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PDA has Died. Must use Paper Planner

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  • PDA has Died. Must use Paper Planner

    I need a little advice: my PDA died yesterday morning in a meeting and it's a goner. I can't afford to replace it right now and need to have a portable system. I'll be making my Day-Timer my daily driver for the forseeable future.

    Does anyone have any advice for me as I set up a paper system?

    One of the challenges I see is the 750 tasks I now have on my lists. My hand is tired just thinking about copying all of those onto paper!

    I've moved all my calendar items to the paper planner and am typing up weekly reoccurring appointments in a WORD document to put in the planner.

    Any help you can give will be much appreciated!

  • #2

    Can you print out your various lists for now and put them in the binder? If it's a 5.5x8 inch planner, that's half a sheet and pretty easy to configure Outlook (or any other Microsoft application) to do. Print, crop, punch, and use the paper lists as a starting point. That way you don't need to hand copy, but can just start hand editing (crossing out, adding to, etc.). And things will still be in the order you had them, so easy to find. Finally, it will allow you to read and process typed text for a while as you get used to your handwriting again.

    I suppose you've seen the free PDF from DA on this site about how to configure a paper planner for GTD?


    • #3
      Rummage around for paper a lot of the answer gets personal in your style. Make some master stuff on your computer of your choice and then work on building an hPDA or something larger depending on how much room you need.



      • #4

        I use iCal and I can't print just the task list. Interesting find once I lost the PDA!


        • #5
          Originally posted by GTDWorks
          I use iCal and I can't print just the task list.
          Unbelievable. Can you export the data to something that can print it? There is just no way you should have to hand-write data that exists in a file in some productivity application.


          • #6
            I'm looking at tryng to sync with Entourage using iSync, which should allow me to print my individual lists.


            • #7
              Any possibility of copying and pasting into Excel?
              Once you're on paper, you can still keep your lists in Excel or Word, print them so you can carry around and write on, then update in Excel. they're portable, but you can key in, sort and manipulate them electronically.


              • #8
                Originally posted by GTDWorks

                I use iCal and I can't print just the task list. Interesting find once I lost the PDA!
                Oh, that's just terrible! I concur with the suggestions to try to export into another application (Word, Excel, .rtf, even plain text) in order to manipulate your the lists and then print.

                Even if you have to take screen shots and print them, it's better than rewriting hundreds of items!

                At the point where you get another PDA would you use iCal again?

                PS Keep an eye on ebay for cheap refurbs. My old Treo 90 is still running great (and it still supported by Palm for OS upgrades) and can be purchased new for under $100 on ebay right now.


                • #9
                  Thanks, everyone.

                  I think I'll be exporting everything to paper using either Excel or Word.

                  Will I use iCal again? I hear they may be undating it in the new version of Mac OS. I'll have to see what they come up with for Task management before I decide.


                  • #10
                    Can't you use the desktop software

                    I was just wondering if you could use the desktop software that comes with the PDA.


                    • #11

                      There is no desktop softeware for my PDA: I was using a Pocket PC with Mac, syncing with Missing Sync from If I had been using Palm, I could have used the desktop that came with it.

                      I've been cutting and pasting my Next Action items into WORD from iCal. I have been able to pare my lists down quite a bit and will, in the end, probably be a lot "leaner and meaner" using the paper planner.

                      It's a big change using a paper system. But I must admit, it works quite well. And I seem to be much more in touch with my lists and calendar than when I was using a digital system. What I miss most is the amount of information I can carry with me. But my iPOD is helping with my contact list, so I should be okay until I decide if I'm going to buy another PDA or smartphone.

                      Thanks for the advice, folks!
                      Last edited by GTDWorks; 11-21-2006, 05:23 PM. Reason: spelling