How I use Instapaper

September 11, 2018

If I find something of interest and it has a link I add it to Instapaper.

Then, as I am reading each of the links I either read it and archive it or I move it to OmniFocus if it is something that I want to do something more with, like sharing it on my blog or buying it or testing out some programming thing.

A lot of links move through my Instapaper each month, but I try to reach zero at least once or twice each month to keep it under control.


September 10, 2018

I left Instapaper a year and a half ago. For various reasons, the most important one was that there was some weird issues with the app that seems to be solved now. Long story short, I used the app like normal for a while, but after a certain number of articles it was just “blank”, and then I had to force quit and start it again to continue.

After Instapaper I tried Pocket, still I hate how that app looks. I really hate it. Then I just used Pinboard for a long time. Before I got back to Instapaper when it became available again after the GDPR problems.

The reason I came back is that Instapaper has a reading experience that is better than everything else. And that is what matters the most.

I still think the having all your links in one place archive aspects of Pinboard are interesting, and I continue to import all of my stuff from Instapaper to Pinboard a few times a month.


September 09, 2018

Liked: EmacsCast | EmacsCast

This podcast is great, and have had a huge influence on how I use Emacs. Ditching Spacemacs again, and trying to use Emacs without Evil.


September 09, 2018

From Mastering Emacs:

Tinkering with Emacs is every Emacs hacker’s favorite pastime.

This is the best Emacs book I’ve read, I first read it when I was int he hostpital earlier this year, and I’ve re-read it this weekend now that I’m trying to use Emacs without Evil. It is amazing.

My take on Getting Things Done.

September 07, 2018

Even though the Getting Things Done book and audiobook have had an immense impact on me, I think the book itself is a pile of shit, and that only parts of the system makes sense. At least for me.

For me, the main things I have gotten out of GTD is the typical Capture, Process, Review, Do workflow and how to think about tasks as in Projects and Contexts.

A GTD system is not something you buy, but rather how you use the ideas from the book to get your stuff done. The combination of tools and how you use them are your GTD system.

The way I do it is that I have a number of different Inboxes. My e-mail, the Inbox in OmniFocus, a Field Notes notebook, a larger Leuchtturm1917 notebook and Drafts. Plus that I use my laptop bag as a physical Inbox.

Then I on given intervals process everything in those Inboxes. When you process something you might do it right now if it is a very small task, you may turn it into a project or throw it out because it is not relevant anymore. What most people think about as a “task” is usually a project in the GTD world, this is because you try to make tasks that are small, so that you don’t need to think too much about anything except the task to get it done.

The way I do it is that I think through everything I need to do, before I start, then I add that as individual tasks and order them in the right order. For example, let’s say I’m getting a new desk for my office, we bought it, and it arrived. A non GTD person would probably just have something like “Set up the new desk in Office”. For me it is more like:

  • Find my toolbox, and bring it to my office.
  • Move away all the stuff on top of my desk
  • Move out all the stuff from the drawers in my desk.
  • Move away all the boxes under my desk.
  • Vacum clean under the desk.
  • Disassemble it.
  • Move it to the garage
  • Move the new desk up
  • Unpack
  • Get rid of all the packaging
  • Assemble
  • Move back all the stuff I had on top of my old desk
  • Move back the boxes that was under it
  • Move stuff to the new drawers.
  • Get rid of any remaining packaging, spare parts etc.

I personally process daily, and I also do a mini-review each morning. During the mini review I schedule and tag stuff. This is used to figure out when I am going to do stuff, and what I should do before anything else. This have three levels for me

  1. Due dates, if it is due today, I’ll do it no matter what
  2. Flag, if I have time after doing everything that was due today I’ll start working on the flagged stuff.
  3. Then I start working on the stuff that are marked with “Next”.

When something has a due date, it means that I’ll have a serious problem if I do not do it before that date. Something with a flag means that it has priority before everything else, and next are just the stuff that are my focus today or the next few days.

A review is kind of the step after processing. This is when you go through everything in your system and delete the stuff that is not relevant anymore, flag, set due dates and organize stuff. I do a full review once a week, and a super short one each day. The full review is when I consider everything in my system and delete everything I can. While the mini review I do each day is just to set due dates for the next three days, flag stuff and add stuff to next.

Then I just do stuff according to the system outlined above.

I’m a huge fan a tags instead of Contexts. In a strict GTD system you use contexts instead of tags. I personally prefer tags because they hare how I think. I like to use a combination of them to add different views into stuff. Contexts and Tags give you another dimension to look at your tasks, than the projects do. One way to use it is to mark stuff with a place you need to do them or a person you need to have access to in order to do them etc.