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PAPER & PDA

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  • PAPER & PDA

    I wonder if any of the rest of you out there have found it somewhat difficult to use the Palm (or whatever other PDA you use) to collect, process, organize, and do.
    I find a disconnect in the actual busyness of the day and the way I refer to my tasks in palm. For whatever reason, I dont like looking at the palm all the time for the days gameplan. In another thread I learned that paper and palm is a method some use for GTD. In general the global stuff goes in the palm and the immediate goes on paper. I've been tending toward this approach.
    I find the digital method limited in application where the rubber meets the road and things move fast.
    You?

  • #2
    This topic is key to my life, and I don't know.the answer...

    For the last 10 years I've used a paper daytimer with a system that has some overlap with GTD. I've been really, really pleased with the results, and after 10 years it has become second nature. Throughout the 10 years, though, I have kept searching for improved methods. That is how I stumbled upon GTD this past December.

    Biggest problem with the daytimer is that it doesn't handle e-mail very well, so I'm trying the GTD add-in for outlook, and I just bought a Clie two days ago.

    I even don't like looking at outlook all day - I much prefer paper. For me, there is information encoded into the paper. I can't explain it very well, but there is more information contained in a paper list of next actions than in a PC or palm list. The latter two seem very impersonal, while paper has my handwriting, my style, my doodles and underlines and exclamations, etc.

    I agree with you that paper is easier to edit while things are hectic.

    Before the Clie, I would spend a few minutes each morning writing my next actions from outlook into my daytimer. I also keep a phone and task diary in it as the day goes by. When traveling, I jot expenses in the diary and stuff the receipts in the daytimer wallet. I don't see this changing now with the Clie.

    On the other hand, I was traveling by car today and was referring to the mapquest printed directions which were not clear to me. I prefer directions like "turn right at the McDonald's" but mapquest would say "turn right on South Street." Anyway, I remembered that I had been to this destination about 5 years ago and had typed my own directions into outlook notes back then. I whipped out the Clie which I had just hot-synced for the first time this morning, and in a few seconds had my directions! No daytimer can match that.

    I think I am stuck with a hybrid life. I will use the outlook add-in as the master database and to process email. I will use the daytimer for the daily actions and diary, and the Clie as a reference file for action lists, notes, and phone numbers when I am not at my PC.

    While this seems like it will work, it does involve keeping multiple systems updated, a major disadvantage.

    I'm not sure I helped you, but it felt good to vent. Thanks.

    Comment


    • #3
      How about printing off your task list or calendar, or whatever, from Outlook and adding your notes and doodles ("this first!", underlines, stars, checks, etc.) to that? You don't have to look at Outlook all day, and if you find you need to jot something down on your paper list, you can just add it into Outlook at the end of the day. Sync, and you have everything portable and ready to take home.

      Pam

      Comment


      • #4
        Daily Todos

        After long consideration, I'm going back to my daily todo list. I simply cannot (or dont) refer to my palm 200+ todo list for what to do next - I will keep it though. I may refer to it when I make my daily list in the morning, but it just doesnt work for me to look at where I am (@phone, @computer, etc) because what I really need to know is *where do I need to be?* Whats most important?
        So, there's no sin in not completing the list or deferring items to the next day - if I'm deferring it more than a day or two it probably isnt as important as I thought.
        Anyway, every morning I write down 10-15 items I want to get done that day on paper and then jump into the melee! Pretty simple (like my pea-brain).

        Comment


        • #5
          But you can combine some categories like @phone and @computer in a DateBk5-view like @office. And give them separate icons, so you know which categorie a todo is.

          I think the clue is, that you check your open loops as much as possible in a workday. So, you know which todo's you have and which has to be done as soon as possible.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi DM,

            I also don't use many of the recommended contexts. I did try setting my lists up according to priority at one point, but that didn't work well for me. My most recent implementation appears to be working well for the past several months.

            In the Palm Todo app:
            !$Clients -- Paying client projects
            !Priority -- Used as a "today" list that is highlighted in calendar/Agendus
            !Projects -- General/Personal projects
            !What's Next? -- Primary NA list
            @Call/Talk/Mail -- Agenda type list
            @Errands/Buy -- Self Explanitory I think
            @Fun/Family -- to help me keep my balance
            @Reading -- I note down what I'm currently reading, and the page I'm on
            @Ticklers -- holds routine items as well
            @Waiting For - Includes delegated things, personal/family conversations, oders/deliveries, even something I'm waiting on $ for before I can do/get.
            Copywriting -- Notes/tips/etc.
            Project Support
            Someday/Maybe
            Writing Ideas
            zNot Doing -- I use this to remind myself of things I've decided not to do and why. This helps me keep from putting the same or similar things on my ideas or S/M list.

            In any case, I don't look at 200+ todo items at once. I look at the particular list I need to see. For the most part, the main one I look at is "What's Next". Most days though, I go through the what's next list and choose 5-10 that I'd like to do that day. I then move those to priority, put the day's date on them, and they show up in Agendus as highlighted items. All the rest do not show on my calendar... I can't stand the clutter.

            I do put some items on my calendar if they're needed for that day. Examples would be a tickler for a bill that's due, the grocery shopping list that needs to be completed today, and other errands I need to go to town for. These are not highlighted as priority though, and they're filtered to the bottom of the calendar because they're simply placeholders/memory joggers.

            In any case, I see this as very similar to selecting X number of items for the day, and writing them down on paper. And it works for me

            Hope it helps a bit,
            Kathy
            --
            http://www.ElectronicPerceptions.com

            Comment


            • #7
              thanks

              Thank Kathy

              That does help. I'm curious how you use that tickler list. Is it todos with recurring dates?

              DM

              Comment


              • #8
                DM,

                Most of my Ticklers are repeat items yes, but not all.

                Examples:

                Electric bill due 25th, ~$50 ... this repeats each month

                Water the plants ... this is a "redo" item, that is reset for 3 days after I've checked it off. So if I'm a day late doing that, I don't have another come up 2 days later, it stays 3 days apart.

                [domain name] expires [date], renew? - some set to repeat annually, some just set for one year as a question to myself (do you want to renew this one?)


                A non-repeating item would be something like:
                Buy office chair before sale ends? ... set to come up before the sale ends, but far enough in the future to give myself time to make a decision.

                or: Misc writing ideas.... this one has a note attached, and I've got it set to pop up at some point in the future because I couldn't decide if I wanted to do anything with the ideas when I had them.

                I even have a Tickler that tells me to "Look in the Tickler support folder". This reminds me I have some hard paper item I've placed in there that I want to revisit at some point.

                I also do something similar on occasion with email. If I get a seminar invitation for instance, that I want to consider without making a decision, I'll queue the email to be sent back to me at some point in the future.

                So in short, Ticklers are a mainstay for me. Especially for routine items, but also for misc here and there things. I'd be lost without them

                Kathy
                --
                http://www.electronicperceptions.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good Idea

                  Originally posted by pd_workman
                  How about printing off your task list or calendar, or whatever, from Outlook and adding your notes and doodles ("this first!", underlines, stars, checks, etc.) to that? You don't have to look at Outlook all day, and if you find you need to jot something down on your paper list, you can just add it into Outlook at the end of the day. Sync, and you have everything portable and ready to take home.

                  Pam
                  This works too - and I have heard of people who carry one printed sheet of paper in their pocket and use it all day as you suggest. The only thing is when you are preparing meeting notes and new planning notes, you still need something else. There's something quite liberating about going about your (Doing) business with just one notepad that will serve all purposes.

                  Andrew

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    tickler file software for PDA

                    Just a suggestion: as a tickler file on my PDA I use "The Tracker", which is freeware. Very simple, small footprint, works great. I keep track of work items, personal stuff, when to get the dog's shots, the last time I changed the batteries in a jillion appliances, whatever, and I can set alarms to remind me to do something if I haven't entered an activity in x days. It's great. You can find it at:

                    http://www.freewarepalm.com/database/thetracker.shtml

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Paper & PDA

                      I recently went back to a primarily paper, but arguably hybrid system. I recommend those wanting to have some data to support why they feel more comfortable using it for their hottest, most active projects, should check out "The Myth of the Paperless Office". The bottomline in their research: USE MORE PAPER, BUT KEEP LESS. Digital is great for archiving and searching vast quantities of info, but for scanning, scribbling, cross-referencing, and other active thinking in the knowledge-work arena, paper is the way to go.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hope for transfer to PDA and Ticklers

                        Transfer to PDA
                        I reckon it took me four plus years to completely move from DayTimer to PDA.

                        At first, I concentrated on using my PDA for Contacts and ToDo lists as well as spreadsheets, databases and text documents and the DayTimer for monthly/weekly/daily schedules.. As time went by I saw ways of integrating and cross-referencing the Agenda/Datebook with these other applications which made a more compelling case for completing the transfer. It was made easier when I was given my own personal laptop at work which I can take everwhere and use to keep fuller details of all of these.

                        I still miss doodling, so I carry around a spiral shorthand notepad with me for meeting notes (if I'm secretary I take minutes directly onto my palm using a fold-out keyboard). At work I use A4 lined pads - what you call 'legal pads' and process through my in-tray.

                        Ticklers
                        On the idea of a recurring tickler I recently came across the idea of using recurring to-dos from the Outlook end.

                        In Outlook you set up a recurring task which could be weekly/monthly etc, which even offers a delay before displaying the next occurrence. If you sync with a Palm regularly, it pops up there in due course because Outlook takes care of the recurence.

                        Comment

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