First Post

Just breakin’ in the ol’ Word­Press. I just land­ed in NJ and am on a bit of vaca­tion. Very Nice!

Trying A New GTD System

Note: This post is a blast from the past! It was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in 2008 and some of the prod­ucts men­tioned in the text have changed sig­nif­i­cant­ly since then.

I’m fed up with MonkeyGTD.

The soft­ware has been in alpha for what seems like an eter­ni­ty, and must be at least a year. This is most like­ly because there seems to only be one devel­op­er on the project.

Dear Simon Baird:

Please get help! You have an awe­some soft­ware, which is only hin­dered by its lack of speed. I know you’re work­ing to improve its speed, and already have, but the releas­es are not sta­ble and I can’t even fig­ure out how to use them.
So please, Pret­ty please, solic­it some well-intentioned open source coders?


With that out of the way, let’s look at my past sys­tems, and then the new choic­es. Con­tin­ue read­ing “Try­ing A New GTD Sys­tem”

The Perks of Being A 10 (And how to do it)

I’m sorry, we cannot give you the tickets now. It is impossible.”

Even though she’s speak­ing eng­lish as her sec­ond lan­guage, hear­ing ‘impos­si­ble’ is not a promis­ing sign.

You were sup­posed to check in 2 hours before your flight.”
“Even though it was delayed by 4 hours? How could we know that?!”
“It’s okay, let’s just relax. We need to get on this plane before it leaves, so how else can you help us?”

My trav­el­ing com­pan­ion is get­ting heat­ed and almost just yelled at the RyanAir ser­vice desk employ­ee. Doing that would get us nowhere, so I appeal to her for help in our sit­u­a­tion.

If I said that the same thing could get you dis­counts, pref­er­en­tial treat­ment at bars and restau­rants, help you make more friends, do bet­ter at busi­ness, and get free stuff, would you want it?

If it were free to learn and prac­tice, and would make you a hap­pi­er per­son, would you do it? Con­tin­ue read­ing “The Perks of Being A 10 (And how to do it)”

Vannes Is Better Than Paris? Have The Most Fun In Brittany

I believe that taking trips makes you learn things about yourself, especially when traveling solo. For instance, on this trip, I fully realized how much I like being in huge cities—New York, Paris, Barcelona… the culture is fascinating and I get a kick out of how some things are the same wherever you are. For instance: the attitude of a big-city-dweller seems quite similar from NYC to Paris.

That said, I think that Vannes provided a more authentic experience.

(Vannes’ pop­u­la­tion is around 55,000)

Lit­tle towns have their own cul­ture, his­to­ry, and way of life. It’s a far cry from the hus­tle of vis­it­ing one of the afore­men­tioned cities!

So then, here’s how to have the most fun while you’re there:

  • Go find the park
    Being out in the sun makes me real­ly hap­py. One of my first days in Vannes, I just walked around and end­ed up find­ing a duck pond and sur­round­ing walk­ing trail. I was able to sit there and see peo­ple pass­ing by, and watch the birds fly­ing around. It felt great—sitting there and writ­ing in my jour­nal, hav­ing basi­cal­ly no desires and no agen­da. Ahhh, relax­ation.

5 Cheap Ways To Cope In A New City

Let’s recap: It’s my first day in France and I’ve finally met up with my CouchSurfing host, Raphael. He graciously took me to his apartment to drop off my bags, and now I’ve been kicked out and must entertain myself until tonight when we meet up again.

1. Walk around until you are lost, and then find your way back

This serves a few purposes—you’ll bet­ter acquaint your­self with the neigh­bor­hood and you will devel­op more of a sense of direc­tion for the future. Also, you’ll find numer­ous use­ful things: metro stops, bars/cafes/tobacco shops, cool stores, parks… If the place you spy is open, go in and check it out! If not, just take note of where it is and come back lat­er.

Design Bookstore!

This was an awe­some store that I found in Paris, right by the Canal. The name was exact­ly what it was—a store devot­ed exclu­sive­ly to design books! If I lived near here, I’m sure that place would become a very expen­sive habit; all the books they stocked were awe­some! There was an entire sec­tion devot­ed to books on typog­ra­phy and anoth­er exclu­sive­ly about col­or. I browsed this tiny store for about an hour.

When you get tired of walk­ing and brows­ing, it’s time to take a break. Con­tin­ue read­ing “5 Cheap Ways To Cope In A New City”

12 Sites I Use to Get More Awesomeness From Life

(also: My Quest for Maximum Awesome)

Note: This is a post from my old blog! I’ve res­ur­rect­ed it through the mag­ic of Be aware that some links and things may be bro­ken, and I hope you enjoy read­ing it.

League of Awe­some­ness” graph­ic stolen from

So, I’ve embarked on what I like to call my “Quest for Awe­some­ness”. I think it start­ed a few years ago when I was nick­named “Awe­somer Alex” by my friend Boxy… but that’s anoth­er sto­ry.

Since then there have been many devel­op­ments in this Quest. One notable point was when I found out about GTD. My friends and fam­i­ly thought it weird that I was read­ing books on per­son­al pro­duc­tiv­i­ty… them think­ing this would become a run­ning theme which still exists.

Okay, before I get ahead of myself, here’s the list:

  1. The Blog of Tim Fer­riss — Tim wrote “The 4-Hour Work Week” which is one of the best books I’ve read in a long while. In fact, I was so impressed after read­ing a friend’s copy that I actu­al­ly went out and bought it. He posts here strate­gies for design­ing your lifestyle in order to achieve max­i­mum enjoy­ment.
  2. Steve Pavli­ “Per­son­al Devel­op­ment for Smart Peo­ple” — I’m pret­ty sure I found this site through Life­hack­er. Steve has a lot of awe­some arti­cles here which cen­ter around per­son­al devel­op­ment. I high­ly rec­om­mend check­ing out some of the value-assessment exer­cis­es he has, they’re great for find­ing out what is real­ly impor­tant to you.
  3. Life­hack­er — No way could I ignore this behe­moth of life-hackery. A multi-author blog, Life­hack­er focus­es on tips and tweaks that help you get through the day. They also review and cre­ate soft­ware, and thor­ough­ly cat­e­go­rize every­thing. If you want to sub­scribe to their RSS feed, I high­ly rec­om­mend using their RSS feed fil­ters
  4. 43 Fold­ers — One of the orig­i­nal GTD-centric sites, 43 Fold­ers has got­ten an over­haul and is now a multi-user project. Any­one can join and con­tribute, but only the best make it to the front page. Great tips and great com­mu­ni­ty start­ed by Mer­lin Mann.

Each one of these sites is a trea­sure trove of valu­able materials—exercises, strate­gies, chal­lenges, and inspi­ra­tion. I’m sub­scribed to all of their RSS feeds and read them all.

Anoth­er impor­tant moment in my devel­op­ment was when I read The Game by Neil Strauss. Peo­ple seem to have mixed opin­ions about the mate­r­i­al he presents in this book, and with good rea­son. Under­stand­ing social dynam­ics and using them to your advan­tage is con­tro­ver­sial in itself, and Strauss presents a cross-section of this sub­ject.

I can under­stand why peo­ple don’t like it: lots of guys in this Com­mu­ni­ty are sketchy and have less-than savory motives. How­ev­er, if you read Strauss’ excel­lent nar­ra­tive, it ends on a very good note—that the pur­pose of “The Game” in the first place is to bet­ter your­self and get what you want from life. That said, here are my favorite 4 pickup-related sites: Con­tin­ue read­ing “12 Sites I Use to Get More Awe­some­ness From Life”

Huge Zombie Botnet Threatens the Internet!

Holy crap, This is the scari­est arti­cle I’ve read in months! Appar­ent­ly, there is an enor­mous bot­net cre­at­ed by a worm/malware called Storm. This one is par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ing because it’s actu­al­ly attack­ing the researchers try­ing to fig­ure it out! Attack­ing, in this case, is over­load­ing their com­put­ers with so much spam and net­work traf­fic that they SHUT DOWN. Crazy!
Link to arti­cle.

Friday Fun: The Internet Crash of 2007

We’ve post­ed very seri­ous­ly before about the impli­ca­tions of stor­ing all your infor­ma­tion online, and rant­ed about how much it sucks when webapps you depend upon go down. The Onion, how­ev­er, took a much more humor­ous look at what would hap­pen if the entire inter­net “crashed.” Warn­ing: hit­ting that play but­ton won’t boost your pro­duc­tiv­i­ty (hey, it’s Fri­day in July!) but it’ll at least make you smile. Enjoy.

Give and get items in your community with Gigoit


A little bit Craigslist, a little bit Freecycle, Gigoit helps you unload unwanted items and find wanted items, all within your local area.

Basically a fancy classified-ads site, Gigoit lets you post items you want to give away (with up to three photos) and search for available items in your area. No money changes hands; this is all about free stuff. The site stands out by offering RSS feeds, a Google Gadget, Google Earth views and an attractive, simple, Web 2.0-style interface.

Like so many community-driven sites (Parentography comes to mind), Gigoit will either succeed or fail depending on how many users join up and participate. (I found all of four items up for grabs within 50 miles.) Can it take on the likes of Craigslist and Freecycle? Share (or give away) your two cents in the comments. — Rick Broida