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Merging Personal and Work...

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  • Merging Personal and Work...

    I'm just getting started on Getting Things Done and one thing that's been kind of stalling me...

    Should the system be separate for personal and work, or can (should?) it be completely combined?

    I am thinking of purchasing a PDA so I can combine almost everything -- personal and professional -- into one, easily accessible thing. But of course, there is still some paper organizing to be done. I guess I'm asking if I should just keep dragging around my papers back and forth from home to office, and vice versa, or should I just utilize the system separately?


  • #2
    I have found it most beneficial to merge everything into one clean and well-managed system. You're on the right track with purchasing a PDA, too.

    Happy merging![/img]


    • #3
      Well, I started using GTD about 9 months ago, and I never divided between personal and work. Except that I have a list "at work" and a list "at home", but you might find the entry "call doctor re: appointment" on the work list (because of opening hours), and an entry "read paper" on the "home" list (preparation for a business trip during weekend). I also have the "room of the day" (to be cleaned at home) as a self repeating calender entry (set to "private"). Don't know if it will help, when I am away, but... . In my situation, dividing between work and private would cause things to fall through the cracks... -one reason for me to start GTD in the first place.

      I bought a PDA/Phone 2 weeks ago, and have been on the road 8 of the last 14 days. I got it out every time a date had to be fixed or an idea popped up, and immediately noted it down. I borrowed two books from my parents and opened a "borrowed" list. I read my private e-mail while away in Munich, noted a few interesting lectures to hear when I am back in (home) town, and set an alarm for them.

      The thing has a handwriting reading feature that is able to read normal german handwriting, so I didn't have to learn "PDA-Script". Not much different from jotting things down in my paper organiser. BUT: My paper organiser doesn't "beep", when a date is due. And I can't call people with it . It's rather large compared to a mobile phone, but that will help not to carry it absolutely everywhere . *imaginesringingmobileintheloo*

      For paper stuff I have some folders (red one for private stuff, and five travel folders according to D. Allen). The red one and 2 of the five are with me most of the day.


      • #4
        Thanks for your replies!

        One of the reasons why I decided on a PDA so I CAN keep both my personal and work things together. I was tempted to try out the Outlook add-in because I use Outlook intensively at work, but I'm uncomfortable adding personal items on my work computer.

        Does anyone else have any concerns regarding this?


        • #5
          Re: Merging Personal and Work...

          Should the system be separate for personal and work, or can (should?) it be completely combined?
          I think it depends on what you mean by "system," as well as the details of your work vs. personal situation.

          I keep all my action and project lists in one outliner application in my PDA. Within the outline, though, there are different sections for work-related vs. personal areas of focus. I have just one appointment calender, which seems like the only reasonable way to go. I keep all kinds of work-related and personal information in the Palm Memos, in different categories. It's great to have searchable access to useful information with you all the time!

          For my filing system, I have one at home and one at work. It would be unreasonable for me to combine them and would make it a lot harder to get the papers I need when I need them.

          I have a portable file that I carry between work and home, with sections "File at home" and "File at work" for those things that for one reason or another temporarily end up NOT where I want to store them permanently.



          • #6
            I keep my work and personal items together on my PDA with appropriate context categories (@home, @office). If you do not want to sync personal items onto your work computer, you may be able to customize your hot syncing, depending upon what software you use.

            I keep separate filing systems at home and at the office, although some files go back and forth in my briefcase.