Sticking with my Routines!

In the movie „Matrix“ Morpheus tells Neo about the touchstone of wisdom:

There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

More and more i have to internalize all i’ve learned in the last year. To learn new habits. Rituals are the best ways to reprogram myself.

1.Weekly Review

The importante of this GTD-Ritual is a main insight for me. I explained my understanding of this productivity-backbone before months. To review my trusted system regulary every week remains my main task!

2.Morning Routine

Another piece of gold i found last year is my morning routine:
– to practice of good habits (e.g. healthy breakfast, meditation early in the morning)
– to reorder the tasks in Nozbe according to the places (contexts) i will be (and to redefine my context list )
– to focus on what’s really important using my personal leadership board
NOT to begin my day checking emails

3.Evening Ritual

The evening ritual helps me to complete the day:
– writing my diary
– cleaning my inboxes (especially emails)


Living conditions can change.
Goals need to be readjusted.
But this I think this three points are solid stepstones on the way of life.
Or – to quote another famous movie:

The same procedure as every year!

email: take control over the chaos


When the first smartphones occurred in my life, I had the feeling: now I am writing emails as formerly SMS! In the beginning I found that great and was proud to answer emails directly. It flattered my ego, when I heard:

„you are so good accessible!“

But- over time this silly use of email dominated my life. All day – often before standing up in the morning – the red notifications called me:

„that’s important – read me – react – now!“

Sounds familiar? Then it’s necessary to win back your life, reject false habits and assign emails the place they belong to!
A sentence at the beginning of the worth reading book by Klaus Raab „we are online – where are you?“ woke me up:

emails – the pneumatic post system of modern communication, because it‘s no communication in real time …

Wow! I was caught in the wrong beliefs – wrong beliefs nurtured by the expectations of my profession:

wrong beliefs: reachable – available

The pastor is always at work – and always reachable!
This sentence I heard in my professional training. It leads to a fundermantal misunderstanding.  reachable does not mean available! 
– if someone sends me an email, it reaches me through my email-inbox: I was reachabel.
– if someone calls me and speaks on my voice mail, he has me reached.
– if someone sends me a message – an SMS, a WhatsApp or by faceook-messanger – then this message reaches me.
 Availability is something else: I’m available, if it‘s possible for me to take up the phone, when my phone rings. 
Emails the other hand reach me. They must not immediately be answered. Emails are like letters reaching me by post. The short „checking“ of emails will cost me only unnecessarily time and energy – I do not look every 30 minutes to my mailbox at home.

the medium is the message

It’s my duty as pastor to be reachable and to respond in a reasonable period. The period based on the communication channel, which is used:
– calls: like Face-to-Face-communication – probably the matter is urgently! If e.g. a undertaker needs my feedback to nail a Date for a funeral, he calls me.
– short messages: short messages work in real time too – but in my experience they are rarely really urgent.
– emails: because email communication is no communication in Real Time, they can actually never be urgent. Unfortunately they are often used for urgent affairs. Colleagues, looking urgently for a substitute, questions unfortunately often by email other colleagues – probably because with an email at the same time several pastors can be achieved simultanely.
– letters: letters can never be urgently. A letter needs maximum three days to arrive.

These days, you don’t have to treat emails like traditional letters. Every recipient cares only about the concrete information, not the background noise that simply hampers their efforts of getting to the chase. #10stepsbook

differentiation the communication channels: changing habits

To regain my life again. Not to get dictated from the flut of information, what ist now urgent. I do need to develop new habits. But first i have to clarify what significance what kind of communication has:
– telephone calls have for me high priority. I go immediately to the ringing telephone – or as soon as I have free time, for example directly after a conversation I check my mailbox and call back.
– email: can not be urgent. the multiple „check“ of emails on the smartphone fills my head only with unnecessary information to which I can not respond appropriately. Therefore i reserve 2-3 periods a day in which i process emails: at the later morning (after i did my Big Rocks), in the afternoon (precaution: maybe somebody used an email for „urgent things“) and evening as part of my evening-ritual (to make sure i can sleep).
 That way i determine the time emails get – and will not from the emails determined!

processing emails: switch in the email mode

email – ready – go: inbox zero

In the film „over the top“ the trucker Lincoln Hawk before his competitions brings himselfe in the right mental moode for it by turning his cap backwards: this ritual transformed him in a maschine. The same way we can process emails:

it’s evening. the work is done  now , it is time to process the emails!
In the next hour i’ll do nothing else – only achieve my goal: Inbox Zero! I follow the same system, i always follow – the „getting-things-done method“ (GTD) of David Allen. Processing emails follows the same rules as the „processing“ any other inbox:

1. rule: top down – touch it once

I start top-down: I do not glance through nor go at wish. I deal with each mail only a single time and decide what to do next.

2. rule: what is it-decision -2 minutes per mail

Tell yourselfe the basic question:  requires this email an action of mine? The following responses to an email requires less than 2-minutes – you can  immediately  do it:
– it’s spam or other email garbage?? then off in the  spam / trash folder!
– it is a info-mail, a Newsfeed or something like this? Normally appropriate filters can avoid that these type of mail get into here! You can read this information later, because they are not urgent. Do you work with an email folder system, move this type of mail in the folder „reading later“. I prefer Evernote, there these mails goes – i deal with this kind of information, when i have time – in the waiting room at the doctor, on a train ride, …  someday / maybe .
– I can answer a email immediately, within two minutes, then do it now. Briefly – I write no novels.
– Or I forward / delegate : a question for a baptizism – and i‘m not responsible? I redirect to the competent colleagues – that is not my project!
The email applies to one of my projects, but i can do nothing: I forward the mail to the competent person – with „BCC“ -kopie to my GTD app Nozbe. There this request becomes a part of the corresponding project with the context „waiting for“ + „name of the responsible person“ so that I keep track. During the weekly review i will meet this task again.

3. if it takes longer … into the „trusted system“!

If an email relates to one of my own projects, it can become „reference material“ – and will stored in Evernote1. Requires the email from me one or more actions, i will transform the mail to a task of an existing project or the topic of the email will become a project themselfe:
3.1 the email concerns me directly and belongs to an existing project: 
I send this type of email per nozbe-email-adress to my GTD system, add the context and possibly the due date. The email client i use generates a link for each email so it’s possible to store this link together with the email text in my GTD program: so I can answer the email interacting nozbe and email client easily: the link turns me to the correct email in the archive folder. During my weekly review i will meet this task again.
3.2 the email concerns me directly, but i’ve still no existing project:
I mail this email to my GTD app, there the mail becomes a new project. Alternative: I sent the email to Evernote and use it as a reference material – in Nozbe i can generate a project out of the Evernote-Note and the related tasks. My GTD app nozbe has – as well as Evernote – an email address.

developing new habits

  1. Make an appointment with yourself at which times you want to process emails a day.  two to three periods  should totally suffice. Stick to this appointment! This helps:
  2. Delete the email app from your smartphone! Or less radically: move the email app from the home screen out of visibility – and  turn off the notifications as well as the news-push.
  3. Check no emails – process them as described above.  processing: touch it once! 
  4. Largest reward: more time for your important things!  If you notice that your new approach helps you to gain more time for your really important things – this will motivate you to stick with your new email habits.
    Here you will find a summary as nozbe-how template.

  1. In nozbe i can attach this Evernote-Note to an project. 

Shit in – shit out

weekly review matters!

A friend of mine from the computer science industry once said:

shit in, shit out. As simple as that!
In fact:
– I do not care for my system, I do not trust the system.
– and: if I do not think at least a week in advance, I will sink in the stress of everyday life.
So every week a do it again:
– I look back at the last week: is there anything i missed?
– A Check my Waiting-for-list: did not someone contact me in time?
– I look forword on the next two weeks in advance (these projects come on top of my nozbe-labeled list „Big Rocks“).
– I look on on my personal-leadership-board to focus on my goals – the other side of my Big Rocks
– i review my project-list: is everything finde?
– at last my my someday-maybe-list: can i do something new?
Think once a week – so I do not have to think about it during the coming week!
If you don’t regularly review your system, tasks, projects and goals, you’ll quickly start drifting aimlessly reacting only to what others have planned for you.“

scanners are a man’s best friends

Or: How to take control over my documents

Once upon a time – i filled many file folders with paper … Did i ever look anything up of it?
I once asked the secretary of my bureau, what she do with the letters from the Church Office. „I put them in the folder“. – „If you are looking for this letter, how do you do it? Or is the letter just gone?“ – „Mh – it’s just gone.“
An honest answer. So i stick to my practice which i develop as a habit for several years now – and scan …
As i wrote in an earlier post, i have at any time everything with me what i may need. And i’m able to find in a very short amount of time what i need. That why i scan everything!

“Make a digital copy of all of the most important ones that you don’t want to lose or can still come in handy.“ #10stepsbook

office equipment and work flow

All i need is a document scanner and/or smartphone and an paper based filesystem A-Z.

use of document scanner and/or smartphone

I scan all my papers. The best day of my life was when i bought a document scanner. I remove the clips and the scanner scans front and back of a paper in a breeze. I use my smartphone to do the scan-job, if it is a book or something else i mustn’t destroy.
The scanned papers i take once a week to the office to the paper shredder – done!

Evernote or iCloud or Nozbe

I save the scans as searchable pdf. The file name begins with the date in the form: YYYY-MM-DD and normally i save this file in Evernote. Because my digital GTD-Manager Nozbe integrates with Evernote, i can use this pdf as reference material for a task or a project. Evernote has this amazing text search.
Very sensitive data i save in iCloud or even better in Nozbe because of its very heavy encryption.

contracts etc.

Only very few papers i archive in my A to Z file folder system. Follow the recommendation of David Allen to use these file folders i can simply fill without punching etc. Because if it’s not simple, it will take too longe time to maintain the archive.

the disadvantage: „what do we actually have…“

If you have everything at hand at any time and any place – your are a desired person. The danger is that your colleagues rely on you – that’s a burden and a joy 😉

Getting Focus through contexts

The using of contexts is one of the main differences between David Allens „Getting Things Done“ (GTD) and a common taskmanagementsystem. Contexts – or in a wider definition categories – prepare you to do the tasks through batching similar tasks throughout all projects.

“Categories are like having an extra weapon in your armory – they allow you to group tasks from different projects…“ #10stepsbook
What are these mysterious weapons?

What are contexts?

Projectlists are fine to gain an overview of your plans and commitments during the weekly review. But contexts let you come in a specifically mood oder situation, where you can do a specific sort of tasks.


Contexts are discrete categories, which divide your great amount of tasks, so that you can really do them. According to David Allen is a context necessary tool, situation or person to do a task.

First Step of deciding what to do next

Consequentialy this is the first step to decide, what to do next. With a spade you cannot write an letter, nor with a pencil dig over your garden. Only when you have the right tool etc. right at hand, then you can do the job!
So the other criterias to decide what to do next, depend on the right context: Your amount of time – your energy level and at least your priorities. All starts with the fit to the right context.

development of contexts

So far so good – seems simple – but is it really?

Clearly distinctions till the 90s

In the former times you went to your workplace to do your job. Back at home you were private and/ or a family person. In that way the context were distinguished: At the computer in the bureau you could do your work. At home you could write – even on your personal computer – private letters and so on.

confusions through the smartphone-revolution

Today everything has changed because of the smartphone-revolution: we can e.g. write emails everywhere – even business or private ones. Today we are always online – we do not need to go to a specific place, to a computer connected with the internet.
The fact of this causes us to rethink the use of contexts. Here is my try:

How i use contexts

I’m experimenting with contexts for years how my context settings suited best to my life:

Tools and technology

I use the category „technology“ to do all the tasks I need a computer for: All what can i do with my smartphone, tablet or stationary computer.
Still i use the category „phone calls“ and „email“ yet to differenciate these tasks, because of their specific character: Phone calls can i do during car driving (with a headset of course) or when i have only a few minutes befor the next meeting. For processing emails i have reserved a few periods a day, when i want process them (not check!).


Contexts also stand for a certain state of mind: When i want process my emails, i go in the email-processing-mood. Same with taking calls.
Thats why i have contexts defined for specific moods like „thinking“ or „reading/reviewing“.


Places have still a importance: Some tasks i can only do in the “bureau“, others at „home“ or while “purchasing“.


If i meet colleagues, it is useful to know what i have to discuss or clarify with them. So for important persons in my job or private life i have a context with their „name“. Have i tasks delegated to someone else, i add the category „waiting for“ to this task – fortunately my GTD-software Nozbe allows me to give a task more than one context. For this example the name of the person in combination with „waiting for“.


In my professional life meetings have an important role. Therefore all my tasks have the context of this type of meeting with them where i have this manner to discuss:
– Meeting with my pastor colleagues
– Presbyterium (the leading organ of a parish)
– committees
– groups like the visiting service and so on
The task gets the date of the meeting where i have to discuss this topic – very helpful to structure the themes of meetings which reoccuer regularily.


My most important tasks i want to complete today get the „MIT“-category. In Nozbe i can filter my priority list so that i can see these 1-3 MITs only – until i’ve completed them. I assign these category during my morning routine.


Thats the overview of my category-settings.
I experimented even with „Energy levels“ according to Sven Fechner which i added additionally to my tasks – but i found this a step to much, because i want define my tasks as easy as possible.
Contexts still are the weapon to get your stuff done. But a rethinking if your defined contexts still fit to your needs is necessary from time to time. 

Teams, technology and obstacles

Or why for me collaboration with Nozbe has never really worked so far.

Lonely geniuses

„Pastors are like artists“ – said once a colleague to me. Presumably it implied that geniuses are lonely.
A German proverb says a lot about the willingness to cooperate in my profession:

Blessed are the legs that stand at the altar alone.
What means: two pastors is one too many 😉

The Holy Spirit as a translator

Indeed the 2000-year-old Pentecost story tells us what matters: that people from different cultures can share the same vision and communicate with each other!
One can not really wish for a better mission statement for cooperation – and just the secular field teaches us the importance of teamwork. And bet on the spirit of the community – swarm intelligence.

Nozbe as an attempt

Often I’ve already tried to get colleagues to work on projects with the help of Nozbe – whether the hurdle „technology“ was the real reason – or whether „can not“ as so often lives in the „Will not“ street – who knows …
In any case, I find it excellent that nozbe was and is designed to collaborate right from the start – even with people without a nozbe account.


Another dimension comes into play through the Nozbe-How templates: I am able to participate in other people’s best practices, to be inspired by their knowledge – a great example of generosity.
Nozbe and collaboration – I never give up!

Digital or paper-based system (or both): what does work for you?

How many folders and papers are produced daily? How many emails with information are flooding us?
To be honest: Who always has all the necessary documents at hand?
I-and I mean that in all modesty. This is nothing special. I only changed years ago from paper to paperless. Because

„Sheets of paper don’t synchronize with anything.“ #10stepsbook

An example: Meetings – or: What had we decided?

How often have I experienced it? In a meeting e discuss a topic – and then someone asks: What is the Decision framework Decision framework on this issue we have already?
No one can answer, because nobody was prepared for this surprising question.
No one – only me. Because I have saved all the logs. It only costs me to enter a few keywords – and we know and can bring the topic to a fruitful end.

As much cloud storage as necessary – as little as possible

Of course, there is also the risk of confusion with cloud storage. It is important to be limited to a few services and to know exactly which service is right for what kind of data.
Here ist my solution and guiding principles:

My backbone: Nozbe

My main tool is my GTD tool nozbe. Nozbe integrates many cloud services. So I prefer these services.

File Storage: Evernote

I use Evernote as file storage: All finished files, e.g. Logs land here. The possibilities to create folders, to assign keywords and not to the last the phantastic full-text search are for me the decisive arguments for Evernote.

Cooperation with others: dropbox, google drive and OneDrive

If I work with others to share presentations, documents, etc., it is crucial which platforms my employees are familiar with. That is why I have accounts for dropbox, Googledrive and Onedrive.

data security

The greatest data security is required for sensitive data. For these documents, I strictly use only two services: iCloud from Apple and Nozbe.

Thinking and doing: Living in the priority list

My name is Michael Kamutzki. I work as an protestant pastor – so in a profession that involves a great variety of tasks with a high degree of reliability that is expected from me. One of my main pillars for the daily focus on what is really important is Nozbe. In the following, I describe how Nozbe helps me to keep track of the chaos of the workplace and to do the right thing at the right place and at the right time.

Doing stuff, not managing stuff!

As  Michael Sliwinski , the inventor of Nozbe, emphasized again and again: Nozbe is there for accomplishing tasks and projects – not for managing them. This is the nozbe app the jumping point – and has led me back again and again from Omnifocus.  Robby Miles  aptly summarized the 10 most notable advantages of Nozbe – his  point 2  I will here in my way execute:

Goal: Priority List

 The Priority list is the backbone of Nozbe.  It is not least the practical  filters  in the „Priority List“ view that led me back from the Omnifocus back to Nozbe And as the filters dynamically adapt to the contents of the list, an intelligent help is created, which leads to the  DO.  Because that’s all I want during a working week:  Do my tasks!

David Allen: weekly Review

For this the week ahead of me has to be planned well.  David Allen  has invented the weekly review – on the one hand, a retrospective on the maintenance of the „trusted system“, on the other hand also a  „weekly think ahead“ . Because in it is thought and planned, so that I can do this during the week, in the chaos of everyday life, hardly any more.
 The interplay between weekly review and the Nozbe priority list is the heart of my workflow: 

(A) Think ahead: Weekly Review

The weekly review is a complex process. I limit myself here to  the prevision of the coming week .

Calendar: next week

Like all GTD supporters, I go through all my projects once a week. What comes on the Priority list in Nozbe?
– In principle, of course, each task can be provided with a „star“, on which I like. All tasks with which a project takes the next step – the famous „next actions“ – belong here. Important: Do not forget your own goals!
– However, the projects or the substeps of projects are coming to my list for the coming week, which have to do with  meetings and other deadlines :
While I am going through my calendar for the coming weeks, I will also check all the projects due in this period in Nozbe.

Structural assistance: Project label „!Next week“

So that I can go through the projects at a glance, which have relevance in the coming week, I go into the project overview and assign the label „!next week“ to all these projects:
– The „!“ at the beginning of the label causes me to see this label in Nozbe at the most prominent place on the labelliste – at the top.
– Projects related to my  goals of the current year  will keep this label until I reach the goal. So I make sure I work on my annual goals every week.
– Projects that have no  due dates  in the coming week, but in the  next week  – so should be prepared in the coming week – I keep so in view.
– projects to be completed in the next week **.
* If it gets tight, this procedure is enough instead of a complete Weekly review! * 

Go Through projects with label „!Next week“: Star, if no due date

For me as a priest, e.g. the weekly Sunday worship service is a project of this kind which must be done every week. All tasks from the project with the name of the relevant Sunday, which do not have a due date, are given a „star“ and end up on the priority list. 1

Goal: List for the next week

This creates a next-action list, which will focus on next week. I can be sure that when I go through the priority list, I will be able to cope with the next week successfully.

„Remember that not all the tasks on our list of priorities are really the most important.“ #10stepsbook
 By using the filters clever, the next action list becomes the priority list. 

(B) Structuring: morning routines

On the Priority list, this is about 20-30 tasks. Every day there are also my  daily routines  with it, as well as other  tasks that are due on this day . This number sounds overwhelming, but it is easy to overlook with the filters. 2
Every morning I see the Priority list – in this list I „live“ until the next weekly review. This morning routine is part of my  day routines . I make sure that I have the tasks and goals of the current week, which will help me focus on what is decisive on this day.

basic concepts

My workflow is based on
– the practical filters in the Nozbe priority list
– the concept „Eat that frog“ / „Most important tasks“
– and the possibility of manual sorting
And this goes like this:

Filter: without duration?

So that I can plan my day, I now filter out the tasks to which I have not assigned any time and estimate the duration of these tasks.

Filter: without context?

Have I forgotten contexts? I can also check that by displaying all tasks without context and assigning them to the tasks.

Filter: due – really?

I set the filter „Today“ to see all tasks scheduled for today.

Focus on „!Next week“ / „!Goals 1-2 years“

Now I filter the tasks that are up this week by setting the filter 3 for the „next week“ / „goals 1-2 years“ label in the priority list.

wrongly estimated? – Startdate!

If I wrongly estimated in my previous planning and a task today is not necessarily to complete, I remove the due date, but leave it marked with „star“ –  so a due date becomes a start date . 4

Waiting for?

If I wait for the answer to a question or have a task deligated, I remind the person again by email and delete the star – the task will be presented to me the following day as „overdue“ again.

Duty: Frogs

Now, I define 1-3 tasks as those that make my day successful – even if I do not get anything else on the line. Since I can assign more than one context tag in Nozbe, why „contexts“ are now „categories“, I add to these tasks a „ frog “ as a category, a „ MIT  = Most Important Task „. These tasks I try to do as early as possible. The conversion from the next action list to the priority list is finished! 5

My timetable for today: Manual sorting – freestyle for the Apple watch

Finally, I remove all filters and manually sort the tasks I want to do today, within the framework of my daily course: the beginning of my morning routine (which I can now close soon), the end of the day is the emptying of my Inboxes and the Daily closing reflexion, dedicated to my diary. All other tasks for today I arrange as in between, as I estimate the sequence:  Nozbe is thus to the timetable of my day and is so also on the Nozbe Watch app mappable.  6
In addition to „frogs“ and the tasks scheduled for today, I also try to push 1-3 other tasks of the Priority list in this process, so that on Friday, when I plane my next week, my list has been completely worked out 7.

(C) Rest of the day: Finish

The rest of the day I do my tasks. I switch between the following filters, depending on the situation:
I can filter according to the usual GTD categories and so easily find the tasks that are right now:
 Context  – Category (tools, places, persons, meetings)
– available time
 energy  (if I have defined this for tasks)
 Priority  (the frogs first)

Goal: To Friday „!Next week“ -list empty

By using the different filters it is possible that I do today also tasks, which I had not planned for today, but which still are on the priority list:
– Perhaps my way leads me surprisingly to the  office of the parish  – and my  place filter „office“  shows me the tasks, which I can do here.
– Or I just have a spontaneous  time window  of 15 minutes – which task lasts so long? The  time filter  shows it to me quickly.
– If I sit in the  car , it is e.g. the  Context filter „Calls“ , which takes me a step further to my goal: To do all the tasks of the current week!

If it gets tricky

There is Monday morning, 8.23 ​​am: A undertaker is calling – it is about a mourning celebration for Thursday in the current week. 

Example: Mourning

In my profession, a call from the undertaker can easily swirl about one week: mourning cases always have the highest priority.

template for funeral service

Here is my  Nozbe template  for funeral: Here I have pre-defined all necessary steps.

Date with relatives: Date + Frog

So that the urgent and next step does not miss, the call with the relatives is automatically as overdue and as „ Frog “ on my list displayed – my template does automatically.

Conclusion: The Nozbe pedagogy teaches me to do things

  • Nozbe is more structured and rigid than, e.g. Omnifocus. In fact, Nozbe is very flexible and adaptable to different needs.
  • The GTD principles can be consistently implemented – perhaps even more consistently than for example in Omnifocus. Thanks to the excellent filter functions.  If „energy“ is implemented as a filter, the filters would be perfect! 
    For the implementation of my workflow the education of the Nozbe app is enough. As a summary, I’ve created a nozbe-how template – so far only in German.

  1. There is a lot of dates due to a divine service, because I have to make the liturgy available on time (Sunday) to the organist (Wednesday) and the church elder (Friday). The sermon does not get a date, as the writing lasts all week. 
  2. Robby Miles makes a better overview for a „Next Action List“ – in my opinion this is unnecessary, since the filter possibilities are enough to keep the overview. So I can live from the priority list and do not have to jump to other lists. 
  3. The advantage to the system of Michael Hyatt: All context filters remain so selectable – and I can choose according to GTD my tasks! 
  4. Does Nozbe need a so-called „start date“ for projects? I thought this as a Omnifocus user a long time – the solution is so simple: projects that are not yet active, just do not get a „next-action-star“. 
  5. Alternative: today-tag
    An alternative that I have tried is the one from Michael Hyatt: Finally, he marks all tasks for today with the additional category „today“: If I filter after this category, I get a timeline for all the tasks to-day. But this is too schematic for me and I use additional filter functions. Above all, it is more GTD-like to do the tasks without a due date then when just time is for them – and that tells me the time filter. 
  6. But this is a question of taste. Basically, my system works without this step thanks to the filter functions (see under (c)). Since I use an Apple Watch, but I often sort manually, because the watch this arrangement plays. But it would be fantastic if the Nozbe Watch app could also reflect the filter sorting I just set on my other devices! 
  7. But I do not necessarily have to plan this in this view, because this happens automatically during the day – through the GTD filters (see below under (C)). 

Flatter is better!

I have a great affinity for digital tools – although my profession is not known for: since I’ve been working with David Allen’s method, I’ve always been looking for the best tool. Of course on my quest i quickly found Omnifocus, because i work exclusively on Apple devices. Pretty early I also discovered Nozbe. But after a year of daily use of Nozbe, I felt a bit struck by my long project list.
I’ve switched to Omnifocus again: Omnifocus has evolved from an outliner. The organization principle in Omnifocus is nesting: A project can have subprojects. Projects can be grouped into folders. This makes the surface very clear.

The advantage of the flat project structure of Nozbe I only learned to appreciate through the hard reality:

Once I had to plan a worship service where there were three baptisms. So I created the worship service as a project in Omnifocus and the three baptisms as three subprojects of this one big project. When i met ohne of the families and wanted to spontaneously find something to one of the other baptisms, I completely lost myself in the structure of Omnifocus.

After that, I swore to myself: less nested, the simpler and more transparent, the better.

And so I am now working with Nozbe: a worship with three baptisms is now for me four projects, held together by the label that bears the name of the Sunday. So I have a maximum of transparency and at the same time a maximum of order.

From experience, I know it’s better to have more projects. # 10stepsbook

Managing Inboxes

Information bursts into our daily life, swelling through our mailbox into our home, the office, and more and more through the channels of modern communication.
– I come home from a talk – the head full of information
– the intermediate stop in the local office led to a backpack full of letters and notes
– the entrance of my desk swells over … was there something important in between?
– and then I stumble over the mail, which is pouring into my entrance hall
– needless to mention the bunch of emails that are steadily moving into my accounts
– oh, and then there is still the GroupWise account, for the use of which my colleagues and I have been obligated
– while I answer a short message on the way to the kitchen,
I notice a note that my wife attached to the fridge

Channeling information – remain capable of action!
I can not do my work as pastor and my duties as a family father, if I am overwhelmed by information all the time – that makes me a victim of the information age!
But I want to swim in the sea of ​​information and not to perish.
The flow of information is to be used so that it does not dominate me and makes me ineffective.

Therefore the golden rules apply:
1. So many INBOXES like NEED – no more.
2. Empty each INBOX with the regularity, according to the nature of the information it collects.
Example: With the thoughts in my head I should handle differently with short messages or emails.
3. unite all inboxes to process all informations later at once.

So first:

Just look in how many different places you keep information! (…) Identify and assign your inboxes!“ #10stepsbook

1.Information types and the corresponding inboxes
– our head: thoughts – short term memory
– email accounts: digital mail – email inbox
-office + mailbox: paper – inbox in office
– Telephone + social networks: news in real time on my smartphone or Answering machine

2.regularity of emptying
Example: The thoughts in my head – immediately if possible

„You indeed have too many things on your mind and it would be best to relocate everything.“ #10stepsbook

  • I write down what is driving me, make it comprehensible, vivid – so that I can then turn to what is now required by my attention.
  • Or I dictate spontaneous ideas during the car drive into my Nozbe-Inbox by voice input.
  • During my weekly review is regular time for a brain dump.
    Or how Michael Sliwinski describes:

„Start writing down everything that’s on your mind in whatever order it comes. Give yourself about 15-30 minutes. Do it now.“ #10stepsbook

3.Unite Inboxes

„You need a trusted system that you can easily fill with everything you’re currently not working on“ #10stepsbook

Michael Sliwinski is so true!
My trusted System ist Nozbe.
I try to gather all information from all Inboxes into my nozbe-inbox: In Nozbe, I can then later, when the right time has come to process all the information.
By integrating with many popular services such as googledrive, dropbox, onedrive and evernote, all kinds of information can be stored in the Nozbe-Inbox. There they wait for my daily processing.