list regularly but one should only be _working from_ the next action list. Great little post that helps to get your GTD back in focus.

That being said, one thing I have been doing lately that kind of goes against the tenants of GTD is making up a tiny todo list on an index card at the start of each day as recommended in this post by Leo Babauta at Web Worker Daily. This has really worked for me and keeps me from being overwhelmed by the giant working list of next actions I seem to have (which I probably need to refocus a la above).

There have been a few good recent reviews of Grand Central, a recent Google acquisition. Grand Central allows you to sign up for a local phone number and, with that one number, control all of your phone routing and voicemail. Merlin Mann has a nice little write up on how it has helped manage his telephonic life. Planet Intertwingly has an even longer review. I have signed up and have only just begun to dip my feet in the water but so far it looks very cool.

LifeClever cites a recent interview of Jason Fried of 37 Signals on the negative productivity costs of working closely together with others. In fact, Jason says “Proximity is an invitation to interrupt somebody. And interruption is the biggest enemy of productivity that there is.” Interesting stuff.

In a little bit of related self promotion, your truly was featured when the 37 Signals Product Blog took a look at Ideas for Getting Things Done with Backpack. Color me honored!

Hey paper nerds. Do you like lined paper for taking notes but wish you had grid paper for sketching on the fly? With Doane Paper you can have both. It combines both into a single sheet. You have to click the link and take a look for a better explanation of why they mean. The prices for each pad are not bad and the paper looks to be of good quality so well worth it. They also have a free template to download and print your own if that is your thing.

**In other news…**

As a sort of addendum to my previous iPhone post (and why I am waiting to get one), Thoughtfix has a fabulous post up comparing the iPod Touch to the Nokia N800. It is very thorough and makes a very strong case for the reasons why you may want both.

The New York Times has recently (finally) dropped the paywall they had for many of the archives of their articles and Jason Kottke is dumpster diving for the best stuff. The journalistic history here is astounding. Some of his finds include the firs mention of the World Wide Web, an early report of Lincoln’s assassination, and a report on the sinking of the Titanic. If you are even a casual fan of history, this post will save a lot of the hard work of trolling through this vast archive for you. Outstanding.

I have written about Flock before. It is an amazing new web browser, based upon the Mozilla engine, that is built around the idea of the “social web”. It has tight integration with many social networking and blogging services such a Flickr and Flock is looking like it will be a real winner once it officially hits 1.0 as this video with CEO Shawn Hardin at PodTech indicates. I am betting my friend Jane at Social Days will be all over this when it hits.

The iPhone Ultimatum

I have had a terrible cold/flu type bug that has had me pretty much incapacitated for the last several days. While this sucked for sure, it gave me much time to ruminate on a tough decision I have had on my mind a lot lately weather or not to get an iPhone.

I really want one. There would be several advantages to my getting one. It would replace several devices I currently carry with just one. It has seamless integration with my Mac. The interface is intuitive and elegant. My work provides a reimbursement for getting a smart phone, thus reducing the cost. Oh, did I mention that it would make me look cool too?

The main problem is that I have an active Verizon contract. Getting out of it would either be a) expensive (i.e. Early Termination Fee) or b) a hassle (i.e. arguing my way out of Early Termination Fee). Not to mention that Princess Bethany and I have a shared plan and it would entail getting us both switched, porting numbers, etc. A lot of work…

The thing is, I currently have a device that can do everything that the iPhone can and more, is equally portable, is open source and has a wealth of 3rd party applications that can extend the capabilities of the device even further – The Nokia N800. The Nokia has WiFi, can play most video types, music files, has an excellent web browser that supports flash, has bluetooth that, with the addition of a data plan, will allow me to access the web through my phone, over 3G no less. Not to mention I can make calls via Skype or Gizmo Project via VOIP.

Although the integration with the desktop is not nearly as seamless as the iPhone, and it means having to also carry (and use) my (crappy, defective, and getting worse) RAZR, it means I can wait until my contract is up next May to think about making the switch. By that time, hopefully the iPhone will be greatly improved (more storage, support for flash in the browser, 3G, etc.) and the wait will be worth it.

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