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  • integrating everything

    Physical files - Desktop files - lists on computer - email accounts and contact details

    Ok I seem to have twigged the GTD filing for physical files and am about to get my filing cabinet on Saturday! I totally understand the concept of Project lists and specific next action lists broken down into: phone, by computer, errands etc.

    However I am very stressfully trying to organise my desktop files and I have a few questions:

    1) Should the files on the desktop reflect the files in the filing cabinet?

    2) Is it better to print out word documents and file them physically then delete the word file (in order to avoid clutter on the computer)?

    3) Is there any programs or referencing tools that I can file my desktop and computer files with in order to make them as simple to find and access as possible, preferably by being able to see them all at the same time.

    Right next: my project and next action lists are VERY large, at the moment I have them on 1 word document on my computer, but there is about 10 pages or so and it takes a long time to scroll up and down it to get to the different sections. Now I have tried tiddlywikki and it doesn't work for me, I also downloaded a trial of "Top desk" to see if it would allow me to handle breaking all the components of my next action list: Phone, errands, agenda etc. and putting them on SEPERATE word document sheets so as I could quickly alternate between them, however this program seems to be more suitable for graphics as when it shows you 10 word document pages on the screen you have to point the mouse on each one to find out whether it is 'phone' or 'errands' etc -- a waste of time.

    So how can I easily access all of my project and next action lists on the PC?

    Finally I do not know how to use outlook and so I use a yahoo account for about 5 projects I am involved in. It’s a pain in the ass as I want to develop specific address lists for each project and cannot do it without a lot of hassle. Questions:

    1) Am I better off with 1 outlook or gmail account than 5 separate accounts for each project?
    2) Am I better off with outlook or gmail?
    3) Can I integrate these with Microsoft access (which I am about to learn) or what is the best way to create separate email address lists?

    Thanks, I do not know how I have managed to survive this long with out knowing this stuff!

  • #2
    1) Absolutely! The closer parallel you have between your paper files and your digital ones, the better off you are. I would recommend you take a good look at your paper filing system and tidy it up so that it is just the way you want it. Then create a parallel system inside the My Documents folder of your computer.

    2) No. Save it on your computer and forget printing it. When it's on your computer, you have a whole lot better search capabilities. When you are done with the document, you close it instead of having to refile paper in a filing cabinet, and you prevent creating so much paper (most of which will never be looked at again).

    3) I use Outlook to manage my tasks. (Not sure if this is what you mean by that one.)

    One the other questions:
    1) I would maintain one e-mail account.
    2) I have never worked with g-mail, but have used Outlook for years and like it.
    3) Have not worked that much with Access, so can't help you there.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Frank Buck
      1) Absolutely! The closer parallel you have between your paper files and your digital ones, the better off you are. I would recommend you take a good look at your paper filing system and tidy it up so that it is just the way you want it. Then create a parallel system inside the My Documents folder of your computer.
      I respectfully disagree. With the new searching software available (some of it free), I say just dump everything into my documents and then use the search to find it. There have been a number of discussions on these boards about the software (google, copernic, blinkx, etc.); here is one such http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3645

      This may also be an answer to question number 3).

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by db45
        1) Should the files on the desktop reflect the files in the filing cabinet?
        When you use the same principles to organize your computer files and your paper files--separating Next Actions from Project Support from Reference--you will see your two systems naturally fall into general parallels. I wouldn't go too crazy trying to make them match up exactly.

        Originally posted by db45
        Right next: my project and next action lists are VERY large, at the moment I have them on 1 word document on my computer, but there is about 10 pages or so and it takes a long time to scroll up and down it to get to the different sections.
        I also keep my Projects and Someday list in Word. Neither of my documents are true lists, as I find them handy places to enter notes. That means I get a lot of use out of the Outline View and Document Map to navigate these large documents.

        You should definitely break out your Next Actions into a separate document. I wonder also if your Project document is so large because it has a lot of notes in it, or because it has a lot of "Projects" that are really "Someday/Maybe". That, too, should be a separate document.

        Comment


        • #5
          Have have tried GTD Outlook add-in?

          I have seen so many people asking questions about how to associate a task with a project and context and be able to view tasks by project or by context groupings, but very few answers led to what I see as obvious solution: to use GTD Outlook add-in for this purpose, I have trialed it and it seems to do a good job, but I am quite new to GTD, does anyone have extented experience using gtd outlook add-in for this purpose who can shed some light here?

          thanks,

          I Am!

          Comment


          • #6
            db45,
            Instead of using one big word file, I use free (ms windows) software called Keynote (http://www.tranglos.com/free/keynote.html). It's a tabbed notebook, where you can have multiple tabs like Inbox, Project list, Waiting fors, etc - it's much quicker to switch between tabs, comparing to scroll up and down in one big text file.

            Another good free software is PSPad (http://www.pspad.com/en/) which is just an editor, where you can open multiple files at once.

            greyman

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by db45
              However I am very stressfully trying to organise my desktop files and I have a few questions:
              Suggestion: Don't worry about this until after you've set up your system. Often, a good solution does not present itself until the necessary tools are physically in place.

              So how can I easily access all of my project and next action lists on the PC?
              I have my NAs in one text file, and each Project has its own separate text file. These are all stored in the same "Getting Things Done" folder. Because I use Quicksilver, I can access them directly with a few keystrokes at any time, but before I was used to that, I had a file list window always open to the folder in which I store those lists. A few clicks would open any Project list.

              Comment

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