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Sep 12th, 2013 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

How I Work

Recently someone asked me how I work. As in: Which tools do you use, how do organize your day… that kind of thing.

Not sure if this is interesting for anyone (as you’ll see — it’s really not that magical) but let me write this down. If for nothing else than the benefit of the one fellow Heretic who asked me this question.

After dabbling with pretty elaborate systems and software to organize myself and become “more productive” I am working with a set of very basic tools today. No GTD with its 43 folders. No cleverly arranged processes with smart software doing the filing, organizing and reminding.

In terms of hard- and software I’m an Apple guy. My dad bought one of the first 250 original Macintosh (the brown box — 128K) which came to Germany in late 1984. Today I’m on a 13” Retina MacBook — which is hands-down the best machine I ever owned. Gmail and Gcal keep me organized and connected (all my email from all different email accounts I have flows into a single Gmail account). Gmail’s search has saved my bacon countless times. I use Things on my Mac and my iPhone for some basic to-dos (less important for daily to-dos and more for recurring or scheduled to-dos). All my writing (like this) I do in iA Writer. I keep notes in Notational Velocity. For the creative moments I have the Adobe Creative Suite. And that’s pretty much it. Pretty bare-bones (and yes — my machine is completely overpowered for these purposes).

I scribble a lot in my notebook (the paper one) using a thin Sharpie (love, love, love Sharpies). I keep to-do lists in paper form (as well as in Things; yes: I know. No two places for lists. I don’t care. It works for me). I usually manage to keep most of my work in my head or on paper. Calendaring is the one thing which is challenging for me — I need to rely on my Gcal as I can’t remember appointments for the life of me.

When I code I use Sublime Text and the terminal. The social bits happen either in my browser (Facebook, LinkedIn) or in the case of Twitter through Tweetbot.

And that’s quite literally it. I am somewhat addicted to trying out the latest and greatest productivity system and software — and find myself always coming back to the super-basic system I described above. Not sure what that says about me…

Anything I should really try out?

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