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The GTD Academic

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  • The GTD Academic

    I'm an academic with a particularly heavy teaching/advising/administrative load, and I'd love to hear how other academics have implemented GTD.

  • #2
    Human--

    Since you are a GTD Connect member, listen to the podcast I just posted last week with Professor Sue. It's specifically about how she applies GTD to the academic world.

    Podcast:
    https://secure.davidco.com/connect/m...2&trackid=1031

    Members-only Forum discussion about it:
    http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthr...lege-professor

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by human View Post
      I'm an academic with a particularly heavy teaching/advising/administrative load, and I'd love to hear how other academics have implemented GTD.
      For GTD: mainly Omnifocus and Evernote on macs, iPhone and iPad. I do mindmaps and outlines sometimes using several different programs. I generally like OF, but it is slow sometimes. I have set up several custom perspectives:
      Today, Soon, Dates, Waiting, Added, Complete, Someday and Weekly Review. Today shows items that are due or flagged, and it's my daily dashboard. Soon is a list sorted by date. Added is a list sorted by date added, newest first, used mostly for flagging purposes. My projects are in folders, with Research, Professional, Teaching and Other Work on top and personal folders below those. My file system, on dropbox, mirrors the folders in OF, but with a numeral to sort them to the top: 1 Research, 2 Professional, et cetera. Now that Evernote has stacks, I'm slowly redoing it's structure to match. I have very little physical paper to file nowadays.

      Other stuff: I use Lyx and TeX for technical writing, Mathematica for calculations, Keynote for talks. I used to use RapidWeaver for my web site, but I need to update the site. I had an infection in my back this summer, so to cut down on weight and trouble I went to Circa for my class notes as well as general notes. I found a company called Myndology that sells compatible supplies at a better price than Levenger. I've tried several reference/pdf managers, but it looks like Zotero is going to be the best choice now that they have a stand-alone program and a clipper for Safari.

      I have to say that the software is all very good, and any failures of productivity are attributable to me. Ten years ago, computers were slower, software was not as good, I was using Windows, and it wasn't always just me. By and large, I do not use my university's software tools if I can avoid them because they are just not very good. Blackboard, for example: was it designed with the 70's or the 80's in mind as a retro theme?

      But enough about me. Tell us about yourself.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi mcogilvie,

        What do you use the iPad for ? You can't LaTeX without complications like a compiler somewhere else as I understand it. My wife has been using it to project up in lectures writing on the iPad with a stylus and iAnnotate. Just wondering what else it is good for ?

        Sorry I am leading us astray. What kind of academic are you human ?

        Thanks - Michael

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mmurray View Post
          Hi mcogilvie,

          What do you use the iPad for ? You can't LaTeX without complications like a compiler somewhere else as I understand it. My wife has been using it to project up in lectures writing on the iPad with a stylus and iAnnotate. Just wondering what else it is good for ?
          I'm using it now, in fact. I use it for email, rss feeds, todo list, calendar, presentations, uh, piloting the space shuttle. There is a TeX equation editor that I have used to touch up Keynote presentations. I read in bed with it, I take it to meetings, I give talks with it. When I was in the hospital and then stuck in bed for months with a back problem, it was my connection to the outside world. It's 1.5 lbs, gets 10 hours of use on a full charge, and turns on instantly.

          Originally posted by mmurray View Post
          What kind of academic are you human ?
          Sounds like an old star trek episode, where Kirk defeats the aliens.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mmurray View Post
            What kind of academic are you human ?
            Almost as tough to answer as if you had asked what kind of human I am---
            I teach writing and direct a small program on campus.

            And you?

            I love hearing about tech details, by the way.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
              Human--

              Since you are a GTD Connect member, listen to the podcast I just posted last week with Professor Sue. It's specifically about how she applies GTD to the academic world.

              Podcast:
              https://secure.davidco.com/connect/m...2&trackid=1031

              Members-only Forum discussion about it:
              http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthr...lege-professor
              Thanks! I loved Professor Sue's solution with the pouches for each class. Brilliant!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by human View Post
                Almost as tough to answer as if you had asked what kind of human I am---
                I teach writing and direct a small program on campus.

                And you?

                I love hearing about tech details, by the way.
                Mathematician. Research, teaching, too much administration -- the usual stuff!

                Michael

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
                  I'm using it now, in fact. I use it for email, rss feeds, todo list, calendar, presentations, uh, piloting the space shuttle. There is a TeX equation editor that I have used to touch up Keynote presentations. I read in bed with it, I take it to meetings, I give talks with it. When I was in the hospital and then stuck in bed for months with a back problem, it was my connection to the outside world. It's 1.5 lbs, gets 10 hours of use on a full charge, and turns on instantly.
                  What's the TeX equation editor ? Sounds interesting. They are certainly becoming popular around my campus as something to take to meetings and do presentations with. I was thinking also of using one as a pdf reader using Papers.

                  Sounds like an old star trek episode, where Kirk defeats the aliens.
                  I did have trouble composing that question

                  Thanks for the information.

                  Michael

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by human View Post
                    Almost as tough to answer as if you had asked what kind of human I am---
                    I teach writing and direct a small program on campus.

                    And you?
                    I'm a physics professor at a research university. OK, what kind of human are you?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How do you review documents?

                      I'm not an academic, but engage a lot of consultants and always have difficulty in reviewing the documents. They are meant to be done internally, but I always still find lots of spelling errors, typos and minor content errors as well as the bigger content errors. I'd really like to hear how you do thorough reviews of other people's documents. The documents I review now tend to be 50-250 pages, so the long ones could really use a more thorough process to make sure they're done well.

                      I've bought Tony Buzan's Study Skills Handbook which gives a step by step process to studying, but I thought maybe I should do a once through read first and capture as I go, maybe print out the document and highlight with different colours any typos or sections that need editing fixes and sections with content that needs review.
                      I find that the first read all the typos stand out, reading it later you tend to skim and miss these things. Also it would be an opportunity to collect ideas as I go and process them after I've read the whole thing at least once, on the second stage focus on studying and looking in detail at certain aspects. Anyway this is my idea but I'd appreciate hearing how others do it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In my work I review my team's deliverables or client's feedback pretty much daily. So I've got to have a system. Most of the documents I can get electronically in MS Word and this makes it simple. I add my review notes using the comments feature in MS Word and ask that all changes be made in track changes without any of the comments being deleted. This way, when I get the document back a second time, I can see what I originally said, as well as the corrections that were made.

                        If I do a hard copy review, I mark up my hard copy with my review notes - I will also number them and keep track of how many review notes I have. Then when the next copy comes back, I have a reference.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How I use GTD in academia

                          I have been using many aspects of GTD for the last 18months....My academic role has a teaching, research and admin dimension.

                          I use a Mac ecosystem. The key benefit of this is that I can utilize Things. I cut my GTD teeth with Thinking Rock, but it lacked email integration, so i converted to mac mail which connects to Things more or less seamlessly.

                          Within Things I assign project status to each of my 12 postgraduate students, and my postgraduate classes. Each research article and each article review is a project. Every other 'initiative' gets project status as well. I have about 55 projects at the moment. I place a lot of emphasis on (re)defining the next actions and the weekly review. These are my GTD bedrocks.

                          I have an Ipad which I essentially use as a electronic document reader...in fact I bought one for my 12 colleagues on the Research Committee to save trees/money with respect printing costs. I also have an Iphone but I don't use either for GTD purposes.

                          Would love to try Scrivener as a word processor, but all of my research is collaborative so it is not practical.

                          I invested some time and money in getting my workstation the way I wanted it...nice and clean and uncluttered and organised. Good pen. Good quality notebook. Stapler. 60 second filing system. All of the GTD basics.

                          99% of academics who do not employ the principles of GTD are likely not working efficiently (or effectively). I am happy to offer you any specific advice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Geoff Dickson View Post

                            in fact I bought one for my 12 colleagues on the Research Committee to save trees/money with respect printing costs. I also have an Iphone but I don't use either for GTD purposes.
                            Do you want an external member for your research committee ?

                            I haven't gone the iPad route yet. I can see the attractions as PDF reader and meeting tool though. It won't LaTeX though so I am going to pick up my laptop anytime I might need to do that.

                            So you haven't tried OmniFocus on iPad, iPhone or Mac ?

                            Michael

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I looked at OmniFocus and the GTD add-on for Outlook....the latter was not an option because were Groupwise email...that is now changing so will reconsider...Things looked less intimidating that OmniFocus...I was attracted to the simplicity of Things. It is working well for me...I need to identify and understand of what the more powerful tools like Omnifocus can do for me.

                              We were spending $18K per annum on printing for our meetings...12 person committee...agendas at 600pages...20 meetings per year....most documents were 'on the table for only a few minutes...spend $10K on Ipads and they paid for themselves within the first year....plus it permitted our whole review system to go electronic/ no hard copies...

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