An alle Heimatlosen

Brief zu Totensonntag

Unruhig ist unser Herz, bis es Ruhe findet in dir. (Augustinus)

Unser ganzes Leben lang sind wir auf der Suche nach unserem Zuhause.
Zuhause – Ankommen. Bei Menschen, die uns so lieben und annehmen, wie wir sind. In deren Gegenwart wir uns heil fühlen und ganz. Uns Heimat geben.
– Vielleicht gehören wir zu den glücklichen Menschen, die das bereits als Kind von ihren Eltern erfahren durften.
– Andere finden dieses Zuhause, diese Menschen, erst später in ihrem Leben.
Doch wann wir auch diesen Menschen begegnen auf unserer Reise zwischen Geburt und Tot – irgendwann ist der Moment gekommen, an dem sich unsere Wege wieder trennen, wir uns von einander verabschieden müssen.
Am Totensonntag gedenken wir dieser Menschen, die für uns Zuhause waren. Manche waren jahrzehntelang Teil unseres Lebens. Manche nur für kurze Wegabschnitte.
Dankbar blicken wir zurück auf das, was war. Auch wenn das weh tut. Zeigt der Schmerz doch, wie viel wir empfangen haben.
Mindestens einmal im Jahr dürfen wir uns trauen, uns auch diesem Schmerz zu stellen. In Gemeinschaft mit anderen, denen es genauso geht. Im Gottesdienst. Wir sind nicht allein. Gemeinsam tragen wir unsere Schmerzen vor Gott und ehren damit, was wir verloren haben.
Gemeinsam finden wir zu uns: Wir leben weiter. Und tragen das Schöne, das vergangen ist, mit uns. Ein kostbares Geschenk, das schmerzt und gleichzeitig wärmt.
Unser Herz schlägt weiter. Und weist uns unseren Weg. Auch wenn unser Kopf nicht weiß, wie es weiter geht und was der nächste Schritt ist.

Unruhig ist unser Herz, bis es Ruhe findet in dir. (Augustinus)

Unser Herz schlägt weiter – denn es hat Anteil an der Ewigkeit.
Und an dem Frieden Gottes, der höher ist als unsere Vernunft.
Einem Frieden, der tiefer ist als unsere Trauer; höher als unsere Fallhöhe; und weiter als unser Blickfeld.
Der Friede Gottes, unsere wahres Zuhause, woher wir alle kommen. Und der uns nie verlässt.
Der Friede Gottes sei mit euch allen!

Using Colors in Nozbe connecting the Horizons of Focus

try and error

I tried many many times to find a meaningful use case for the colors in Nozbe:
– I gave each Areas of Focus a color (e.g. violet for work in general, red for „pastor“, blue for „friend“ and so on.
– I differentiated work and private projects through colors
– I pictures the course of each project with colors (e.g. red for projects that were stuck, yellow if all ist fine, green for completed projects)
But – all these tries weren’t satisfying.

Horizons of Focus: A new Approach

Yesterday i designed the GTD-Horizons of Focus simply in excel. On the 50.000 feet level i defined my values, in the levels lying underneath this values i tagged using a value-specific color. For example on 50.000 feet i defined the value „family“, this card gets the yellow label „family“. This label reoccured on the other levels to represent the connection of this Horizon with the value.

The Areas of Focus are the pivot point, where this overview in excel must pass over to my Projektmanagemantsystem Nozbe. But how?

Labels and colors in Nozbe to bridge the gap

To bridge the gap between the big picture, the personal leadership-board, and the concrete projects and tasks in Nozbe (personal management) i use labels and colors:

labels with a „#“ stand for my areas of Focus.

Reviewing weekly my projects i use this labels to focus on my goals.

colors represent these areas of focus too

So i have a nice overview, when i‘m planning my day every morning: to distinguish goal orientated tasks from others and to do first things first.

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!