The Weekly Review

The Weekly Review

www.theweeklyreview.fm
Whether you are new to task management or you’ve fallen off the wagon a few times, this podcast is for you. Once a week, Jean and James review their progress toward a more organized (and less stressful) way of life, and talk about highlights, challenges, and questions. Sometimes they ask the experts to chime in. But the focus will always be on how two friends, who not productivity gurus, figure out how to make this system work for them longterm.


61: Post-WWDC Wrap Up and Twitting Quitter
Jun 14
This week Jean and James talk about their time at WWDC 2019. Bringing a long-planned project to its conclusion, the LIVE near WWDC concert was well-received. The annoucements from Apple hold promise to make developers and users alike more productive.…
60: Renegotiating Commitments
Jun 7
Your trusted system holds commitments you have made to others and also to yourself. From there, you can fulfil your commitment or drop the ball. In this episode, Jean and James talk about a third option—renegotiating your committments. This episode also…
59: The WWDC Week In Review Preview
May 31
James and Jean review their plans for WWDC week in San Jose, and what is still on their to-do lists. James reveals the secret phrase needed to obtain The Weekly Review stickers (hint: just ask!), and Jean talks about efforts not to overthink the…
58: Talking About App Camp For Girls
May 24
This past week, App Camp For Girls announced some difficult news. In this episode, Jean talks about her history as founder of the non-profit and aspects of the program, including the curriculum and volunteers, who have had such an impact on many lives.…
57: I Have To Laugh
May 17
So we lasted a whole five weeks since our Emailiversary show (Ep. 52) before we took up the topic of email processing again, probably because it has been a hard week and we are behind on email. Luckily we both have a sense of humor about it. We also…
56: Whelmed
May 10
As the annual James Dempsey and the Breakpoints LIVE near WWDC benefit concert for App Camp For Girls approaches, James reports he has spent the past few days being ‘whelmed’ with show preparations. Jean and James talk about these sort of times when you…
55: Decluttering Sentimental Junk
May 3
Jean returns from a week in Florida with her dad and siblings, where they took on the task of clearing out the home that the family has occupied since 1963. She shares her fresh insights into how to deal with stuff that has sentimental value, how to…
54: A Very Tasty Pepper With Special Guest Ish ShaBazz
Apr 26
Jean and James talk with Ish ShaBazz, an app developer whose company Illuminated Bits recently released Capsicum, a new approach to the task management notebook. We learn what led Ish to the idea of building a notebook app, the power of round-trip…
53: A Personal Investment
Apr 19
In this episode Jean and James discuss how finding the right tool or appliance can change your daily routine for the better as well as have a significant effect on your day to day life. Jean tells the story of a hair dryer so good that it has put a bit of…
52: Emailiversary
Apr 12
It’s been a whole year since Jean and James started their quest to get their email inboxes under control. Find out how they did over the past twelve months. Jean talks about the satisfaction of banishing marketing emails from her inbox. James reveals the…
51: Someday/Maybe (or Maybe Not) Domain Names
Apr 5
Jean and James continue to ferret out overlooked inboxes and lists as part of our efforts to make sure that obligations and projects are correctly categorized. This week we look at a common spot where Someday/Maybe dreams hang out: the domain names that…
50: Fifty!
Mar 29
Jean and James celebrate their 50th episode by actually doing full weekly reviews. The discussion includes recommiting to doing full weekly reviews and techniques to help get back on track. In a celebratory mood, the conversation ranges from including a…
49: This Was Supposed To Be The Fun Part Of The Week
Mar 22
As James continues to identify the points of friction that have hindered regular weekly review completion, Jean looks at doing daily reviews to process all the inboxes that silently accumulate obligations as a way of minimizing the weekly procrastination.…
48: Diagnosing Some Review Avoidance
Mar 15
The weekly review is a key piece of keeping your trusted system humming along, but it can also feel like a daunting, onerous task to be avoided. This week James talks with Jean about his diagnosis as to why he has not performed a full weekly review in a…
47: The Time-Sensitive Micro Project
Mar 8
This week, Jean tells James about her latest productivity strategy, the micro project, and how she used a repeating 30-minute timer to get ready for the trip and actually leave the house early with all her pre-flight actions checked off. It is amazing how…
46: Finding, Keeping, and Dusting
Mar 1
This week Jean and James discuss collections and the seemingly conflicting goals of accumulating collectables and reducing clutter. Jean describes the few things she collects and how she resists the temptation to begin new collections. James talks about…
45: See What Happens When You Leave The House!
Feb 22
By definition, curveballs are not anticipated and they don’t fit neatly into your time management system. Last week was not the best week, and we have been working through some unanticpated disruptions to our plans to be productive since then. Turns out,…
44: Not The Best Week
Feb 15
This week Jean and James discuss those unexpected things in life that can mentally and emotionally knock the wind out of you. James shares the sad news of the sudden passing of his cat Dinah. Jean talks about a long-planned trip being disrupted by a…
43: You Can Always Make More Money
Feb 8
This week, we look at some principles of budgeting your money and whether these principles can also apply to budgeting your time. You Need A Budget aka YNAB YNAB Podcast: Rule One
42: LIfe, the Universe and What’s In Our Junk Drawers
Feb 1
In this episode, our interpid organizers delve into that alternate dimension that seems to defy organization: the junk drawer. Join Jean and James for suggestions, tips, and laughter as they discuss items ordinary and extraordinary (but mostly ordinary)…
41: Productivity + Fun = PodCon 2 in Seattle
Jan 25
James and Jean are back from PodCon 2 in Seattle, a gathering of podcasters and podcast fans of all stripes. They share some of the fun moments as well as their tips for getting the most out of a conference. TripIt Mac OS Calendar Suggestions Photo:…
40: Organizational Fatigue
Jan 18
In this episode, Jean and James talk about those times when organizational fun turns into organizational fatigue. James describes his experience going off the rails of his trusted system while traveling over the holidays. Jean recounts her difficulty…
39: A Very Long Story, With Special Guest Rosemary Orchard
Jan 11
We have a special guest this week, Rosemary Orchard, co-author of Build Your OmniFocus Workflow. Rosemary was inspired to create a task management system that worked the way she wanted it to, thanks to by her school experience with planners and a little…
38: Doing What Comes Naturally
Jan 4
As the new year begins, Jean and James review the model of natural planning described in our favorite personal productivity book. Jean talks about her plan for leaving corporate social media platforms in 2019 and how that will affect how she connects with…
37: We Are Doing This For All Eternity
Dec 28, 2018
As the year 2018 draws to a close, Jean and James decide to take a week off from worrying about the state of their inboxes as they look ahead to plans for the New Year. We look at the efficacy of resolutions and when is really the best time to resolve to…
36: Holiday Grab Bag
Dec 21, 2018
In this episode Jean and James reach into the holiday grab bag to see what they will find. Topics include gift wrapping, making your own personal ‘Best of 2018’ list, thoughts on gift exchanges and sharing experiences as opposed to giving things. Plus,…
35: James Is My Trusted System
Dec 14, 2018
Jean and James do a trusted system status review. Are we still keeping in our heads? (Spoiler alert: a few things.) Are we still using our email inboxes as to-do lists? (Spoiler alert: sometimes.) Nevertheless, a weekly podcast is a clear sign that we…
34: The Biggest Of Projects
Dec 7, 2018
Jean and James talk about making bigger plans that go beyond keeping on top of the day to day routine. Jean challenges James to a game of twenty questions about a big plan for the coming year. James talks a bit about an upcoming trip to Europe. The…
33: On The Hunt For The Perfect To-Do List App, with guest Aleen Simms
Nov 30, 2018
The Weekly Review welcomes its first guest! Aleen Simms, founder of App Launch Map and long-time App Camp For Girls volunteer, has been on the hunt for the perfect to-do list app. She even has a bulleted list of 10 requirements for what she is looking…
32: Over The River and Through The Security Checkpoint
Nov 23, 2018
For the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Jean and James talk about travel tips, flight anxiety, and packing lists. They also tell anecdotes of trips gone awry that show sometimes life can be enjoyable when you don’t reach your destination quite the way you…
31: Holiday Hacks and Productivity Gifts
Nov 16, 2018
James and Jean share little ideas and hacks for making the holidays less stressful. We also take a moment to reflect on what we are thankful for, and it turns out we are very thankful for our favorite software. Do you have any holiday hacks or…
30: Being A Better Capturer-er
Nov 9, 2018
In this episode Jean and James talk about the capture phase—getting things out of your head and into your trusted system. Topics include capturing commitments with a short timeline, some Siri frustrations, Post-it Notes, and techniques to avoid being…
29: No Trusted System Can Overcome Human Incompetence
Nov 2, 2018
Trick or treat? It’s the week of Halloween and a major Apple product announcement, aka two productivity busters. We look at human failure in scheduling and Jean’s epic red wine bottle disaster. There’s no trusted system that can overcome human…
28: The Big Email Processing Episode
Oct 26, 2018
In this bonus-length episode Jean and James compare and contrast two services they use to keep their email inboxes manageable: Mailstrom and SaneBox. Each service has its own core ‘superpower’ and philosophy as well as areas where their functionality…
27: Do You Know What’s Next?
Oct 19, 2018
Jean and James trade stories of productivity milestones, as well as tasks they need help with. Jean finally completed her 2017 tax return, with help from PDFpenPro and TurboTax. James is working on an app that he’s not ready to announce yet, and he’s…
26: Apps We Use: Built-In or Third-Party?
Oct 12, 2018
Jean and James discuss that dilemna of the digital age: Use third-party apps or the apps built-in to iOS and macOS? Jean uses a fair number of third-pary apps while James tends to stick to the built-in apps, with a few exceptions. Topics include…
25: I Feel The Need, The Need For Feeds
Oct 5, 2018
Jean and James explore the potential for increased productivity by incorporating RSS feeds into their daily workflows. Jean has been using RSS readers for years while James jumps in with both feet and reports on his experiences. Both are excited by a…
24: What’s The Forecast? A Special Extra Episode of TWR
Sep 28, 2018
Episode 23 was all about getting started with our new iPhones and iOS 12. But there was other big news this week: OmniFocus 3 for the Mac was released. We realized we needed to do a special second episode to talk about James’s article What’s The…
23: The Greatest Productivity (And Anti-Productivity) Tool The World Has Known
Sep 28, 2018
Recorded on September 21, the Autumnal Equinox or, as we know it, iPhone Delivery Day. James’s phone was delivered right before we started while Jean’s was still out on a UPS truck circling Portland. We were maybe just a tiny bit distracted. But we do…
22: Perspectives on Perspectives
Sep 21, 2018
Jean and James share their excitement for the upcoming releases of macOS Mojave and OmniFocus 3 for Mac. James follows up on last week’s calendar discussion with some thoughts on using the Forecast perspective in OmniFocus 3. Jean considers options for…
21: A Day Without A Dot 🎉
Sep 14, 2018
Organizational fun begins with the calendar. James and Jean talk about the journey from paper to digital calendars, to iCal on the Mac and the array of choices from third-party developers. We also discuss our approaches to the important question of what…
20: Organizationiversary
Sep 7, 2018
This week James celebrates his one year organizationiversary! Jean and James mark the occassion by swapping stories of garages, cooking, oppresive summer heat, and some thoughts on using your trusted system to help in establishing habits.
19: That’s Too Devious, Jean
Aug 31, 2018
This week we take a deep dive into managing a particular type of unwanted email, the many messages we get that are meant for someone else named Jean MacDonald or James Dempsey. This kind of “personal” spam inspires us to brainstorm all kinds of plans to…
18: Extreme Measures For Mundane Tasks
Aug 24, 2018
In this episode Jean and James recount tales of cross-country relocation and new car purchases spurred on by a desire to avoid DMV-related tasks. Jean continues to rebuild her trusted system from the ground up, while James is reworking his daily and…
17: Laundry Can Be Motivating
Aug 17, 2018
This week, we talk about the crucial role of laundry as a step in getting back on track after a trip. Jean discovers that “Unpack” doesn’t work as a next action. James shares some insights from the beta of OmniFocus 3 for the Mac. Jean wonders if it’s…
16: The Unbearable Lightness of OmniFocus Bankruptcy
Aug 10, 2018
Recuperation and recommitting is the theme this week. Jean has been under the weather and James has been on an epic roadtrip to the Great White North on a family visit. How do you get yourself back on track when something knocks you off your routine? Can…
15: Reboot and Refine
Aug 5, 2018
Jean returns from her trip to Chicago and talks about being on the verge of archiving her Omni Focus database and starting from scratch as part of her initial capture reboot. James spent some time re-reading the book Getting Things Done while travelling…
14: Profit!
Jul 27, 2018
This week Jean reports on re-initializing her trusted system and discovers that processing papers can be more profitable than expected. James describes how he uses deferred items in Omni Focus and talks about planning for an upcoming trip.
13: Initial Capture Redux
Jul 20, 2018
This week, Jean reviews her plans and reasons for starting over with GTD. She shares her ideas with James for clearing her calendar to focus on the initial processing of everything in the “inbox” that is her office, while also making space in that office…
12: Half A Gold Star
Jul 13, 2018
Following on the conversation from last episode, Jean and James each find themselves mid-way through their weekly review. The discussion of what a weekly review should consist of continues. Jean finds it to be more comprehensive than she has been doing.…
11: No Gold Stars For Us This Week
Jul 6, 2018
Prompted by our sad admission that neither of us has done our weekly review this week, we get back to basics and examine what a weekly review should consist of. As we dig into the list of what needs to be done at each review, we recognize our stumbling…
10: Flat Surfaces
Jun 29, 2018
This week, Jean and James discuss some approaches to keeping the flat surfaces in your home and office from becoming places for clutter to accumulate. We take a virtual look inside Jean’s medicine cabinet and talk about the ‘scan and shred’ approach that…
9: We’re Not Gurus
Jun 22, 2018
This week we reply to our first listener question about processing and batching incoming email. We also catch up on Jean’s ongoing story of making decisions and phone calls to get her car serviced. James talks about how his single share of Disney stock…
8: The Usual Monkey Wrench
Jun 14, 2018
This week Jean and James record out of the studio for the first time. They talk about how their trusted organizational systems held up to the demands of the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose. Topics include handling an unexpected…
7: Red Hot Poker Mode
Jun 8, 2018
This week, Jean and James talk about the phone context and how phone calls can be as enticing as a red hot poker to get done. Also, real time problem-solving with Jean and her car’s maintenance. Listeners: We encourage you to do your weekly review, if you…
6: Productivity Nerd Christmas
Jun 1, 2018
This week, we celebrate James’s extraordinary accomplishment of reaching Inbox Zero, down from over 100K messages! We talk about the role of the inbox as a temporary waystation for email that needs to be processed, and we share our strategies for…
5: A Container of Pebbles
May 25, 2018
This week, Jean and James discuss attempting to bounce back from weeks that turn out far from perfect as well as trying to balance personal accountability with not beating yourself up too much when things don’t go as planned. The conversation moves to…
4: Backsliding, Deferred
May 18, 2018
This week, James and Jean review their respective crazy weeks (ukulele conference! three nights of nephew wrangling!) and how their task management goals suffered. Progress was made, because we didn’t let ourselves give up and adapted our methods to fit…
3: Brute Forcing Our Way To Inbox Zero
May 11, 2018
This week, James and Jean look at that gaping maw that devours time and motivation that we call email. We’ve tried a couple of tools for clearing out our inbox, and we are pleased with the results. Have you done your weekly review yet? Get $5 off Sanebox…
2: Making Space For What Is Truly Important
May 4, 2018
The true test of a system is whether it works when the going gets tough. Our well-planned recording schedule was unexpectedly thrown off when James’s father passed away a few weeks ago. James talks about how having a trusted system and doing weekly…
1: My Whole House Is An Inbox
Apr 29, 2018
Welcome to the first episode of The Weekly Review. Whether you are new to task management or you’ve fallen off the wagon a few times, this podcast is for you. Once a week, Jean and James review their progress toward a more organized (and less stressful)…