Sunday, January 20, 2008

Andrew Knoll's Journal

So last week I experimented with iGTD, Journler, and a couple other apps. I chose Journaler for it's smart folders and the way it links/browses email messages. But Journler also has great support for multiple categories and and tags. If that weren't enough, Journler has seamless integration with the iLife suite and acts EXACTLY the way Mac App should.

Bam! I'm rocking the Journler now. Here's how I do it:
  1. Snippets of information get dropped into the Journler Drop Box on my desktop.
  2. Email actions get copy-pasted into Journler and filed via Mail Act-On.
  3. Everything gets categorized and tagged. I love using multiple categories and tags for each journal entry.
  4. Only 4 categories... Notes & Links, Personal, Home, and Work. Notes & Links is the default for thoughts, reminders, and webpages that need to be filed away.
  5. Next actions get flagged with a keystroke and sometimes sent to iCal with an Applescript invoked by Quicksilver. Completed items get 'checked'.
  6. The two most common tags are @Computer and @Phone contexts. But I also use a tag for each of my classes at school.
  7. A project gets its own folder and maybe a color label, too. Project plans and their associated actions are organized chronologically by due date.
  8. Everything is organized into smart folders which also sit up in the Bookmarks Bar.
Until last week, I used DEVONnote plus plus iCal to capture and organize all my information. That system worked well for eighteen (18!) months. Importing all my notes and actions seemed daunting until I got started. I was tagging and dragging those notes and email messages all over the place. In less than two hours, everything was in its place and I learned enough to use Journler.

Journler's audio-video import and iPhoto browser are killer features that will be a huge part of my new workflow. I also tested the Blog feature - it works with WordPress, not Blogger. Future editions of Journler won't support blogging, but I don't want to leave Blogger anyway (yet). I should still be able to copy Journals as HTML and paste them in a blog.

Journler 2.5 is a free download until Wednesday. After that, Journler is going shareware and the price will be $34.95. I'll purchase a license if I'm still using Journler in 2 months or so. Right now, that seems very likely.

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