Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Question on paper Planners

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Question on paper Planners

    Hello,
    I have read the DA guide for setting up a Paper Planner as well as the many ideas on this forum. One question for those using a Paper Planner. Do you have a separate tab for each action list or just one tab labeled @ Action List with multiple pages with the list header's @ Calls, @ Computer etc. I know it's a personal choice, just curious.
    Thanks

  • #2
    About paper planners

    Hi

    Im on Filofax and I use six coloured tabs for separating the Inbox, NAs, Projects, Agendas, Ref. material and Reference.

    Under 1 is Inbox
    Under 2 is my NAs
    Under 3 is my Projects...

    you get the picture..

    BUT, under each tab, I have NAs for my work, for my home, Waiting Fors.. etc.

    So Im using both an tabbed and an list header-kind-of-system...

    and I have six other tabs for My self and as an brain-dumping place... but Im using the six "first" tabs for the most of the time.

    works fine for me...

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Popeye

      I think I like your setup better!

      Comment


      • #4
        I created a paper organizer in a binder to use as backup in case my PDA breaks. I put all of the action lists under Action Lists tab like the article described, but I attached a labeled Post-It(R) flag to each sheet to denote a context (@Calls, etc).

        Comment


        • #5
          Recent convert to paper & my tabs

          Originally posted by gator View Post
          Hello,
          I have read the DA guide for setting up a Paper Planner as well as the many ideas on this forum. One question for those using a Paper Planner. Do you have a separate tab for each action list or just one tab labeled @ Action List with multiple pages with the list header's @ Calls, @ Computer etc. I know it's a personal choice, just curious.
          Thanks
          Here are my tabs, for now...

          @Computer
          @Office
          @Home
          @Phone
          Wait-For (Sorted by first name (oftentimes initials, and the creation date))
          Agenda ABCDE (Sorted by first name or initials)
          Agenda FGHIJ
          Agenda KLMNO
          Agenda PQRSTU
          Agenda VWXYZ
          Proj-PG (Project list Personal)
          Proj-Work (Project list Work)
          R/R (Read and Review)
          S/M (Someday/Maybe)
          @Errands
          Various focusing lists (tabs for each major project/area of focus)
          Checklists
          20K - HOF (Horizons of Focus)
          30K - HOF
          40K - HOF
          50K - HOF

          That looks like quite a bunch of tabs, and I've cut it down from originally way more! It works for me, because I focus more completely within each context. I had to do what I did with Agendas because I work with many people (personal and professional).

          After several years using the GTD Systematic Approach, I've converted to a paper system (one system for both work and life - that was a big jump for me). One of my several realizations after switching was that writing the Next Action down encourages me to slow down and really process the item. Spending just a little more time gets me to determine the meaning of the item, position it correctly, and possibly either complete or initially tackle with a 2 minute action. I've created more forward progress knowing that I can subtlety reword/re-categorize the Next Actual Action after doing some work on the item. I'm now using Technology for what it's good for -- full-text searching, MindMaps, Databases, etc and cross-reference within my actions and projects lists.

          When I can eventually manually Capture and Process at the speed of light (which for me was a liability because my brain knew I hadn't really committed to what I had lamely processed, so it checked out), I'll go back to using a technology system -- until then, paper is my preferred choice.

          What's wild is that my Project List isn't as big as it was within the technology system -- that's because I was creating too many new projects from spontaneous ideas after reading an email vs. parking the idea within a Project's Action Support for a related Project.

          Another really wild thing is that I realized my brain can actually make links between actions and projects -- for years, I didn't think this was possible. Sure, I may end up with dupe actions across contexts for the same project, but it all works itself out during Weekly Review.

          I agree -- it's a personal choice, so do what works for you. The question I ask myself every so often is, "Am I really doing GTD?"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by pgarth View Post
            Here are my tabs, for now...

            @Computer
            @Office
            @Home
            @Phone
            Wait-For (Sorted by first name (oftentimes initials, and the creation date))
            Agenda ABCDE (Sorted by first name or initials)
            Agenda FGHIJ
            Agenda KLMNO
            Agenda PQRSTU
            Agenda VWXYZ
            Proj-PG (Project list Personal)
            Proj-Work (Project list Work)
            R/R (Read and Review)
            S/M (Someday/Maybe)
            @Errands
            Various focusing lists (tabs for each major project/area of focus)
            Checklists
            20K - HOF (Horizons of Focus)
            30K - HOF
            40K - HOF
            50K - HOF

            That looks like quite a bunch of tabs, and I've cut it down from originally way more! It works for me, because I focus more completely within each context. I had to do what I did with Agendas because I work with many people (personal and professional).

            After several years using the GTD Systematic Approach, I've converted to a paper system (one system for both work and life - that was a big jump for me). One of my several realizations after switching was that writing the Next Action down encourages me to slow down and really process the item. Spending just a little more time gets me to determine the meaning of the item, position it correctly, and possibly either complete or initially tackle with a 2 minute action. I've created more forward progress knowing that I can subtlety reword/re-categorize the Next Actual Action after doing some work on the item. I'm now using Technology for what it's good for -- full-text searching, MindMaps, Databases, etc and cross-reference within my actions and projects lists.

            When I can eventually manually Capture and Process at the speed of light (which for me was a liability because my brain knew I hadn't really committed to what I had lamely processed, so it checked out), I'll go back to using a technology system -- until then, paper is my preferred choice.

            What's wild is that my Project List isn't as big as it was within the technology system -- that's because I was creating too many new projects from spontaneous ideas after reading an email vs. parking the idea within a Project's Action Support for a related Project.

            Another really wild thing is that I realized my brain can actually make links between actions and projects -- for years, I didn't think this was possible. Sure, I may end up with dupe actions across contexts for the same project, but it all works itself out during Weekly Review.

            I agree -- it's a personal choice, so do what works for you. The question I ask myself every so often is, "Am I really doing GTD?"
            Paul,

            Thanks very much for sharing, I may be joining you in getting off electronic for a while. What sort of notebook are you using for this - DA planner, Circa, plain vanilla?

            Phil.

            Comment


            • #7
              Paul's home-made GTD Binder

              Originally posted by Philb View Post
              Paul,

              Thanks very much for sharing, I may be joining you in getting off electronic for a while. What sort of notebook are you using for this - DA planner, Circa, plain vanilla?

              Phil.
              Hi Phil:

              Thanks for your reply. The David Allen Company paper-based products are excellent and a good starting point for someone new to GTD - everything's laid out for you and you're up and running quickly. I originally started with the full-size binder and then down-sized to the smaller format because I walk around a bit between buildings.

              As I've been doing GTD since 2006, my paper-based system has morphed quite a bit (additional tabs), so I needed a thicker 7-ring binder. I lucked out because I still had my classic-size 3" leather binder from my Franklin Planner days, which just needed a dusting.

              As for tabs, if you purchase additional ones, I'd recommend the Avery 5 1/2" by 8 1/2" Durable Write-on Plastic Dividers #16180 which come 5 to a pak -- assuming you're going with smaller format. Reason being is that the tab has strong bending resistance and is wide enough for a printed label.

              I created a mini portable InBox by purchasing pockets from the same brand - one pocket to house my cut-up scrap letter-sized paper (which I hand tear into 4 squares) and another pocket for the actual InBox.

              To carry the Templates around, which I find useful for review and my Weekly Review Checklist, I purchased sheet protectors from the same brand.

              Best of luck in your GTD practice.

              Paul

              Comment


              • #8
                Meaning of the written word

                I appreciate all of your comments on the paper planner. I do my best thinking when I am writing (as opposed to "texting.") It's just that you then have to carry the binder around. Or not. But thank you, Mr. Garth.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pgarth View Post
                  Hi Phil:

                  Thanks for your reply. The David Allen Company paper-based products are excellent and a good starting point for someone new to GTD - everything's laid out for you and you're up and running quickly. I originally started with the full-size binder and then down-sized to the smaller format because I walk around a bit between buildings.

                  As I've been doing GTD since 2006, my paper-based system has morphed quite a bit (additional tabs), so I needed a thicker 7-ring binder. I lucked out because I still had my classic-size 3" leather binder from my Franklin Planner days, which just needed a dusting.

                  As for tabs, if you purchase additional ones, I'd recommend the Avery 5 1/2" by 8 1/2" Durable Write-on Plastic Dividers #16180 which come 5 to a pak -- assuming you're going with smaller format. Reason being is that the tab has strong bending resistance and is wide enough for a printed label.

                  I created a mini portable InBox by purchasing pockets from the same brand - one pocket to house my cut-up scrap letter-sized paper (which I hand tear into 4 squares) and another pocket for the actual InBox.

                  To carry the Templates around, which I find useful for review and my Weekly Review Checklist, I purchased sheet protectors from the same brand.

                  Best of luck in your GTD practice.

                  Paul
                  Thanks for the detail Paul. Very cool. I was also thinking about re-enlisting some old franklin binders.

                  Phil.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Franklin Binder

                    Paul is your binder 8 1/2 x 11?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Paul,
                      I have the following tabs in my personal size filofax:
                      • Notes/In
                      • MITs - most important tasks from Zen Habits in my Dodo Pad
                      • Action lists - one sheet of paper for each context
                      • Projects/goals - just a list of what they are
                      • Project plans - more detail
                      • Ref/misc - notes, workflow diagram, weekly review sheet etc.

                      I think if I had a lot more next actions, I might consider tabs for them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Paper Planner setup

                        Mine is 8 1/2 x 11, three ring. Got some nice heavy duty legal pads, punched, from Office Depot. (TOPS brand. Not the cheapest; got 20 lb; but they last months so who cares?) Also some 3M stick-on tabs.

                        Major headings have plastic pocket dividers with the index tab insert.
                        IN
                        Calendar
                        Actions
                        Agenda
                        Project List
                        Project Support
                        Reference

                        Tabbed subheaders (I just stick the 3M to the paper)
                        Actions:
                        Anywhere
                        Home
                        Computer
                        Waiting for
                        Work
                        Brain Dead (love this one)
                        Under Projects
                        Someday/Maybe

                        I number my projects on the list and put a "project planning" sheet with the number and title into the Project Plans section. I built my own form and print on thick 24 lb paper with a graph paper grid background. When I build a new project I ordinarily do a quick dump with outcome, what kind of support materials I think I'll need, brainstorm section that I usually sketch out a map on, and at least one next action at the bottom. "brainstorm project X" is often the next action in Anywhere.

                        As I wrote elsewhere, I'm liking the paper system better than software despite being the worlds geekiest doc. (I joined a computer club in 1966...) My rule of thumb is no more than one page for each action list so I don't bury myself. I did bury myself in Outlook; it's way too easy to add a new Task.

                        My indulgent wife has gotten me two gorgeous fountain pens, the Pilot Retractable and a Lamy Retractable. There is something almost sensuous about writing on good paper with those pens and that is a small but real motivator for me.

                        Jim

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Whither to carry the planner around

                          Originally posted by MikeC View Post
                          I appreciate all of your comments on the paper planner. I do my best thinking when I am writing (as opposed to "texting.") It's just that you then have to carry the binder around. Or not. But thank you, Mr. Garth.
                          I was thinking the same thing when I originally converted to paper -- the 3" binder (made of leather) definitely has some heft.

                          Because I was making a conscious choice to separate my GTD processing and review from the computer I have to make some decisions.

                          My daily habit is to create a mini mind-map (on hand-cut squares from letter-size scrap paper), which is my version of a Daily ToDo list. It comes from a quick TopOfMindDump or by a quick scan by category -- Phone, Office, Computer, Agendas. This offers a couple things -- it's really light to carry around; gives me something to focus on vs. having to continually look-up by category for the Next Action. This is my walkaround tool, but it comes with some disclaimers and dangers -- 1. I have to make sure I still do a quick scan through all the Action Lists throughout the day, 2. I have to make sure I don't carry it forward to the next day and therefore avoid looking at the Action Lists and 3. If I write something from a mind-dump that is not already captured, then it needs to be processed into a list. Bottom-line -- ToDo lists for me are a good habit because it focuses me and avoids MindChatter, but they can get out of control fast relative to my laziness.

                          I make sure I carry the binder to every planned meeting, and can then do quick scans of any pending Agenda items I have for folk. But... be discreet when doing an AgendaScan with someone in front of you -- KellyF busted me for being too overt to see if I had something captured to discuss with her during an ad hoc moment!!!

                          The computer comes along if I need it during a meeting -- Powerpoint, Mindmap, online for SaaS CRM access if applicable, Lotus Notes Databases, etc. But... it's typically a liability for me because I'll start checking email and start loading up when I should be doing work I already planned on doing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dimensions of PG Binder

                            Originally posted by gator View Post
                            Paul is your binder 8 1/2 x 11?
                            Hi Gator:

                            I tried the 8 1/2 by 11 planner for a while, but (believe it or not) it was too much on the big size for me, so I didn't want to carry it around.

                            The binder I have is effectively half the size of that. Imagine putting a piece of letter-sized (8.5 by 11) paper in landscape-mode and then cut in half vertically. Each piece is the size of my binder pages. I'm sure there was a more mathematically elegant way of putting that, but it's midnight now...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just enough tabs...

                              Originally posted by AnitaL View Post
                              Hi Paul,
                              I have the following tabs in my personal size filofax:
                              • Notes/In
                              • MITs - most important tasks from Zen Habits in my Dodo Pad
                              • Action lists - one sheet of paper for each context
                              • Projects/goals - just a list of what they are
                              • Project plans - more detail
                              • Ref/misc - notes, workflow diagram, weekly review sheet etc.

                              I think if I had a lot more next actions, I might consider tabs for them.
                              AnitaL:

                              Looking good with your layout. Definitely good idea to not mimic someone else's system until you sense that you need another category. The more complicated I make my system, the more I end up wittling it back down at the end of the year!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X