How I work … some questions for you

I’m often asked about specific software and hardware I use. I’m hesitant to give exact answers as what works for me, likely won’t work for you. In these “How I work” posts I try to give a more general philosophical approach to how I work … and sometimes when things don’t.

I know many come here looking for a quick answer. I am unable to provide a blanket “use this, not that” response beyond choose a system you like and stick with it. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles a system has, if you don’t use it and ignore them, it’s never going to help. I don’t buy the whole “well, so-and-so-guru uses xyz so I must use that”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried many different systems over the years often because I heard about them through the grapevine. However there is no perfect out-of-the-box solution.

What do I do instead?

First I identify the planning problem I specifically need to solve then I go about finding a solution to that issue. It’s why my systems constantly evolve and sometimes surprise me. For example I know that for me I greatly enjoy writing on index cards, A5 notebooks, and in composition books. Full-sized sheets of paper don’t work for me whether A4 or US letter and there’s something about the current “pocket size” notebooks that drives me nuts, but a true A6? I enjoy using.

There are different ways to arrive at a desired end goal, my more successful tips and tricks are those that evolved when I’ve kept an open mind.

New project

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn I’m putting together a something that reorganizes what I’ve posted here and will be available next year. Honestly I’m not sure what form it will take. Nor what exactly to call it. It’s had a working name in my notes and that I’ve mentioned to friends for over a year now, but I think I’m now at the point it’s more beneficial to ask you what you’d like to accomplish.

To that end I’ve both created a short questionnaire and a new mailing list so you can sign up to be the first to know when this project is ready.

direct link to questionnaire

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I want to…


If you want to know specifics as to the brand of planner or notebook or sometimes even software that I have used, those tend to make appearances on my personal blog where I post most every Thursday. I cycle through a range of topics, from recent books that I’ve read, to my cats and what I’ve been cooking, for example. The planning tag might be the best direct way to find things until I sort all of this out.

Thank you.