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  • Index cards

    Does anyone use index cards to implement GTD? Can you share your categories?

  • #2
    Any tips would also be helpful

    Any index card + GTD tips would be helpful


    • #3
      GTD and index cards

      Try these: -- the "Hipster PDA": a very "low tech" solution. -- "a million monkeys typing" a GTD-based web which features the DIY (do it yourself) paper planner, including DIY "Hipster PDA" information and templates.


      • #4
        My Hipster PDA

        i keep my HPDA together with a binder clip as such:

        + Laminated Front Cover with Daily Review list.
        - @Inbox: For writing down ideas, new todo's, phone numbers, etc..
        - @NA (Next Actions): Specific Next Actions for priority projects/classes.
        - @SKOOL: Breakdown of each classes readings, due dates etc.
        - @Outbox: People i need to contact (categoriezed @Phone and @Email).
        - @Waiting: Packages, phone calls, emails and etc i am waiting on.
        - @Life: Weekly work schedules, purchases to keep in mind and such.
        - @Art: Breakdown of art projects i am working on.
        - @Web: Breakdowns of web sites i'm working on.
        - @Someday/Maybe: Thing i might want to buy or do etc...
        - @Debt: Outstanding bills, debts and due dates.
        + Laminated Divider Card with Weekly Review List..
        - 5-6 spare cards.
        + Laminated Back Cover with Monthly Review List..

        @Skool, @Art and @Web have most NA's for those projects as each of them have several sub projects. For instance, @Skool is comprised of four classes (projects) that all have their own NA's. The NA's that are most important/relevant go on my @NA card, the less important stay on their own project cards.

        The order fluctuates depending on what is the most important project, so since this is exam week @Skool is at an elevated level in my stack as it needs more frequent review.

        The way i use this:
        In the morning i review iCal and my paper weekly calender and see what i need to do that day/week, what classes i have and if i have something due. i then review the Hipster and 'sync' it to my calenders. All Project NA's are reviewed and i highlight the most important (using normal red-blue color coding if i have a lot of actions).

        In my classes i review my HPDA before class and then keep it open to the @Inbox during class to jot down ideas i might have, or assignments etc. In the next class i 'sync' the new assignments etc to my calender for later.

        i keep it open on my desk when i'm working on things, and it's always in my pocket wherever i go.

        i also keep a Moleskine on me at all times for sketching, more in depth project planing, mind-mapping and basic journalling. i Keep the Hipster seperate as i like keeping my sketchbook free of 'left brain' activites. The HPDA is my left brain storage, and the Moleskine is for my right brain. Whenever i've tried to combine ToDo lists, phone numbers and whatnot in my sketchbook i have become way too jumbled and disorganized, this seperation is highly recommended.

        In the evening i review my HPDA and calender and sync it to iCal for the next day...



        • #5
          Really Simple GTD on 3x5 cards

          Nearly my entire organization system is now on 3x5 cards. It's my own variation on the "Hipster" PDA.

          1) My "Project List" is a stack of white 3x5 cards with one card per project. I write the project description at the top of the card (across narrow end), any actions are listed below that and any other notes about the project are on the back. While I could just use a few cards for a pure project list, I like having my Project cards be my project lists instead of requiring extensive project support for everything. For convenience, I actually break the stack into sub stacks for major Focus Areas of my life. I just write the Focus Area on a blue card and use a binder clip to clip the project cards to it.

          2) Someday/Maybe lists are kept by Focus Area as well on yellow 3x5 cards and clipped to the back of each Focus Area stack.

          3) I just keep the stack in a 3x5 file card box and review it during my Weekly Review. It is very easy to flip through the cards, to make new cards, to make changes to old ones and to toss them when the project is over.

          4) I have another stack of yellow 3x5 "Next Action" & Agenda cards that I hold together with a rubber band. The categories are extremely simple:

          Waiting For
          Agenda 1
          Agenda 2

          Since I write them on the blank side and across the narrow dimension of the card, I can get a lot of actions on a single card, but if I need more room, I just add another card or two and number them like @Email II, @Email III, etc.

          4) For a Calendar, I use a small Moleskine Calendar (week per 2 pages) that has an address book insert.

          5) For notes, I use a small Moleskine notebook.

          While this may sound almost ridiculously low-tech, I currently keep track of several large projects involving a couple of dozen people and cost several million dollars a year, and I've found it to be far easier and faster than my old systems that used PDA or computer based lists. It is also nearly as portable as a PDA since I don't have to actually carry the "Project" stack with me.

          Just to be complete about describing my system:

          6) I use a paper tickler file, a file drawer for Project Support Folders (I don't need many since most Project support is on the Project cards and only large papers, brochures etc go in the Project Support Folders), and a couple of drawers for general reference.

          7) For email, I use the Mac OSX Mail with folders for each Focus Area.



          • #6
            And your approach still works if the computer crashes or the power goes out! Nice to have an option let people know about. Thanks!


            • #7
              Thank you

              These are great tips. Thank you so much!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Denver Dave
                And your approach still works if the computer crashes or the power goes out! Nice to have an option let people know about. Thanks!
                Denver Dave: I also don't waste time trying out new gadgets and software or trying to get my PDA to sync properly to my computer.

                pkdolpin: You're Welcome.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tornado View Post
                  6) I use a paper tickler file
                  Do you travel? I always felt a paper-based tickler wasn't that portable, so use a Google calendar called 'tickler'.



                  • #10
                    I use cards and they work brilliantly.

                    My categories are:

                    -next actions
                    -waiting for

                    Everyday I make a new @today card. I don't really use contexts very much although I'm considering making an @errands card.

                    I keep a separate set of projects/next actions/waiting for cards at work and when I leave for the day I just leave those behind and it's a nice mental break from my workday.

                    Someday/maybe and my HOF go into Google docs so I can access them just about anywhere. I also keep a separate someday/maybe list for work.

                    I use Google Calendar for my calendar and Remember the Milk as an electronic tickler.



                    • #11
                      I use some cards with ideas and general concepts on them, they are good for little 'on desk' presentations to clarify stuff while in meetings and conversations. I got that idea years ago on this forum, btw.

                      Because of that I also have my @agendas on index cards. I use the free ones without lines or some such.

                      I also have some empty cards with me for doing capture. The rest of my system is digital. Sometimes I use a paper notebook for capture, but it's more for casual one-off occasions.


                      • #12
                        Another index cards user

                        I use them for capture, both at desk (next to phone) and on the run. They are ideal to throw into inbox when I touch down.

                        My next action lists live in Toodledo and Ultimate To Do List on Android, but it is often easier to capture on index card and enter to system when back at a computer.


                        • #13
                          Still keep my index cards on me always

                          I started out with GTD using the "hipster PDA" idea from Merlin Mann's 43 folders blog too. I've since switched to using a software solution for all my lists, but there is nothing quite like paper for rapid capture on the go when you are thinking about something. I still love paper for that and always carry index cards and a pen with me.


                          • #14
                            Index cards + binder clip = great caputure tool!

                            I keep a short stack of lined 3x5 index cards (held together with a binder clip) in my shirt pocket. Along with a pen, they are great for capturing notes, phone numbers and action items when I'm away from my calendar or computer.

                            It's hard to tell when a though will pop into your head. The index cards make a great capture tool.

                            They are easy to tuck in a pocket or purse and they are inexpensive too!