GTD SOS

GTD Workflow

I sent out a question to my Facebook and Twitter page recently. It's a big question, so I thought I'd share it with you too.

For a change of pace, this post is a question to you, my amazing readers.

As I've probably mentioned before, I'm a big fan of the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. I've read the book and listened to the audiobook more times than I'd care to admit.

For some reason, I've always had a hard time putting together a good, simple system as a bookkeeper. I have several clients, and each client can have several active "projects". Each of those projects usually has quiet a few next actions.

With this workflow, I can track things is several ways. I could make each client a project, and each of their projects a sub-project of sorts. Or, just track each project, and use tags to identify the appropriate client.

To top it off, I run a Win 7 laptop (I know...I still haven't upgraded), an iPad, and an iPhone. Syncing between all of these is very important.

I have tried several solutions. Some of the apps I have used are:

  • RememberTheMilk
  • Producteev
  • Todoist
  • ToodleDo
  • Nozbe

I fear I haven't given some of them enough time to truly rule them out. The problem is...I can't find a lot of information out there about what other bookkeepers/accountants use. I Googled GTD for bookkeepers, and the first link that was actually about a bookkeeper using GTD was a really old post of mine.

If I was 100% Mac, I know OmniFocus is very powerful, albeit expensive. I don't know of a Windows desktop app that also syncs with iOS.

Anyway, I was hoping to get some feedback from you. You don't have to be in my field. You can leave a comment, or contact me if that's better for you. Let me know what software you use, overall workflow tips, and if good ol' fashioned paper/pen still plays an important role.

Thanks. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Is your town stuck in the 20th Century?

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Do you ever feel like your city isn’t on the same page technologically as you are? When I’m on

Twitter

or

LinkedIn

, people are using the technology to connect with their customers, vendors, and fans. Connections are made over Skype, and bills are paid with PayPal. It’s understood that voicemail is a pain, and that waiting in line for bad customer service is heresy. Sure, it’s chaotic, but yet somehow it all makes sense.

Then I step outside, and everything changes.

I don’t live in a big city. I suppose I shouldn’t expect to step out into a technological utopia. Still, why aren’t more small businesses trying to join the 21st Century? I hear people joke about the Yellow Pages, but that’s where I still have to go to find what I need.

Just yesterday, I wanted to email our vet. I know there’s a business card somewhere in this house, and it has their email address on it. I couldn’t find it, so I went online to search their site. I finally found it and…no email address on the site. What?

For some reason, I use Foursquare. I like to try out new things, so I check in to my location every once in a while. I’m even the Mayor of a few spots. From what I hear, this means I might be entitled to some type of discount or VIP status. In my town, I don’t think the owners of any of these businesses even know about Foursquare, let alone the fact that I’m currently the Mayor of their store.

I will admit, I’d take this to an extreme level if given the chance. When I see a kid running a lemonade stand, I want to tell him to setup a website, tweet the location, setup a

Facebook

event, and give discounts to people who “check in” to the stand. This is usually where my family gives me “the look”, and tries to tune me out. Fair enough.

Please tell me I’m not the only one that feels this way? Tell me that the lack of tech adoption in your town drives you crazy too. No, seriously…if this drives you crazy…please tell me in the comments. I need proof for my friends and family that I’m not the only one.

Time Management and Priorities

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I don’t normally have “themes” to a series of posts, but this week my thoughts have drawn me to one specific topic: time. No matter what I have been working on, I keep coming back to the ways that time affects my business, as well as my daily life.

At the moment, time management has been a big concern. I enjoy writing on this site, but I’ve been very busy with my bookkeeping, and haven’t had enough time to keep up with my posts. It’s a strange situation. One reason I write and update this site is to attract more business. Now that I have more bookkeeping, I don’t have enough time to write, which hurts my chances of bringing in more business.

Obviously, when I look at the big picture, the physical client work is far more important than updating a blog. And, if I was simply an employee, this wouldn’t be an issue. The problem with being an entrepreneur, especially one who works alone, is that I’m no longer just an employee. Just doing the work isn’t enough to grow the business, or even enough to maintain it.

I know I’m not the only one struggling with this. The lessons learned in one of my favourite business books, The E-Myth, are all about workers trying to balance their craft with the pressures of managing a business.

So, here’s the question; how should I deal with this problem? Do I sacrifice one aspect in order to strengthen another? Is it alright to be sporadic with the website, if it means being a better worker? Or, does mean I might need to start looking at adding staff, either locally or remotely?

I know some of you have struggled with the same issues. What advice do you have? I would love to hear your opinions.

Should Our Banks Punish Us For Using Mint.com?

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When Mint.com finally started working for us Canadians, I got really excited. Having to log into multiple bank sites to see how I’m doing is a pain. Sure, I’ve got Quicken on the desktop, but there’s just something about the eye-candy layouts that these modern websites give you. It somehow makes boring financial data exciting.

I recently read an article in Money Sense that, technically speaking, freaked me out. According to the article, by using Mint.com or similar services, you can be voiding your ability to use fraud protection services should your account be compromised.

They spoke to some people at the big banks in Canada, who confirmed this notion. Basically, what the spokespeople said, was by giving your password information to Mint, you are breaching your contract with the bank. That password is supposed to be yours and yours alone. If someone steals your information, the bank’s got your back when bad things happen. When you freely give that information to a stranger, even a highly secure stranger, they no longer have to protect you.

I guess on one hand I understand the bank’s position. If you tell someone a secret that only you and your bank shared, even if it’s your best friend, you can’t be completely shocked if that secret gets out. Sure, you didn’t mean for it to get out, but now the bank isn’t going to tell you secrets anymore, and you can forget about sitting next to them in the cafeteria.

On the other hand, I think this should only apply if you can prove that it was Mint’s fault that your account was compromised. What if I don’t use Mint, but I have my password written on a post-it note on my monitor, or I use something stupid like 123456? Does that count as a breach of contract? Probably, but the bank wouldn’t penalize me for that. Yet because I’m using a service who employs conspiracy-theory-crazy-guy-level security to protect my passwords, they won’t help me if someone charges a hotel room in Northern Mongolia to my Visa?

What do you think? Should using sites like Mint.com nullify our account protection? Does this news mean you’re going to stop using the site? Let me know what you think.