There’s a new trend among people who suffer from info-glut (=too much info coming to you digitally). The trend is: Delete everything. One example:

But I’m not waiting until then. As of now, my fancy-pants, community-generated, emergent-behavior data-sorting heuristic is: a calendar. If I haven’t gotten to something in a week, it dies. Stick that in your attention economy and smoke it. I’m re-booting. Feed list: empty. In-box: empty. TiVo: OK, OK, I still need to watch “24.” But other than that: empty.

Greg Knaus is not the only one. A-list blogger Robert Scoble also deleted all his feeds from his RSS-reader:

By the way, I deleted all my feeds and am starting over.

(Did you add me back, Robert?)

Throw it out...

(Throw it out – on Flickr)

Cleaning mail

Merlin Mann deals with his e-mail in a similar fashion: Act or delete.

The only way an email will ever get out of your life (and out of your worrying brain) is to either deal with it or get rid of it. If you’re planning to do anything in-between, you should have an explicit understanding of why you’re doing so. Any idea which one of these is a particularly shitty idea?

  • I don’t have time to answer this now (but I will put it in “Respond to” and answer it within X days)
  • I just need to save this for future reference (so I’ll just toss it in my Archive)
  • I need to convert this into an action by the end of the day (so I’ll put it in my “Daily Pending” folder)
  • I’m going to just leave this in my inbox and think about it for a few days. Or months. Or years. Who knows?

Touch everything once whenever possible, but even if you’re busy, take the extra 2 seconds to consider whether this really has any place in your life. If not, just punt it.

I’m not ready to delete my RSS feed collection yet. But with e-mail, I’m with Merlin: Deal with it or get rid of it. I’m not going to use my 2.5 GBs (and rising) on gmail to store bad feelings about NOT gettings done.

Exporting Safari bookmarks to

Do you have lots of bookmarks in Safari, that you would like to put on Use Safarilicous, the new software from Benedikt Terhechte.

It scans through all your Safari bookmarks, and uploads them to To help you started with the tags for all your bookmarks, it will use the folder the bookmarks are located in, as tags. So if a bookmark is stored in a folder called webdesign, and a folder inside that one called CSS, the bookmark will get the both folder names as bookmarks; webdesign and CSS. Neat.

You still would have to add quite a few tags to your bookmarks, and a nice way to do that is to load them back to your Mac again with the software Cocoalicious. It helps you manage your bookmarks and makes it a whole lot easier to add tags to bookmarks.

Benedikt Terhechte is the one who also make Tagbag, the way cool OS X widget that scans all your files, looking for Spotlight keywords. With Tagbag and a the instructions I wrote about how to use your Mac to get things done, you would have a very flexible and fast GTD system working in 5 minutes.

Go on until you fall over

When watching the last leg of Tour de France 2005, one of the commentators told that Lance Armstrong have said something like this: “I’d rather be number one and in the front the whole race, loose the sprint and become number four, than staying in the middle of the field and then win the sprint.” If you have the exact qoute, use the contact form or the comments!


This is the same thing that made Bjørn Dæhlie the worlds greatest winter athlete. He used to go the fastest he could as a junior. As fast as possible: 110%. For 3 out of 15 kms. Then fall over. Exhausted. And become number 39 or something.

Next race: As fast as possible for 4 kms. Fall over. Exhausted.

See the pattern?

When he finally managed to finish a race without falling over, he started winning. And winning. And became the most winning winter-athlete in the Olympics ever.

The moral: Don’t play it safe and save for later. Just give it everything you have from the start. This won’t give you golds in the beginning, but sooner or later it will.


Leon at has posted about this, and invited you to discuss it. One reader already strongly disagrees.

Stand up, be productive

“By mimicking the sympathetic reactions to a threatening environment (sitting up straight, standing, moving quickly, deeper breathing), it appears to be possible to activate the sympathetic system, which then takes over. We are ready to act, or in our case, be productive”

Bert Webb’s Open Loops

Don’t make mistakes? has a post about six ways to get more done each day. Number six reads:

“6. Avoid to make mistakes

Finally, mistakes are the one of the most deadly time waster. If you have made one mistake on a task, the time of correcting it, or apologize to your customers or boss will cost you much more time. Better to be careful at the first time and finish it. Everyone make mistake, but there aren’t any excuse if you are making the same mistake twice. Note it down as notes and remind yourself when you are doing similar tasks again.”

Good advice, when you have made a mistake, be sure to correct it quickly. But if NOT making mistakes is one of your top priorities, you could end up making no progress.

David Kelley of Ideo says “fail faster, succeed sooner”. In a 1997 article in Fast Company, he explains:

“At Ideo, we believe that enlightened trial and error beats the planning of flawless intellects. In other words, we fail faster to succeed sooner. The reason is simple: The best solutions to most problems are rarely the most obvious. So we brainstorm lots of ideas, prototype the most promising ones, and learn from those that don’t work.”

My number six would be: Make mistakes, but don’t screw up. Learn fast when you fail.

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Back on track again

It’s so easy to surf the net for new solutions, new software, new ways of working. Instead of just reading the slogan of your old Nike-shirt: Just do it.

Merlin has excellent advice – again. 43 Folders is my first-read these days.

“This is my stake in the ground about GTD: if you can stay focused on drawing from its best practices to get more of the important things in your life accomplished, then you’ll be a happy kid”

Planning is so much more fun than doing (for some)

Merlin hits the nail on the head in his post: “Because buying new running shoes is more fun than actually running”.

My concern is that there’s a big difference between buying new running shoes and actually hitting the road every morning. Big difference. One is really fun and relaxing while the other requires a lot of hard work, diligence, and sacrifice.

I know the feeling. Planning is sometimes so much more fun than doing. When all your lists are finished, and you’re about to start DOING the first item… Time for a break.

Sticking the old Nike slogan everywhere helps me: “Just do it”.

So easy and yet so difficult.

Getting things done with Automator and Spotlight

By using Spotlight and Automator, and the new Smart folders in OS X 10.4, you can change all those messy files on the desktop to something useful. And very David Allen-ish!

First, read my previous entry about “Add spotlight tags”. Make the Automator action described and save it as a Finder plugin for ctrl-clicking.

Smart folders

Then, in Finder, make a smart folder called “@home”, one called “@work” etc. One for every category you use with David Allen’s brilliant book “Getting things done”.
Continue reading Getting things done with Automator and Spotlight

How to think when designing (or anything else)

Jeff Veen has been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink”, and reflects about how he thinks when designing things. Interesting reading.

“And I sort of realized that I do design that way. I build up a tremendous amount of background data, let it synthesize, then “blink” it out as a fully-formed solution. It typically works like this:

  • Talk to everybody I possibly can about the problem.
  • Read everything that would even be remotely related to what I’m doing. Hang charts, graphs, diagrams, and screenshots all over my office.
  • Observe user research; recall past research”

Read the rest at Jeff’s superb looking site.