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GTD at a conference

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  • GTD at a conference

    I am 3 months into GTD and happily working with a clean desk for the first time in my life. I have many questions, but here's what is most on my mind: I will be attending a conference soon and wondering if anyone has found a way to use GTD techniques to manage information overload at conferences? This conference is a 4 day event and I'll be attending various technical presentations and panel discussions. I won't be using a notebook during the sessions, just paper and pen, but might bring a notebook to use at the end of the day.

    In the past I've found myself returning home with a bag full of handouts and several pages of notes, all of which seem to fall through the cracks once I get back to my routine. Any ideas for sorting, storing, prioritizing, etc., would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Have an inbox in your hotel room. Process daily.

    You won't be able to file everything into its permanent location, but you can certainly decide what is worth keeping at all, what the action items are, and so forth.

    I would recommend throwing away as much paper as you can. Unless you have a precise reason for keeping it, or *know* that it can't be found electronically (like your own notes), toss it. How much of that stuff are you actually going to do anything with, anyway?



    • #3
      Thanks. Love the idea of having an inbox in the hotel room. And if there's anything I DO have to keep, at least I can mark how I want to file it.


      • #4
        Originally posted by GettingItDone View Post
        Thanks. Love the idea of having an inbox in the hotel room. And if there's anything I DO have to keep, at least I can mark how I want to file it.
        Have a folder in which to put the items you want to keep so they don't clutter up your inbox. At the end of the day you return to your room and put all the collected information in your inbox, and at some point in the evening or next morning review it - just as you'd do at your office.

        I like the folders that David Allen does for travelling. A neat solution to your difficulty.


        • #5
          I agree:

          o use a portable inbox (use a folder, or if it gets too big, your bag - but just one place)
          o keep notes using one notebook/pad (number and date each page)
          o process it during breaks/eves (things-to-file can go back in "IN" with a note)
          o toss it all into in when you get home
          o process normally (more than likely going through the notes will *not* be a two minute action; may make sense to chunk it into days/# pages/etc.)
          o use the "rip-and-read" technique on collected materials (if all you need is the name of a product to research, or a contact, just extract that, then toss the fancy brochure - most info is available on-line)

          I strongly suggest blocking out time in your calendar shortly after your return home to process the notes.


          • #6
            Yeah, I'll definitely plan a good chunk of time for a review when I return. I'm sure my inbox will be piling up back at the office, so I'll need to do that anyway. This will be interesting; it's usually so overwhelming to come back to the pile and backlog, but at least this time I'll have GTD techniques to help.

            Thanks for all the great tips.