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Honors, Mac tips, plus (apparently) a iCal-GTD-Quicksilver mini-tutorial

I apologize for the delayed posting these last two weeks. This was due to a vacation, and consulting momentum continuing to pick up. So this week an abbreviated post: Recent honors for this blog, plus some tips for my Macintosh readers, including a mini "GTD in iCal" tutorial.

First, a big thanks to Dustin Wax for including me on his 50+ Personal Productivity Blogs You've Never Heard of Before (and about a dozen you probably have). In addition to the usual suspects, there are some previously undiscovered gems. I'm in great company.

Second, a round of thanks to the super successful Leo Babauta and his post The List to Beat All Lists: Top 20 Productivity Lists to Rock Your Tasks. What I like about Leo's post is that he links to specific articles he found useful. For mine he liked 10 GTD "holes" (and How To Plug Them). (Side note: Speaking of good company, Dustin, Leo, and I are listed as contributors to Tatsuya Nakagawa's (et al.) Overcoming Inventoritis: The Silent Killer of Innovation, along with Steve Wozniak, Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki. I'm thinking of having a get-together ;-)

A few others: MikePierre called me the "Brainiac Dad" of productivity in The Productivity Family Tree and I was listed in the College Degree.com Top 100 Productivity and Lifehack Blogs.

Thanks to these folks, and to you for reading.

Finally, since my switch to the Mac I've been collecting (in classic IdeaMatt capture fashion) tips for the the OS. Following are a few, just for fun.

  • Spotlight results: command-down (and -up) to jump to the first result in each category.
  • Spotlight results: command-return reveals the selected item in the Finder.
  • Finder: To get the full path of a file, drag it into the Spotlight text area. This requires a bit of multi-step keyboard-fu: Start dragging the file and while dragging invoke Spotlight (command-space by default) and drop the file into the search text area that pops up. (You'll see the green plus cursor when you're on target). Then, (because this adds to the last search text) immediately cut via command-x.
  • Any standard text area (e.g., Spotlight or Safari): Some Emacs-like edit keystrokes work, including control-a, control-e, control-f, control-b, and control-k. Unfortunately, option-f and option-b insert special characters instead of what I'd love: forward and back a word. Instead you have to use option-left and option-right.
  • Finder: command-shift-open does a slo-mo version. (More of an Easter egg than a use-it-daily item, but fun.)
  • iCal: For a super-easy (and very workable) GTD-inspired implementation, create four calendars: "Projects", "Actions", "Waiting For", plus a general "Calendar" one at the top. Select the "Calendar" calendar so that it's the default for new date-related action and reminders, and new To Do items. Use the latter as your quick-capture inbox via command-k. Later you can drag these into the appropriate calendar to categorize. Make sure to select "Show To Do List" to see them, and to possibly print your daily Plan.
  • iCal: To really leverage the previous GTD setup use Quicksilver as a rapid entry front end: Invoke Quicksilver (control-space by default), type a period for text entry, type your To Do item, type tab, invoke "Create iCal To-Do" (I type "t"), and type return. This creates an entry in the selected calendar, which should always be "Calendar" (see above). This sounds complex, but it becomes send nature and is very efficient. I wrote a bit more detail about this here. (Bonuses: You can use these same Quicksilver keystrokes to put appointments right into the calendar with date/time text parsing. It's a bit wonky, but usable.)
  • Almost any app: Type command-shift-/ to open the help menu, type part of a menu item name, and use the up and down arrows to choose a result. What's cool is the animated blue arrow showing the item (and its associated shortcut). Neat.
  • Firefox: When in find mode (command-f), command-return highlights all matches.
  • Firefox: Space pages down, shift-space pages up, and delete goes back.


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