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Advice for implementation

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  • Advice for implementation

    I'm not really sure if I'm on the right track with how I plan to implement, so I thought I'd see if anyone has any advice.

    I have finished reading the book and am about to read it again, although I haven't really begun implementing. You see, I'm a university student who lives at a college on campus, so at the moment I'm still on summer holidays. In about a week I'm moving back and will be in a new room, new building etc. As I will have to set up my room from scratch, I see that as a great opportunity to start GTD. As I see it, there wouldn't be much point starting at home, as I wouldn't really be able to file the stuff that I'd want to, don't have a desk, plus don't really have much that I could process. I have no responsibilities here (at least not at present as I've just finished work for the summer). I'm planning to take my stuff to college and return the next day to move in and begin unpacking/putting stuff into my inbox.

    In doing that, would I be best to unpack first and then stick stuff in inbox, or do it at the same time as I discover stuff?

    I love the idea of a tickler file. I've seen things online about implementation of GTD for college students that pretty much say to do away with the tickler. I think it's great! I'm on medications that I have to get the scripts filled for on a regular basis, and previously I'd write when I can get the scripts again in my diary, but I see the tickler as a much better way to do this - it's easy to glance over a note written in the diary, but having the script show up in the tickler is a much better reminder!
    I may have missed it in my reading of the book, but how is the best way to handle the tickler? Do you take everything out of it and put into the inbox to process? IF you do, do you do it in the morning or the night before?

    I've been trying to work out how to handle both the tickler and filing system. Obviously as a college student, I have limited space, and resources, and a whole filing cabinet is a little extravagent for me at present, especially as I will be moving in as little as 6 months to a year. I have a number of crates and discovered that one of them actually is designed to support hanging files. While I don't want hanging files for my filing system (I'm much too lazy for them, plus the whole being a student thing), I do like the idea of using them for my tickler file. I had previously been looking at the portable filing boxes for my tickler as they're more portable and practical for when I travel home during the year, but I'm fine with the crates if it means I don't need to buy anything else. It's also more flexible if I decide I don't like that way of implementing, or having a tickler at all. Do people use different coloured folders for the numbered folders and the month ones? I like the idea of doing so, but it's tricky to work out how to buy them! They seem to be sold in packs of 20 and 50, so for the days, I'd need two 20 packs and for the months, i'd need another one! I'm thinking I MAY be able to use some empty hanging files of one colour that my parents may have so I can eliminate the amount of leftovers that I have.

    As for my filing system, I've got some other crates that are smaller but I like very much. After a quick investigation, I've noticed they're the same size as a manilla folder, so it would be perfect for my filing system. I have two of these crates and suspect that they would fit quite a few files (at least 100 is my guess), so I think I'll be set for a while. Previously, all three crates were unused/being used to shove stuff in at college.

    One thing I'm a little unsure about is how to file journal articles. While they'd usually come under reference stuff, and would then be filed, I have quite a number of journal articles that I have just printed off for a particular subject that I'm taking. (More than a ream of paper's worth - and I printed double sided!!!). They're assigned by the course, so should I just keep them with my coursework or should I file them? IF I do file them, how do I do it? I think I've seen somewhere online, someone made a database in excel, though that's a little tedious. OR would I be better off keeping the articles with coursework, but moving them, and my notes on the articles, into the reference files at the end of the course so I can refer to them later on.

    I have MANY coloured manilla folders that I bought to use for exams last year (ie a different colour for each subject). Is using different coloured folders for different thigns in the reference file a little too much? Should I just use whatever colour takes my fancy at the time?

    I love list making (do it all the time) because i find i need to get things out of my head (not in the GTD way of not having to think, but more so I understand everything) so this is the ideal system for me. I need structure, and my degree doesn't really give me that structure (BA/LLB dual degree) as I only have 11.5 contact hours a week. I'm expected to do 12 hours worth of work per subject, however, mainly in reading, with very few set problems given to work through, so as you can imagine, it is tricky for anyone to stay focused and get all the work done, let alone someone who has issues.

    For class work, I got given one of those livescribe echo pens for christmas so I'm locked into using that for classes (not htat I mind because I love the idea of it). I have a diary organizer that I've just gone through and written date specific and time specific stuff into for the semester (assignments, classes etc) and highlighted. I tendto find I NEED to enter in all my classes into the diary before the semester or I'll never use the diary as it's not up to date. For wall calendar, I have one I bought myself that's very pretty (Lady GaGa) although I'm considering just cutting it up to decorate my walls with and using these giant boards I'm getting off my dad. They're the whiteboard ones that are a year's calendar on one side, and a white board on the other. He has at least 4 ones that the calendar is outdated on, so I'm takign them to college to use the whiteboard side. I was considering using at least one to draw a calendar up on (I was thinking a semester), and another for a giant next actions list (perhaps my next actions list for my college room?). In this I was going to print out tasks that I know I'll have on a regular basis (ring home, tutorial questions for crim, readings for pols etc), with a blank space to write the particulars for the readings or questions etc, plus cut up a whole heap of blank pieces of paper the same size. I'd then laminate all the pieces, cut them up, then stick velcro dots to one side of them, and cover the board in the opposite velcro spots. I thought of this at work and thought it'd be a good way to keep the list very visible in my room. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to mount them in my room, but that's okay. I know the layout of my room and I can prop it up near my desk easy enough. Another benefit is that because they fold up, if people come into my room I can fold it and put it somewhere else so there is room for people. The other board(s) would be used as whiteboards.

    Although I said I ahven't started implementation, I have dealt with my email inbox. I've unsubscribed from junk newsletters I get, plus deleted a whole heap of stuff I don't need AT ALL. I've also created contexts for things I need to do as I take my email with me on my phone (@college (it's mainly stuff that I need to do to do with college at present, but when i get there it'll develop into stuff to do at college), @uni (again more to do with uni at present but I shall rectify), @errands (phone bill etc) and I have @family which isn't really a good one to keep.)

    For actual contexts when I do implement it, would they be things like
    @computer (because i can be at my laptop/another computer not at college)
    @uni (library books, printing readings etc)
    As I'm taking my car with me now, would having an @car list be a good idea, or would that just be like the @errands one? or would I be best having @errands with a subcontext of @car?


  • #2
    use 3 ring binders

    For your course articles put them in binders by course. If you carry them around, use smaller binders and divide by portion of the course they go with in chronological sequence. Label the spine. If they are general reference for the entire course and if you will not be carrying them around put them in by A to Z just as u would for a bibliography either in a binder or a box with Alphabetical tabs.. A print shop will drill the 3 holes if you need them.

    Although I can't really follow the rest of your query, I think the basic principle is form should function. I would also note that many of us are not using datebooks and planners effectively because we are partially electronic and partially paper, but the group hit the worst are college students who seem to think they can remember everything and the inputs are from so many sources, they are totally confused and miss deadlines and seem to be poor time managers. They are not they are just working from too many different inputs the printed syllabus, the on-line syllabus, passing comment in class, etc. My best advice is that whatever system you use transcribe the syllabus by date to your calendar for each class, put in the academic schedule, etc. Nothing worse than having 1000 pages of reading all in same week and its a big fun week of games and dances.


    • #3
      A lot of your questions are the sorts of things that every person needs to figure out for themselves, usually by just trying different things and seeing what works.

      In general it sounds like you're on the righteous path, so keep with it and let us know how you eventually get things up and operational.