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Roadwarrior - Paper, electronic, or both?

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  • Roadwarrior - Paper, electronic, or both?

    I am new to GTD, have read the book and I am in the process of getting my system established.

    I consultant for a living and thus spend about 3 weeks a month on the road. I am trying to determine how to establish a system that will keep me focused and organized. I currently use a WinXP laptop with Office 2007, a Blackberry Pearl, and a small notepad. My notepad does help me much because I rarely refer back to it (no discipline on my part). I have taken a look at the DavidCo Outlook add-in (actually have the trial installed), the TWC Outlook add-in, as well Foresight add-in. All seem like they will help. One thing I am struggling with is a sync option for my BB. I have TaskMaster and have taken a look at NextAction!. I would love to find an application that will attached Voice Notes to tasks but have not found one yet.

    I am also struggling with deciding if I need a paper system, and if so what will work for me. I don't really like to carry a large (8x11) organizer/binder/notebook because most are too bulky for me.

    For those that travel frequently, what have you found works well?

  • #2
    I use a very thin flexible cover notebook with a 1 inch spine, so it is not too bulky and carry pre three hole punched pads of paper. The tabs are projects, next actions, waiting for and notes for both work and home as well as a category caled misc lists which has someday/maybe and things like songs to learn, books loaned out etc.

    I use a blackberry for contacts and email. I also have a waiting for email folder which I use for responses I need from people initiated from an email.

    I use paper, because I find life moves too fast relative to my typing skills.

    Have you thought about a slim notebook like a composition book , which would work as well, also there are several notebooks that allow for movable tabs which would work as well some are made in smaller sizes. Although I keep the three ring with tabs because it is easy to flip to the various sections and add things quickly.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the response. I forgot to mention that I do not have BES, only BIS so I am pretty limited to what I can sync automatically.

      What I am thinking is a paper system (like the notebook you use) for day-to-day actions. And using Outlook and BB for more long-term/project type work. I am also trying out a Voice Note program for BB that allows me to efficiently record a message and email it to myself. I think I can then use folders in Outlook to maintain. I want to have Voice Note ability because it is much faster than typing on the BB (sound like we have comparable typing skills). I always have my BB and may not have my laptop or notebook.

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      • #4
        Honestly, it varies a lot from person to person, even among road warriors.

        I recommend you try whatever appeals to you. You can always change it.

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        • #5
          From my experience, TahoeTexan, I have tried almost everything. Of late, I have started to concentrate on getting back to basics with my system. I am currently using the DIY Planner to do my project management and a daily todo list. I have a circa hole punch and keep it in my leather covered circa notebook. This takes up only a small part of my circa that I have modified with one inch rings (it ships with 3/4 inch rings). I also have a section in the circa for planning. I tend to use it in my weekly review and when I am sketching notes for someday/maybe type stuff. Then a section for general everyday notes.

          I use I Want Sandy (iwantsandy.com) for my reminders. This tool is so versatile, that you can receive a reminder through Twitter, your SMS, your email, etc.

          In terms of recording voice notes. I have been using Jott (www.jott.com) for some time now and an perfectly satisfied. It emails you the jott that you recorded from your phone, where you can process it when you in front of your computer. If you have a BB, you will also get that email on your phone.

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          • #6
            Jason,
            What size circa do you use? Letter?

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            • #7
              As a computer/laptop based system is not suitable for road warriors, I prefer PDA-based systems. I tried paper-only systems before but do not like rewriting all the items often and I also feel insecure in not having a backup.

              My thoughts on GTD on the road:

              http://www.vagabondingentrepreneur.c...e-on-the-road/

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              • #8
                There are a few good methods to implement GTD on your Pearl. You might want to check out the following blog: http://www.blackberrygtd.com/

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                • #9
                  Online Sync

                  Although I'm not a heavy road warrior, I spent my holidays abroad and found that I felt very powerless not having all the tools that I keep in my desktop computer. With that, here are some tips that I have picked up from my fairly extensive research on various GTD/LifeHacking topics.

                  1. If you use Outlook as your Contact Manager, I suggest that you take a look at plaxo.com. This is the only plug-in that I've been able to find that can completely sync the Address Book, Calendar, Notes and Tasks.
                  2. I'm still debating what I'm going to use as my ultimate task pad. I currently have a Cingular 3125 smartphone that supports basic task management. And I can sync this to outlook which syncs with plaxo. This allows me to make and manage tasks from any web browser which is sometimes more convenient than typing on the phone. Another option I'm looking at is just using either a small notebook or even index cards. http://hipsterpda.com currently has me fascinated. Sometimes it's easier and more professional to write things down than type into a phone.
                  3. Google's calendar is really good, but it's sync features with Outlook aren't as thorough as plaxo's. I use Gmail as sort of a journal though. You can also send sms messages to your calendar to keep track of what you are doing. i.e. Had a steak and shrimp. $30

                  Hope it helps!

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                  • #10
                    I do not need any task management for my holidays.

                    Originally posted by bragot View Post
                    Although I'm not a heavy road warrior, I spent my holidays abroad and found that I felt very powerless not having all the tools that I keep in my desktop computer. (...)
                    1. If you use Outlook as your Contact Manager, I suggest that you take a look at plaxo.com. This is the only plug-in that I've been able to find that can completely sync the Address Book, Calendar, Notes and Tasks.
                    2. I'm still debating what I'm going to use as my ultimate task pad. I currently have a Cingular 3125 smartphone that supports basic task management. (...)
                    I do not need any task management for my holidays. I simply enjoy skiing, windsurfing or sight-seeing.

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