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GTD Basics – Methods for Reflecting and Weekly Reviews in LifeTopix

LifeTopix is an all-in-one productivity app for iPad and iPhone. We have many customers who follow David Allen’s Getting Things Done® (GTD) method and use LifeTopix to stay organized and productive. Many of these customers ask about the most efficient ways to use LifeTopix for GTD® and our best practices.

GTD, LifeTopix, Reflecting and Weekly Reviews

David Allen rewrote the “Getting Things Done” book for 2015 and beyond, which was originally published in 2001. In addition, LifeTopix has evolved since we first published the popular post, “Best Practices for Getting Things Done – Weekly Review” in 2013. We strive to keep our customers up-to-date and hope you enjoy the new information we’re providing for you today.

We previously published three posts described below. We encourage you to read those posts before diving into this one:

Master Reflecting and Weekly Reviews

In Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done,” he dedicates a chapter to “Reflecting”. In this chapter, he stresses that you must review your system on a regular basis to ensure it is current and functional. He describes what to look at and when, and he communicates the power of the “Weekly Review.” The video below explains, in detail, how you would use LifeTopix to perform the actions he describes in this chapter of “Getting Things Done.”

Watch the Video

More to Come

In the next few weeks, we’ll be posting more videos and tips to assist you with utilizing LifeTopix for GTD. Please subscribe to the Life Blog to stay up-to-date.

GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. LightArrow Apps are not affiliated with or endorsed by the David Allen Company.

GTD Basics – Methods for Clarifying Actions and To Dos in LifeTopix

LifeTopix is an all-in-one productivity app for iPad and iPhone. We have many customers who follow David Allen’s Getting Things Done® (GTD) method and use LifeTopix to stay organized and productive. Many of these customers ask about the most efficient ways to use LifeTopix for GTD® and our best practices.

GTD, LifeTopix and the Clarifying Phase

David Allen rewrote the “Getting Things Done” book for 2015 and beyond, which was originally published in 2001. In addition, LifeTopix has evolved since we first published the popular post, “Best Practices for Getting Things Done – Processing” in 2013. We strive to keep our customers up-to-date and hope you enjoy the new information we’re providing for you today.

We previously published a post about how to capture and collect all the things that are in your head and how to get them outside your head in LifeTopix. It is titled “GTD Basics – Methods for Capturing Items in LifeTopix.” We encourage you to take a look at the previous post before diving into this one.

Today, we’re covering what to do with actions, projects and to dos that you’ve collected after you decide what they are and what you want to do with them. In David Allen’s book, he refers to this phase as “Clarifying.”

Watch the Video

Important Information About LifeTopix Integrations

We understand that many of you want to use LifeTopix at the office and you want to ensure that it works with the applications that you commonly use. This is why LifeTopix is integrated with many of your favorite apps and applications. You can access docs, tasks and notes in LifeTopix from Dropbox™, Google Drive or Box™; Toodledo®, Asana™ or Google Drive; and Evernote® or Toodledo®, respectively. And LifeTopix works seamlessly with iOS calendars and reminders.

More to Come

In the next few weeks, we’ll be posting more videos and tips to assist you with utilizing LifeTopix for GTD. Please subscribe to the Life Blog to stay up-to-date.

Learn about the next phases: 

GTD Basics – Methods for Organizing Actions and To Dos in LifeTopix

GTD Basics – Methods for Reflecting and Weekly Reviews in LifeTopix

GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. LightArrow Apps are not affiliated with or endorsed by the David Allen Company.

Reducing Stress and Anxiety – 3 Things That Work For Me

Over the years, probably brought on by being a startup junkie and always having poured myself unreservedly into work my entire professional life, I’ve developed several bad habits or things that are harmful to health, and perhaps also to relationships.

On the one hand, there is this insatiable passion and seemingly endless energy to take on challenges, get stuff done, being an engine that is always on. Sadly, on the other hand, there is fatigue, irritability, loss of focus, and low quality sleep. Undeniably, according to both ancient wisdom and modern medical know-how, the latter set of things affect one’s health dangerously. And with equal importance, the closest relationships are exposed to occasional bouts of irritability and other forms of negative energy. Broadly speaking, there is a general feeling of stress and anxiety as a result.

Three things I have either changed or started recently are personally helping me a lot without taking away from my productivity, and seem to be helping cut out the bad set of things.

RelaxPool

1. Turn off all audible alerts and lock-screen notifications on devices. (Except calendar reminders and text messages.)

This was a surprisingly welcome change. Sounds simple, but do you really need to be suddenly interrupted from your flow or zone, with a ding and a lock screen message that “Your Facebook friend so-and-so just joined Pinterest.” – and other irrelevant, unnecessary crap? I started going into my iPhone’s Notifications setup each time anything came up (Mail app alerts, Google alerts, Facebook, Twitter, CNBC alerts, and perhaps 10 others), and turning them off. I left Calendar and text message alerts on as I control the reminders I put on my calendar items, and also I am not a defocussed incessant texter – especially when I work, so most texts I get are important. On the same note, during work hours, I only make myself visible to the group of people I am working with on messaging apps. I still check my email and look at my agenda frequently, but on my own schedule, when I am in-between focussed tasks – kind of like waking up in sync with natural sleep cycles. Which leads me to my second thing – sleep.

2. Sleep well. Instead of an alarm clock, use an app like Sleep Cycle.

I started using this about a couple of months ago instead of using a regular alarm. It is ingeniously simple. You turn it on, put it next to your pillow facing down. It tracks your sleep cycles, duration and quality by tracking motion (whatever it detects from your tossing and turning, etc.), and perhaps from movement noise since it asks for access to the microphone. You can configure a window of time to wake up in, and it detects a stage when you are either awake or your sleep is in the waking part of the cycle during that time window, and wakes you up. Also, it measures your sleep quality and gives you a score and a graph of sleep level over time – that way you can correlate various pre-sleep activities with quality of sleep – for example, does sipping some tart cherry juice an hour before going to bed actually help with sleep, does deep breathing right before sleep give you some golden deep sleep cycles, etc. As my friend Chip had said 20 years ago: you should measure things that you care about. Inducing positive energy and a calm disengagement via pre-sleep deep breathing, and cutting out sources of negative energy seem to help in my case – which takes me to the third point.

3. Add positive energy (many choices). Cut out negative energy (namely TV news channels, and social media complainers).

Points 1 and 2 take zero time investment and give heavy positive returns. So that’s golden for the ROI (return-on-investment) fanatics. Point three is also a net positive – consuming about 30-60 minutes of time every day for adding positive energy (meditation / deep-breathing / quiet-time / simple yoga / reading / praying / reflecting / being grateful – look up Positive Psychology when you have a minute), but freeing up much more than that by subtracting sources of negative energy that steal time both directly and indirectly, and negatively affect every aspect of life. I am talking primarily about TV “news” folk, political talking-heads and other assorted villains – kings and queens of ignorance on TV and the internet constantly furthering their narrow agendas by stepping on your gentle minds. They come from the right and the left – ignore them, and instead look straight at what you value – there’s much better stuff there. The negative energy sources are plentiful in our social circles, in person, and more so on social media since it’s a much larger set. Cut. Them. Out. Hide them from your feeds, unfollow them, walk-away, change the topic, do whatever it takes to cleanly disengage. There are always tons of important things that require immense energy, constructive debate, championing ideas, defending values, and much effort without all the shallow and shrill things stealing our precious time. Any issue that is important to you can be engaged with constructively without subscribing to a buffet-line of fast-food class negative sentiments. That frees up more time to embrace positive things. Things you admire. Things you learn from. Things that leave you positive. Spend time with people that enrich you, and take a vacation every now and then!

What are some of your favorite positive energy sources? What kinds of negative energy sources have you successfully cut out? Please share.

5 Powerful App Features to Get Things Done Naturally

– An Ultimate Productivity Approach.

GTD devotees know that there are 5 phases to mastering workflow – Collect, Process, Organize, Review, and Do. But how you apply technology to the task of actually putting these 5 phases into practice?

We propose a system that takes an organic view of productivity to more truly reflect how we get things done in life. This system takes into account all the real-life elements of getting things done – things beyond notes and lists of tasks. For example, with something as complex as planning an event (like a birthday party or wedding), going on a family vacation, or embarking on a large household project (major landscaping improvements),  tasks and notes with simple reminders only take you so far. Many more elements are involved, such as services utilized, managing the providers for those services, shopping, bookmarks, sharing with and managing event co-hosts, travel companions, or project team-mates, in addition to a comprehensive calendar view of everything with proper reminders.

LifeTopix does 5 things to make it all come together more naturally.

  1. Quick Inbox
  2. Touchpoints
  3. Dashboards
  4. Device Integration
  5. Social Collaboration

Let’s quickly take a look at each concept.

1. Quick Inbox

It’s not just about quickly entering something to be processed later. It’s about capturing an item that can become anything – a project, a trip, and event, etc. While it resides in the Quick Inbox, it can be marked as something to be done soon, or someday, it can be given a type from the beginning, it can be converted later into a specific type, and it can be managed in the inbox to track the next action date, while simultaneously being managed from whatever topic the item got converted into.

2. Touchpoints

Once it’s converted, the ability to associate all items with it in the app as it naturally does in real life, is key. To be able to manage shopping for a trip from within the trip, manage tasks, reminders, checklists, appointments, bookmarks, media, services, providers, notes, files, and share with participants from within the trip, from the same app, is priceless. Touchpoints are exactly that.

3. Dashboards

Across everything you are doing/planning/thinking, across everything you need to know, configurable dashboards put it all together in helpful panes like What’s Next, Recently Updated, and Quick Access to the most popular items from a a single place. The power of expensive business apps in the palm of your hands for organizing your personal life redefines what a top productiviy app does.

4. Device Integration

Use the contacts in your device directly, while knowing how the people in your life are associated with things you do over time – trip companions, event attendees/hosts, task owners, project mates, service relationships (doctors. plumbers, etc). Take advantage of the device calendar in a way that fully integrates it with all things managed in the app. Utilize location to know errands, shopping and other location relevant items. Whether at home or on the go, get more from your device to manage the information in your life.

5. Social Productivity

Facebook, Twitter, MobileMe, Google Docs, Dropbox – the list keeps growing. By using your favorite social and cloud apps directly from the things you do and need to know, usher in a level of productivity impossible to imagine with simple apps that do one thing only – like manage tasks, or keep lists, or just jot down notes. Go pro. Check out LifeTopix – tell us what more you want from this new kind of app.