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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.


CharlotteLouise's picture

Just feeling my way in to GTD, but here goes

I'm faculty (and only about 3 weeks into The GTD Program), so my issues / solutions may be a bit different. The biggest obstacle for me was just the sheer amount of junk in my office !

So far, it's been notebooks for organizing.

One notebook is for the classes I'm currently teaching. 3-hole punch and file the syllabus, class list and my grading speadsheet (Excel), then a pocket (http://store.43folders.com/office-1064954-B0008GM83I-AVE75254_Binder_Pockets_For_3_Ring_Binders_5_Pack_Assorted_Colors) for miscellaneous and odd-sized paperwork (such as the note from the funeral home verifying that Grandma was, in fact, buried yesterday). Also, I've become (especially in the New Year's cleaning frenzy) ruthless about purging. At the end of the semester, everything goes in a box or crate, and then straight to recycle after the end of the next semester. All that gets saved in paper format are my exam keys (so I know what questions were asked) and documentation of any potential problems (i.e., the student whose failing grade can be traced back to the term paper purchased from Papers R Us).

Teaching material (articles, primarily) goes into notebooks, also, because I do go back and flip through it. I no longer print out copies of the powerpoint -- why waste the paper. Long-term, a "Someday," I'd like to dowload all of the articles in digital format and junk the paper.

Next Action contexts are still a bit in flux. There's @Grading; it gets its own context because of the high priority -- exams go back the next class, period (I announce at the beginning of the semster that for every class after that, I add 2 points to the grade -- real incentive !) Then, there's @Office, for all of the bitty things, such as returning a video to the library, finding an article I just know was in Saturday's NTY for class tomorrow. Another context is @Writing, for all the things other than research (i.e, recommendation letters).

If anyone has any good ideas about how to handle GTD for research, I'd Really Like To Know. So far, file folders and those manila accordion files seem to be the best route for me (and color coding the files with articles for my dissertation, by topic,was one of the only good moves I made there). I have a friend who has his entire dissertation research on his memory stick, though that might or might not be possible for everyone. I always need paper in my hand to really take in the information, plus a lot of my research was older articles that just weren't in any database. The thing is, though, that the GTD method should work really well for academic research. It's the type of activity where there isn't usually any firm deadline, so it gets put off and off and off.

This may just be confusing, but I hope it helps some; and I'd really like to hear how other academic types are doing GTD (nothing like doing some research, is there?)

One side note, Lilly252: have you visited www.phinished.org yet??? Lots of good organinzing and time-mamagement strategies get posted there and archived.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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