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  • Essential Supplies to GTD

    Getting through the book this week and planning to start implementing GTD pretty quickly. The concepts so far have really opened my eyes to some real weak areas in my time management and work flow process. Elegantly simple and yet mind blowing at the same time. I took a field trip at lunch to Office Depot and realized that there are a lot of options. I'm hoping that the collective wisdom here of people who have tried lots of different products can help me make better decisions about what I need to get started.

    What are the essential supplies I will need to get started with GTD? Please recommend specific brands that you feel are best in class and/or best value (I don't always consider best value to be the cheapest option though it sometimes might be). What are the "nice to have" supplies?

    Hopefully if I can arm myself with the essentials I can get started pretty quickly this weekend.

  • #2
    A lot depends on what you are comfortable using. I was already using a palm when I caught the GTD bug four years ago so it was a no brainer for me. I see very little out there that rivals a good old palm and the palm desktop.

    I recommend that you downlaod David Allen's free article on setting up a palm and his free article on setting up a paper system. They are very helpful.

    My generic answer would be to start with a simple paper system - and go from there. But that's just my perspective - and I should point out that I don't need an integrated, on the go email system, so that's not a factor for me.

    Good luck,
    Dave

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    • #3
      Take his advice and don't cheap out on a file cabinet.

      Other than that... cheap has worked fine for me. Also makes it more likely you'll get enough stuff -- file folders, pens, etc -- as most people underestimate here.

      I haven't bit the bullet yet on a labeller. Don't feel like I'm missing it.

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      • #4
        I actually just got the new iPhone but I'm planning to start with a paper system. I got a planner from DA Company that should arrive in the next day or two. I'm looking for specifics on other essential supplies so I can go stock up at Office Depot in one trip if possible. If this is compiled somewhere else please let me know.

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        • #5
          Essential supplies for getting started:
          pile of paper/notepad
          pile of file folders
          place to put file folders
          pen(s)

          I really wouldn't recommend buying anything else until you have some idea how to structure your system: are contexts important, or not? Do you have lots of complex projects, or not? Is your day highly scheduled, or not? Are you mostly mobile, or mostly office-based?

          Katherine

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gr8ful2GTD View Post
            What are the essential supplies I will need to get started with GTD?
            Since I'm now mostly electronic based this may seem heretical but IMO the essential supplies to get started are all paper based. Once you have it down in paper you can figure out whether you need to do something else.

            Ream of 3 ring notebook paper. I splurge and buy the tri-ring refill paper from Levenger. It has space for margin notes (Cornell system) and is a good quality. I use it for all my paper notes and project planning stuff. I also have a ream of Levenger's storyboard 3-ring paper because I use that to plan and sketch out scrapbooks and web sites. I also use their letter size viz pads for drawing notes for the building remodel we are doing and for other physical planning like what's in what garden bed, where fences will go, weaving warp designs and so on.

            3 ring binder simple 1-2 inch ring type If you decide to stay with paper get one you enjoy using but initially just get something that works and is cheap.

            Labeler I have a Brother p-touch model PT-1280 because I wanted one I could easily get tapes for and that would not use batteries. I looked first at what tapes were avail. from my local stores then got the labeler to match.

            big box of file folders - I had these already in colors for the major areas of focus. If I was starting over I'd probably not bother with the multiple colors although it's a nice addition I use 3 position tab because that is what was available. Does mean you have to think a bit to get the adjacent file not be the same position so the label gets hidden.

            good quality filing cabinet that does not require hanging folders and has a sliding backstop Hard to find. I already had cabinets that require hanging folders but if I was starting out I'd buy something else.

            stack of cheap small notepad or scrap paper I used the back sides of my tear off daily calendar as scrap paper for initial collection. A 3 x 5 spiral bound notebook from the drug store also works as long as you tear out the pages.

            several pens it's frustrating to run out of ink in the middle so have spares readily avail.

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            • #7
              Also, some big garbage bags. You're going to need them...

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              • #8
                Get the labeler

                I just put in 10 hours at my office today to start getting this system in place. I'm so glad I have that labeler! It's worth the investment to have everything professional looking. You will be glad you got it, I am!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gr8ful2GTD View Post
                  I actually just got the new iPhone but I'm planning to start with a paper system.
                  When you get around to thinking electronic have a look at OmniFocus -- particularly if you have a Mac as well.

                  http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnifocus/

                  Michael

                  EDIT: Maybe that should be `if' you get around to thinking electronic -- nothing wrong with staying paper.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mmurray View Post
                    When you get around to thinking electronic have a look at OmniFocus -- particularly if you have a Mac as well.
                    As an alternative: Things by Cultured Code, also for Mac & iPhone.

                    I'm still wondering whether to convert to OmniFocus, but as they are tidying up the bugs in Things and adding features, I think I'm happy staying where I am for now.

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                    • #11
                      I'm too invested time wise in OmniFocus to make the switch to Things but it looks interesting and I hear a lot of people like it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
                        I'm too invested time wise in OmniFocus to make the switch to Things but it looks interesting and I hear a lot of people like it.

                        Yes that's pretty much where I am plus I don't have any issues with OmniFocus that would make me want to switch. I guess I should have a look at Things sometime to see what it does.

                        Is there anyone reading this who could compare the two ? I would be interested to see that.

                        Michael

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                        • #13
                          I haven't used OF in either form, so I'm not qualified to compare them properly, but I have watched the online videos for both applications, and read the thoughts of plenty of people who have used them.

                          The main difference seems to be that OF has more in it, like nested projects, sequential & parallel projects, location awareness and so-on, whereas Things, because it is slightly simpler, is a lot easier to use, better-looking and quicker.

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