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What is Your Personal System That Helps You Get Things Done?

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  • What is Your Personal System That Helps You Get Things Done?

    I'm looking for inspiration to help me settle on a GTD system that works for me. I haven't found it so far, and I feel like I can't move on with my life until I have. I am a big organization freak and I feel like I have to have a GTD system that works for me and makes me feel happy.

    I was hoping you guys could solve some problems for me and my GTD system. Here is a list of them:

    Lists I love the idea of lists. I am addicted to them. I like keeping lists such as 'my favorite movies' or 'favorite songs' as well as lists such as 'self-improvement tips' or 'personal commandments.' The problem is that I don't know how to go about maintaining lists. I feel like if I update a list on paper, I will eventually run out of paper. What happens then? And don't say I can make a folder for each of my lists and use 1 piece of paper as an 'item' for the list, because I want to be able to view it in list-form. I know I could maintain a list if I used loose-leaf paper in a notebook, but I want something more minimal than having a big notebook full of lists.

    Long-Lasting Cheap, Flexible UCT! I use a hPDA right now which has been working for the most part but has been annoying as well. The pros are that index cards are cheap and you only need 1 binder clip. But it is really annoying to have to take binder clip off each time I want to write something down. Is there any UCT that is minimal and can fit in your pocket or stay on you at all times that is flexible but very cheap?
    Last edited by dropdeaddustin; 12-15-2007, 08:07 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by dropdeaddustin View Post
    Lists I love the idea of lists. I am addicted to them. I like keeping lists such as 'my favorite movies' or 'favorite songs' as well as lists such as 'self-improvement tips' or 'personal commandments.' The problem is that I don't know how to go about maintaining lists. I feel like if I update a list on paper, I will eventually run out of paper. What happens then? And don't say I can make a folder for each of my lists and use 1 piece of paper as an 'item' for the list, because I want to be able to view it in list-form. I know I could maintain a list if I used loose-leaf paper in a notebook, but I want something more minimal than having a big notebook full of lists.
    You can make a small notebook full of lists instead. I've seen loose leaf notebooks as small as 3"x5" in grocery store stationery departments, and specialty stores go even smaller than that. Or you can use larger paper, fold it, and tuck it into a folder or even a pocket. When the list gets too long for one page, you can add another page. If you want it really tiny, you can use a copier to reduce it down to the smallest size you can read, although that does make updating tricky.

    Long-Lasting Cheap, Flexible UCT! I use a hPDA right now which has been working for the most part but has been annoying as well. The pros are that index cards are cheap and you only need 1 binder clip. But it is really annoying to have to take binder clip off each time I want to write something down. Is there any UCT that is minimal and can fit in your pocket or stay on you at all times that is flexible but very cheap?
    I've seen notepads that use cards with one hole punched and a ring through the hole. Fan out to write, open or close the ring to add or subtract pages. The cards can be 3"x5" or smaller, and you could easily make your own rather than buying pre-punched.

    The big advantage of a paper system is that even expensive paper is cheap relative to electronics, and paper is almost infinitely flexible. A visit to an art supply store might give you all sorts of interesting ideas.

    Katherine
    Last edited by kewms; 12-15-2007, 08:57 PM. Reason: fix quotes

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    • #3
      My Personal Hybrid Paper-Digital System

      It took me awhile to figure out the best approach for me. I started out with just paper (and I *highly* recommend doing so for those just starting out with GTD), but eventually created a digital + paper solution that works well for me. I describe it in more detail here.
      Last edited by Todd V; 08-08-2012, 02:30 PM.

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      • #4
        I use a ponytail holder (plain) to hold my index cards. I can jam one in or out without removing anything.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bottleblue View Post
          I use a ponytail holder (plain) to hold my index cards. I can jam one in or out without removing anything.
          Having neither a ponytail nor a ponytail holder, I use a large paper-clip (3 inch) for the same purpose.

          Rainer

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dropdeaddustin View Post
            I feel like if I update a list on paper, I will eventually run out of paper. What happens then?
            Are you writing this based on experience? Or based on fear?

            What if you tried it? Perhaps the attempt would teach you what you really need.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dropdeaddustin View Post
              The problem is that I don't know how to go about maintaining lists. I feel like if I update a list on paper, I will eventually run out of paper.
              These lists are "reference" information anyway -- put them on the computer. I even keep my next action lists in Microsoft Word, and print the page out after each processing/update session. Paper and legibility, together.

              As for UCT issues, does your hPDA have a cover page or something similar? If so, why? When you pull it out of your pocket, you should have a writing surface immediately available, with no fiddling with binder clips.

              I use a "jotter" (this one: http://www.ebags.com/royce_leather/t...?modelid=60761 ) to hold index cards, and I use those cards for collection, not for schedules or reference. That's what my main 5.5 x 8.5 inch planner is for. Your situation may be different.

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