Showing posts from July, 2012

gtd best practices

Cross-posted on Google+:

Don't organize: Search.
This is my own collection of best practices that I have developed and adapted from the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology. For background on GTD, see:

The thing I have found most important about using GTD is to be flexible. I have created my own implementation of GTD, and I'm not afraid to bend the rules when necessary. I also try not to get bogged down in process, because GTD should make things easier, not more difficult.

Information Management

I used to carry a pen and paper to all of my meetings. I would take notes, and then file those papers in a folder for the relevant project. But I had a hard time locating those notes months or years later when I needed them. This, and working at Google, taught me that if data is not searchable, it's not very useful. 

Now, I always attend meetings with my laptop. I have instant access to all of my information that way. …

career advice for starting at "big-4" firms

Cross-posted on Google+:

In the fall of 2000, I started working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), fresh out of law school. I started work in the dot-com-bust economy, when finance and legal jobs were difficult to find and keep. I stayed for nine years, leaving after I was promoted to Director. I was lucky, in many respects. I have some friends who are starting their legal and finance careers in the Big-4 firms this year, so I wrote the advice below for them. 

Some context for those not familiar with the first few years at a Big-4 firm: It's tedious work, with very long hours, and a high level of frustration around long-term career paths. When the economy is bad, low performers are quickly targeted.

Go to work with an attitude that you are willing to do anything, even outside what you want to do. You want to be the go-to person with the positive attitude. Offer to help, understand what is needed, and deliver the best product you can.

Every task is an opportunity to …

collection of favorite quotes

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." - Michael Pollan"What could you do if you had no fear?""Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss"With no power comes no responsibility." - Kick Ass"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. ... Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands." - Judge Learned Hand, Gregory v. Helvering (1934)."Tell me something complicated that I don't already know." - Sergey"If you don't have any shadows you're not in the light." - Lady Gaga"If you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." - Albert Einstein"I would like to lock the funda…



This blog is my personal content. The views I express here are mine alone and not those of my employer.

I've blogged on and off since the late-1990's.  I've hosted my own blog on the now defunct, used Blogger, Tweeted, Google+'ed, and used Facebook as my primary forms of blogging over the years. This site is a repository of my information.


I was born at a young age, in a hospital located in a small town. I remember a lot of bright lights and screaming (mostly me).

I attended public primary and secondary schools. I studied Political Science at San Jose State University. I attended law school at Santa Clara University School of Law. After law school I wrote a website to help law students prepare for the bar exam called the California Bar Exam Primer.

I spent nine years specializing in international corporate tax at PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG.


I am an attorney specializing in international corporate taxation. I work as International Tax Counsel…


Is this thing on? Testing.  1.  2.  3.