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How to implement GTD for university students

Hello all,

This weekend I took out seven HUGE trash bags out of my office after cleaning everything hidden in every corner. I had boxes that had never been unpacked from four moves ago that are GONE! What a liberating feeling!

I don't have my tickler file set up, but have my someday/maybe and my "next actions" set up. The entire office is set up like a GTD Central Command. I had been using the Hipster last semester before life took a weird turn.

Anyways.... the reason for my question is this...

I'm a doctoral student, and as such I have weekly assignments for classes, papers for the semester, and some independent projects that I"m working on like grant proposals, etc.

I keep wondering what the best way of keeping track of everything, and I can't come up with anything concrete, so I thought I'd consult with the experts on this board.


geodude's picture

gtd for students (and faculty)

I have found that the following actually helps with the keeping things together in academia.

First thing is the book of course. For xmas each year, I give my new graduate students their own copies. Since you are posting here, you probably already have the book, but I also think it helps to reread it every 6 months or so until GTD becomes a habit.

Second, I personally find that relying on a single tool or piece of software for implementing GTD for academics is like trying to force square pegs in round holes. Instead, I like to have individual tools that focus on one sphere of activity. For example, in writing a thesis (disseration, grant proposal, class assignment, class prep) you will have lots of pieces of information to keep integrated. Something like Freemind is great for this. I reckon a GTD purist would say that all these pieces of information are REFERENCE items, but I haven't found a good piece of GTD software that handles this type of information very cleanly - along with the rest of the GTD system.

For implementing the rest of the GTD system there are many different pieces of software (ahem..), paper based systems, pda systems, etc, that you can choose from. My only advice here would be find the one you feel most comfortable with and STICK WITH IT. It is very tempting to keep switching systems (they can be fun to explore) - but that brings new startup costs.

Since what I'm suggesting (Freemind for writing/references and something else for the rest of GTD) relies on two different tool sets, it is very important that you be able to crosslink between the two. This is easily done with Freemind.




An Oblique Strategy:
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