(Photo credit: Sequence: Gene of my life, by Hawkexpress on Flickr)

I’m now working on my keynote speech for the Nara JET Mid-year seminar. I made a draft handout on Google Docs, so that I can access it from work and school. I already sent the handout to the Institute where the seminar will be held, and am now using the Google Doc as my notes for the presentation, adding to it as I think of things. I use Google Docs a fair bit following a tip by UK History teacher and web 2.0 wizard, Doug Belshaw (another useful Belshaw article on Google tools here). The digital format makes it so easy to add things at any point or make other editions and changes.

I used Google Docs “publish” facility, so that others, e.g. the seminar participants, could access the document. Feel free to steal from it.

I keep index cards and a pen handy at all times, even in the bath. I use a system called PoIC, short for Pile of Index Cards(!), developed by a Japanese guy. I admire this guy hugely, because he put his ideas up in Japanese and English, despite the fact that English is not his native language and it must take him alot of time and trouble to put all his pages up in English as well. (I’ve always been a sucker for non-native-speakers English pronunciation – my first girlfriend was Swiss – and I find Hawkexpress’s English charming.) He’s put some photos of his system up on Flickr, too. I’ve been using his system now for nearly 18 months, and find it better than GTDGetting Things Done (tho I still subscribe to certain GTD principles, such as the weekly review, and making files for everything. One of David Allen’s tips for packing is to leave your suitcase open in your room well in advance of your trip, and every time you think of something to put in, just throw it in; rather than leaving the whole packing until the very last minute. I’m using the same principle for my Keynote talk).

I get ideas at the oddest moments, and cannot rely on my memory. Also, I value David Allen’s suggestion of  getting everything out of your head and onto paper, and relying on memory as little as possible.