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  • Paper Based GTD & Waiting Fors

    The one thing about implementing a paper version of GTD that I can't figure out is how to deal with "Waiting For" items. In Outlook, it's so easy to drag an action from "@Calls" to "Waiting For" and back again, as needed. Other than rewriting every next action on the Waiting For list, how to the Paper People manage keeping tabs on these?

  • #2
    When I first started using GTD, I was on paper. I began using Post-It flags on my "@" lists to catch my eye of something that was "Waiting For" to keep it from falling through the cracks.

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    • #3
      Re: Paper Based GTD & Waiting Fors

      Originally posted by dansch
      The one thing about implementing a paper version of GTD that I can't figure out is how to deal with "Waiting For" items. In Outlook, it's so easy to drag an action from "@Calls" to "Waiting For" and back again, as needed. Other than rewriting every next action on the Waiting For list, how to the Paper People manage keeping tabs on these?
      I use a combination of Paper and Electronic. I have a daily working sheet of things I am planning to Do and make free-form notations that become Inbox at the end of the day, when I update my software data. If I Call and leave a message, I just make a notation - LM/time. If I get a return call, I write notes and propsective follow up actions. At the end of the day, I use only the information I need for updating the software. I used to update my software minute-by minute and found I had wasted time creating a WF when someone called me back right away or I decided to try the Call again or send an email on the subject. And I use paper for making notes during calls and meetings, so I was never exclusively electronic. When I switched to Paper for working, I worried that I was not using the full utility of the software, but I discovered that I was creating fewer interruptions for myself and it felt a lot better and more natural.

      Andrew

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      • #4
        Dansch,
        I would imagine that there is some information that goes with the task. For instance, say you have as an item on your @Calls list that says "Acme-Order XYZ software." When you place the call, (say on March 17) you probably receive information such as the name of extension of the salesman, an order confirmation number, total amount for the order, expected shipment date, etc. What I used to do when I used a paper planner was to write that kind of info on the right-hand page of my Day-Timer. I would then have a page at the end of the month where I would list all of the "waiting for things." On this page, I would simply write "Acme (3/17)." The date in parentheses would tell me to flip to that spot in the planner for more information. If I need to place a follow-up call, I know where to find all of the key information.

        Hope this helps,
        Frank

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        • #5
          Keeping up with an "easy" system

          We’re always walking a thin line between supporting more detailed "techie" kinds of conversations and questions, and maintaining the focus on the simple but powerful concepts that don't require that kind of granularity to implement successfully.

          There are already several postings about discrete software add-on's to the Palm, Outlook, etc. which is fine for the folks who are already deep into those tools, but which might be irrelevant to many of you. In fact, from our experience with lots of people, you can very easily get much too wrapped up in trying to make every detail fit and connect in all the ways you'd like it to. Systems must work when you have the flu, which means easy, simple, straightforward, without having to think too much or work too hard about fitting within a structure. Plain flat lists, tied together in a Weekly Review to keep them current, usually wins the day.

          Getting Things Done comes down to a few habits persisted in. The way this “looks” will be different from each user. Remember to make things as simple was possible, but not simpler! (Thanks Einstein!)

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