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  • Multiple GTD Systems

    I am about 1/3 of the way through the book but I am demoing ways to impliment this system. One of which is the Netcentric Outlook Add-In. The question I have, and may be answered later in the book, so I applogize if it is, is it "correct" to have 2 seperate GTD systems? I am watching the videos from the Netcentric website and think the software might be very beneficial, but am not sure how I would use it in conjunction with my Work email account.

    I have a lot of personal projects going on and I have a lot of work projects going on. The personal I can keep track of while at work through Web Access and my Phone, and the work projects I don't really care too much about after I leave the office, at least at this particular job. But I still feel like it would be budensome to maintain two GTD systems. Does anyone have any insight to this?

    Thanks!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by tlitterio View Post
    But I still feel like it would be budensome to maintain two GTD systems. Does anyone have any insight to this?
    I know some people who have two systems, either by choice or because they have to conform with a work-based productivity system that can't be used for personal purposes.

    My recommendation is that if you have a choice, stick with one system. You're much less likely to lose things, and you want to be able to trust your system implicitly.

    Most systems have the ability to use context or a tagging feature to filter for area of focus if you want to see work vs personal. I've found that it's better if I can see both work and personal data together - I often want to do one or two personal tasks during lunch at work and likewise will often do a bit of work from home. On weekends I will filter out my work tasks so that I can forget about them for a while.

    Comment


    • #3
      your mileage may vary...

      Hi there, tlitterio!

      It's a really good question and there's been a lot of discussion about this in the forums. A quick search will probably turn up some great answers for you.

      Everyone's work/personal situation is a little different, but in general it comes down to how many inboxes you have to manage and whether aggregating everything makes your life more or less complicated. I have everything in one system, but I work for myself out of my home, so it just makes sense. If you're not comfortable having your personal life co-mingling, as it were, with your professional life, then two systems are appropriate. So you're going to be the best judge of that.

      Since you're just getting started I will caution you not to get too worked up over the perfect software tool. We've all (Can I speak in vast, obnoxious generalizations here? I think I can.) gone through bytes and bytes of software thinking we'll find the exact right product to speed us up or streamline the process or, I don't know, raise our children, but at the end of the day "perfect" is elusive. Even if it means having a paper-based system to get you started (and many of us do), don't let the tools hold you back.

      OK, stepping off my soapbox (I carry this little portable one with me for occasions just like this...).

      Happy GTD-ing!

      Dena

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by artsinaction View Post
        Since you're just getting started I will caution you not to get too worked up over the perfect software tool. We've all (Can I speak in vast, obnoxious generalizations here? I think I can.) gone through bytes and bytes of software thinking we'll find the exact right product to speed us up or streamline the process or, I don't know, raise our children, but at the end of the day "perfect" is elusive. Even if it means having a paper-based system to get you started (and many of us do), don't let the tools hold you back.
        Amen to that!

        Comment


        • #5
          1 System if Possible

          I think that unless your work security restricts you to keeping work items separate it's a whole lot easier to integrate the GTD method into a single system.

          After all you can't turn off your brain like a machine. How many times do you think of something that affects work when at home? and how many times do you think of something you need to do or be reminded of at home when you are at work? You at a minimum need some way to capture those thoughts and get them to the proper location for processing if you keep 2 systems and if you are just starting out that may mean it's an extra layer of work that causes you to avoid doing it at all.

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          • #6
            Each system with unique purpose

            I have to chime in to agree with everyone - one system is better. I had several before and all it did was confuse me (where did I capture that?) and you end up not trusting it. I kept creating additional systems to track the systems and it was a mess. One is always better.

            That said, if you have to have two or more, each needs to have a specific purpose - business and personal, as an example. If you immediately know which one a task should go into, you are doing ok. And you will have to review both, of course.

            I completely agree with Dena on software. I pick it based on how much I like to interact with it. If I like the design, I will be interacting with it. If it is boring, I will never open it again. Shiny objects, I know.

            Lyena

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            • #7
              1 system, but different lists

              I have one system, in the way that I follow up private projects and next actions in the exact same way I follow up work related projects. But I do have them on two dofferent lists. I do my follow up in an excel sheet, this only means I have a different tab for my private actions. Same system, different list.

              You might call this a subsystem or a different system... I call it a different face/aspect of the same system. Looking around you, you will find a lot of that type of different faces your system can have. Yet it is still one system...
              - Your dirty dishes lying in the kitchen sink = "these are for cleaning"
              - a pile of bills to pay in a fixed location = "these are for paying"
              - ...

              I don't know if I'm clearly expressing myself, what I meant to say was: keep them totally integrated or on separated lists as you prefer, but make sure they follow the same philosophy and approach...

              Myriam

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              • #8
                Another country heard from...

                My situation is slightly different, in that I have my own business and other "work-ish" activities I'm involved in, but also have a strictly 8-5 "job." I have the issue of not being able to have one system due to IT constraints at my job. I have no input (other than the very occasional idea that comes to me after hours, which I just email to my work email) related to work unless I'm at work. I don't even need context lists for my next actions at work. Just one action list, a waiting for, someday/maybe and a project list.

                I have my "everything else BUT my job" lists accessible on my iPhone, and I always have capture tools for when I have "personal" ideas at work (or anywhere else). I have NO problem having these two systems, but I will admit that I'm probably in the minority as far as having such a dividing line between my work and personal life.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have to have two systems. I rely heavily on e-mail between the two if something pops up or has to be done in the "other" environment. I also often ring home frm work and leave myself a message on the answerphone.

                  Ruth

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                  • #10
                    Without getting into a lot of down-stream issues, the ones that I faced on this very question boil down to 2 key issues.

                    1. Will your employer allow you to wire or wirelessly sync your smart phone into his computer system on which you have your work Outlook account? (I have just made a lot of assumptions, one of which is that you work for someone else and that you use a similar setup that I do, namely smart phone and Outlook.)

                    2. Are you willing to live with your employer's likely requirements that Outlook (and probably your smart phone) are subject to inspection or even confiscation at any time if he wants to exercise full control over his data that resides in the same places as your personal data?

                    In my case, the answer to both questions is a resounding "no," so I keep my systems as separate as I can. My work day is pretty much during the day on weekdays, so my smart phone calendar has very little on it for those hours. About the only time that I have to show duplicate appointments is when I have to leave work for a personal appointment. I need to show that on my work calendar so that I (and anyone looking at my work calendar) know that I have to be out of the office.

                    The only other "work thing" that I can think of that is on my smart phone is an encrypted set of passwords to my various work accounts (along with all of my personal ones) in an Android app.

                    In spite of all of this "separateness," there is almost no duplication. I always cite the old saying: "A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two is never sure." So, each data record resides in only one place (that is backed up somewhere, via sync'ing or otherwise), but the whole set of data happens to reside in 2 places, namely work and personal devices.

                    I hope this helps.

                    Joe

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                    • #11
                      I have two areas of my system which I keep separate - personal and professional. I work both my areas on paper and this system allows me to keep work at work and avoid delving into it when I am at home. I have a filofax that I carry with me and the first page is my jotter page, where all my ideas and actions can be noted and transferred between my areas.

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