Reaching for the stars, efficiently | Skillshare Projects

Maria Velasquez

Virtual Assistant, Photographer & Mom of 2



Reaching for the stars, efficiently

About Me

l'm a "stay -at-home mom" bursting with ambition & creativity, in addition to taking care of my two children I stay super busy with two companies that I founded. The first offers remote administrative services to small businesses & the second is a photography company specializing in family photography, taking a long time hobby & turning it into an additional revenue stream that feels alot more like play than work.

I LOVE the work that I do & love that l've found a way to earn an income from my passions while still being home for my children. My youngest recently became mobile & my productivity has plummeted in a big way. I'm hoping that this course helps me start getting things done like the boss that l am!

First Impressions (12/7/13)

I took a preliminary took at a few of the videos & l had a few thoughts l wanted to record. First, I was immediately  disappointed that the app suggested (think) was apple only. I understand that this is what the teacher uses and that's why it's being demonstrated but I was disappointed that he didn't mention a single Android alternative by name. I've chosen to use Awesome Note HD on my tablet to build my workflow. I suspect this app will be perfect although I do dislike that I can't sync the app with my phone. I'm excited to give Evevnote another shot, I had tried to use it in the past but wasn't sure how to get the most out of it & it was soon abandoned.

Moving past the technology aspect l was SUPER excited that what seems to be the foundation of the GTD system is something l have been using for a longtime: To-Do lists! I'M no stranger to dumping the contents of my brain on to my to-do list. For this portion I think the biggest obstacle for me will be staying digital. l love my gadgets but paper is going to be a tough habit to break. But I'm fairly certain that once l've made the initial transition the increased efficiency will be worth the learning curve.

Getting Started (12/11/13)

I've now completed watching the course all the way through just to see what direction everything and  would take and am ready to go back and actually complete each step along the way. 

I decided that although Awesome Note HD is a really great app the fact that I can only access is on my tablet is a HUGE issue. I need to be able to get to my list no matter what device I'm using so after another student commented that Tiago had recommended another cross platform solution I decided to give something else a try. Tiagos cross platform soution was Todoist and so far I am really liking it. The interface is not beautiful but it's clean and simple and so far easy to use. I do have a task set up to watch some tutorial videos so i can really get 100% out of it especially on my mobile devices but so far so good. 


Here's my results for the GTD quiz

Phase 1 Collect: 3 Warning

Phase 2 Process: 3 Warning

Phase 3 Organize: 3 Warning

Phase 4 Review: DANGER!

Phase 5 Do: Not So Good

WELL!! Looks like I have some work to do, dont I? Funny thing is I had predicted that I would do much better in the "collect" phase and much worse in the "do" phase. I guess I don't know myself as well as I thought!


I went in and recorded all my open loops, this exercise was fairly easy for me, as I mentioned before I've been a long time fan of completely brain dumping on to my list. However, a few weeks ago I had dropped some "someday/maybe" type tasks because I'm in the middle of busy season for one of my businesses and I found that seeing the list always so long was discouraging and overwhelming. So it took me a while to rememeber all those open loops and then it took me a while longer to trust that I had rememebered everything and that it was time to move on!

 This is the stage that also made me realize that Awesome Note was not so awesome for this system. It was very time consuming to enter a large number of tasks for from my tablet and it was really frustrating to not be able to do it from the computer. Once I switched to Todoist I zoomed right through. 


I DID IT!!!! I got my inbox down to zero!!! I've had my gmail since google first launched the service so there was a TON of junk in there but I pressed through it and got it done. To be honest I've been chipping away at this for a very long time but there was a few of those e-mails that I just couldn't figure out what to do with and I kept skipping over them and leaving them in an inbox purgatory for ages. The 3 rules of processing really helped with this because I forced myself to deal with e-mail i had been avoiding for weekes, months even. And guess what?? Most of those big scary e-mails ended up taking way less than 2 minutes to process! 


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