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Digital; Taking notes and combining Reference files

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  • Digital; Taking notes and combining Reference files

    I'm implementing the GTD and doing good so far but so far I have noticed something that will be my weak link; adding notes and storing them as refs or actual NA support or both.

    to build a trusted system I want to have a smooth note entry and file reference system. Anyone out there have a smart routine to take notes for projects and link them into a GTD software and have them ready for reference or as NA support?

    I have tried Inbox together with Journler and EverNote. I have also tried Things and OmniFocus as GTD base. So far I lean towards Inbox for the ability to completely follow the GTD method.

    I'd greatly appreciate your examples of software and implemented GTD routines as I'm far from black belt and afraid I'll loose the GTD in software hassle...
    I already see the power of "low-tech" GTD routines but still believe that productivity and mobility has it advantages going digitally

    OneNote didn't seem smooth enough to build up large libraries of projects and ref material...althoug a great software of course.

    Thanxz in advance for some black belt tips

  • #2
    I usually drop any such note into my electronic inbox. In case it helps, here's my routine. When I'm in a processing sweep, a couple of different things can then happen to the note:

    a) it becomes a task like "enter this information into CRM software"

    b) if it is really just a reference file, I apply a tag or otherwise attach it to the open project/task it is related to.

    c) if it is a long list of notes that contains next actions, like things I jotted down listening to an interview, it becomes a "process/review x notes" task, where I will break it down later, but not get caught up doing so just to clear my inbox. I'll either include the electronic file or a note about where the paper is located so I can grab it quickly when I get to it. I take a lot of these long notes because I'm a visual learner and can't retain things I hear very well, so I set aside a secondary time block every week in addition to my weekly review to deal with these.

    d) if it is just things that might turn into projects, or ideas I might want to explore further, it ends up categorized as a someday/maybe that needs planning. I review those things at least twice a month, sometimes more if my weekly review went quickly.

    e) if it is just some kind generic reference material I don't want to lose, I summarize it, tag it, and file it away (I do this almost exclusively electronically, so it is easy to search for - the summary sentence or two lets me search whether or not I've run decent OCR and cleaned it up)
    Last edited by dhartzell; 03-25-2008, 01:59 PM. Reason: spelling

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dominiquegrubestedt@gmail View Post
      To build a trusted system I want to have a smooth note entry and file reference system. Anyone out there have a smart routine to take notes for projects and link them into a GTD software and have them ready for reference or as NA support?

      I have tried Inbox together with Journler and EverNote. I have also tried Things and OmniFocus as GTD base. So far I lean towards Inbox for the ability to completely follow the GTD method.
      ...
      OneNote didn't seem smooth enough to build up large libraries of projects and ref material...although a great software of course.
      I believe that a large part of the virtue of dealing quickly and easily with reference material is to get it literally out of focus as quickly as possible. In other words, even after discarding the irrelevant, the vast majority of reference material will probably never be useful. I'm not talking about active project files here, but material that "might be useful."

      I've been an information hoarder since I was in graduate school. Back in the day it made more sense, because paper preprints and offprints of scientific papers had value. With modern electronic archives and good databases, that behavior is largely obsolete.

      Most information that comes to us is recoverable, and the focus we bring to our work is more valuable than our file cabinets. Dump and go is best. If an item has a date, maybe a title and a keyword, and can be searched for, that's enough.

      I infer that you have a mac, but sometimes run Windows. I use Yojimbo, plus some folders. I looked last night at the mac beta of evernote, but it did not look better than Yojimbo.

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