April 14, 2018

Getting the GTD Band Back Together

My docMy doc

This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but I’m stepping away from my text-only, Org-mode/Emacs/Filesystem based setup.


Why did I do this? Honestly, it might be that I just get bored. Changing up my systems is my version of playing video games…it wastes a lot of time but it’s just so much fun. The same thing happend last year. It happens most years. I’m used to it.

I have been trying to reduce the number of apps I use. To this end, I’d gone all-in with Emacs and Org-mode for writing, GTD, publishing, coding, and email. For file management, I’ve tried weaning myself from DEVONthink and just keeping things in folders and using Finder to deal with them and Spotlight to find things.

It’s actually worked quite well, but I must admit that it is more cool” than it is easy”. By that I mean that I can do some nifty and clever things with email and tasks and text in Emacs. I’m attracted to nifty and clever. The problem is that doing those clever things takes me hours of searching and trial-and-error and documenting the steps because none of it is easily discoverable. This also makes things fragile.

I also fall into the But only text is future proof!” trap, forgetting that most of the things that I would like preserved forever” are already text-based enough. The rest is raw material for things that end up in future-safe formats anyway.

So here I am, back with the old gang of reliable, wonderful apps that I’ve used on and off for many years.

Mailmate for email, Things for tasks, DEVONthink for document management, Tinderbox for notes, The Brain for linking everything together.

I’ll let you know when I change my mind again.

Update 2018-06-09: I changed my mind again. I still cannot find a good way to get long without org-mode.

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