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Letter or Legal Size In-box?--New to GTD & Forums

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  • Letter or Legal Size In-box?--New to GTD & Forums

    What size In/Out/Pending boxes would you recommend? Letter or legal size? I use letter size folders & file cabinet. I only have a couple of items that are legal size, but I'm thinking that other "stuff" will be going in the In & Out boxes, so legal size may be the say to go. . . I'm wondering what others have found best.

    Also, how many trays are you using? 2, 3, 4, more? In/Out? Pending? other?

    Do you have them stacked, laid out side-by-side,--or something else?

    Did you find after starting with one way/type/size, related to your in-boxes, that something else worked better for you?

    I think I like the large capacity Rubbermaid inbox best,

    I would prefer clear rather than ebony, but haven't been successful finding anything clear that would be very sturdy. If anyone has any recommendations for that, as well, I'd appreciate it.

    I am new to GTD and just beginning implementation. I have decided for now, to use a paper-based system. I've updated my Day-Time (8-1/2 x 11, two-page monthly calendar & two-page/day daily sheets) with sections behind my calendar for my action lists, projects, etc.--and am now beginning to get my office area organized & creating my tickler and reference files. (I attempted collecting/processing, but realized that without the basic structure in place, I've just created more stress and feeling extremely overwhelmed.) I can't thank Kelly & Meg enough for the "Blackbelt #1, Organizing" podcast! It makes perfect sense to me to organize first--at least by getting the basics in place before beginning to collect and process.

    I finished my two-week free trail of GTD Connect this past weekend. I can't recommend strongly enough that everyone, who hasn't already, take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. It was fantastic! The best thing I could have done. I'm wondering who has logged in the most hours during their 14-day free trail, because I just might be eligible for the award on that one!

    Kelly, you ARE THE BEST! Your clear instruction and guidance--and enthusiasm--have been invaluable in assisting me with beginning to get things set up and have a better understanding of the GTD methodology--and that's saying A LOT for me these days! I've had some issues with mental processing since an injury last summer, and I'm hopeful that implementing GTD will help me in making better progress with organization in my thinking and life! Though I also experience low energy/fatigue, my biggest challenges are with memory, i.e. remembering appointments, daily routines; getting things done (!!); and time management, i.e. appointments and being on time.

    I would very much appreciate others feedback on what they've found has worked best for them, regarding their inboxes--and also in generally getting started with GTD! Thank you all so much!

  • #2
    Hi there,

    First, I'm so happy to hear you are getting value from GTD Connect. Yay. Love that.

    Second, on the in-trays. Yes, we are geeks about this (as you might have guessed) and have very specific recommendations.

    David Allen suggests side-loading stacking trays. Those ones in your link would be just the style we'd typically recommend. Side-loading tends to be easier to get stuff in and out of. Stacking saves space, but do what works best. We tend to suggest letter, but if you prefer legal I'm sure that's fine.

    I'm a bit of a renegade and don't go for the side-loading (yes, I've confessed this to David). I chose color and style over that one feature. I have pretty wooden color stacking trays from a girlie stationary supply store for my In and Pending in my home office. Those sit on my desk. My Out box is a leather bin with a flower lining that sits on a table in arms reach from my desk.

    Important thing is keep them all in arms reach so that you'll actually use them. If you have to get up, you'll start triaging into piles that are at arms reach. I am tossing stuff into my Inbox in particular, all day long. I have a stack of index cards where I write mindsweep items for my Inbox.

    Here are some pics, if this helps:
    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    As for starting? There are loads of resources on Connect (as it sounds like you've discovered!) I would suggest spending a few weeks now integrating what you've learned. Keep posting questions to these forums as you go.


    • #3
      I use three stacked trays, "In," "Pending," and "Read/Review."



      • #4
        Thank you very much, Kelly & Ken. I appreciate you sharing your pics, Kelly. I especially like the leather "Out" boxes. I was even looking at something similiar. . . "Someday/Maybe"

        I decided after reading Getting Things Done the first time to purchase a side-loading tray for my desk at the office, and though I wasn't actually implementing GTD, I found I did prefer "side-loading" for the added ease of retrieving papers--and the additional space on my desk in front of the tray.

        Ken, do you use letter or legal size trays? Anyone else have a preference for one size over the other?

        Thanks so much--and thanks to you and GTD I AM Getting Things Done!


        • #5
          I would like to chime in with the observation that the type of inbox you choose really doesn't matter, as long as it conforms to a few basic characteristics.

          * It should have at least 3 sides so things won't tend to fall out
          * Wire in-boxes are not great, as small items like batteries and keys fall through
          * It should be easy to pickup and carry in case you need to bring it home (as I do too often)

          The large one Kelly shows a picture of at the end of her post (you can get them at Target), are terrific and are what my wife uses. (But for my taste, it lets you stack stuff a little too "side and deep" for my tastes.