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  • New Paper Convert

    I am officially 2 weeks in to using a paper GTD system. It has really changed the ways that I relate to my lists. I guess that at first I was some kind of snob when it came to paper tools, I also was much too lazy to do the rewriting that I thought I had to do... I now use a paper binder set up the way that DA sets his up and for the most part I really enjoy the speed and portability that I didnt get in my Palm (yes I said that...) Perhaps its just the physical pages and quickly tabbing over to my calender or to my projects page... the binder has become second nature so that I am really used to it. I am learning more about the process of GTD in this little experiment that it will greatly benefit me if I ever move back to my Palm.

    How do people organize, view their lists? Hand written or printed from the computer? Binders or stuffed in to notebooks?

    I am curious... thanks.

  • #2
    I know. It's good.

    Right, gtderic!! I am back to paper too. What do I use? Sit down everybody, but I am using a Classic Franklin Planner w two page per day pages and a monthly calendar on one page. It's all set up a la DA. I have been everywhere and tried everything, but this retro binder is by far the best for me. I do have Addresses on my TREO and iCal and also reminders---Molly owes me $50 for new tire--stuff like that, but it's paper for me for lists. I really love the day pages for jotting down things and also planning out my week. I can really get into the reality of the week when I see it day by day with the hours all laid out. I slot in project work and don't freak because I know that on thursday, I am going to be working on Board Meeting agenda, or my students final summaries, whatever. It's captured and it has a time. I try to plan out the week ahead when I do my Review.

    Trish

    Comment


    • #3
      Another paper lover

      Paper: yes, yes. Mine is a DayTimer, Trish, but same difference.

      I am still ambivalent about 2 pages per day vs. 2 pages per week. For the past couple of years I have used the latter, because I really like seeing my week all laid out at once. But then I don't have that wonderful right-hand page to use as a capture device.

      So I'm thinking of going back to 2 pages per day, but wondering about the loss of the week-at-a-glance that I have now. Any thoughts?

      Comment


      • #4
        gtderik:

        Great to hear you've found a system that works well for you. That's the beauty of GTD: it works in whatever format you chose to use.

        I've been back and forth on this one. I love paper (my F-C 2-page per day with 2-page per month calendars) but also have to change my schedule so much that my binder was filled with too many white blobs of white out. So, I use the F-C clasic binder for the right hand page and the docs I wish to see visually and use my Treo 700wx for all else. But it's all good andmost any system will work if you just use it.

        Cool!

        Comment


        • #5
          So I'm thinking of going back to 2 pages per day, but wondering about the loss of the week-at-a-glance that I have now. Any thoughts?[/QUOTE]


          Well I had something of a breakthrough when I switched to the 2 page per day format. I still see the overview (you hve to kind of train yourself) by flipping back to the Month view, but it's easier to plan out a day, and also take phone messages, write down grocery reminders, plan food for the day etc on that right hand page and then I have a log of the wk so to speak. I found the week to view was better than the Treo, but still not enough room to write in. If you plan out your week--I mean move things from Monthly to That Week day by day, and then add in what you want to work on and when, at least I am ahead of the game. I still had anxiety about hving 15 things I had to get done, and when, when, when am I going to do them? I can flip to a page and see, oh, I really have 5 free hours here, so calm down, me.
          Trish

          Comment


          • #6
            3x5 card paper GTD system

            Originally posted by gtderik View Post
            I am officially 2 weeks in to using a paper GTD system. It has really changed the ways that I relate to my lists. I guess that at first I was some kind of snob when it came to paper tools, I also was much too lazy to do the rewriting that I thought I had to do... I now use a paper binder set up the way that DA sets his up and for the most part I really enjoy the speed and portability that I didnt get in my Palm (yes I said that...) Perhaps its just the physical pages and quickly tabbing over to my calender or to my projects page... the binder has become second nature so that I am really used to it. I am learning more about the process of GTD in this little experiment that it will greatly benefit me if I ever move back to my Palm.

            How do people organize, view their lists? Hand written or printed from the computer? Binders or stuffed in to notebooks?

            I am curious... thanks.
            After using outlook tasks with tolerably good results, Last winter I switched to an indexcard based system that's a hybrid between the hipster PDA and this highly cool system developed by a blogger in Japan. I have a 3x5 card file on my desk that holds all of my next actions, waiting ons, ticklers, etc. I've found a 1 card per action system works better for me than a list, as it's easy to shuffle things around as situations change. completed actions go to a daily log card that I save for weekly reviews and for regular emails to the boss updating him on the status of all my projects (side note: if you don't do something like this for your boss every few weeks, you should consider it--it keeps my productivity visible and it saves him having to ask about the status of X project)

            After experimenting with a portable cardfile for my @home and @ errands actions, I've decided to add them to a running list in the back of the Moleskine I already use for capturing info on-the-fly--it makes for one less thing to lug around. Project plans (or summaries of them if they're long) are done on 3x5s and have their own section in the card "dock". My master project list, areas of responsibilities, and higher altitudes are saved to my USB drive and the share drive at work (they do full nightly backups so I'm safe there). Calendar items go into outlook if they happen during or right after work hours. non-work appointments go into a little portable calendar (good enough for my purposes) that rides in the back pocket of my moleskine.

            My inspirations for the system:
            Hipster PDA
            Hawk Sugano's Pile of Indexcards

            Blog post describing my system in more detail:
            The Scattered Librarian: The Latest on my Indexcard migration

            Photos of my system at Flickr

            Suggestions are always welcome!

            Comment


            • #7
              A quick tour of my planner

              Originally posted by gtderik View Post
              How do people organize, view their lists? Hand written or printed from the computer? Binders or stuffed in to notebooks?
              I keep my lists in a Word document, which I update and print when I process my inboxes. My job/life doesn't have a lot of meetings and appointments, so most of my planner space is used for capture and reference.

              I use a 5.5 x 8.5 inch planner and templates from diyplanner.com, where I have posted a short explanation:
              http://www.diyplanner.com/node/986

              Comment


              • #8
                For me, it's a Levenger Circa with tabs set up similar to DA's recommendation. I have a page per context on which I track next actions by hand. Similar process for agendas, projects, etc.

                I don't mind the writing, crossing-off, rewriting, etc. because I find that the physical act of doing so seems to increase my commitment to a task or the feeling of accomplishment of completing (and crossing-off) same.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Week pr page and room for capturing

                  DayOwl asks: "So I'm thinking of going back to 2 pages per day, but wondering about the loss of the week-at-a-glance that I have now. Any thoughts?"

                  I'm using week at the left page, notes on the right in my Filofax planner. I've modified the page myself so it fits me and my planner, with help from DIY planner.com. This gives me room for my day spesific items and room for my notes and capturing, as well as week at a glance. I haven't quite decided if I want the week at my left or right hand side yet. The rings makes it a bit difficult to write.


                  martefie

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Week at a glance and enough space for notes

                    Day Owl, if you use a loose-leaf planner w/ 2 pages per week, you can put a standard notes sheet (as provided by the manufacturer of your planner, or you can make your own notes pages) in the middle of each week.

                    That gives you 2 pages for notes for each week, and you can still see the whole week at a glance if you hold the notes page in the middle.

                    (Not my idea, I read something similar in some blog but can't remember where.)

                    I have a Moleskine Pocket Weekly Planner w/ weeks on left pages and notes pages on the right, but that feels cramped. But it's the only thing that fits nicely into my pocket.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OKLibrarian View Post
                      After using outlook tasks with tolerably good results, Last winter I switched to an indexcard based system that's a hybrid between the hipster PDA and this highly cool system developed by a blogger in Japan. I have a 3x5 card file on my desk that holds all of my next actions, waiting ons, ticklers, etc. I've found a 1 card per action system works better for me than a list, as it's easy to shuffle things around as situations change. completed actions go to a daily log card that I save for weekly reviews and for regular emails to the boss updating him on the status of all my projects (side note: if you don't do something like this for your boss every few weeks, you should consider it--it keeps my productivity visible and it saves him having to ask about the status of X project)
                      Interesting. I started using a one action per card system. But it became a little too unwieldy to work with, so I switched back to lists for a more portable system and have never looked back. Everything--well, almost everything--is in my hipster PDA: calendar, lists, contacts, crucial notes, financial log, and about 20 blank cards for capture. It's a perpetually refreshing notebook that easily fits into my pocket. And I don't really care for the D-I-Y printer templates, so I just create my list and calendar cards by hand as needed.

                      What makes the system work is that I have two extra hipster PDAs for "spill-off" from the main hipster. One contains plans and notes for current projects--whatever I've collected or brainstormed using my main hipster, organized alphabetically by subject--which makes them very easy to scan quickly. The other hipster contains my most recent idea/reflection cards--this functions much like a Moleskine, allowing me to look through recent jottings. My ideas/notes eventually get filed in a 3 X 5 repository. In fact, as an academic, I've switched to index cards for note taking--so my hipster is also my main notetaking tool. In less than a year, I have collected over 1,500 notecards, organized alphabetically by subject.

                      This paper system has immensely clarified my thinking--forcing me to focus on one idea, one list at a time. I like how paper forces you to work through the steps of GTD deliberately: collection, processing, review, and action.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by smellsfunny View Post
                        Day Owl, if you use a loose-leaf planner w/ 2 pages per week, you can put a standard notes sheet (as provided by the manufacturer of your planner, or you can make your own notes pages) in the middle of each week.

                        That gives you 2 pages for notes for each week, and you can still see the whole week at a glance if you hold the notes page in the middle.

                        (Not my idea, I read something similar in some blog but can't remember where.)
                        Smellsfunny, thanks. Maybe you read it in my post to an earlier thread here (perhaps one of Katherine's about her paper setup). That arrangement works fairly well, but usually I am haunted by the sense that perfection is just around the corner, if only I could decide which corner to look around (sound familiar, anyone?).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've only implemented part of the GTD system so far (hey, it's only been ten days , and I'm taking the Chicago roadmap class on 5/18 ).

                          One of my issue with online systems is paralysis by categorization, combined with the portability needed with a tremendous amount of travel. I have tried PDA twice and hated them both times and gave up within a month each time.

                          I have implemented a ridiculously low-tech solution:
                          - Lotus Notes for my calendar (because we use it for work)
                          - A 70-page spiral notebook
                          - Post it notes in key places (such as the car, bedroom, kitchen)

                          On the spiral notebook, I just take a front/back and divide each side into three columns, then divide the center column into a top third and a bottom part. The left column is the "projects" column, the right column is the next action column, the center column top is "someday/maybe," and the center column bottom is "waiting on." Then I take notes for a few pages as needed, and when I need a new pair of planning pages, I just repeat.

                          The post-it notes get staged down to my garage door to my house, and then into the notebook every couple of days.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another Index Card User

                            Originally posted by OKLibrarian View Post
                            After using outlook tasks with tolerably good results, Last winter I switched to an indexcard based system that's a hybrid between the hipster PDA and this highly cool system developed by a blogger in Japan....
                            OKLibrarian,

                            Thanks for your post! I'm another user of a index card based GTD system. I initially started using index cards for my errand list. I had a paper-based system in a large binder at the time, and found that the index card based errand list was a lot easier to deal with than lugging around the binder. The great thing about using index cards is the ability to reshuffle the next action deck as time and circumstances dictate.

                            I decided to go all the way with index cards when I saw a system built by a fellow who goes by the moniker "Jazzmasterson." (Here is one link to see his system: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jazzmas...in/set-873461/) My system is influenced by his, but is still very much a work in progress.

                            Thanks for the links to Hawk Sugano's system and to yours. There are a lot of good ideas there!

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