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  • Time Design system info

    I'd like some info regarding the Time Design system, and I'm sure others on the board would appreciate the same.

    I'm aware that David Allen says he used the Time Design system for something like 18 years, and that he used to work for the company. I've also looked at the Time Design website, and read through the downloadable PDF "getting started" manual there as well.

    However, given the cost of the system, I'd like to hear from folks who have actually used the system. I'm not looking for comparisons to Palm or other PDA or computer systems -- I use Outlook and a Treo 600, so I know those pretty well -- but I'm feeling the need to use more paper, to have the freedom to doodle, draw, make lists by hand, etc. And, especially when away from my computer, I like to be able to see more all at once than my Treo will permit.

    So, given all that, what can you current or former Time Design users tell me -- strengths, weaknesses, things the system is especially good (or especially bad) for, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

    Randy Stokes

  • #2
    Time Design

    I am very interested in this system as well. I have heard much about it but they are hard to find in Australia. I have used the Franklin Planner a few years ago and in hindsight I was much more on top of things by having my notes and ideas all captured in one place. Since moving to a PDA I have lost a lot of that capability. Time Design is apparently a great system for archiving.

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    • #3
      I use Time Design. It's great. I've had a few months of frustration with using my PowerBook and Palm. I went back to my Time Design and loved it. Now that I have the problem solved with my Palm, I'm wondering if I should go back to a PDA!

      You can read all about it on their website.

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      • #4
        I've used Time/Design since 1990 and recommend it highly for a paper-based implementation of DA's GTD methods. It was given out as a part of David's seminar he gave to our company.

        It's value is a combination of factors:

        - Very little structure outside of calendar items. I don't use many non-calendar forms except for the Activities Checklists, Notes and plain paper (graph, plain & lined).
        - High quality, but thin paper (great for volume!)
        - There's just "something" about the Activities Checklists forms which are great for Projects, Waiting For, Someday/Maybe, Next Actions, etc. The fold-over design is perfect for keeping Next Actions together with daily calendar pages.
        - There's also "something" about marking items complete with a highlighter.
        - I really like their monthly & yearly calendar formats ... a little unusual
        - You can fold an 8.5" x 11" paper nearly in half and it fits nicely in the binder (hint: get the hole punch!)
        - Their customer service is great.

        I hope that's specific enough (let me know if it's not)
        Mark

        PS - I keep trying to migrate my lists to a PDA, but then topics like this come up. Aside from backup and search features of electronic lists, I think paper v. digital is a tough call ... for me at least.

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        • #5
          Time Design is the best paper system I have ever used. I too think there is something "magical" about the foldover action lists--I have one of those for each of my direct reports and inside that are the notes pages from our meetings. I use the foldover to list current projects that are ongoing.

          I use Outlook with the GTD add-in to capture all my next actions lists, notes, etc. which is then synched to my Pocket PC. However, meetings with direct reports, reference materials, goal lists, etc are in the Time Design. I don't need to carry those with me all the time and I'm still a paper lover at heart.

          However, if you are going to do something along the lines of Pocket PC/PDA + Time Design then don't buy the package deal. Buy just the inserts you want--they sell everything separately so it can be much less expensive to just buy things that way.

          And then, it also supports our economy in Western Mass--Time Design is based here. I've been a time design/David Allen fan since the early 90's.

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          • #6
            Re: Time Design system info

            I have not found anything bad about the systemn beside the price. I've used it 1990-93, then tried various systems, both paper and electronic based, before coming back to Time/Design.

            Enrico

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            • #7
              I agree. It really is a fantastic system and is the natural complement to GTD. The price is pretty ridiculous (a system without a binder is around $150). Also the use of European page sizes is a pain. I could justify (or rationalize) the cost of switching to Time/Design if I knew I could still use my "American" hole punch and blank computer forms. T
              he methodology is vastly superior to Franklin/Covey and if T/D wanted to, they could probably grab a much larger share of the US market, but it seems like their current marketing strategy is working for them and they don't see the need to re-engineer the product for the US market (that's only my assumption)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dansch
                Also the use of European page sizes is a pain.
                I don't think so.

                American page size is ridiculous and should be abandoned as soon as possible . It does not fit into any European binder. Some time ago there was a joke in Poland about Russian watches - they were biggest and fastest in the world. Bigger is not always better.

                I also cannot understand how you can measure height in feet and inches - very complicated .

                TesTeq

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                • #9
                  I'm not saying one is better than the other--I would be just as happy if everyone in the US decided to start using european/metric systems. I'm just complaining that my investment in 5.5 x 8.5 equipment and supplies is trashed if I want to use Time/Design

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                  • #10
                    Once I got a Time/Design hole punch, actually two, I can't say the page format has ever been an issue for me (1990).

                    I put all kinds of sizes in my system.

                    If you fold a standard 8.5 x 11 page nearly in half (leave about 1/2 inch gap), it fits perfectly in the Time/Design system.

                    Agree with those who say the system isn't cheap, but I think there's value versus a PDA when looking at all-in costs over a three year period, assuming that's an average PDA replacement cycle. My own opinion, of course.

                    Mark

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