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  • Beginning at the beginning

    After reading GTD once, and now in my second read, I am a bit confused as to the "lists." In one sense I can see three or four small notepads scattered about my desk with lists which looks, in my mind's eye, to be very unproductive.

    I am putting things in folders, but have one legal size pad with a line in the middle....next actions on the left, waiting for on the right. But is this 'it?'

    How does one keep a list...and more importantly, what do they look like?

  • #2
    Originally posted by rderox View Post
    How does one keep a list...and more importantly, what do they look like?
    My lists are in Omnifocus. When I am looking at a particular context I see a list of next actions. Here is an example from my Inside by Myself Context

    Other people keep lists in a circa notebook, or a binder or on a handheld device. The critical component is to keep the lists ordered by context. SO actions for several contexts are not all mixed in together.
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      You might want to check out David Allen's free articles. The one titled Building a Paper Planner describes how to set up a paper organizer (which includes your lists).

      I don't use a paper organizer but if I did I'd use one sheet of paper per context list (@Anywhere, @Calls, @Computer, @Waiting For) and one or two for Projects and Someday/Maybe.

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      • #4
        If you need only two contexts...

        Originally posted by rderox View Post
        I am putting things in folders, but have one legal size pad with a line in the middle....next actions on the left, waiting for on the right. But is this 'it?'
        If you need only two contexts (@Anywhere and @WaitingFor) that's it - but you need two additional lists: Projects and Someday/Maybe.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rderox View Post
          After reading GTD once, and now in my second read, I am a bit confused as to the "lists." In one sense I can see three or four small notepads scattered about my desk with lists which looks, in my mind's eye, to be very unproductive.
          That's definitely one way of organizing things, and I honestly don't see why that's necessarily unproductive. If everything's being tracked, what's unproductive about it? Maybe I'm missing something.

          In any event, there are many, many ways of keeping track of your lists:
          • Text files on your computer
          • Text/memo files on your PDA/smartphone
          • Entries in list management software like OmniFocus
          • Pages in a three-ring binder
          • Pages on a clipboard
          • Whiteboards

          As TesTeq says, you'll certainly need more lists than just Actions and Waiting For.

          Does that help?

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          • #6
            Rderox, I'm still struggling with putting my organizer 'together' too - I've added things slowly.. Just added 'Someday/Maybe' and 'Later' (both for projects) today.. Already have the Next Actions (several more contexts though, at the time).
            Yes, those articles are helpful, and there's also some stuff on YouTube - eg someone building their own organizer..

            Basically, it probably depends on you - what would you feel better with - several notebooks or just one?
            What do you need in certain contexts, is a small notebook easier to carry than a big organizer? You can also experiment to see what works best..
            (I'm sure still experimenting myself! )

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