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New Developments: Testers Wanted

Ok, this is what you’ve all been waiting for!

I’m asking for volunteers to beta test my new Autofocus time management system. Click here to see all past (and future) postings on the subject.

To volunteer, all you have to do is this: enter your email address in the “Sign Up for my Email Newsletter” box in the right-hand margin, and then on the page that comes up tick the box marked “Beta Testing” and press the Submit button. (If you are already a newsletter subscriber you won’t see the tick boxes, but just press the Submit button and you will be sent an email which will allow you to sign on). If you are receiving this message through an RSS feed, you will need to follow the link to the website in order to do this.

The instructions will be sent out on a daily basis to new subscribers.


Reader Comments (44)

Hello Mark,

I've just started a new job so this is great timing for me. I love the idea of having an autofocus mechanisim, and of something that can cope with a lot of tasks. Looking forward to being a guinea pig!


December 22, 2008 at 15:37 | Unregistered CommenterBen H
I'm SO glad to see this... I'm in desperate need of some sort of system that actually WORKS for me. I've tried them all, with limited success. Looking forward to hearing more about testing the system.
December 22, 2008 at 15:49 | Unregistered CommenterWelmoed
I just signed up and am very excited! I've found your recent modification to be very effective for me. Now I can't wait to see what it is that you think is even better!
December 22, 2008 at 16:45 | Unregistered CommenterJanine Adams
Hi Mark
WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP This sounds like grand fun. This reminds me of the excitement I felt when I got my first science experiments kit as a young child!
December 22, 2008 at 17:24 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
It's now 5.28pm UK time. There have been 48 sign ups already since posting the above at 2.43pm.
December 22, 2008 at 17:28 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
*blush* I forgot to ask if we're supposed to TOTALLY ABANDON our current system we currently use or use this new method in tandem with what we are currently doing. With my leaky brain, I don't dare to infer anything! LOL!
December 22, 2008 at 17:29 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Hi again, Mark!
Congrats! You'll have data/evaluations up the ying yang! LOL!
December 22, 2008 at 17:30 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
<<I forgot to ask if we're supposed to TOTALLY ABANDON our current system we currently use or use this new method in tandem with what we are currently doing.>>

Basically it'll be up to you. I'm interested in how people actually react to the new system, which includes whether they combine it with something else, or even give up almost immediately. You'll get full instructions anyway on how to conduct the trial.
December 22, 2008 at 17:32 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks! Looking forward to the unveiling is almost like having two xmas's to look forward to. Whether we "take to it" or not is only half the value of the experience. The other half is the fun of testing/learning something new. I'd be gob-smacked if I actually found myself totally abandoning my current methodoly.....but, it is a possibility! LOL!
Fun! Fun! Fun!
December 22, 2008 at 17:39 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Signed up and waiting with excitement . . . Thanks for all you do, Mark
December 22, 2008 at 17:44 | Unregistered CommenterMark From Florida
This is great timing for me too. I recently became "between jobs" and my life is totally disorganized. I was getting ready to get serious with DIT again since it's the best system I know to get my act together.

I'm ready to dig in - if I can't break your system, nobody can!

I tweeted about this as MyklK - so you should be getting a flood of test subjects, but you can handle it ;)
December 22, 2008 at 17:46 | Unregistered CommenterMyklK
Hi Mark,

I signed up for Beta testing your new system. I can't wait to start on this. Please let me know if you do not see me on the list of testers.

Best wishes,
December 22, 2008 at 18:05 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Drake
Signed up and looking forward to it. DIT works really well for me right now. I find the system similar to budgeting money, except it's budgeting tomorrow's time.

One thing I struggle with, and not sure the new system will cover, is the 'project management' side. Figuring out which projects to follow and when in my life to do them. Once I have an active project, I can go through the tasks fairly well. But I have issues with life goal planning. MS Project seems overkill for this and not sure which tools can be used for this. Excel seems ok, but it's not perfect since I have to run multiple systems.

Thanks for your hard work and sharing with the community!
December 22, 2008 at 18:46 | Unregistered CommenterKeyur
I signed up. Enjoy your holidays and I look forward to the system when it comes. It will be interesting, as the timing will be with the start of the new quarter. ("Interesting" is possibly an understatement.)

As a side note, never underestimate the power of a week of snow days to catch up on things... but I don't think that's a sustainable system long term!
December 22, 2008 at 20:05 | Unregistered CommenterLes
Let's all hope that in one week and six days, Mark doesn't announce that the system doesn't really work after all <grin>
December 22, 2008 at 20:39 | Unregistered CommenterFrank
Hi Mark, It's great to be part of the party! Looking forward to taking part in your trials. This is cutting-edge online time management thinking and it's exciting to be involved...but could we ever give up on DIT, our saviour?
December 22, 2008 at 21:34 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
I so can't wait either. I was jealous of that other 'Lena' who posted a few days ago about her incredible progress That wasn't me.

And hey 'Les" - Are you by any chance in Seattle?? You being a naturopathic student and having a week of snow makes me think that. I live right by Bastyr.

With the week of snow (highly unusual here) and staying home, I've gotten a ton of backlog done, in between fort building sessions.
December 22, 2008 at 22:41 | Unregistered CommenterLena

Yes, you are on the list, but you should have had a confirmatory email. If you haven't, it might mean that emails from my news-sheet service aren't getting through to you. As that is what I will be using to send out the instructions and follow-ups, you will need to try and find out what the problem is.
December 22, 2008 at 23:43 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark,

I did receive the confirmatory email, so all is well! I am ready to go with testing your new system -- and am excited about it!

December 22, 2008 at 23:54 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Drake
Mark, I just wrote a blog post encouraging people to sign up to be a beta tester. Counting down to January 5! (I do realize that date is approximate.) Here's the link to the blog post:

Happy holidays.
December 23, 2008 at 16:05 | Unregistered CommenterJanine Adams

How excited am I? VERY! I've been trying to pin down what it is about DIT and GTD (boo hiss) that make me hop on an off the wagon more than a reforming alcoholic. I'm a Project Manager with a huge number of responsibilities/tasks and a graveyard of time management systems. I can't wait to take part! Happy Christmas Mark, and to my fellow productivity people! (If anyone wants to contact me directly, feel free to email me).

December 23, 2008 at 21:48 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Gooch
Hi Mark, I'd be eager to beta test the system. I love how you're willing to test out these concepts, rather than just laying them down as gospel. Please send me the details when you're ready.
December 23, 2008 at 22:11 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Thanks very much for putting this on your blog (and for the nice words too!)
December 23, 2008 at 23:37 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

To receive the details you will need to sign on in accordance with the instructions in the posting.
December 23, 2008 at 23:42 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark,
I just signed up for the beta testing.
I don't want to dampen the enthusiasm here. However, I hope that the new system remains as simple as DIT or becomes even simpler. I was a GTD user and one of the main attractions of DIT was its simplicity.
Anyway, I'm waiting, as others, for the 5th of January when I can see what this new system is all about.
Happy New Year to everyone!
December 26, 2008 at 3:39 | Unregistered CommenterSiva

It's a bit simpler than DIT!
December 26, 2008 at 11:53 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Is it bigger than a breadbox? Kidding... You must really be enjoying the buildup Mark. Too bad you couldnt have developed it time for Santa to deliver!
December 30, 2008 at 22:11 | Unregistered CommenterMark in Texas
Hi Mark
Great effort, just getting the fears of getting back to work after the break and this has really uplifted me. Signed up and looking forward to putting it to the test.
January 2, 2009 at 9:52 | Unregistered CommenterPaul in London
Well, it's still working great for me - so we're all systems go on Monday!
January 2, 2009 at 12:23 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I'd like to test this, however I only get an error when clicking the Submit button... Happens in both Firefox and IE.

- Christian
January 2, 2009 at 12:57 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Noer

I have added you manually.
January 2, 2009 at 17:59 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks, Mark! Looking forward to testing Autofocus!
January 2, 2009 at 20:01 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Noer
Neat! I'm looking forward to hearing about its being a smash.
January 5, 2009 at 13:56 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

I'm really struggling to find how to get on the tester list - when I try join it tells me i am already subscribed but received nothing
January 17, 2009 at 17:41 | Unregistered CommenterNick Dolan
What time of day is the newsletter/instructions sent out?
January 29, 2009 at 19:46 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

When I get round to it.
January 30, 2009 at 8:23 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
This sure sounds interesting.
I've been reading a lot of stuff on time management and improving productivity and experimenting with various applications over the last couple of years and I've actually started writing a book on the subject :-)
I personally find the site pretty useful in scheduling reminders; even more so because of SMS alerts which you receive even when you are not at your desk. Its fantastic!
I look forward to testing your software and will revert with whatever feedback I have!
January 30, 2009 at 13:22 | Unregistered CommenterNilesh Amonker
Hi Mark, same here, error when signing up. Please add me manually. Thanks, Paul.
January 31, 2009 at 22:34 | Unregistered CommenterPaul S

There is no software. It is a paper and pen system.
January 31, 2009 at 22:50 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

I checked and you are signed up correctly. If you haven't received the instructions within a day, then check your spam filter.
January 31, 2009 at 22:59 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
This is a great system for those of us who work in a solitary office at home! I am finding that I am still slightly scattered, but with time and discipline I think this is going to work well. I really like that I don't have to feel guilty about working on a few personal things during work hours - when it's the right time to do it, I do it. The list did grow quite a bit while I was out of town at a business meeting and unable to really do anything about crossing off tasks!
February 11, 2009 at 16:45 | Unregistered Commenterbunchm
(FOR YOUR INFORMATION) there is no opt in box on sign up page to opt into beta testing program as you post states.
May 14, 2009 at 5:45 | Unregistered CommenterChris
thank, this is great system
July 15, 2009 at 10:37 | Unregistered Commentersuteetoe
Rec'd this in my e-mail through Art of Manliness: haven't a clue why I'm rec'ving this 2008 stuff in 2015, but look fwd to reading what you offered back in old-fashioned times. Any info/instructions abt how to sign on on to deceive this on a permanent, recurring basis?
May 21, 2015 at 21:31 | Unregistered Commenterw cox

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