Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Productivity and Writing On The Go (How to use minutes to make hours)

Today’s post is being written on an incredibly busy day. I'm traveling, meeting a lot of people, and pulling off a relatively large event.

This is a live experiment on productive writing while on the go. There will be no time tomorrow for my morning regimine. I will need to have a post in the morning. Scheduled and ready to go, because I am checking out early in the morning for another busy day. Here's how I did it - both the tool and the menthod.

A tool: Byword for Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Three things about this app

  1. It’s super simple. You open a document and type. There’s no formatting. It’s all text and white space.
  2. Its default writing mode is markdown. This is a simple (and a little geeky) way to code plain text so it magically turns to web-ready, HTML formatted copy. This simplifies the workflow for daily blogging.
  3. iCloud sync is magical. I can write on my phone while I have a minute in the car, between appointments. Or while waiting in line for coffee. Whenever. When I get to my computer the document is there. When I go back to my phone. It’s there as edited. It just works.

Any mobile tool can work. Something to get thoughts down at random times and places is the most important thing. It also helps to use an easily translatable format, like text files.

A Method: Use the Minutes

Mornings are sacred to me. I have a morning rite. It’s typically non-negotiable. I don’t answer texts. I don’t answer emails. This time is reserved for reading, writing, thinking, and praying. The problem comes when I travel. I still need some time in the mornings, but I have much less control over my schedule. Meetings can start as early as 7:00 AM. (I had to be ready to roll, and checked out of the hotel at 6:45 AM today.)

Since I don’t have hours when I travel, I use spare minutes to make the hours.

I’ve written this post while

  • waiting for coffee
  • holding a parking place while colleagues were picking up printing at FedEx
  • standing in line for more coffee (I drink a lot of coffee)
  • waiting to bring another colleague to an event.

Minutes are increments of hours. They add up. The key is to be mindful and take advantage of them.

One of the important writing lessons I’ve learned doing this daily blog is the fact I can write from anywhere, at any time.

And the fact I have more time than I think.

Even when time is compressed (like while traveling), it's possible to be productive.