Using My Moleskine and My Teeth


I’ve been using the low tech Moleskine method for tracking to do items when away from my Mac a few weeks now and can report I’m very pleased with it. I read a few of the forums at iGTD and the Missing Sync and it still appears there is a certain degree of black magic involved with getting a reliable sync between the Treo and iGTD. You could spend hours on it and you still seem to risk data corruption with every sync. I just keep the Moleskine in my pocket and when I’m away from my Mac and something occurs to me that needs to get done, I jot a quick note. At least once a day I go through that list and, if it is an easy task, I just do it. Othewise, it goes into the iGTD jumble. At that point it gets crossed off the moleskine list and I’m done with it. I also keep a miniaturized print out of the iGTD database in my Moleskine pocket. Granted this would be nice to do electronically but until it gets just as easy and MUCH more reliable. I’m sticking with this system. Someone who saw me using it said, “Hey Dave … You are a geek why aren’t you putting that in you Treo.” While granted I am a Geek, I also just want to get these things done. Whatever works. It reminds me of something an incredible woodworker, Sam Maloof, once told me when I was taking a class from him. “Use whatever tool works best. If it is easier to use a saw, use as saw .. If it is easier to use your teeth, use your teeth.”

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MacSparky Goes Lo-Tech

moleskine 2

About three weeks ago I gave up on my windows based task system and switched over entirely to iGTD. I keep my laptop with me just about everywhere and this seems to work out. One issue, however, is the inability to keep my task list on my Treo 650. I must sync the smart phone with my office windows lawyer-type program (TimeMatters) and I’ve found out (the hard way) that syncing a Treo to two different computers can be a very bad thing for data integrity.
Anyway, quite often during the course of my day someone will call, email or walk in my office and tell me of something that will require further action or processing by me at a later time. Stopping what I’m doing and making an iGTD entry is very counterproductive and I needed a better solution. I played around with a few options. I’ve tried typing tasks into my Treo’s task list item but it takes several button presses and the thumbpad doesn’t lend itself to spontaneous entry. The best solution I found is to simply scratch a note when I’m away from the Mac and update iGTD next time I’m working in it. So I’ve been finding myself with this daily pocket full of business cards, sticky pads, napkins, receipts and other flotsam and jetsam that I’ve written a reminder on. (Did anyone know that you can actually write on a corn chip with a felt tip pen?) When I have time I then empty out my pockets and either take care of the action right their or process it into iGTD.
I was in the book store doing a bit of shopping I saw a display of pretty Moleskine notebooks and had one of those “Aha!” moments. $9.95 later I’m the proud owner of a pocket size Moleskine that has now replaced the scraps of paper and chips in my pocket. So far I’m just making a daily list and scratching things off when they find themselves into iGTD. I did, however, leave the first 10 pages blank in case I decide to go crazy and use one of the many interesting Molekine hacks all over the net like here, here, and here. I’ve only been using it a few days but so far it is working out nicely. In the pocket I’m keeping a $20 bill, a few cards, and a shrunken printout of the iGTD database. I do need to get a pen that will fit in my pocket though. Maybe I’ll find one that attaches to my keyring.
Any other Moleskine users out there? Drop me a note and tell me how you are using yours. As a side note, I also bought the pocket music transcription book. I’m writing a bit of music again and thought it would be handy.

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