My Workflow from 5/23/06

*(This post is from May 23, 2006 — it was something that I wrote for an unknown reason, must have been for an old blog, and has been hiding in Yojimbo all this time. I am gone through and cleaned it up a bit and added in details as I remember them. I have also…

*(This post is from May 23, 2006 — it was something that I wrote for an unknown reason, must have been for an old blog, and has been hiding in Yojimbo all this time. I am gone through and cleaned it up a bit and added in details as I remember them. I have also tried to get any links to some of the software mentioned.)*

As I mentioned in a previous post I now use [OD4Contact]( as part of my daily workflow. The greatest benefit of this new workflow for me is organization. I have made some major switches in my workflow’s recently to get better organization. I now tag all my files (using [Quicksilver]( so that I can quickly find them with Spotlight. I do not use folders any more — instead I dump everything in the documents folder after I have tagged it. I use spotlight and the open recent commands in individual programs to find files that I need.

[Yojimbo]( organizes web clippings, links, and general notes and thoughts (including blog entries). I like Yojimbo because it has a nice little drawer that sits on the side of the screen and uses `.Mac` to sync with my other computer (( If memory serves I wrote this when I had either a Mac mini + Powerbook *or* a Mac Pro, Mac mini and MacBook Pro.)) . The heart of my workflow is OD4Contact, I take notes on all my phone calls with the program so that it is filed under the proper contact and is easily accessible for reference at later times ((This is before Highrise came out.)) .

Here is how I work…

### New Notes / Links / Web Archives ###

I create and store all of these in Yojimbo, since these are items that are for my personal use that I refer to often the .Mac syncing is a must — I can get the info on either computer without worrying. Yojimbo is also a much cheaper option for me that the seemingly more robust [DEVONThink]( I keep the drawer on the corner of my screen with all of the topics of my thoughts (my three companies, and the personal interest projects).

This is a place to brainstorm and really allows me to get down information fast and in an organized way.

### Files / Documents ###

The next step is organizing the pdf/doc/jpg/xls files, as well as others. When I make a new file I save it to a folder on my desktop labeled inbox. This folder is for all documents that I am currently working with and it can get very full. Before anything leaves this folder I tag the Spotlight comments section using Quicksilver. This is very fast and easy to integrate. I then move the files to the documents folder when I am finished working with them on a regular basis, this allows my fast recall using spotlight, but it is no longer cluttering my inbox folder.

I use [You Synchronize]( (no longer available) to keep both Macs in sync.

*(ed note: I do remember all the trouble and pane I went through to keep both Macs in sync the way I do today with Simplenote sync and Dropbox — I do not miss those days.)*

### Correspondence ###

As mentioned I use OD4Contact to keep all my correspondence in order — whenever I need to do something with correspondence or anything else I create a new task in OD4 and then assign the category, and contacts (seems tedious I know, but beneficial in the end). Then I use the new call/email/chat/mailing buttons to create that new correspondence, making sure to note when I contacted them, about what, what was said (phone call), and if follow-up is needed.

Email is handled categorically, with the Inbox remaining empty at all times (I can’t stand a full inbox). I offset this with five other mailboxes in Apple’s, I have one for my new company, which contains any information that deals with that company. The next is the Drafts mailbox that Apple creates for you. Then I have one that is called Follow-up, as you may have guessed I move all emails that I need to follow-up on in to this folder.

Next I have a folder marked “old” — this is simply where every email ends up before I archive it. Lastly I have a mailbox called Reference, which is emails that I need to reference for current projects and to-dos (especially tracking numbers and such). I compliment this mailbox system with Mailtags, Mail Act-on, and the Notification plug-in. I will let you figure out how best to use those mail plug-ins for yourself, but once you get used to them, they are a huge time saver. ((I can’t believe how long I have been using Mailtags and Mail Act-on.))

*(That’s all there was of the post, but I have a feeling it was longer at one point. Anyways it’s neat to look back at this and how much programs like OmniFocus or stuff from 37signals — hell just Dropbox — has changed everything.)*

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