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Google Talk as GTD Capture System

Written by Brett McKay

There’s this guy that I sit behind in property class that is always doing something else on his laptop instead of listening to the professor. For the past few week’s I’ve noticed him typing stuff into a little box in the bottom of his screen. At first I thought he was using an idea capture tool like GyroQ to capture his ideas. Instant productivity envy and fear that this guy was going to set the curve on the exam filled my soul. But then I got a closer look. The guy is really just chatting on Google Talk. The envy and fear left, but an idea was born. Google Talk GTD Capture System.

Here’s how it works.

First, create a “dummy” account with Google. This is the account you will be “chatting” with.

Second, Send messages to yourself on Google Talk when you have an idea. That’s it.


The really handy part is what happens to those messages after you send them. All chat sessions on Google Talk are saved in your Gmail account under “Chats.” This has three very powerful advantages to other idea capture tools.

  • First, your notes are filed in chronological order, so doing daily and weekly reviews won’t require remembering when you wrote that note. The date is already there and filed accordingly.

Second, you can add categories to your chat sessions to yourself. Thus, you have the ability to easily add contexts to your notes. If you have GTDGMail

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  • Finally, you have the power of Gmail’s search feature at your disposal. Need all your notes on that trip to Rome you’re planning? Type in “trip” or “Rome” or whatever and let Gmail retrieve your notes. It’s like having a reference file without having to really file anything.

I’ve just started to use this system and have been really happy with it. I’ve been looking for a good computer based capture system, but have not been happy with the plethora of digital scratch pads or sticky notes that are out there. Sure, they’re handy for writing an idea down, but organizing them was a pain. Now I have Google to do that for me. I love you Google.

Do you believe in money(or law school) magic?

Written by Brett McKay

The New York Times has an article about studies showing how our brains are wired for magical thinking. Even highly skeptical people cling to private rituals that they think somehow will help determine the outcome of an event in their life. Even when one knows that it’s not rational to believe that wearing a certain shirt or carrying a certain penny will change the outcome of our life, we still do it because it brings a bit of confidence.

So, do you believe in money magic? Some people do, like Steven Palvina. Here’s a page with spells to attract money. Prosperity gospel leaders like Joel Olsten teach their followers that if they pray for wealth, God will bless them with it. Has money magic brought you prosperity?

I don’t really have any money magic rituals that I do. However, I am pretty superstitious when it comes to law school. I have a set routine that I do everyday. If I break it, I feel like I’m going to jinx myself.