30 December 2004

5s

I’m busy trying to follow the principles of David Allens ‘Getting Things Done’ over the last couple of weeks. One of the key practices envolved is getting rid of clutter (which actually is a tough one for me – and for most people I know -, but I got a little bit help from my iBook which crashed; I got the harddisk replaced and just reinstalled the data and tools I really need or want). Clutter is defined as everything – objects, files, thoughts – that is not at the right place.

I recently rediscovered the 5s Process which originates in Japan as part of Kaizen. It seems to be a nice complementary technique / conceptualisation for addressing ones clutter – sometimes a term does the trick:

SEIRI: create tidyness. Throw away all unused stuff, file away the rest.
SEITON: keep evertything at the right place. Keep the tools you need accessible, hide materials you don’t need regularly.
SEISO: keep your (work-)space clean, remove all traces from the previous task before starting the next.
SEIKETSU: develop a personal sense for organizing your things. Develop routines, optimize your system according to your needs.
SHITSUKE: stay disciplined doing the above, make it a habit and permanent practice.

29 December 2004

Terminal Envy

Browsing some OS X related blogs (most prominently Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders – a great blog and must read for anyone into OS X and GTD) there seems to be a certain perception of powerusers (who are not professional programmers or sysadmins) that there is some sort of hidden enjoyment beneath the cosy Aqua interface OS X provides, which is accessible only to some priviliged species of hackers who live inside this magical thing called Terminal, who rarely if ever touch the mouse or have to look at the screen…

My take on this: the Terminal really shines when dealing with plain text in combination with typewriting skills. For other non trivial usecases / workflows / tasks it actually would be interesting to benchmark the two approaches (alpha geek vs. productivity freak), but in most cases its probably a wash. Anyway, using the terminal is also a great way of taking a little break from the oversaturated beauty of Aqua. Learn how to use it! but no need for Terminal Envy ;)

29 December 2004

Minihacking del.icio.us

Speaking of free floating labels (see my previous posting) – one of the missing features with blogger (the generous provider for this blog) is not to be able to assign tags / labels / categories to entries. Perusing del.icio.us for emulating those, I set up an account for this blog there which I will use for labeling entries. Clicking on the links for the labels (currently filed under ‘Tags/Categories (via del.icio.us)’, but this might change since I’m still goofying around with the setup) will open the corresponding page at del.icio.us filtered by label.

Currently this won’t add too much value, I’m afraid ;), but I also get a more sophisticated RSS feed for free and this might trigger other interventions…

28 December 2004

Paradigm Shift

Hmm, a few days ago I got invited for a Gmail account. A few days later I finally gave del.icio.us a try. Both technologies changed the way I do certain things almost instantly and probably for good. Both give up with hierarchical structures of organizing data (folders within folders within folders within folders…) and use a flat model applying labels (label combined with label combined wiith label…). More on that is coming up soon here, but if you are not aware of those services, do yourself a favour and check them out.

Anyway, starting a blog was left on my todo list for 2004, so here it is. Staying consistent with the subtitle of this blog – be prepared to encounter various ramblings and thoughts in progress here. Topics might include OS X (highly likely), GTD (my current affection), enjoying the web, music, system theory, programming, mind- and lifehacks, television,... nothing special.

Hope you will enjoy your stay, feedback is highly welcome

Saurier Duval