My TODO list is a .txt file on the desktop

About six months ago, I finally reached a breaking point: my email-based TODO system stopped working.

It was beyond its breaking point for a few years, actually... ever since I my average daily email volume increase from maybe 5-10 'important' emails to deal with to 50+.

My email-based TODO system used to go like this:

  1. Email myself things I deemed important enough to do the next day
  2. Next morning, when I checked my email, knock off the top item in that list, and try to work down the list a bit
  3. Anything else, forward that email again for the next day

Once an item got maybe 5-10 Fwd:s in the Subject line, I would decide whether to nix the TODO item entirely, or move it off into a Trello board—in either case, likely to be forgotten forever.

I didn't say the system was good.

But it did work, before my inbox became full of actually important stuff relating to running my business.

I hit inbox zero!

It's been over three years since the last time I completely drained my main inbox, and reached #inboxzero.

I've been hitting my inbox hard for the past year now, constantly fighting to get it down to < 50 emails... but every time I hit a holiday weekend, worked on a larger home project, or did something like publish a new project, the inbox would start flooding a bit more. I finally made it my goal this year to purge the emails and hit zero messages by the end of the July 4th weekend—and it worked!

Inbox Zero - July 4 2016

Here are a few things I've been doing this year to try to keep the volume down even further (ironically, the closer I've gotten to zero, the more daily emails I get—now up to about 120/day non-spam):

Tips for Staying Sane while Working from Home - phptek 2016 session

Jeff Geerling - Standing at desk in home office in his basement

I delivered a session on Tips for successfully working remote/working from home—both for employees and employers—at php[tek] 2016 in St. Louis today. This session was a bit shorter than yesterday's session on a HA Raspberry Pi cluster, but I had a lot of content I've been putting together for many months.

Apps I Like: BreakTime - Great for Desk Workers

Since I've started working full-time as a web developer a few years ago, I've probably spent more than 8 hours every workday (and a few hours most weekends) sitting perfectly still at a desk, moving only my fingers, and occasionally my arms, to type, move a mouse, and drink something here and there.

With reports that working standing up isn't really all it's made out to be (you still need to move around, and you're moving pressure points from your lower back to your lower legs...), and other reports stating that it's more about periodic movement and stretching that will help with musculoskeletal fitness, I've been thinking more about ways I can force myself to move.

Breaktime App for Mac