43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

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

A model for GTD in iCal

I realized that I can spend a great deal of time looking for the perfect organizer, which is becoming increasingly clear doesn't exist. Or I could try to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) and try to use what's I've got. So, here is how I set up iCal to keep everything organized and moving forward. Please do make comments and suggestions; that's why I posted it here. I will expand on this as time allows; I have stuff that needs to get done now. My apologies if you are also on the 43 Folders or the Macintosh PIMs google groups.

I don't need 43 folders/tickler files as I can just put everything scheduled right where it belongs. I use manual To Do sorts to keep actions in order for Projects. When I'm ready to schedule To Dos, I drag them to the calendar and place them where I think I'm going to do them. After I have all the next actions on the calendar, I adjust the time range to reflect how long I think it's going to take and I move them around, so I don't over schedule, and so I can see the big picture and adjust priorities. To Do list is set to show current calendar view only.

I wish iCal To Dos would allow for recurring due dates, but because they don't, I just reset the date when they are done (if they recur), rather than checking the "completed" box. "Waiting For" items get alarms for reminders of when I need to followup. I am exploring using outline/notes/notebook to give me more depth in planning projects.

I have the following Calendars and Calendar groups(-Calendars are designated with a super hyphen; -Groups are designated with the reg. hyphen). I'm sure there are more groups and calendars here than some folks would like to see, but like I said above, I'd like even more depth. I keep the Calendar groups closed unless I need them open.

- In Bucket: This is for quick notes for what came to mind and I don't want to sort right away.

-Appts./Sched.: This is for all appts and schedules for me and anyone I need to keep track of (eg kids Dr. appts, field trips, school calendar, etc.) I set up the following calendars within this group:
- My appts (include work)
- Kid 1 appts
- Kid 2 appts
- Wife's calendar (subscribed to)
- School calendar (I think I might have to publish this to iCalShare
- My Schedule (for routines, eg jogging, poker night, etc.)
- Birthdays (from Address Book)
- US Holidays (from Apple)

-Work: This is only for work related stuff, so I can turn the whole group off when I want to. Calendars within this group include:
- Current Project A
- Current Project A1 (if I need to break it down)
- Current Project B
- General Business
- Finances
- Time sheet ( I typically bill by the hour so I need to keep track)

-Home: This includes any routine household things like:
- Shopping
- Auto maintenance
- House (eg Strome windows)
- Finances (paybills, reconcile)

-Personal Projects: This is for any projects (more than a couple of tasks)
- Addition
- Sailboat

-Someday maybe:
- General Ideas
- Potential Projects
- Work Ideas

-Community: This is for tasks only; meetings go to my Appts./Sched. above.
- Zoning Brd.
- Politics

- Fun: This is to include anything that is just fun, and I include here things I see I might like to do (a concert next weekend, an AMC hike, Festival. etc..). Everything in this group is colored red. If I decide to do them, they get moved to my Appts./Sched. above.
- Music
- Hiking
- Patriot's Schedule (from iCalShare)

-Invisible Recurrring Stuff: This is a separate calendar for things that I have setup for alarm reminders, that I don't want cluttering my calendar (eg temporary medicine reminders, reminder to go to bed;-). You can set Events and To Do's with alarms, and then deselect this calendar so you don't see the them, but the alarms still work.


About dancingbrook




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »