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Get Your (Work)flow On

Even though I’m a bit of a tech-nerd-wannabe, for most of my life I’ve been a pen and notebook kind of guy (which is amusing because my handwriting is terrible — should’ve been a doctor!!).

An aside: In case you’re wondering, I use Picadilly notebooks, a stack of which I bought when they were on clearance at the local Borders (but kind of wish I could join the Moleskine club) and I write with Pentel Energel pens, a grip of which I bought on clearance at Staples (but I really wish I could join the Uni-ball Signo DX club!).


Full-time vocational church ministry can be quite a juggling act — a little of this, a whole lot of that. In order to stay within striking range of effectiveness, I find that I need to be as organized as possible. That way, I can be more fully present with people, and not have projects/deadlines looming over my head as a distraction.

David Park recommended the Getting Things Done (GTD) system to me awhile back. I haven’t fully utilized it, but I like the idea of getting ideas out of my head and into a system. I use the back of the napkin, Post-Its, notebooks, the scratchpad in the center console of my car, and other random pieces of paper to jot down ideas, notes, inspiration. Clearly, I need help getting organized.

I’m trying my best not to make my workflow look like this:

To The Bat-Cloud!

Although I’m drawn to shiny new tech, most of the time I make do with “good enough” (which, in reality, is plenty good for my needs — it’s not like I’m modeling 3D architecture in AutoCAD!).

  • Free apps are great for my needs: since I’m online at the office and at home, Google Apps are a handy way to grab simple files quickly from different computers.
  • One of these days I’ll get around to utilizing Dropbox more effectively. One of these days.
  • I’m intrigued by Apple’s iOS 5 announcement, with its heavy emphasis on iCloud. I like the idea of pushing files, photos, music, etc. to different devices. Of course, this is predicated on the idea of owning iOS devices…

Catch That Idea Before It Gets Away

John Chandler posted a great series awhile back about Capturing Ideas. This post gives readers both the why and what it’s for (e.g., drafts, idea incubating, book notes, etc.) when it comes to creating a system for capturing ideas.

I’m loving this Quick Start Idea Making Survival Guide from Jesse Giglio. These steps help clarify the difference between a flight of fancy, and an idea that could really make a difference.

Apps, Tips, Hints 

This post from MacSparky gives advice for those who do lots of writing  – I’m just getting on board with Simplenote (also free!), and I’m definitely intrigued by the possibilities of combining it with Notational Velocity.

For folks using Evernote, Michael Hyatt has posted some tips & hints for making it more useful for taking meeting notes. Personally, I find Evernote handy for clipping web content on my desktop browser, but I like the

As always, I appreciate Charles Lee’s insights into creativity and making ideas happen. No matter what system (or, more likely, hybrid mish-mash of all of the above) I land on, Charles’ wisdom on working under pressure is a helpful guide.