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Anyone with some free advice?

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  • Anyone with some free advice?

    So I bought the book, read it. Bought a labeller and labelled some folders. Easy going so far. Bought a Palm. And now I'm stuck.

    How do I implement GTD uing the Palm? The way the tasks and notes and memos are structured makes me anxious in that I feel that I am only seeing the micro view and not the relational links to other pertinent meta data.

    Then...I come across stuff like Lifebalance which I think is pretty cool (at least the colours are) because I get to control/see all the relevant dependancies. But then I realise that I need to buy a second copy to have at work to then convert the Outlook to do items (I have a habit of dragging an email into the task list instead of creating a whole new task).

    This in turn makes me more anxious as there seems to be a lot of entering/syncing/converting/syncing steps between two computers that I am frightened will get too hard and I will be in the sorry disorganised mess I was previously only with a bunch of 42 beautifully labellled folders.

    Can I be helped?

    Meg.[/FONT]

  • #2
    You should not have any problems with plain vanilla Palm set-up probably it is the best way to get started with GTD and Palm.

    Palm is not great for project management that is were LifeBalance, ShadowPlan, Bonsai come in if you do project managment on your palm.

    Palm works very well with contexts i.e. @call, @office, @errands, specifically when you use Outlook. The memo function in Palm is as well great to store variety of lists, such as goals, packing lists, etc.

    If you find it difficult to work with Outlook Tasks, and Palm To-Dos or you want the ability to link tasks to contacts, and calendar items, you could take a look at programs such as Agendus and KeySuite which do that very well.

    Another way to manage GTD and projects in outlook and palm without buying much software is doing what they call "contacts as project method" conceived by Bill Kratz, do a search in this forum for it and you will find information on it. Another implementation which works wonders for many on Palm and Outlook is the PigPog method, searching this forum will give you information on that as well.

    I guess the best way to get started with GTD is as low tech as possible and not get too bogged down in a system or gadget. Do the weekly review, schedule hard calendar items, and to-dos in the correct contexts using the category function in outlook. Sync it too your palm. After you begin using the system it is a lot simpler to slowly add a solution which fits your system and needs.

    Believe me you are not the first nor the last GTD'er who feels overwhelmed by the technology part of GTD I for one wanted to use it all I when I started, I loaded Bonsai on my Palm, GTD Add-in for outlook, Mind Manager for mind mapping. Tried PigPog implementation. All this at the same time. Guess what it was too much and I never mastered any of the tools for GTD, and my work suffered as I did not have a good process I followed on daily basis.

    After re-grouping and going back to Basics I ended up using Outlook with the GTD add-in and KeySuite on my Treo. I keep good track of all my Projects, and tasks. During my weekly review anything that is forgotten or notes I recorded on my palm, or PC are caught and inserted into the system. Along with my analog inbox.

    To learn how others have done this check out some of the blogs and pages out there on variety of systems. These 3 are a good start:

    http://blogs.officezealot.com/marc/
    http://office.weblogsinc.com/
    http://www.43folders.com/category/gtd/

    There are many others, but this is a good start main issue is not to get overwhelmed with the implementation, rather just do it.

    Good luck if you have any other questions just trow them out there and use the search function in this forum for lots of input and stories of others challenges in perfecting their GTD set-up.
    Last edited by joeycan; 10-12-2005, 05:38 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by meglet
      So I bought the book, read it. Bought a labeller and labelled some folders. Easy going so far. Bought a Palm. And now I'm stuck.

      How do I implement GTD using the Palm? The way the tasks and notes and memos are structured makes me anxious in that I feel that I am only seeing the micro view and not the relational links to other pertinent meta data.
      [/FONT]
      The important things in GTD are not specific tools, but habits and tools for analysis. They don't necessarily come easy. Some people do well with jumping in and completely changing how they work, while others do better by changing one aspect at a time.

      I gather you have been using Outlook. Your palm will sync with Outlook if you like; the software is on the CD that came with the Palm. Or you can use the Palm desktop. It is cleaner and simpler to use with the Palm.
      David Allen has a document somewhere on this web site (they have been moving stuff around on the site lately) that describes how he uses it. You might want to consider David's Outlook white paper. The price has been reduced to $10; I bought it at $30 and wasn't even using Outlook at the time, and got quite a bit out of it.

      Your concerns about getting the big picture from your palm are valid. For many people, myself included, the primary value of the palm is to transfer data between home and work, and it's fine to use it that way. How are you getting your big picture now? What do you feel is missing? I agree that a vanilla approach is good, but even better for now may be to start by using the tools you are familiar with in new ways consistent with GTD.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by meglet
        So I bought the book, read it. Bought a labeller and labelled some folders. Easy going so far. Bought a Palm. And now I'm stuck.

        ...

        This in turn makes me more anxious as there seems to be a lot of entering/syncing/converting/syncing steps between two computers that I am frightened will get too hard and I will be in the sorry disorganised mess I was previously only with a bunch of 42 beautifully labellled folders.
        Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

        I would advise you to trust your instinct about the difficulty of using two computers.

        Perhaps you could start by using only ONE computer as your main GTD PC and forget about trying to keep two different computers concurrent with each other at the beginning. Just use your main PC and your portable PDA to reference your list while you are on the go. That's it.

        I am using ListPro by Ilium Software for my Pocket PC (they make a Palm version also).

        One thing I really like is that it is a standalone application on the PC which synchronizes with the PDA. I prefer this because it keeps my lists from being polluted by my email client, which happens to be Lotus Notes. Only tasks and projects that I personally put into ListPro is there.

        As I go through email, it is great for me to have ListPro open. I use my PDA mostly as a mobile reference, but sometimes I will enter list items directly when I'm not near my PC. I can cut & paste into a list item, but I find that having to type in the description helps keep my list clean & NA focused. Dragging an email directly into a To-Do list is too much detail for me.

        My PDA does synchronize my calendar and address book.
        Last edited by Bill; 10-12-2005, 12:24 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sure, you can be helped, but first of all, why did you buy the Palm? By "two computers" do you mean the Palm and a PC at work? Or 2 PCs, one at home, one at work, plus a Palm?

          If you want to organize all your actions and projects in Life Balance, synchronized on both a Palm and a desktop computer, that will work nicely. Synchronizing is easy and, in my experience, more intelligently done than with the native Palm apps. You will have to buy the software for both platforms, though.

          If you want to organize many actions that arrive through email in Outlook, that's another story. For me, it would depend on how many email-based tasks I receive in a typical day.

          If I receive a task through email that requires time and effort later, I do enter the task into Life Balance, especially when I must distill the action out of the email through my own processing decisions. I do this for every task I need to remember later, whether it arrives via email, phone call, paper mail, personal conversation, or my own head. If I receive email that just needs to be answered later, but will take more than a few minutes, I flag it; then I go back and answer the flagged emails later. I put a task "Answer flagged emails" in Life Balance if I need the reminder later. When answering all the email is collectively a significant task, I schedule a time for it each day.

          You may want to map out your projects and actions first on paper. Think about how you want to view those throughout the day. And think about how your actions are generated. If most of your actions are tied to email or to Outlook calendar entries, you may want to stick with Outlook. Setting Outlook up for GTD organization of projects and actions is a topic in itself; there are many threads discussing it here on the forum that can help you get started.

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