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Advice on the 43 folders technique

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  • Advice on the 43 folders technique

    Hi all!

    The 43 folders technique was one I loved from the first moment (I guess I am not the only one), only to discover that I don't really have much use for it. I only place there my bills and very few other things (I have a corkboard for upcoming events).

    I am thinking about going back to my old method, which is placing the bills in my calendar at the appropiate date, though keeping the 12 months folders for long term bills and others.

    Any advice, takes or insights from other GTDers?
    Last edited by Marcelo; 11-01-2009, 11:08 PM.

  • #2
    Hi Marcelo,

    Have you considered joining GTD Connect? Seems like you are enthusiastic about GTD and Connect is a great way to get feedback and share experiences with the DavidCo coaches and other members on the GTD Connect Forums. The public Forum (which this is) is great too, just wanted to suggest Connect as well, as there are a wealth of GTD resources on Connect that you won't find anywhere else.

    https://secure.davidco.com/connect/free/14days

    Kelly

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
      Hi Marcelo,

      Have you considered joining GTD Connect? Seems like you are enthusiastic about GTD and Connect is a great way to get feedback and share experiences with the DavidCo coaches and other members on the GTD Connect Forums. The public Forum (which this is) is great too, just wanted to suggest Connect as well, as there are a wealth of GTD resources on Connect that you won't find anywhere else.

      https://secure.davidco.com/connect/free/14days

      Kelly
      Thank you very much for your offer Kelly! I am a great believer in open source projects and peer colaboration for exchanging knowledge (great things like Wikipedia, Linux and the internet itself are based on those principles) and I prefer to remain in a forum that does not require paying money to participate in it, but rather your own input to exchange with others's. Puting myself in DavidCo's perspective, which is kindly hosting this forum, the fact that we are contributing content for free, thereby attracting and motivating new potential GTD users as well as fostering a GTD culture -I have the impression this is one of DavidCo goals, and a very clever one indeed, in every sense-, is surely an excellent pay off in itself.

      I don't entirely discard the possibility of joining Connect in the future, if I feel it becomes a real need for me. At present it is not.

      Thank you again for offering!

      Comment


      • #4
        Marcelo, I found out something similar - that I didn't have much stuff to put in 43 folders..
        So I just have one metal box for bills etc (so I don't have to see them when I don't need to), and put the date on the calendar. It's not completely foolproof though, I need to actually take the bills out on the due date (or the night before) and put them somewhere I see them!
        I have some stuff (as much as possible) on direct payment by the bank anyway! It's cheaper that way too..

        About GTD Connect - I like the idea of 'open source' projects very much too.. Know that Wikipedia has raised A LOT of money to remain what it is though.. Servers for forums aren't so cheap etc.
        So basically to be able to keep it up and offer quality service, I understand the idea for a membership site..
        Have you tried the free 2-week membership yet?

        Comment


        • #5
          Marcelo wrote: I don't entirely discard the possibility of joining Connect in the future, if I feel it becomes a real need for me. At present it is not.

          Good strategy Marcelo! GTD Connect is not for everyone, but it does offer content and an experience you won't find in any open source environment. I am confident and proud of that.

          Cheers.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't put lots of stuff in there, but the things that do go in are very handy.

            Right now I've got things in there like "Passport expires" in 2015 and "10th Wedding Anniversary" in 2018. I don't really want or need to lug that sort of information around in my calendar for the next decade.

            I also use it in a quasi-Someday/Maybe fashion. Do I want to think about buying snowshoes? Not really right now... I'll throw it in the folder for January.



            Cheers,
            Roger

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Roger View Post
              Right now I've got things in there like "Passport expires" in 2015 and "10th Wedding Anniversary" in 2018. I don't really want or need to lug that sort of information around in my calendar for the next decade.
              Cheers,
              Roger
              Yeap, that's why I think I'll keep the 12 months folders, to carry with me only bills relevant to the current month. But... 2015? 2018? How do you that? Did you add folders for years to come?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Marcelo View Post
                But... 2015? 2018? How do you that? Did you add folders for years to come?
                If I were using this system, I would simply bump up the item a year at a time until the appropriate folder arrives. Not sure about the time consumed, though. It might take a few minutes per year to do this (oh the horror....).

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have an Excel spreadsheet that is basically a yearless calendar. The left column is all the days of the year, with a few blank lines between months. By the dates, I put people's birthdays, reminders about when to fill out various IRS forms, when I must pay my bills (I do them all once a month), etc. In the blank lines I put things that are linked to the preceding month but not a date, such as a street fair that happens on the first weekend of June, and recurring items that happen each week or each month. Since learning about GTD, I have been adding "tickler" type items, such as "start planning Thanksgiving" before Thanksgiving actually happens but not too soon. At the beginning of each month I put the next month's items on my real calendar (I will be populating December's calendar this week).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marcelo View Post
                    Yeap, that's why I think I'll keep the 12 months folders, to carry with me only bills relevant to the current month. But... 2015? 2018? How do you that? Did you add folders for years to come?
                    Yes, exactly -- I talk about that a bit in the thread 43 Folders: not quite enough!

                    I've also found it useful for repeating tasks -- things to do every payday, or before the end of every month, or whatnot.


                    Cheers,
                    Roger

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Roger View Post
                      Yes, exactly -- I talk about that a bit in the thread 43 Folders: not quite enough!

                      I've also found it useful for repeating tasks -- things to do every payday, or before the end of every month, or whatnot.


                      Cheers,
                      Roger
                      Oops, I didn't see that thread. Good idea! And you also gave me here more ideas to use the 43: recurring tasks as VAT payment day, etc... I am so used to hold these in my head that I didn't even think I can "throw" them into the folders... thank you! I think I'll keep the 43 for a while and see what other uses they can have.
                      Last edited by Marcelo; 11-02-2009, 07:21 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marcelo View Post
                        2015? 2018? How do you that? Did you add folders for years to come?
                        FWIW I have a page that I store in December in mine with some long term dates, thinks that are likely to happen in 1-5-10-20 years or so. I check it each December and add the relevant ones to my calendar and cross them off the list. Seems to be working ok for now, 3 years into it.

                        I do also have some things that are very long term stuff actually in my calendar system on my computer. Things like dates trademark applications are up for renewal and so on

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Like Steve Ballmer.

                          Originally posted by GTDinExcel View Post
                          I have an Excel spreadsheet that is basically a yearless calendar.
                          I've heard that Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) uses Excel to manage his time. I think it is not the best marketing strategy for Outlook.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Huh. I use the 43 folders constantly; each day folder usually has one or two items in it, and each month has 5-10 items.

                            I use it for the following things:

                            Weekly and bi-weekly reminders: check fluids in my truck, backup computer onto external hard drive, recharge camera and Kindle, update my garden journal, reminders to think about certain aspects of my life, etc.

                            Monthly and multiple-month reminders: Change air filter, change passwords, update personal information on certain websites, etc.

                            Remarkable articles or ideas that I want to remember in the long term. I'll read these, then stick them back into my tickler for an increasingly long delay (a few days, then a week, then two weeks, then a month, then 3 months). This locks the ideas into my long-term memory. I use this for magazine articles, particularly useful blog posts, lists of keyboard shortcuts, etc.

                            One-off reminders. For example, if I have tickets for a performance, I'll put the tickets in that day's folder.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Brent View Post
                              Remarkable articles or ideas that I want to remember in the long term. I'll read these, then stick them back into my tickler for an increasingly long delay (a few days, then a week, then two weeks, then a month, then 3 months). This locks the ideas into my long-term memory.
                              I like this idea a lot. Thanks, Brent!


                              Cheers,
                              Roger

                              Comment

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