Jean and James talk about the dilemna of things that hold sentimental value or other meaning. After a week clearing things from the house where he grew up in NJ, James finds that some things don’t feel right to simply throw away, but don’t have a real practical use either. Jean plans Micro Camp and approaches the finish line on a major project while James approaches a classic NJ pizza.
This episode Jean and James are in the ballpark of closing loops in progress. Jean moves closer to completing the sale of her house. James thought he would be closing a long-standing loop by bringing his car in for service for the day, but it was not as easy as that. Plus, James goes to an actual ballpark.
In this episode Jean and James talk about open loops that aren’t tasks to be done but life’s little mysteries to be investigated. James tells the story of a few household mysteries deferred and eventually solved and the satisfaction that brings. Jean gives an update on her house sale and move. Finally a brief discussion of everybody’s favorite productivity topic—puddles.
Jean talks about her experience over the last month, working with a professional organizer to clear all the stuff out of her house, hold an estate sale, and downsize for her new apartment. From the style of an organizer to the nitty gritty of what they can do, there is a lot to think about when hiring a professional. In Jean’s case, it’s been a fantastic experience and a way to stay sane during the course of moving.
In this episode Jean and James talk about recovering after a week focusing on the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). James ended up underneath an avalanche of email larger than usual, even after such a busy week. Conversation turns to causes for the James’ overstuffed inbox. Jean gives an update on her move. Jean and James lament over Apple Fitness stand goals and broken streaks.
We didn’t do a weekly review, but we really focused on the important must-dos this week. James debuted a new song Futureproof at the latest LIVE near WWDC extravaganza, which also featured a remote panel of Breakpoints who have played with James over the years. Jean held an estate sale at her house to clear out furniture and items that are still useful or valuable to other people. We were both a bit overwhelmed by these huge projects, and we do an even shorter episode than last week.
In one of the least lengthy episodes in the series Jean and James talk about the things that currently have them short on time.
James has released the third episode telling the story of James Dempsey and the Breakpoints and is prepping for next week’s free LIVE near WWDC show. Jean is preparing to turn her home into a pop-up store for the weekend—having an estate sale to help her superfluous stuff find good homes.
Jean talks about the importance of remembering to ask others for help when needed. James prepares for going through ‘WWDC Tilt’ for the next few months following next week’s conference.
This time around, James‘ weekly to-do spills over into the rest of the episode. It’s the just-announced LIVE near WWDC 2021 event which celebrates the 20th anniversary of James Dempsey and the Breakpoints. The conversation turns to plans for the event and digging through a few decades worth of hard drives, laptops, and videotapes to find materials for the event. Jean talks about her own efforts to reduce tech clutter, including an organization near her that not only provides refurbished machines to those who need them, but also teaches how to do the refurbishing! Also, a little story of the Titanium PowerBook that could.
Having a checklist for a recurring project is a good way to free your mind from worrying about small but important details. Before 2020, the checklist that both of us used the most was our travel packing list. On the eve of James’ first post-pandemic trip (to Disneyland, of course), we talk about what needs to be updated on that trusted list.
In this episode Jean and James talk about how life is beginning to change as they and so many others become vaccinated. James celebrates his first hair cut in over a year. Jean continues to settle into her new place. Jean is looking forward to more casual gatherings with family and friends. James misses playing music with other musicians. And looking at his trusted system, James is finding many projects put on hold can now be made active again. Both wonder if they will return to their pre-pandemic patterns or if new habits developed during the past year have taken hold.
James found the “get out of jail free card,” and Jean is happy to use it.
Upon rereading the GTD book, James came across this definition of the weekly review: “It’s whatever you need to do to get your head empty again and get oriented for the next couple of weeks.” No matter which tool you use, from simple written notes to OmniFocus, getting yourself oriented for the next couple weeks is the goal. Considering that neither Jean or James did their official weekly review this week, it was nice to let us ourselves off the hook.
PS: It’s our third anniversary! We’ve been publishing an episode every Friday since April 29, 2018. 🎂🎂🎂
In this episode Jean and James discuss the announcments from the recent Apple ‘Spring Forward’ event. Will Jean get a new M1 iMac? Does James misplace his keys often enough to justify getting an AirTag? The conversation turns to product color a number of times leading James to a minor chromatic epiphany. Both Jean and James are tempted by the new iPad Pro but may stand pat with their existing models. James is looking forward to the new Apple TV remote. Also the secret fictional origins of The Weekly Review podcast.
Jean made a big decision this week. After 13 years, she’s moving—and that wasn’t a project or goal she had noted anywhere in OmniFocus. James offers good advice, both on how to look at big decisions in the context of a trusted system and how to process house projects that will never be done now.
And we affirm our podcast’s mission statement: we don’t claim to be productivity gurus, just two friends who help each other get things done.
This episode Jean and James talk about their most plentiful and precious digital assets—photos. Jean expresses frustration at not being able to find an Easter-themed photo of guinea pigs Grace and Ada from a past year. James describes how even a dark, blurry photo of time spent with friends is a great way to bring the moment back into memory.
Jean sets out to prune her photo library of unwanted photos that don’t make the cut—with unintentional guinea pig butt photos being a surprisingly common category. James continues to be a digital pack rat with even the bad photos as he continues to purchase more drive and clould storage over time.
A photo by James looking up at the Incredibles Arch on Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure.
This was taken on the last day of James’ last visit to Disneyland before the pandemic.
A Christmas photo of guinea pigs Grace and Ada by Jean.
The sort of photo, with a guinea pig butt to the camera, that Jean plans on deleting.
We started this episode out without a specific topic, but that didn’t stop us from reviewing what things we got done this week and how we did it. We also took the opportunity to talk about Dance Party! and give James kudos for completing three months of his fun automated exercise program.
This episode, Jean and James talk about their strategies for managing passwords. Both have seperately arrived at similar but not identical approaches. Jean admits that she sometimes saves pieces of information in 1Password and forgets it is there when she needs it. James realizes that he needs to take care of the various warnings in his password managers. Both Jean and James conclude that a little bit of time spent tending to your passwords can go a long way and both intend to add a recurring periodic task in their trusted systems to do so. Finally, the duo bats .500 this week in accomplishing weekly reviews and weekly to-dos, but who did and who didn’t? (Hint: J did but J didn’t.)
This week we turn our attention to one of those essential but often cluttered repositories: our Contacts database. Jean embarks on a quest to clean up her Contacts, organize people into groups, update info and delete some names too. It feels a bit like the Inbox Zero projects we did when we launched the podcast, but the goal is not to reduce it zero, of course!
With spring fast approaching, Jean and James discuss a variety of topics in the waning weeks of winter. James procrastinates tackling some tasks as he eagerly awaits the arrival of a whiteboard. Jean reveals the proper way to dispose of 2020 wall calendars. James extolls the virtues of unplanned activities while Jean suggests a strategy to get Dexter the cat drinking from his water fountain again. Other topics include mangled math and more examples why its better to keep things in your trusted system instead of your head. It’s a wintery mix.
Life may be just a bowl of cherries…but it’s also filled with the open loops that sap mental and creative energy.
The good news is that we both completed a weekly review this week. The better news is that we have identified some aspects of our trusted systems that could be refined, making it more likely that we will continue to make those reviews weekly in the future.
For the 150th episode, Jean and James talk about enhancing your productivity by a seemingly unproductive approach—doing nothing. Or at least doing something else. Topics include sleep, background processing, and James’ dad’s oft-repeated three day rule. The conversation then turns to ways of reacting to life’s little mishaps.
Inspired by the winter weather emergencies in Oregon and Texas, James and Jean revisited the topic of preparedness. After last summer’s wildfire emergencies, Jean realized it made sense to download videos in advance in case of internet failure, rather than using power bank reserves to run the internet for streaming video. We also talk about the ideas that Ben Brooks outlined in a recent article about “go bags.”
As we approach the anniversary of when many locations began shutting things down due to the pandemic, Jean and James reflect on various things that were commonplace in their lives but that they now haven’t experienced or done in over a year. Other topics include competing Groundhog Day groundhogs, the atrophy of packing skills, and whether James misses his sister or Disneyland more.