Time Management

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See also Kevins Values System Decision Matrix.


What am I looking for?

1. I want time management in a cloud but my personal cloud. I want privacy and total control. And when I say "cloud" I mean and have always meant I can capture, view and modify data on all devices, any where in the world (with authentication) no matter what the operating system and no matter what the device (for the most part). This means in the end a web browser. I decided some time back the desktop will die (and with iPad may already be near death now) and the mobile {tablet, smart phone} will live on. I also recognize that for the most part people are not computer literate that much and except for geeks and hacker types will want an appliance rather than a large set of features. Grant you desktops (or "webtops" maybe in the future) will not completely die because there will always be geeks and hackers who want control. But as far as mass inertia you can see where I am going with this. Is is inevitable that the mobile device will win out and as time moves on may get even more and more aplianc-ey. We may even talk to them for what we want as on Star Trek who knows?

2.I also want the good ole fashioned [Daily Task List]

What is a Prioritized Daily Task List (PDTL)?

Essentially ye olde Covey’s 4 Quadrants or "Eisenhower Decision Matrix". - as published in First Things First: a self-help book written by Stephen Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill.


1. Make a list of everything you would like to accomplish today, including tasks that are not urgent. No value is given to any task at this point. You just let everything surface – professional, family, civic, etc.

2. Give a value to each item on the list. This is called the ABC valuing system. Put on “A”, “B”, or “C” after each item depending on:

  • A – Vital, must be done
  • B – Important, should be done
  • C – Trivial, could be done

3. Give a numeric value to each item on the list. Now go back and prioritize your A tasks, your B tasks and your C tasks from 1 to 3

So here is a sample a what a prioritized task list might look like:

 A3 AXI2 followup
 B1 Team web, time management
 A3 Online order fix
 B1 Estimated income tax
 C1 Check-in WP changes
 C1 Number faxes to AZ
 B1 Re:Launch referrals
 A1 COP8 DupSale followup
 B1 CZ Team e-mails

Perform tasks in the Order of Importance

Now, the big trick is to work on the items in the order of their importance. This is the key point to getting the most out of this list. Work on the A1 items first. If you have to wait until a certain time to call someone, for instance, it is okay to move to A2 or A3. However, you should finish all your A items first before moving on to the B items.

Why is this important? The reason is that all of us have a lot more things that we would like to do and that other people want us to do than we have time to finish. Also, as human beings, there are things that we really enjoy doing that might not be the most important items. By working on the items in the order of their priority, we make sure that we get the important items done.

A typical Franklin Covey PDTL page:

Th00---39817 lrg.jpg.jpg

Note: It looks like I am [alone on this]. What's that I smell baking? It might be an iPad/iPhone app baking. Hmm....

What time management systems are there?

Old skewl and too kewl but these two still work for me:

Four quadrant and prioritization - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Things_First_%28book%29

Franklin Planner - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Planner

Getting Things Done:


Ok so there are other "systems" such as [Four Hour Work Week] and [Literacy]. Note: I am reading Bit Literacy now but that's only because it was 99 cents on Amazon Kindle edition when I went to look at it. :-)

Franklin Planners

I used to carry one in the mid 90's. Big sucker too! Then I discovered Palm and left paper behind never looking back. One big interest I had with FC planners was being able to use PDTL above. So now I use an iPhone and want that same PDTL functionality. It does not exist as far as I can tell. FC all but ignores Apple devices and barely gives a nod to Android and Blackberry. FC does have a web product called PlanPlus but not only is it $15 a month it's not open, in the cloud and I can't modify it (FOSS).

Speaking of paper planners



Franklin Planner vs GTD

While researching this dilemma (see summary at top) I found lots of discussion as to what is the right time management system to use? Here are the boiled down version of what I found plus my own ideas interspersed:


"It may be true that most people (GTD-oriented or not) use some form of daily list some of the time. That does *not* mean that most GTD users incorporate the Franklin methodology. Certainly DA himself explicitly rejects the daily planning approach."

Well there you go in a nutshell. I don't agree as I am daily, weekly and monthly "list" planner but I do agree with Next Actions, The Two Minute Rule and also getting it all outta yer head which is why this wiki started in the first place. :-)


"Getting Things Done is more tactical; FranklinCovey is more strategic. I prefer harmonizing the two. I still like / use the ideas of the Importance/Urgency Quadrant and Roles of Franklin Covey but I've arranged my information and how I process information along the lines of Getting Things Done"

"Agree with Rey. GTD and the 7 Habits complement each other. I treat GTD as my process while the 7 Habits are my philosophy for categorizing in GTD. Stephen Covey covers a bit more than GTD. "


"GTD says I’m supposed to have one bucket, one place to collect my stuff that comes in. I have found that there are way too many buckets as it stands now, and FranklinCovey isn’t making things easier."

Yeah exactly! And for now THIS wiki (and a private one also) are my "one bucket".

Fistacuffs: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/05/28/time-management-guru-itis-mark-hurst-vs-david-allen-and-tim-ferriss/

Methodologies of time management

Important vs urgent and interruptions





http://www.amazon.com/Management-System-Administrators-Thomas-Limoncelli/dp/0596007833 - Sat and read it in Borders one afternoon back when it first came out. Meh. It's ok. Didn't rock my world and did not really tell me anything I did not already know. But it did have some good software ideas.

The grand-daddy of TM: http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Laws-Successful-Time-Management/dp/0446670642

The elder-statesmen: http://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly-Effective-People/dp/0743269519

The new paradigm: http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280

Here's one you probably would not have thought of but it's a goody (as is anything by JM):


Reading this now: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0979368103?ie=UTF8&tag=offsitoftimfe-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0979368103

What others are doing


Desktop software that does GTD



!!!Desktop GTD with iPhone mobile



Four-quad with cloud with iPhone

http://pocketinformant.com/products_info.php?p_id=pocketinformant_iphone or http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocket-informant-calendar/id302503702?mt=8

GTD Cloud with iPhone

http://www.wunderlist.com/ and http://www.6wunderkinder.com/wunderlist/




http://lists.zenbe.com/welcome - I use this now but not thrilled with it but it's free both web and iPhone.

http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ - People seem to rave about this one but as I say it's in the cloud and my data isn't safe or free.


Oh oh this thing is close to what I want...


Now I just need an iPad. :-)

Now back to my software problems above

See summary.

Possible software candidates for doing this in my cloud (meaning web hosted by me)






I am reviewing these, more later...



http://www.codendi.com/codendi_our_editions.php (maybe)












Note on making your own cloud without a web server

Ok so I have a web server and always will. But most don't and that's ok. Using a local wiki like TiddlyWiki and Dropbox you can do what I am doing now with this wiki only for yourself privately. Your data is still on Dropbox though so keep that in mind.

Some ways to do this: