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Changing my GTD method

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  • Changing my GTD method

    I've decided to change my method of implementing GTD. (I usually do this every 6 months or so. I don't know why, but I end up doing it. I guess it keeps my system "fresh" to me)

    Originally, I was using an organizer binder (about 6.75 in x 3.75) then went totally to a Palm/Outlook system. Now, it seems like I want to use something very different.

    My plan is to use my organizer for my calendar & address book. I've bought a couple of Moleskines (which are fantastic!) to use for my notes and lists. I'm a teacher and I've realized that I don't need to have all my info with me at all times. I always carry some 3x5 index cards or a digital recorder to catch things for my Inbox.

    Now my problem is what do I use for my Next Action lists? I almost always update my list at home where I have access to my computer. I could keep it in Outlook, but could also use Excel and Access. I toyed with keeping them in a Moleskine but I'd hate to rewrite a page after crossing off several items and reaching the bottom of a page. Same thing with using 3x5 cards for NA lists.

    I'd appreciate any advice from more experienced people on my setup and my NA question. Maybe it doesn't make a difference whether I use Outlook, Excel, or Access but there might be advantages I'm missing. I've never split my GTD setup before but so far, it seems like it's on the right track.

    Thanks for any help anyone can give!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tspall
    I've decided to change my method of implementing GTD. (I usually do this every 6 months or so. I don't know why, but I end up doing it. I guess it keeps my system "fresh" to me)
    At the risk of being nosy, I was curious why you feel the need to change your method of implementing GTD - is this a way of doing a "flush" of the system, or a "deep review" to get to all of the items in it that have perhaps gone stale or stagnated?

    One of the strengths of GTD is that it is very independent of implementation method. For me, Outlook/Palm is very useful due to the large volumes of email that I have to process on a daily basis, but of course as the car ads say, "your mileage may vary."

    Anyway, I would be interested in your comments on changing implementations vs. a major refresh of an existing system.

    All the best,
    Peter

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    • #3
      me too

      seems I change a lot too..

      I use Moleskine for notes... and a voice recorder. I like to write... it helps get things clear in my head better than typing on keys.. I use a laptop at work and take it home every night...

      I use Outlook at work but not very private for personal stuff. Not private at all to tell you the truth..

      I use MLO (mylifeorganized) for my action lists... great tool for GTD...

      MY MLO setup......

      Control Journal home (routine)
      Control Journal work (routine)

      - I set up a sections in MLO for daily routine (Home and work are seperate)
      -- diaily, weekly, bi-weekly, quarterly, seasonal, PRN,

      Hardlandscape (appointments and commitments in one sublist)

      Dates
      looks like a tickler file... b-days, anniversaries, special days alll!!

      @CONTEXT.. ( I use the PONG Method, I don't like a lot of separate action times because things change from the planning to the doing! - for me anyway)

      NOTE!! I can ONLY do projects AFTER I perform my routines...else problems!!!
      (got to cover the fixed before dealing with the variables!!)
      --- Notes section in project record has headings;

      OUTCOME,
      APPROACH,
      NA,
      NOTES,
      HISTORY...

      FInally, I also have a separate MLO section for 'reference'. I was not sure at first but very glad that I did.... Very! helpful. especially for checklists..


      I read somewhere the most effective persons stay in one system as much as possible. I think that has been good advice and what I try to do with MLO.

      WORKING files?... hard copy in my right top desk drawer. I use the negoski process.. vs alpha. this is working files only! (some misunderstood that it can be used for reference files... it can't - nor does it make sense)..

      Just sharing

      good luck

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by peter_g
        At the risk of being nosy, I was curious why you feel the need to change your method of implementing GTD - is this a way of doing a "flush" of the system, or a "deep review" to get to all of the items in it that have perhaps gone stale or stagnated?
        Good question, and not nosy at all!

        I'll admit that I go through moods. I'll get all gung-ho for technology and use it for a while, then I'll get in more of a writing style of mood. Some of it is personal preference, but I think "deep review" of my system would be more accurate.

        At first, I thought it was just that I get bored with using a system for a while, but after thinking about it, it's more that I become more familiar with other tools and better thinking. Then I want to "tweak" my own system until it's better than before.

        Comment


        • #5
          What's the negoski process?

          Just curious.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JFM
            NOTE!! I can ONLY do projects AFTER I perform my routines...else problems!!!
            (got to cover the fixed before dealing with the variables!!)
            That's exactly what I needed to hear! I have things that keep falling through the cracks and I decided I need to implement a routine and set aside a specific time each day to deal with those items. They're actually variables, but spending a set amount of time at my desk every day dealing with bits and pieces before I get immersed in a project is what I need to do. Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Noguchi file system

              http://www.lise.jp/honyaku/noguchi.html

              It's an unconventional filing system based on the premise that filing by name and category is entirely ineffective ("for working files only" - is my point) and the only parameter that matters is how recently a file was used.

              Link is above... but I use hanging files vs folders (sorry, David). I DO use ABC Tabs and NON-hanging file folders for all Reference and Archieve material... so I, at least, am a GTD'er that way... and it all works great for me..

              I followed GTD advise and got myself a nice quality 4 drawer pull out file cabinet for reference and archieve material. and YES, I do use a label maker.
              BUT.. I use a lot of tape because I use a single tab folder that goes all the way accross the file. (tried 1/3 cut but I needed more room)

              Important to Noguchi concept, FOR ME!.. is that it is used for working files only. I don't think I could make Reference files work this way. Still need to look up reference items by topic on an A B C basis.

              I have three sets of 'noguchi' working files, per se
              @ Agenda - Meetings - less than 20
              @ Agenda - People - about 50 people- more or less
              @ Projects - about 60 or so projects (GTD term)

              I am a big believer in the 80/20 rule. Therefore, 80% of the time, the file I am looking for is in the 1st 20% of the specific working file. That has sustained itself. Again.. just working files ...

              What I like about the noguchi system is that files DO move to the back of my drawer as a by-product of my day-to-day work. At times, maybe in the Weekly Review, I look at the drawer and see an old regular meeting that seems to have dropped of... IE.. an internal user group that does not meet regularly. Or, a person that seems to have slipped into the past that I might want to touch base with again.

              The files seem to self clean themselves. I honestly think it is faster than ABC for working files... no matter what file I am looking for it is within 6 inches of where I start (or closer)...

              And finally, a mtg, person or project that was hot but now is in the back of my drawer needs an answer to the question..why? I either pull the file and take action or I pull the file and place it in reference or I pull the file and archieve it.

              I keep it all to one drawer too. That is a way that I force myself to 'be real' about what I am doing with meetings, people and projects. Some times it forces me to delegate more. OR..sometimes, I quietly put at file in Reference or Archieve and just move on with life.

              Purging Reference and Archieve are 'rountine' items each month. It takes all of about 5 or 10 minutes.

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