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Managing Multiple Businesses & Offices with GTD

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  • Managing Multiple Businesses & Offices with GTD

    I have 2 Businesses and 3 Offices. I am trying to implement GTD but I am having problems with logistics (filing system, tasks, outlook, etc.). Does anyone have a solution for my problem. I will take any advice you can offer.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fran Grady
    I have 2 Businesses and 3 Offices. I am trying to implement GTD but I am having problems with logistics (filing system, tasks, outlook, etc.).
    I know how you feel, Fran. I'm living with 2 offices, and it is not an easy thing to deal with. My main problem is general reference files, since the rest of my world of work fits neatly into Outlook and my PocketPC.

    With general reference files, I have decided to take the plunge and digitize everything. I was going nuts when processing my inbox when I would come to something that needed to be filed: should I file it at this office, or that one? Where will I most probably be when I need to refer to it? Invariably, I would need something that was at the other office, and frustration ensued.

    I purchased a better (faster scanner) for each office, and will start scanning every piece of paper I would normally file. Those rare occasions where you need the original of something, I am going to file in a box that follows me.

    Seriously, I have tried hundreds of "solutions" to this problem, and I think this is the only way. Scanning a document takes < 30 seconds including filing it, so I think that it is as easy as printing a label and filing it, and at least I will always have what I need with me on my laptop. Of course, this makes backing up even more critical, but I already have a nightly backup process that backs all my data up to a DVD-R, so this isn't a problem.

    Good luck!

    --- JRJ


    • #3
      Managing a Multiple Location Life

      I have two offices (I am a faculty member and teach on two different campuses) and also two houses. In order to deal with this I am trying as much as possible to keep my files electronic. However, that is not possible for everything. I also still seem to need some things in print in order to do my work. My current solution is a large rolling briefcase which travels with me in my car and can be rolled into both offices and houses. One section of the brief case is my portable file cabinet, with the essential paper files that I need to work. The other section are my action folders. Included in my action folders is one folder for each office and one for each house. When I arrive at a location the first thing I do is check that folder for that location or paper to leave there or for tasks that can only be done at that location. This seems to work pretty well for me.

      My largest problem is moving books around. I would love to switch to ebooks but many of the academic books I use are not available.

      Would love to hear other ideas about how to survive a moble life.



      • #4
        A couple of options.

        You can maintain separate systems for each location. That worked for me in the past. When I was in one location and needed to add something to another location, I'd email myself in the other location. So, if I was at work and came up with a neat idea for a home project, I'd email my home address. Since email is part of inbox processing, I'd process emails in the appropriate place.

        You can keep all your GTD materials electronic, via web apps or on a laptop that you carry between locations. You'll still have physical reference files to keep at distinct locations.

        You can keep all your GTD materials portable, in small notebooks and such.

        I believe David Allen mentioned somewhere that he kept a small plastic box of paper files, which he would take with him on the road and such.


        • #5
          Still unsolved

          I agree. This is a big challenge, especially when you are "too busy" to carefully choose where each file should reside.

          I have 3 offices + home + heavy travel.

          It is similar to the challenge faced by road warriors.
          Alas, I haven't yet come up with a really effective solution.