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Getting from "Organized" to "Do".

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  • Getting from "Organized" to "Do".

    I'm stealing andmor's idea of asking how other get from organized to "doing". Have you noticed its alot more fun to get organized than it is to actually do the work?
    I've always said that when everything is a priority nothing is a priority. And, when nothing is a priority nothing gets done. I've had a very hard time prioritizing with GTD.
    To me, one must make a distinction between the global and the local in assessing ones workload. Andmor said something that struck me about using paper *and* palm (digital). I think he's onto something.
    How do you do it?

  • #2
    Getting organized allows the fantasy of getting things done to run wild in the *mind*. Actually *doing* the actions will get you the real high of the accomplishment...but since it's easier to fantasize about 'organizing' being the 'doing' rather than what it really is...just 'organizing'...people choose to just perpetually 'organize' (I was a poster child for that, still struggle sometimes with the 'Ready...Aim....Aim...Aim...Aim' mentality).

    At the end of the day, it's what you did that counted. Planning is necessary, but only as much as needed to get the ball rolling.

    Comment


    • #3
      From Organized to Do

      I suspect that Doing is easier when Organization is relevant, where there is a Commitment to every item that is Organized. I don't think that real commitment can be instilled from an external source, e.g., a letter arriving in the mail, but is an internally/emotionally-generated thing.

      On the face of it, the Workflow Diagram is a logical "how to" methodology, supporting an internally-generated personal framework. "Logical" encourages left-brain activity. (I have a system!) But I can "accomplish" much and remain unsatisfied; I can have "Mind Like Water" while Doing, but have it abandon me as soon as I stop Doing that particular task. Processing and Review can't be only mechanical exercises if they are to be effective - there needs to be emotional input.

      A parallel to this is that I can write a letter in MSWord, but only when I print it and sign it with my own hand and mail it will it become significant to me and to the recipient. On the other hand, the nature of email is instant and informal, formatting is not important and "Send", while it should require the same level of commitment, makes it easier and tempting to bypass the act of sober second thought. I use this parallel to highlight how I think that trying to use PIM software for everything has reduced my emotional input and thus my commitment to action. Making the lists, satisfying the requirements of the system, has been the logical objective, but that is not enough in the quest for effectiveness.

      I emote, therefore I paper.

      Andrew

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      • #4
        Andmor

        Forgive me - I'm sure its mostly a function of my pea-brain capacity than it is your ability to explain your point. I didnt understand your post.

        Lets bring it down a notch or two:

        What do you put on paper? (i.e. next actions projects, this weeks stuff, whatever..)

        What do you put in the palm? (as I recall you as a palm user)

        Thanks for your response.

        Comment


        • #5
          Paper vs Palm

          My original point was that I found it easy to make lists but difficult to commit to action. I find it easier to think and commit using Paper, using my own handwriting and my own formatting, than through ttrying to interact with impersonal handheld box that is the Palm. I find that Paper is more conducive to right-brain thinking, such as what precedes and follows the mechanical writing and filing of the Action Lists.

          To answer your question directly:

          Inbox/Scrap Pad/Journal - Paper
          Project List - Palm
          Project Planning - Paper
          Action Lists - Palm
          Calendar - Palm
          Agenda - ("what am I going to do", what I actually work from) - Paper

          Agenda flows to Inbox, etc., by virtue of event notes, follow-up items, etc.

          Of course, I still use the Palm for Address Book, eBooks and web-clippings - it's remarkable how much volume you can carry around in the Palm.

          Andrew

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          • #6
            Makes sense

            I get it now. Good point.

            So, I'm interested in that Agenda part - what time frame does that encompass?

            Comment


            • #7
              Paper Agenda

              Dave:

              After trying every imaginable piece of software, I am now actually "working" from a Mead/Five Star wire-bound, perforated/detachable sheets, lined, 7x5 notepad ($2.29). I transfer all my day's appointments and chosen Priority Tasks onto the left hand page, and make notes on the right hand page. I keep my Palm with me only for reference, history, forward calendar and inventory of Next Actions, but I avoid my PC and its distractions. I enjoy the freedom and personal nature of writing. I can set a tentative agenda with times, and change it easily without fuss or guilt. I am not bound by the structures and strictures of database software when I am working. I update the software for History and new items at the end of the day.

              I feel as if my relationship priorities and value system are more in play this way. I feel greater ownership of my work.

              Andrew

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              • #8
                paper system --Andrew

                Andrew, very interesting system --how do you deal with input from email --just make notes in the book ? is your organization on outlook ?

                do you always carry the notebook with you (everywhere?) or are you using a voice recorder or jotter type wallet also.

                I have the same notebook --I use it for meeting notes --your system sound a lot quicker than trying to input on the palm all the time.

                thanks

                Paul

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                • #9
                  Re: paper system --Andrew

                  Originally posted by Paul
                  Andrew, very interesting system --how do you deal with input from email --just make notes in the book ? is your organization on outlook ?

                  do you always carry the notebook with you (everywhere?) or are you using a voice recorder or jotter type wallet also.

                  I have the same notebook --I use it for meeting notes --your system sound a lot quicker than trying to input on the palm all the time.

                  thanks

                  Paul
                  I carry the notebook everywhere - I no longer need the Palm in my pocket all the time. I just need to know where it is. The notebook is my single Inbox (apart from regular paper mail). At the end of each day, I input to Palm the notebook information I need and throw away the pages. If I were to lose my notebook, I have only lost today's notes - and $2.29. I use Palm Desktop for back-up and printing my Datebook each week. Outlook would be ok too.

                  I really like that little notebook. It has a 2-sided insert with slots - I use one side for receipts and the other side for Index Cards. I plan Projects and Lists on index cards and slot into the notebook the ones I need for the day. If I go to the grocery store, I have an index card for my shopping list. I used to carry the Palm around the store and would have to fuss with the stylus and it made me feel silly.

                  Re email, I have Action and Read folders, and I note in the notebook any thoughts about them or the fact that there are emails waiting for attention or a particular one that I need to prioritize a response to. Meeting notes get started on a new right hand page in case I want to keep the notes after extracting the action or reference data.

                  In the car, I carry small post-it notes in my notebook and prefer to scribble on them than to mess with my voice recorder. Later, if the post-it notes are legible, I'll just stick them in the notebook, if not, I'll rewrite them.

                  Andrew

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                  • #10
                    Andrew, thanks for the response , good ideas about the index cards too!

                    One inbox for capture on paper, Personally I'd probably keep the notebook pages for a hard copy reference --but since you mentioned you're printing out palm dtop once a week --I guess you've got that covered.

                    thanx again!

                    Paul

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Andrew,

                      Thanks for posting about your use of palm and paper, especially as a way to motivate yourself to action. I, too, have struggled with the palm and a bunch of software, and have always returned to writing out an agenda for the day by hand. Recently I've been doing this on a steno-pad. (But I've been bad about updating my actions etc on the palm, and I can see how that is key after reading your post.)

                      You mentioned using notecards for projects... do you simply jot down ideas and next actions on the cards? Just curious how you use them.

                      Julie

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                      • #12
                        It seems like a lot of entry and re-entry to juggle your system this way. But sometimes that the only means of properly processing and scheduling items that works for you.

                        I also use a Palm+PC, but my system is not entirely paperless either. If you are using the Palm Desktop or Outlook, remember that you can print out rather than re-writing on paper. You can even export items to Excel and merge them onto computer-printed index cards.

                        For some of the things that I do, I need a physical paper in my system to ensure that it gets done. I may print a checklist of what needs to be done that day, I may print out tasks on individual sheets of paper, my file recalls are printed and attached to the front of the file that is being recalled that day, etc.

                        Pam

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                        • #13
                          Paper and Palm

                          At one time, I printed my Palm Datebook and then used the right half of the page for notes. But I still needed something separate for Meeting Notes that I wanted to keep. This particular notepad seems to be useful for all types of notes.

                          The main problem I had was Processing. I don't find the Palm a friendly medium for quick notes to be processed later, nor for Processing itself. It's too tempting to try to Organize on the first input. I have now separated Inbox, Processing and Organizing and what I have in my Palm is more sensible. I also find paper more forgiving when creating a list of things that I am actually going to Do - it's easier to change a tentative schedule and move things about. It frees me from thinking about many of the features of Palm agenda applications that consumed a lot of my time before.

                          I don't use Index Cards liberally. I use them most for checklists and grocery lists. For Projects that follow a common pattern, e.g client work, I use them for checklists. For unique Projects, I keep a Project list on my Palm and Next Actions in Palm ToDo.

                          Andrew

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                          • #14
                            Paper Impact

                            Today, I attended meetings carrying just my little notepad. I forgot to bring my Palm. The notepad has very little history in it - I throw out Processed pages each day - there's no thumbing back to see what I wrote on a previous day. I got compliments that I was so well organized and that I was efficient. I never heard that when I used only the Palm. It may not be me at all - I suspect that other people feel that you are listening better and giving them more attention when you use paper.

                            Andrew

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                            • #15
                              Notepad

                              I'm sold on the notepad. I do keep history in it though. I just date a new page and start writing. It can be incredibly handy to look back a few days when talking to someone and say, "here's the tracking number..." or whatever.

                              Still a little stymied about what to do next in the heat of the action from day to day.

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