What is stuff, where does it come from and what should you do with it? The ‘Collect’ phase.What is stuff, where does it come from and what should you do with it?

Stuff is all over. One of the basic principles of GTD is get everything out of your head, into a trusted system. I’ll explain more about my trusted system in a separate post.

Stuff is anything that you have allowed into your life (logical or physical), that doesn’t belong where it actually is, and you haven’t defined the desired outcome yet. It can occur to you in digital format, paper, email, voicemail, a small note you found in your jacket or it might be just stuff in your head.

But what does get it out of your head actually means? We’ll its a simple as can be, get it out of your head, and put in on paper. You can decide what you do with the paper later, but first get it from your head to a paper.

When my wife explained her ‘’lists’ to me, I laughed. She inherited this behaviour of making lists from her father who has worked as a HR manager. The reason I laughed with this was because the methodology was not the correct one for me. She worked with a Todo list, and for me a simple todo list doesn’t work. I needed more.

Now, how can you empty your personal in-basket (your head) and actually do something with it? Put it on paper. The moment you put it on paper, it’s out of your mind.
And maybe you know, but your mind has no idea of time. Is has no clue of today, tomorrow or in a few months. The moment you open a loop (you start by engaging yourself to do something), it reacts like you should be doing that all the time, until it is marked as complete. Imagine what that does when you open 2 loops. Or maybe you are a crazy maker and your mind thinks you should be handling 50 tasks or 1000.

May I suggest you stop reading for 3 minutes and  execute this exercise : write down 5 current things that are on your mind at this moment. Really think good about it.

When you have written this small list down, how did you feel? I bet you felt some degree of positive emotion like relief, release, but possibly you also felt felt frustration, guilt, panic fear,… Isn’t it very strange that you can have such an opposite feeling by doing exactly the same exercise.

Welcome to the collection phase :-). After you have written it all down to paper you have to put it in one place. This can be a plastic tray, or if you have lots of stuff gathered a box. We call this place IN.

You have to collect anything in your environment that lays somewhere. All the papers, notes, receipts, business cards that are widely spread allover, should be put in the IN-basket.

When everything is gatered in IN, you have to process it. This means that you have to perform several actions on this pile of paper. This is the next phase in the 5 phases process of GTD. The process phase.Stuff is all over. One of the basic principles of GTD is get everything out of your head, into a trusted system. I’ll explain more about my trusted system in a separate post.

Stuff is anything that you have allowed into your life (logical or physical), that doesn’t belong where it actually is, and you haven’t defined the desired outcome yet. It can occur to you in digital format, paper, email, voicemail, a small not you found in your jacket or it might be just stuff in your head.

But what does get it out of your head actually means? We’ll its a simple as can be, get it out of your head, and put in on paper. You can decide what you do with the paper later, but first get it from your head to a paper.

When my wife explained her ‘’lists’ to me, I laughed. She inherited this behaviour of making lists from her father who has worked as a HR manager. The reason I laughed with this was because the methodology was not the correct one for me. She worked with a Todo list, and for me a simple todo list doesn’t work. I needed more.

Now, how can you empty your personal in-basket (your head) and actually do something with it? Put it on paper. The moment you put it on paper, it’s out of your mind.
And maybe you know, but your mind has no idea of time. Is has no clue of today, tomorrow or in a few months. The moment you open a loop (you start by engaging yourself to do something), it reacts like you should be doing that all the time, until it is marked as complete. Imagine what that does when you open 2 loops. Or maybe you are a crazy maker and your mind thinks you should be handling 50 tasks or 1000.

May I suggest you stop reading for 3 minutes and  execute this exercise : write down 5 current things that are on your mind at this moment. Really think good about it.

When you have written this small list down, how did you feel? I bet you felt some degree of positive emotion like relief, release, but possibly you also felt felt frustration, guilt, panic fear,… Isn’t it very strange that you can have such an opposite feeling by doing exactly the same exercise.

Welcome to the collection phase :-). After you have written it all down to paper, you have to process it. This means that you have to execute a list of actions on this pile of paper. The next phase in the 5 phases process of GTD. This is for a next post.

Information worker and the amount of information, work and stress.Information worker and the amount of information, work and stress.

It has been a while since I blogged something. The main reason is that I was very busy. But being very busy is not a good reason. We will always be busy, all of our lives. I was just caught in the busy-trap. Busy doing what? Well, Iat this moment I am contracted in a large company in the energy market as a Domain Expert SharePoint (since 2008), and I run (with an associate) a company in IT (Retail, business to business). I am also married and have got kids. So what was I actually doing? To be honest, sometimes I didn’t knew what I was doing, or what I was not doing and should be doing. Does this sound familiar?

A long time ago, a good friend of mine named Marcel told be some things about Getting things done and 7 habits of highly effective people. At that moment, I wasn’t ready for that life changing information, so I did absolutely nothing with it.

A few months ago I read Getting things done , ‘The Art of Stress-Free Productivity’ from David Allen. This was that a life changing moment. After reading this book, I started looking on how to implement this in my life. This was definitely not a simple assignment..

Anyhow, these moments were life changing and therefore I will share this very useful information with you :-)

I’ll do my best (and added it as a Next Action to my action list) to post on a daily base something about why this thing matters for me.It has been a while since I blogged something. The main reason is that I was very busy. But being very busy is not a good reason. We will always be busy, all of our lives. I was just caught in the busy-trap. Busy doing what? Well, Iat this moment I am contracted in a large company in the energy market as a Domain Expert SharePoint (since 2008), and I run (with an associate) a company in IT (Retail, business to business). I am also married and have got kids. So what was I actually doing? To be honest, sometimes I didn’t knew what I was doing, or what I was not doing and should be doing. Does this sound familiar?

A long time ago, a good friend of mine named Marcel told be some things about Getting things done and 7 habits of highly effective people. At that moment, I wasn’t ready for that life changing information, so I did absolutely nothing with it.

A few months ago I read Getting things done , ‘The Art of Stress-Free Productivity’ from David Allen.  This was that a life changing moment. After reading this book, I started looking on how to implement this in my life. This was definitely not a simple assignment..

Anyhow, these moments were life changing and therefore I will share this very useful information with you :-)

I’ll do my best (and added it as a Next Action to my action list) to post on a daily base something about why this thing matters for me.

Euro 2008 webpart

The people at TamTam have created again some nice webparts for the European Championship 2008. It is available for download at no cost!

Although Belgium is (yet again) not qualified for this Championship, we will install this webpart in our company and try to create some soccer fever. It was pretty fun 2 years ago.

This is also a great opportunity to find out who in your company has absolutely no knowledge of soccer, but is just a good gambler. So you know who you should pick for a incentive to Las Vegas ;-)

Some information about the webparts :
There are 2 webparts. you can download them via http://www.euro2008webpart.nl/default.aspx .

 

They provide an overview of the next 10 matches, a leaderboard off all users, a top15 users, .. and it updates automatically!

Have a lot of fun with this nice WebPart!

Oh yes :  It is also multilingual :-)The people at TamTam have created again some nice webparts for the European Championship 2008. It is available for download at no cost!

Although Belgium is (yet again) not qualified for this Championship, we will install this webpart in our company and try to create some soccer fever. It was pretty fun 2 years ago.

This is also a great opportunity to find out who in your company has absolutely no knowledge of soccer, but is just a good gambler. So you know who you should pick for a incentive to Las Vegas ;-)

 

Some information about the webparts :
There are 2 webparts. you can download them via http://www.euro2008webpart.nl/default.aspx .

They provide an overview of the next 10 matches, a leaderboard off all users, a top15 users, .. and it updates automatically!

It is also multilingual :-)

Have a lot of fun with this nice WebPart!

WSS Task list (workflow/E-mail notification)WSS Task list (workflow/E-mail notification)


I was creating a workflow in SharePoint Designer (SPD) to send an e-mail to a user when a task is created for him or when a task is modified. The purpose of this workflow was that the user does not have to create his alert me for this list. (to avoid users who don’t subscribed to have an excuse for not completing their tasks)

Then I started testing this workflow and it worked :-). But I also received an alert from SharePoint (the ALERT ME).

That made me think… Why am I getting an Alert me message?

So i took a look in My Alerts, there were no alerts configured. Even when an item was changed I got my workflow notification (which was good because my workflow was configured good) and I received an Alert Me.

So I started looking in the settings of this list and found this. In Settings / Advanced setting there is a entry E-mail Notification. Send e-mail when ownership is assigned. It is marked in red.

List Advanced settings

I was creating a workflow in SharePoint Designer (SPD) to send an e-mail to a user when a task is created for him or when a task is modified. The purpose of this workflow was that the user does not have to create his alert me for this list. (to avoid users who don’t subscribed to have an excuse for not completing their tasks)

Then I started testing this workflow and it worked :-). But I also received an alert from SharePoint (the ALERT ME).

That made me think… Why am I getting an Alert me message?

So i took a look in My Alerts, there were no alerts configured. Even when an item was changed I got my workflow notification (which was good because my workflow was configured good) and I received an Alert Me.

So I started looking in the settings of this list and found this. In Settings / Advanced setting there is a entry E-mail Notification. Send e-mail when ownership is assigned. It is marked in red.

List Advanced settings

Metadata in lookup : Not all data is displayed in Office 2007Metadata in lookup : Not all data is displayed in Office 2007

When you have a document library with metadata, and one of the metadata colums is a lookup to a list not all the list items are displayed in the DIP (Document Information Panel) of an Office 2007 application.

Only 10 items are displayed

This did not happen with Office 2003 applications or when you use this is in the SharePoint interface. So I started looking around and this occurs whe you have a list item limit on that list. This is what was configured in the settings of that list (Settings / List Setting / Views / All items)

List Item limit

When I changed the Number of items to display to 100 this problem was solved.

List problem solvedWhen you have a document library with metadata, and one of the metadata colums is a lookup to a list not all the list items are displayed in the DIP (Document Information Panel) of an Office 2007 application.

Only 10 items are displayed

This did not happen with Office 2003 applications or when you use this is in the SharePoint interface. So I started looking around and this occurs whe you have a list item limit on that list. This is what was configured in the settings of that list (Settings / List Setting / Views / All items)

List Item limit

When I changed the Number of items to display to 100 this problem was solved.

List problem solved