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First time Forum Questions and Job Position Available

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  • First time Forum Questions and Job Position Available

    Greetings everyone, I just finished the Atlanta GTD seminar and have a goal to get GTD implemented by June 25th.

    What I need is help on where to ask the following:

    1) I need an admin/book-keeping person we want to hire to help implement GTD in our office in High Point, NC. Could be virtual for much of the time.

    2) Where do I ask questions on the best scanner (NeatReceipts is one I just bought to try out), business card input (CardScan I hear is the best, but NeatReceipts does it as well) and other best technology practices using GTD?

    3) Where to go for other best practices when you are just starting to implement GTD and our goal is to have a virtual company and be paperless (although David mentioned a book to read about the fallicies of going "paperless," so we will need to see what is the balance for us over time)?

    4) I'm in commercial real estate and would love to connect with others trying to implement GTD. If you're interested send me an email and you can see our website at, FYI.

    I would really like to "Connect" to start seeing the fruit of GTD quickly in my life and our business. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Audie Cashion CCIM
    Alpha World Properties, LLC

  • #2

    Hi Audie,
    My name is Jenn Choi and I'm the Director of Customer Insights at NeatReceipts.

    NeatReceipts is an easy and simple way to digitize, manage and organize receipts, business cards and documents. The business card module in NeatReceipts is similar to CardScan. You can scan in business cards and the data will be automatically read from the card and parsed into the appropriate fields. Contact data can remain in NeatReceipts, or it can by sync'd with MS Outlook, ACT, Plaxo, etc.

    The benefit of NeatReceipts over CardScan is that you also have the Receipt Organizer and Document Organizer. It's an all-in-one solution to digitize and organize all types of paper and information.

    If you'd like to learn more about how various individuals and businesses use NeatReceipts, please visit our online forum.

    Also, please feel to call me directly. My # is 215-382-3300 ext 130.



    • #3

      I would recommend taking a good look at why you feel paperless is the way to go. An excellent resource is "The Myth of the Paperless Office". Well-researched and objective, it provides the pros and cons for paper and digital systems (and there are many for both). If the switch is because of a perception that paper is "messy and old" and digital is "clean and new", the authors recommend against making that distinction. Pursuing it without understanding what you hope to gain and what you will give up in return is asking for frustration.

      Paper appears to be superior for hot, complex problems spanning many documents. Making notes, creating and using metadata ("it is on that yellow slip of paper"; "it is written in red on the upper left corner"), flicking through multiple documents from different sources, and quickly sorting and getting an overview all seem to benefit from paper. It is documented that paper usage in a company typically increased 40% when email was installed for the first time (back in the day). Digital systems also have their advantages, such as searching, archiving, and transporting massive amounts of data.

      One very interesting discovery was that almost all archived data was never accessed again. The general recommendation was to "use more paper, but keep less paper". Paper is an amazing thinking tool, but once the thinking and presenting is done, it seems to quickly drop in value.

      I believe in a mixed approach. I use lots of paper, and have lots of digital files. GTD seems to handle both equally well, and David recommends using both. I highly agree.



      • #4
        Newbie Up-date on Implementing my GTD Intentions and Goals

        Well, I I got off to a good start and then started slowing down with travel and IT issues: we hired a CPA part time to off-load the financial/book-keeping, as well as, an Admin/Marketing Assistant full-time, and I loaded up several trash cans full of "stuff" from our office, but I am still not being consistent in my weekly planning (other "higher urgent" issues come up). Also, I have put a goal and an intention in GTD's website that is a great tickler.

        Jenn, thank you, as I may be contacting you as I use the NeatReceipts.

        Scott, I appreciate your input as well, and plan on checking out the book the Myth.

        (1) So..... anybody have any creative ideas to jumpstart GTD to get through paperwork and electronic inboxes, so I can achieve my goal of "mind like water" by August 20th (yes today is Saturday and I'm doing some of the high leverage and GTD type actions).

        (2) Still looking for someone who might want to locally or via telephone be a mutual support to implement GTD (I'm thinking a call or two once per month). Anyone interested?

        (3) Or is there a better way to use the current systems with GTD to do this?

        Audie Cashion, CCIM


        • #5
          I think it may take more than a week to get to mind like water. You see, not only do you have to set the system up, do your first processing, settle in, learn the habits, and so on, but you'll usually have to tweak it to best suit your work and your mind. Then there's the longer term stuff to work on, too: the monthly, six-monthly and annual reviews for the various levels.

          However, if you're just asking for tips on how to skate through processing the first massive collection, there's one I can offer for email: do several quick passes using different sorts.

          For instance, the default sorting order for my mailboxes is reverse chronological (latest at the top). Lots of people do this, because it's practical to see the new stuff in a priority position.

          If you try one quick pass with your mailbox sorted by sender, then you'll probably be able to knock off quite a lump of stuff quickly, because of the number of threads you get, and because you may be able to read half a dozen mails quickly and respond all in one. You'll also be able to swipe all your mailing list stuff either to one side to read later, or straight into the trash.

          Another sweep might be to separate out all those in which you're only CCed: these are usually FYI only, so you may not need to reply, just archive if necessary.

          And if you've got a Mac, get MailTags and MailActOn: they're handy little widgets that make managing email much nicer.

          For the paper, you may be able to do a similar pre-sort to batch some of your papers so you can deal with them all in a lump.

          In general, the golden rules are (a) never put anything back to 'deal with it later', and (b) do some each day (which also helps get you started on the habits you'll need).


          • #6
            Two ideas for quickly getting up to speed

            Mind like Water is not achievable in a week. Getting your GTD system set up is. Here's what I would recommend in order to make it work as quickly and easily as possible.

            1) Get your hardware and buckets set up - your collection tools, inboxes, list manager(s), calendar, tickler file, reference files, trash. All you have to do is decide what they will be, and make sure you have the physical objects in place, including plenty of extra supplies of blank paper and file folders. If you do not have these ready to fill, then all of your collecting and processing will be in vain. You need to have all the places to hold all the results of your processing - things to do on a specific day, things to do someday, things to keep, things you are waiting for, etc. - or else you will process, not put it away, and it will stay in your head and return back to "stuff".

            2) For the initial big push, be very careful about the two-minute rule. If you are going to do two-minute items, make sure you only spend two-minutes or less on them! For the initial push, I have found it easier to not do ANY two-minute actions so I don't get out of Processing mode and into Doing. A nice middle ground is to put a reminder of all two-minute actions into a separate stack, and then bang them out in one push after you have done the initial processing of everything. Nine times out of ten the two-minute actions will generate more actions to be tracked, and having everything else processed first seems to make this easier to do.

            Good luck!


            • #7
              Great Responses - Thank you

              This is all good. Thank you! I have purchased (B&N for $16.95 in paperback), but not yet started the Myth.

              Any suggestions on how an admin person can help with the implementing GTD? Creating leverage on me to get it done?




              • #8
                The greatest danger in bringing an admin into your GTD process is in making the mistake that they can process for you. I have seen so many execs who ask their admin to process things for them, and it almost always gets bottlenecked because the admin can't make the same quick decisions about what is important to the exec and what isn't. This is no reflection on the admin's ability. Processing is uniquely personal, and one person's trash is another's inspiration for a new idea.

                Where they can help is by helping with good habits and being there to handle the stuff downstream from processing. Now there are actions that need to be done that have already been decided. Perfect for an admin. They can also help with the collection by funneling things towards the exec. They can make sure there are file folders and collection tools always handy. They can help guide the Weekly Review by "forcing" the Next Actions to be decided and then recording the results. All that needs to be done is asking the processing questions. Is this actionable? What's the successful outcome? What's the Next Action?

                They can help update lists, but that is getting into tricky territory. They shouldn't be deciding anything - that is the job of the person who owns the lists. They can just encourage good habits. Set out today's tickler folder on the desk. File the Reference folders. Print out today's calendar and maybe a fresh set of lists that have all the previous day's notes incorporated. Perhaps conduct a quick morning review every couple of days to make sure everything is on track and has Next Actions. Help ensure the exec's head is clear so more brainpower is available for thinking during the day.



                • #9
                  One of my clients has implemented a system to get his PA to help him get up to speed: she sets out all his 'buckets' first thing each morning, and is on hand to oversee the processing (and make him do it!). They're finding it works reasonably well, although he's still got a way to go.

                  You might use the PA to pass on all the delegatable stuff, and to handle as many of the NAs as possible, and maybe do the filing. The decision-making has to be done by you, but it helps to have someone there to make you do it.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Audie Cashion View Post
                    3) Where to go for other best practices when you are just starting to implement GTD and our goal is to have a virtual company and be paperless (although David mentioned a book to read about the fallicies of going "paperless," so we will need to see what is the balance for us over time)?
                    Here are a few GTD supporting sites that might be able to help you: