Sep 25 2008

Minor Behavior Modifications

As I live my Digital Life theme, I realize that sometimes I need to take a step back to take a step forward.  This happened today when I was in the shower.

When I switched to an iPhone, I lost the ability to synchronize Outlook/Exchange Tasks.  I’m a heavy Task user and a zero inbox person, so I spent a few weeks trying to find a good workaround.  I didn’t find it yet.  So – I started typing my tasks into a page in the Notes application on the iPhone and emailing the page to me at the end of each day.  I then cut and pasted the individual entries into my task list.  Stupid, but it was the best option up to that point that still integrated with my Outlook workflow (yes – I tried Evernote and a bunch of other similar things.)

For the past two weeks, I’ve been carrying around a little moleskin notebook that my friends at WordPress game me and scribbling down notes in the notebook.  I’ve had fun with this approach and realized that having the freedom to just scribble down my thoughts as "items" liberated me some from the more task oriented view I have taken for the past N years.

In the shower this morning, I realized that this was exactly what I was doing in Notes on my iPhone with a few minor tweaks to the formatting.  I was resisting Notes because I really thought I wanted Tasks and this was blocking my ability to see that the Notes approach actually worked better.  Of course – if I could automagically have selected Notes go into my Task list, that would be even better, but I’ll live without it.

By working on paper for a few weeks, I made a minor behavior modification to my own workflow that I think will be more effective for me.  Interesting.