43 Folders

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Good report of a year using GTD

Google Groups : 43 Folders [One Year into GTD: My report]

I enjoyed tuqqer’s detailed review of how he’s tweaked GTD to work best for him over the past year. Quoting:

Reading [an earlier thread], I think a good conclusion would be that each of our implementation of GTD has to develop organically. Everyone ends up tweaking their system to match their way of thinking.

I’d bet that only a small 5-10% of GTD readers follow exactly what The David suggests. Even he is probably constantly tweaking his own system. Two years from now, he’ll probably be doing it differently.

I would encourage other folks to post stories like this to the Google Group as well--and not necessarily just about GTD, although that's the obvious candidate for discussion. I think it would be very helpful for folks to hear what's worked best and worst for people in trying to to get it together.

Homer Erectus's picture

I've discovered the same thing...

I've discovered the same thing Tugger has: I just can't function with the stock GTD categories. I don't think that way, and the @Work, @Home, @Whatever categories don't mesh at all well with way I tend to do things.

I use a Palm device for keeping track of my projects, and I've tried many ways of organizing, and used many different applications (most recently, I was using Progect, which is a great little freeware outliner, but it still wasn't working all that well for me).

Lately, I've come up with a system that works extremely well for me, and I'm finally "getting things done". What I've done is set up my Palm To Do list with each of my major projects as a category. I have a category for a newsletter that I edit, another for promotional ideas for my online business, another for a music project I'm working on. Minor projects and Someday/Maybe stuff goes in the Unfiled category, with any sub-steps added as a note to each project item. The only thing I'm really using from the GTD system (besides the "two-minute rule", which has changed my life) is the Next Actions category. The beauty of this system is that everything stays in its own project category until it becomes actionable. Then I simply change the category for that item from its project category to the "Next Actions" category. I review my project categories any time my "Next Actions" list starts running low. The rule I've made for myself is that I'm allowed only as many actionable items in my "Next Actions" list as I can see without scrolling (and only one item from any given project). It keeps me from feeling bogged down, and it's nice because I'm usually only looking at the "Next Actions" category as I work. I just drop actionable items into the list as I get to them, knock them down, and add more. As I work, when I come up with more things I need to do, I add those to the individual project categories to get them written down and out of the way until they're actionable. I'm getting a HECK of a lot done this way, and my stress level is definitely lower.

I found "Getting Things Done" to be an inspiring book, with a lot of great ideas and advice, but you really do have to tweak the system to make it work the way you do.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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