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  • GTD work sheet for designers ?

    I bought the audio book from itunes and I followed everything in it but I am a designer not a corparate tike.. I did not get any example files with my audio book just audio.. I kinda still dont follow how I should set up a paper file to display my need to structure out the list of actions to do for designing and workflow..

    I tried just wrinteing in a big notebook but that is just feeling like the old system I had... Please if some one has some sort of example I could read from it would be very much helpful

  • #2
    I am sitting here reading your post and wanting to help you, but not understanding where you want to go.

    Are you saying that you listened to Getting Things Done, by David Allen, on iTunes audio? Are you saying that you have done all that the audio recommended, like collected all your stuff and filed it or written it down?

    And now you want to know how to use GTD as a paper system to help you with your projects? You need to start reading lots of posts here. Start with just reading the form posts, but take notes and search for specific information.

    Ok. GTD 101 for projects for the absolute beginner:


    You get a couple blank sheets of paper:

    ------------------------------------
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    ------------------------------------

    You make one or more your project list:

    ------------------------------------
    |..................................|
    |..PROJECT LIST....................|
    |..................................|
    |....Project A.....................|
    |....Project B.....................|
    |....Project C.....................|
    |....Project D.....................|
    |....Project E.....................|
    |....Project F.....................|
    |....Project G.....................|
    |....Project H.....................|
    |....Project I.....................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    ------------------------------------

    You make the others your action lists:

    ------------------------------------
    |..................................|
    |..PROJECT A.......................|
    |....SUB PROJECT 1.................|
    |......Next Action.................|
    |......Action Item 2...............|
    |......Action Item 3...............|
    |......Action Item 4...............|
    |......Action Item 5...............|
    |......Action Item 6...............|
    |......Action Item 7...............|
    |......Action Item 8...............|
    |......Action Item 9...............|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    ------------------------------------

    ------------------------------------
    |..................................|
    |..PROJECT A.......................|
    |....SUB PROJECT 2.................|
    |......Next Action.................|
    |......Action Item 2...............|
    |......Action Item 3...............|
    |......Action Item 4...............|
    |......Action Item 5...............|
    |......Action Item 6...............|
    |......Action Item 7...............|
    |......Action Item 8...............|
    |......Action Item 9...............|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    ------------------------------------

    ------------------------------------
    |..................................|
    |..PROJECT B.......................|
    |....SUB PROJECT 1.................|
    |......Next Action.................|
    |......Action Item 2...............|
    |......Action Item 3...............|
    |......Action Item 4...............|
    |......Action Item 5...............|
    |......Action Item 6...............|
    |......Action Item 7...............|
    |......Action Item 8...............|
    |......Action Item 9...............|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    ------------------------------------

    Now you go back and mark next to every action the CONTEXT, or "location and tools" that you will be DOING that action:

    ------------------------------------
    |..................................|
    |..PROJECT A.......................|
    |....SUB PROJECT 1.................|
    |......Next Action...@workphone....|
    |......Action Item 2.@workphone....|
    |......Action Item 3.@branchoffice.|
    |......Action Item 4.@computer.....|
    |......Action Item 5.@workphone....|
    |......Action Item 6.@internet.....|
    |......Action Item 7.@officedepot..|
    |......Action Item 8.@mainoffice...|
    |......Action Item 9.@internet.....|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    ------------------------------------

    ------------------------------------
    |..................................|
    |..PROJECT A.......................|
    |....SUB PROJECT 2.................|
    |......Next Action...@internet.....|
    |......Action Item 2.@branchoffice.|
    |......Action Item 3.@internet.....|
    |......Action Item 4.@mainoffice...|
    |......Action Item 5.@workphone....|
    |......Action Item 6.@workphone....|
    |......Action Item 7.@internet.....|
    |......Action Item 8.@internet.....|
    |......Action Item 9.@branchoffice.|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    ------------------------------------

    ------------------------------------
    |..................................|
    |..PROJECT B.......................|
    |....SUB PROJECT 1.................|
    |......Next Action...@workphone....|
    |......Action Item 2.@workphone....|
    |......Action Item 3.@workphone....|
    |......Action Item 4.@internet.....|
    |......Action Item 5.@branchoffice.|
    |......Action Item 6.@internet.....|
    |......Action Item 7.@internet.....|
    |......Action Item 8.@workphone....|
    |......Action Item 9.@mainoffice...|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    ------------------------------------

    Then you go back and make lists that are specific to each context:

    ------------------------------------
    |..................................|
    |..@workphone......................|
    |..................................|
    |..Call Jim about x on proj A......|
    |..Call Mary about x on proj A.....|
    |..Call Larry about x on proj B....|
    |..Call Phil about x on proj E.....|
    |..Call Laura about x on proj C....|
    |..Call Sally about x on proj A....|
    |..Call Mark about x on proj B.....|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    ------------------------------------


    GTD is about looking at projects differently (as goals), looking at tasks differently (as action items using action words), and getting away from traditional mixed todo lists (and making specific @context action item lists).

    You plan to work at a specific context, instead of on a specific project.

    This may not work for you. You may need to or want to work on a specific project for a period of time instead of do work based on a context. But since with GTD, you should have EVERYTHING in your system, at the very least you should separate out your @workworking from your @homepersonal stuff.

    Anyway, with a context list, like my sample @workphone above, you sit down at your desk, decide to make calls, get out your @workphone context action item list, and start making calls. Later in the day when you are at the branch office, you get out your @branchoffice context action item list and start doing those things. You go to Office Depot to shop and you get out your @officedepot action item list. You are driving home and you get out your @errandspersonal list and see if you can pick up something.

    How you word your action items, what an action item is, how you group stuff, projects versus sub projects are all discussed here at length. The book is not specific on how to do that stuff. You have to find your style by picking from what you read here. It is going to take some time and experiment.

    Soon you will go straight to making the context lists.

    One of the things that you may need to also do, is block out your time. I have an additional sheet of paper for each week where I block out my contexts. I of course schedule specific appointments, but I also block out say Tuesday morning to be out of the office making calls. So I block out the afternoon before to make followup calls for the appointments that I plan for the next morning. I may block out Thursday afternoon to do calculations and quotes and reports. So while driving I can make @workcalls, or @makeappointments, or @callkeycustomers.

    What do you design? Where do you do this? What tools do you use? Do you want to move around your workspace, changing tools while you procede on one project over a couple of hours, or do you want to sit at your drawing board all day and do all your drawings for all your projects, and then tomorrow morning make all your phone calls for all your projects, and then tomorrow afternoon take three projects to kinkos to bind?
    Last edited by tim99; 01-08-2006, 03:15 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tripdragon
      I tried just wrinteing in a big notebook but that is just feeling like the old system I had... Please if some one has some sort of example I could read from it would be very much helpful
      What worked and what did not work with the old system? There could be some parts of that system that you need to continue, that match your style, but others that may need to be improved upon.

      Maybe the same notebook, the same paper and pen, but add tabs for different contexts, and word your action items differently. Instead of "Get cake for Ryan's birthday", you write out "Go to Cake store and order Ryan's birthday cake." Gosh, your next action may be "Call Cake store and find out how late they are open on weekdays."

      Always think, what is the very next thing that I need to do or have someone do that will make this project move forward to the successful outcome.

      Always write down action items in a manner that you would write them down to direct someone else to do it for you.
      Last edited by tim99; 01-08-2006, 03:24 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Tim,

        Thanks for your explanation. That is a really good tutorial for the first-timer.

        When adding the contexts to the tasks on the project list, do you really add the context to every task at the same time? Even if each task is dependent on the previous task being complete?

        What software do you use for GTD? I know this is a question of preference but I was just curious. I am thinking of getting a Palm and making that my master GTD tool.

        Again, thanks for your post.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't use software. I have tried some and always come back to paper.

          I use file folders for my contexts, and write stuff on jr pads or letter pads. I also have each month on 8x11 sheets that I bought at an office supply store, and one 11x17 for each week.

          After reading "The Now Habit", I block out my week in advance on an 11x17 sheet that I made in Excel that has 7 days and 48 half hours per day, showing the every half hour of every day over the next week. I block in my sleep and my tv shows and when I plan to be where.

          I can sit down during breakfast in a restaurant without my laptop and go through my paper system. I like that.

          When adding the contexts to the tasks on the project list, do you really add the context to every task at the same time? Even if each task is dependent on the previous task being complete?
          First...I do not "add contexts to my task list". I write tasks onto context sheets of paper. I was showing above an example of how an absolute beginer could transition from writing out task lists to writing out context lists. So...specifically when you do your weekly review, every action item has a project, a context, and maybe has a depency (another action item that needs to be complete before this one is started). When you do your weekly review you need to think about this.

          Above is an example of how to START GTD for the absolute beginner who is used to writing down tasks. Now I just write tasks down on context specific sheets of paper.

          But I think there is a huge question inside your question. Some people listento GTD on CD or read GTD and get so focused on the NEXT ACTION that they miss that in the weekly review you do not stop at the next action. Think about it. If you have 15 projects to complete, you have 15 next actions, one for each of those projects, but then you have the next next action and the next next next action etc. You write all these down in the weekly review. All the actionable items that you know need to be done.

          Some of these actionable items require a specific sequence, and others could be done in any order.

          When you plan, you think, what is the next action, then what is the next action, and you come up with an action item list. Then, or when you are writing it down, you asign a context to each action item.

          I go outside GTD in that even if my action items for one sub-project do not have a required sequence, I decide when I plan what sequence that I will do them in, and write them down in that order. So, my action item lists are context specific and have a sequence, either required by the project type, or scheduled ahead of time by me.

          Pure GTD would have you sit down, decide your context, look at your action items, and pick then what to do next. Based on your interest and energy level.

          The goal is stress free work. To be able to sit down knowing that if you follow your plan you will meet your deadlines and commitments. And to not mix planning and working.

          My mind can start thinking about too much and keep me from getting things done. If I have already planned, my mind is less apt to wander to start thinking about the plan, because the plan is done.

          Comment


          • #6
            OOOO Lots to read.. I will read it and get back to you and see if it works. Many thank yous.

            Comment


            • #7
              I hate to recommend another book on David's site but last night I was in search of a similar tool and came across "E-myth for contractors" at ://secure.emythworldwide.com/contractor. In it are 3 important planning sheets:

              The Business Plan
              The Job Plan
              The Completion Plan

              The job plan and the completion plan are very helpful in outlining the needs of a particular job.

              I haven't read the book yet because I am planning to borrow it from our local library but it is worth looking into if you work on a contract basis.

              Shannon

              Comment


              • #8
                sorry I wasn't paying attention when I posted the link above. Try this instead:

                http://www.emythworldwide.com/contractor/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by shan150
                  I hate to recommend another book on David's site but last night I was in search of a similar tool and came across "E-myth for contractors" at ://secure.emythworldwide.com/contractor. In it are 3 important planning sheets:

                  The Business Plan
                  The Job Plan
                  The Completion Plan

                  The job plan and the completion plan are very helpful in outlining the needs of a particular job.
                  I'm always glad when people find material that they find helpful, and I am not part of this site's target audience, but I found these forms to be rather much like those "mission statements" that are rarely useful. The business plan is, simplifying only slightly, to control all aspects of the market. The job plan includes pens and pencils as materials. The completion plan states that
                  Growen Co. Inc. will do each job at a cost significantly below the competition, at a quality significantly higher than any one else around, and at a profit that will justify our efforts as well as the commitment of our investors.
                  Good luck on all that...

                  Comment

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