Monday, February 11, 2013

362 Three suggestion/reviews for musicians.

A new computer monitor

I decided that using a small laptop screen was becoming something of a slow down to productive music work. I realized I was more productive when I used a desktop for music work in spite of the obvious benefits of being mobile. So I dug out my old Apple display and the ADC to DVI adapter I bought for it 10 years ago. Either the display or the adapter stopped working because I got nothing when I turned it on. So either a new display or new adapter was in order. The cost of another adapter was rather high so I checked out new displays and was shocked to find them so reasonable in price. I didn't get a giant monitor, I got one about the same size as what I had before, but the benefits have already born fruit in having a larger digital workspace.

A pair of Vox Amphones

Amphones are for guitar players and bass players and I think these might be as useful as adding a really cool new pedal. They're a simple pair of Audio Technica headphones with a Vox amp modeler builtin. They sound surprisingly good and make practicing quietly a lot more fun.

David Allen's Getting Things Done books/audiobooks/podcasts

After trying to read this book several times and giving up (I was put off by it's executive/California double speak language before I could finish it) I listened to these excellent Back to Work series of Podcasts and decided to give it a try once again. This time I went all in, I bought the iBooks version, the AudioBook version, and erm ah found an out of print audiobook version called Getting Things Done... Fast.

As was the case before, reading the book almost stopped me in my tracks, but I switched back and forth with the audiobook version and thanks to a very long daily commute was able to finish the book in a short period of time. I then switched to the Getting Things Done... Fast version and found it much easier to listen to and get more insight then the rather stiff presentation of the book and audiobook official versions. I also went over the Back to Work Podcasts again and got more out of them this time.

I think this is really good stuff for musicians and other artistic kinds of people in particular. I've found the methodology, combined with the Mac and iOS App Things, to have created a renewed sense of purpose to most of my days and activities. (Yes nerds I know that Omni-Focus is a more super powered GTDish App but I'm using the tool I've already got to great effect.) I've been at it for about around a month and so far so good.

A simple example of GTD:
Instead of a to do list of nebulous actions like-move old podcast files to new blogger page, GTD wants you to break things down into smaller steps that have a very visible task for each. In this case it meant these steps; install iWeb from old iLife disk into Mac, Run Updates on Mac, Copy the files out of the Domain file into Dropbox, research on computer how to publish with blogger and dropbox, update feedburner info, copy the podcast information into new draft posts on blogger, etc...)

Rather then having to make something magically happened, I made it so that when I was at even my dumbest brain drained moment I could move this project forward. Within five days of  initial planning the project was finished. No big pile of energy was used I did little tasks that helped make the whole project creep closer to finished. This is something that sat on an old to do list for about 3 years. It feels great not to have it floating any longer.