design

Getting Things Done - a PSA

Every week when I think about a potential blog post there are so many ideas that come to mind sometimes it's hard to choose. One of those recurring thoughts is to share a very valuable "life resource" with you. I follow many blogs & podcasts and a few months ago through the "Beyond the To Do List" podcast I learned about a little book called "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.  Actually, I kept hearing the reference "GTD" and the "GTD system" that finally I just HAD to look it up.

This book isan extremely valuable resource not just for getting things done, but for streamlining your work process and get things off your mind. I figured getting back to work after having our first baby would be the perfect time for me to learn more about it. So I went to the library and devoured it within a few weeks. (I only had to renew it once - c'mon I had a 4 month old at the time!) I kept laughing at the irony of me reading about "getting things done" instead of actually just getting things done... but I knew this would transform my habits and so I wanted to learn about it before getting back into the swing of things. 

The tips & methods he details for processing information have been insanely helpful. One of the things I often felt when things got busy was that there were so many "moving parts" it was hard to keep track of the loose ends. His tips for "closing the loops" in our minds have been so valuable I've really felt inspired to adopt this system for both my design projects and my personal life. So now I feel that I should return the favor and tell everyone about it! How did I not know about this sooner?!?

So here is a link to the book and website, and below are a few of my favorite parts of the GTD system. 
gettingthingsdone.com 

 

1- Email processing

(source)

I love his tips for creating @Action, @WaitingFor, Read/Review and Reference folders. They really help keep things organized and make sure I am not forgetting anything. I am still working towards an empty inbox but I've enjoyed processing my emails with his tips. And since I use Gmail for work, it's easy for me to tag emails directly from my sent mail so I don't forget to follow up with people I've contacted! 

 

2- Master Project List

(source) 

Here's where my "too many moving parts" problem was solved. I don't know if working from home made this worse but I had this perpetual thought pattern every time I walked through the house of all the things we needed to get done. Then I'd look at my emails, open design projects and always try to assess what needed to get done next. It was becoming a perpetual mess! By having a master project list I am able to keep an inventory of every single aspect of my life, both work and personal so I can assess the use of my time holistically. If we're planning an event at home, it takes actual time from my life and I need to take actionable steps to achieve it just like a would I client project. Which leads me to the next favorite...

 

3- Action Items

(source) 

Splitting up a task or job by actionable items might sound like a no brainer, or maybe even a waste of time for those smaller tasks, but his idea of breaking things up by Action (emails, calls, errands, agendas, etc) has been a really helpful way for me to manage my to-do's. I'm still slowly adapting to this because I used to always organize my lists by job and it feels weird to separate them. But ultimately I do agree this makes a lot of sense and will be beneficial to view all my to-do's holistically. 

 

So what do you think?

Have you already heard about GTD? Have you been using the system, or like me wish you had discovered it sooner? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I hope you found this post helpful. 

 

Cheers, 

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ICFF Sub-trend: Convertible Furniture

Here is my second ICFF recap from this year. The first was a round up of some of my favorites, now I'd like to share a few items that have a common design thread of space saving, convertible furniture. 

1- Convertible Pool Tables

First on my list is a pool table that converts into an elegant dining table by simply adding a cover. Perfectly stylish way for eating a meal, then simply slide off and play! This one by Belgium company Fusion Tables is streamlined and contemporary, and I just love their use of new color instead of the same old green felt. 

(Fusion Tables)

Vision Billiards, formerly Balic Billiards and part of Bilijardai products, offers handmade and premium billiard tables. They too offer a line of contemporary convertable tables which they brought to the show, but they also offer some of the most unique custom table designs I've seen! Check out their website for some examples. 

(Vision Billiards at the show) 

 

2- Umbra Folding Chairs

I love the flexibility (foldability?) of these chairs - and what a great way to get them out of the way when not using them? So simple and fun. Not available through their website yet but check back soon I'm sure! www.umbra.com

 

3- Riveli Shelving

I remember seeing these at the show last year and like how many options they've come out with since. What really clicked with me this year was that the back side was a magnetic blackboard, which would make these shelves perfect for a kitchen or foyer.

The whiteboard is a good idea too.

And I especially love the graphic print options when closed, these make for a great retail option, like the photo above. For more information check out their website www.lakeandwells.com 

4- Sliding horizontal columns

And lastly these interested sliding horizontal columns that can again serve as a graphic background, but can then be pulled out several feet and turned into a light fixture (shown above) or a seat or climbing wall (shown below). 

I remember this booth was from one of the student section, but unfortunately can't remember which one! I will update the information when I find it, but in the meantime if anyone knows who's this is please leave a comment below! 

And that's a wrap! What do you think of some of these design concepts? Would love to know in your comments below. 

Cheers, 

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ICFF KITCHEN & BATH: Part 2

Phew it really feels like summer here in the northeast...  it's been kind of refreshing to look at all these water related designs! Here are some more beautiful fixtures and hardware design from the ICFF, as a follow up from my previous post.

Blu Bathworks

Now I remember some of the photos I lost during my computer transition.... I took photos of their booth during ICFF because I liked how they showcased their sinks with engravings and colors. These screen shots from their brochure and website will have to substitute!

Blu Bathworks ICFF booth 2013

Blu-stone bathtub with engraving along the sides.

Colorful lime green tub made from proprietary blu-stone

Rohl

Handcrafted sinks from Shaws of Darwen in partner with Rohl.

Rohl offers a line of water filtration options (for information on how it works click here), this one shown in an inca brass finish.

Graff

Headquartered in Milwaukee with locations throughout the world, they provide modern bath fixtures for the industry. I found it impressive that during manufacturing they created a zero discharge system and they recycle 100% of their brass and paper products so just about everything they create is either recycled or recovered. Bravo Graff!

Here is my favorite of their from the show - their new Ametis line. This is definitely a stand out design and I love the LED light around the toggle... so technical looking and not your typical bath fixture. I had a hard time finding more information (and pictures!) but I hope the LED changes with the water temperature. I photographed their catalog so apologies for not having the most clarity!