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  • Where to Start

    This has probably been discussed before so I apologize if this is redundant but I have searched and cannot find the answers I am looking for. I am very anxious to start GTD and have read the book but I have not started yet. I am having a problem with how to get started, in other words, what system to utilize. I keep reading posts here as well as many of the blogs that are around, and I see lots of great ideas but cannot put it together in a cohesive plan for myself. So, I thought maybe if I lay it all out here there may be some good ideas. It does seem to me that I should keep things simple to start so I can get used to the whole concept first. Here is some background:

    I work in an office the majority of the time but am out of the office (locally) around 15-30% of the time depending on the week. We use Outlook in the office and I am about to get a Blackberry 8703e from the office. I have been using a Treo 600 up until now. I think that I will keep my calendar and contacts on Outlook and sync with the Blackberry. I am torn between going digital for the rest or paper but I am now leaning towards paper, at least until I get the concepts down. I receive about 25-35 phone calls per day that have to be returned and about 50-100 emails a day that I need to reply too.

    OK, that is my story, I am really hoping someone can help me out so I can get off of the starting block and start moving forward, thank you.

    Larry G

  • #2
    paper

    Paper.
    trish

    Comment


    • #3
      I second that

      Originally posted by Trish View Post
      Paper.
      trish
      Paper. It's the best way to start. Then, once you've got the system under control, you can explore other options. But get to know the system on paper first.

      Trust me, I'm a mathematician.

      Comment


      • #4
        But how

        OK, so I get it paper. But any tips on the easiest method for capturing. In terms of paper, I have thought about carrying a notebook and putting one item on a page then putting them in an inbox and then using file folders in my briefcase for someday/maybe, next actions, etc. Or I have thought about using a tabbed looseleaf notebook of some sort. Then I read about moleskines and levenger circa and other ideas, that is where I start getting overwhelmed. Thanks for the input.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LarryG View Post
          OK, so I get it paper. But any tips on the easiest method for capturing. In terms of paper, I have thought about carrying a notebook and putting one item on a page then putting them in an inbox and then using file folders in my briefcase for someday/maybe, next actions, etc. Or I have thought about using a tabbed looseleaf notebook of some sort. Then I read about moleskines and levenger circa and other ideas, that is where I start getting overwhelmed. Thanks for the input.
          That's where we all get overwhelmed. Listen, just for starters, just get yourself a nice looseleaf notebook and set it up exactly as David spells out in his book--and go from there. Also get yourself a smaller spiral notebook to carry around with you everywhere and that will be your capture tool. Write everything down in there that crosses your mind.

          Instead of the looseleaf notebook I just described set up a la David Allen, get a planner----Filofax or Franklin. But the notebook will work fine for starters to master the system. And you definitely need the little capture notebook for all the time and every minute.
          Trish

          Comment


          • #6
            The nice thing about paper is that it's cheap enough to experiment easily. At least until you start investing in nice leather binders... Capture tools in particular should be pretty cheap, since the whole purpose is to serve as a scratch pad until you can get to your Inbox and the rest of your system.

            So go to your local office supply store and see what they have. Buy something that looks appealing. Try it for a week or so. If you don't like it, try something else. Iterate.

            Katherine

            Comment


            • #7
              My favorite capture tool...

              My GTD implementation is almost completely digital except for my capture tool... Pretty simple and inexpensive...

              Tops® Classified™ Colors Business Notebook

              http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?...g=true&An=text

              Easily portable. Perf'd pages so you can tear out a page and toss into your inbox. If it's just reference material, you leave it in the notebook and have everything in one place... Not bad for under 4 bucks... I even clip a uniball micro pen inside the spiral binding so I always have something to write with...

              Comment


              • #8
                Lists,etc

                OK, so it seems like a notebook of some sort will work for taking notes. Now, are there any tips for keeping the lists such as projects, maybe/someday and nextaction, also, project support material. This has been really helpful so far, thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LarryG View Post
                  OK, so it seems like a notebook of some sort will work for taking notes. Now, are there any tips for keeping the lists such as projects, maybe/someday and nextaction, also, project support material. This has been really helpful so far, thanks
                  I think a binder with dividers might work to start off with. Each divider would be each of your contexts (@Work, @Home, @Email, @Phone, @Computer, @Errands, etc.) Start with the basic contexts listed in DA's book (you can customize them later). Then, create your Projects List (like an Index of a book). Cull through each project and determine its Next Action. Put the Next Action on the appropriate Context lists. Also, put each Next Action not related to a specific project on the appropriate context list.

                  Then, when you're in that Context (ie, at work), open up your binder to that page and dig in...

                  That's "basically" a good way to learn the system. There is much more but this will get you going.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LarryG View Post
                    OK, so it seems like a notebook of some sort will work for taking notes. Now, are there any tips for keeping the lists such as projects, maybe/someday and nextaction, also, project support material. This has been really helpful so far, thanks
                    David has a free article that you can download from here
                    http://davidco.com/store/catalog/Fre...-p-2-c-254.php
                    called "Paper Organizaer - how to set one up" that goes through the tabs and pages he recommends as a starting point when setting up a notebook.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      3-ring binder solution

                      Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
                      I think a binder with dividers might work to start off with. Each divider would be...
                      I"ve been using a 3-ring binder for a while, and it has worked great. It's all spelled out at:
                      http://askwebb.blogspot.com/2006/09/...p-2-brain.html

                      My dividers are currently:
                      1. In
                      2. Now
                      3. Project Lists
                      4. Project Files
                      5. Social
                      6. Next Actions
                      7. Agendas
                      8. Waiting For
                      9. Someday Maybe
                      10. Calendar/Tickler
                      11. Read/Review
                      12. Reference

                      Each next action context gets its own page (or pages) of actions. Categories of projects get their own pages, as well. For project files, each project gets a page, listing upcoming actions, things to track, etc. Agendas are one person per page.

                      I'd say just pick a system, and invest in it. Commit to using it, and create whatever you think you need, until you're happy with it.

                      Webb

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Trish View Post
                        Listen, just for starters, just get yourself a nice looseleaf notebook and set it up exactly as David spells out in his book--and go from there.
                        Hi Trish!
                        A friend of mine asked me how to start GTD and I recommended this thread. And she asked me where DA gives the advice you mentioned. I could not really find it. Do you mean the pdf-document or the book?

                        -Wolfgang

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wbc View Post
                          ... she asked me where DA gives the advice you mentioned. I could not really find it. Do you mean the pdf-document or the book?
                          In the book, the categories are listed on page 140 (whether it's a paper planner or a software program). Then the following pages explain how to sort all the processed items into each category.

                          WebROver already posted a link to David's whitepaper that is easily printed out to follow along.

                          Pamela

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by plapointe View Post
                            In the book, the categories are listed on page 140 (whether it's a paper planner or a software program). Then the following pages explain how to sort all the processed items into each category.
                            Ok I thought there was another part of the book which describes how to set up a paper system.

                            -Wolfgang

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Good advice.

                              As to how to set it up: Feel free to experiment. GTD systems tend to be even more individualistic than others, so there's a high chance that others' setups won't work for you.

                              Also remember that there are many capture tools. Sometimes I capture into a Moleskine, sometimes onto an index card, sometimes onto a post-it note, sometimes into an e-mail, and sometimes into a plain-text file. The important thing is that it all gets processed into the system.

                              Comment

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