I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school teacher, former graduate student, and current head of teaching at Desmos. More here.


  1. Nice presentation on personal/professional productivity, Dan. This is your best video yet. Are you still using Google docs to put your daily list together? I’ve been using my own wiki for that, which serves the same purpose. Mine’s probably a ltitle more cumbersome, though.

  2. I actually believe that this bad boy took you fourteen hours to complete.

    Approximately how much time do you think you’ve spent on your first five installments?

    Folks need to realize how much time it takes to work hard to make it look easy.

    Well done, Dan. I concede: You are the man.

  3. Well done again, Dan. I love Jott and I also started using Vitalist for my lists, which is great because I can Jott directly to Vitalist. This makes it harder for my wife to add obnoxious comments to my list, at least until I print it out and leave it laying around.

  4. I’m liking the hybrid digital/analog system Dan has in place. It’s pretty close to what I (try to) use. And Jott is outstanding for ubiquitous capture.

    Daniel, you might also check out Remember the Milk. You can Jott directly to that as well and it has a lot of powerful “smart list” features. I dabbled with Vitalist for a bit but ultimately the digital part of my system resides in RTM.

  5. I feel like a neophyte here…but, what is Jott? I just came across this blog a few days ago and I have to say I love it! You are definitely the man in the know.
    Thanks for leading the way!

  6. Sara: You can find Dan’s old description of Jott here. Or just go to jott.com.

    Basically its a service that let’s you call, record a message, and have the message e-mailed/texted to you (or a service, or another person).

    My latest use of it is to start blog entries/long e-mails while I’m on the road by myself. Leave a couple of messages and *bam* it just needs editing by the time I get to a computer. (Not that I’m updating my blog yet, but the general idea works.)

  7. Kate – That was the first thing I asked myself when I saw the video. In fact, I had to re-watch it because all the content after the stunt laptop got tossed was completely lost as my mind was pre-occupied with the harm that must have befallen that poor machine.

    Sara – Jott is great! In addition to Dan’s description, I wrote one way back when Jott was new on the scene.

    Sarah – Have you checked out all the things you can link Jott to now? You could have it actually post to your blog directly!

    Anyone else using a hybrid digital / analog system?

  8. I use a similar system except do all my listing in a small square-ruled Moleskine. I tried RTM but without something like an iPhone (and I simply can’t justify the expense), access is a problem. I also like having it all handwritten, a freakish Luddite wrinkle in my otherwise hard-copy averse persona. I use a large square Moleskine for taking to conferences, notes while reading, etc. When I finish a Moleskine, I print the relevant dates on the binding and stick them in a bookshelf. Yeah yeah I’m a big fat nerd.

    I also use a Jott link to add events directly to google calendar. Somehow having to be at a computer to look at my calendar is not as big a deal.

  9. Another phenomenal video. Wednesdays are going to start disappointing me when these are finished.

    Just as an aside, your list with all the various notations on it made me think of the list on My Name is Earl.

  10. Okay, I take back a step..Dan, how do you get your Jotts into the template? Not one by one?

  11. I would imagine that he does have to add them into the template when he gets to a computer. Jott can’t handle adding lines to a spreadsheet.

    If you use something like Remember the Milk or Sandy for to-do items, you could actually Jott your stuff right into your list with one call.

  12. @Rick, yeah, I use GoogleDocs which means I can edit and print a set from anywhere.

    @Darren, in a recent e-mail, I estimate my average production time to be about 12 hours each, splitting across:

    three hours pre-production (writing), two hours production (shooting), seven hours post-production (editing)

    Which is prohibitive.

    Scott had the rest of this sewn up. Thanks, Scott.

  13. On Monday, I downloaded your template, changed a few things, created some to-do lists, and printed it out.

    I lost the paper before school was even over on Tuesday.