My office, remade

My home office has gone through a few upgrades the last few months. It have had a few problems:

1. A lot of cables hanging from the office table.

2. Very little available desk space.

3. A lot of distracting objects, which are not used so often.

3. The office drawers were full of “stuff”.

4. It have not been child-proof. Mainly because of the cables, but also a lot of boxes standing on the floor. Those are fun to empty…

5. Not so much free floor space.

I have been at home taking care of our youngest daughter 4 days per week (6 months in total, now only 4 weeks left). I have had the time to organize our home for the days when both me and my wife will be working 100%. I have been able to do this when she is sleeping before dinner.

Before: It has been almost impossible to let her play in the office, so either I had to have her in my lap if I needed to check anything on the computer or she had to be outside the room. Neither of the solutions was satisfying.

I have quite a lot of desk space in my home office. I use our old kitchen table 1850*1050 mm, but the area for working had been smaller and smaller when adding new gadgets as the label printer, extra screen and the Fujisu ScanSnap S1500.

I am quite satisfied with my “paper archive” which is behind me at “swivel distance”, recommended in Getting Things Done by David Allen.

I can recommend the blog post:

The blog is great in other respects as well, but the post above gave me the inspiration to start.

1. I ordered a monition arm The price was 295 sek (about 38 Euro), which is actually very cheap if you compare what you get for the money.

2. I moved my the printer, label-printer and the in/out-boxes away from my desk (no pictures from before but I can assure you I could not fit much more than an A4 next to my mouse. I used two reading tables which I had for a few years which I bought for putting the laptop next to me when sitting in the sofa, but since the Ipad entered the home they had not been used-at least not for the laptops (one for my wife as well).

3. Cables before-After

When I received the monitor arm I got started with the cables. I disconnected all the cables and started over. First by mounting the monitor on the arm and worked my way from there.

I collected the cables in “Rabalder” cable collector from IKEA:

I already had this at home, but It was bought and not used for a long time. When cleaning up the storage in the basement i found it, and now it got to use . Quite ironic that organizing material was filling up the storage, instead of being used 🙂

I nailed the loose cables along the wall. Maybe not so nice looking, but I already had the cable clips and I rather do it fast than get stuck. That’s how I work.

4. As a bonus I moved my gym ball from the floor and got use of an old basket ball ring – also found in the basement cleaning!


My GTD+Evernote system

I have been thinking about and starting to write this blog post so many times. I think I have something to contribute to the GTD/Evernote world, when I document my system and hopefully get some feedback how to do things in another way.

Why start a blog? I started to write a reply after listening to “The Elephant Channel” podcast nbr 16 where John Mayson made a comment about how to set up a GTD+Evernote system with tagging. This blog-post is much a reply to his and to David Gold’s book “Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Capturing Everything and Getting Things Done, 2nd Edition”. It is always interesting to listen to people who have implemented a GTD system for Evernote. I have read both versions of ‘s book and it has given me a giant leap forward in my personal GTD system.

My system consists of both tags and notebooks. The notebooks reflects the “Levels of work” in GTD 0-50 000 ft. Take a look at my Evernote setup or take a look att the picture below


I have clear view of what I want with my GTD-system and it involves both tags and notebooks. I have tried using only tags, but it failed since I am too lazy. Please tell me if I am wrong. A few statements:
-I don’t like to fiddle with the nesting of tags

-I don’t think it is efficient to remove tags for projects when they are finished or from action notes when they go to another state (from today->next->waiting->calendar). I rather move the note itself, since I can mark several notes and drop them where I want.

-I want direct reach of my different levels of work (0-50000 feet) from my notebooks. The levels are perfect to use for notebooks, because you never would like to put any note in two different levels. Why? Any level above will describe several lower levels or not be there at all. Then you would use note linking and tags to define the connection between different levels.

-My action notebooks 0.* are different levels of actions 1.* notebooks are Project notebooks (10000 feet) 2.* are Responsibilities and focus notebook 3. 1-2 year goals 4. 3-5 year goals vision and strategy (40000 feet) 5. Life (50000 feet)

-The most work is done within Actions, Projects and Responsabilities and there I have copied most of Daniel’s system of one action per note and links to the action notes in the project note. The links are not 100% necessary though, since I have the project tag which always starts with .something. I have added a twist to Daniel’s system .b.something means that it is my private project (My name is Björn ->.b and for work projects I add .p.something. For bigger projects I have .p.something.somethingLower. This is very good for searching! If I search for tag:*.p.* I get all my work projects and if I search for tag:*.somethingLower I get… you get it. It is also very good support for finding the right tag, since it narrows down how many you can choose from. When you start typing tags on the Iphone you don’t even need to start with the .b., it searches all the words in the tag – would be appreciated

-I put all my ACTIVE levels of work in a !GTD folder Done actions, finished and someday projects and Reference files are put in Archive stack

At last: What do I need to be implemented in Evernote to make my system more efficient?

1 connection to google calendar. Today I use Evernote links, but then I need to sync and copy paste into a calendar. It is OK, but if i could send an invitation from Evernote I think my life would be complete and I could die happy…

2. Saved searches links. Perfect scenario: In every project note I have the saved search link at the top and when I browse the projects I could open the project note on the side and browse to whatever notebook and click the search link and find the related notes, goals, reference files or whatever. Today I do this manually by searching for the tag after selecting the right notebook