Session Notes

Session notes from “Lifehacks and Hipsters and GTD, Oh My!”, 13 April 2007, KLA/KASL/KAECT TriConference



Rhonda – State Library, member of National Association of Professional Organizers

Rosemary – Ottawa Library, blogs on planning & time management at

What do attendees hope to learn?

What type of handheld to get:

* make sure you love it – borrow before you buy

* check reviews in PC mag,, ask friends

* essentials – calendar, contacts list, to-do

* no-tech alternative – hipster (index cards held together with binder clip); templates for calendar, etc. at

* modified hipster – punched cards (like old catalog cards) held together with a binder ring

How to handle piles on desk:

* set aside uninterrupted time to sort through all; file or toss anything no longer needed in prime space

* use vertical space – stepped dividers, horizontal letter sorters, pendaflex pilesmart

* some people like ‘stuff put away’, some people like ‘stuff in view’ for current projects

* be careful using color – what happens if you run out of a needed color? try inexpensive, like sticky dots or magic marker before expensive like folders

Timely access to both personal & work info:

* planning tool needs to be portable/accessible

* try online tool like yahoo or google calendar

How to deal with multiple deadlines:

* build timeline with intermediate steps

* display timeline/project list over desk

* if projects coming from several different sources, ask them to prioritize

Efficient ways of handling to-dos:

* have ‘to-do’ folder in e-mail client to get stuff out of inbox – check regularly

* handle either in large uninterrupted chunks of time or small bits –

set a timer – can do anything for 5 minutes – depends on working style

* do immediately if it takes <2 minutes (GTD)

* use low-energy time, like end of day to review

Setting priorities:

* urgent/important matrix

* like to do/need to do matrix

o like to/need to “gems”

o don’t like to/need to “toads” – eat first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen all day

o like to/don’t need to “butterflies” – spend a lot of time chasing them

o don’t like to/don’t need to “gnats” – swat ’em!

* ‘need to do well’ vs ‘need to do quickly’

Handling e-mail (handout)


o Book “Getting things done” by David Allen

major focus is on getting to-dos, projects, appointments, etc out of

head and into a tool (PDA, calendar, hipster, etc)

o flow chart at

Lifehacks – any little tricks that make life easier:

o fold under end of package tape

o even better – put paper clip under edge

o use dryer sheets to dust tops of books – dollar store package lasts all semester, pass out to kids 5 minutes before period ends and let ’em go at it. makes library smell nice, too!

o using magic marker, put a dot on student’s thumbnail to remind them to bring back overdues

o put on headphones when you don’t want to be disturbed – don’t even need to have music going

o always buy clothes with pockets!

o leave messages for yourself on home answering machine or send e-mails to yourself as reminder

o always keep calendar on same corner of desk so staff can find easily

Tools to try:
o google docs & spreadsheet for collaborative work

o for scheduling meetings

o alternative to GroupWise; good for

scheduling equipment, meeting rooms, etc.

o post-it portable workspace for managing projects

If you remember nothing else:

o make sure you choose tools you love; if you don’t love it, you won’t use it

o find your strengths and use them

o communicate with family, co-workers, those you report to and those who report to you

I enjoy finding great information, combining it in new ways, and packaging it creatively. I'm highly interested in the areas of goal setting, time management, and skills to improve life.

Posted in productivity
3 comments on “Session Notes
  1. Ben Shaffer says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I think it was like a year ago when I required everyone who works for me to have inboxes and outboxes. I was amazed by how much we were able to raise production levels just by doing that!

  2. […] Daily Plan It – I have been enjoying reading this blog. The Hop to It post has a link to a neat ‘frog eating form’ from Marcia, which is a great way to call out your frogs and ensure that they get eaten. […]

  3. […] Daily Plan It – I have been enjoying reading this blog. The Hop to It post has a link to a ‘frog eating form’ from Marcia, which looks like a great way to call out your frogs and ensure that they get eaten. […]

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