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Which tool?

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  • Which tool?

    Hi there,

    I've just finished reading GTD and have allocated a day tomorrow to collect everything into my inbox. I'm not sure what tool I should use to track everything - I wondered if someone could help.

    I use a PC at work for 8 hours a day.
    I use a Mac at home probably 15 hours a week for home projects.
    I have a Sony Ericsson P900 which syncs with the Mac, and has Calendar, Addressbook, etc on it.

    I have been looking at tadalists, and Gmail as an online organizing tool, but I fear that I can only access them when I'm near an online computer, so that's not much use when I'm out and about. I've also looked at the hipster PDA and was a bit shocked that people want to use bits of paper in this high-tech age. I am also considering how I could use the P900 to its full to implement GTD.

    I'm confused as to which tool to start using. Should I use many tools, just one? Paper or high-tech, or both? Someone help!

    Thanks.

  • #2
    The best tool is the one you can use without thinking. I use gmail to collect when I'm at a computer and on line. I use a palm pilot for collecting any other time. The Slap program will collect then it easily transfers things into the correct part of the palm (to do, contacts, etc).

    I too have computers at work and at home. This system works best for me.

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    • #3
      I can't remember whether or not the P900 is a Series 60 phone. If so, there are Outlook conduits available. But in general, I think that unless you have a pretty straightforward setup (e.g. a Windows desktop and laptop, Palm Desktop or Outlook on both), it's probably a good idea to start low tech until you've completed researching your high-tech options.

      The main things are to: get an in-tray, collect everything, do a mind sweep, get your projects and next actions listed, get the general reference filing system set up, and, optionally, get a tickler file set up. I recommend putting your project and action lists in a $10 paper planner for the time being, so that you don't get distracted or lost in interface issues while setting up the whole system. Then, once you've set it all up, put researching options for a high-tech setup on your project list.

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      • #4
        I'm confused as to which tool to start using. Should I use many tools, just one? Paper or high-tech, or both? Someone help!
        Start using whichever tools you are already most familiar with. If you are just starting, it doesn't matter that much - what's much more important is to understand all the GTD fundamentals and implement them.

        For example, I started with online tools: I tried GMail, Backpack, Ta-da lists and various wikis, but after some time I abandoned them - they were just too slow for me. Soon after starting GTD I realized, that to follow this system, I need a system which would allow me to enter all data as quickly as possible.

        I also tried HipsterPDA, but it was still not quick enough.

        So, now I use local windows application called Keynote, which is like a tabbed notebook, and it works fine for me. I don't use any synchronisation. The input speed is limited only by my fingers and all the GTD lists are in one file. I also use paper notebook as input box for my ideas, but not often, since I sit on PC most of the time and I can type faster with keyboard as I can handwrite on paper.

        greyman.

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        • #5
          "...I can type faster with keyboard as I can handwrite on paper.."
          I can't type faster than I can handwrite, but at least I can read what I typed when I look at it later

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          • #6
            Originally posted by keymoo
            I've just finished reading GTD and have allocated a day tomorrow to collect everything into my inbox. I'm not sure what tool I should use to track everything - I wondered if someone could help.
            ..
            I'm confused as to which tool to start using. Should I use many tools, just one? Paper or high-tech, or both?
            I don't want to come across as gtd-police, but you should be careful about what you mean by "track everything." GTD is not a tracking system, but a doing system that can be implemented many ways. In terms of tools, you probably should start with "where should I keep my lists of next actions and projects." I think pieces of paper in folders is a good place to start if you don't have any particular well-grooved habits. A palm or similar PDA/smart phone is fine if it is easy for you to use; likewise a paper planner from Day-Timer, Franklin, or similar. Don't make things too complicated. I would stay away from on-line tools to start with. Try something simple and stick with it for a while. Building new habits is more important than the tools you use. Good Luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by spectecGTD
              I can't type faster than I can handwrite, but at least I can read what I typed when I look at it later
              In the past, I invested some time and patience into learn to type with all 10 fingers, and it was a great investment. It is very liberating when you can type quickly without looking at the keyboard. Here is a good link how to achieve it:
              http://www.df7cb.de/projects/10finger/

              greyman

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