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    i have read GTD several times, and I have started to implement this new process. I'm still not comfortable with my day to day routine. I am a Medical Sales Professional with only 10 key accounts. I have a PALM which I seem to only use for long term reminders and a contact database. My problem is that while I'm in one of my hospitals a customer will ask me to follow up, or place an order, check on a backorder etc., and when the day is done I have this messy sheet of paper with notes for several accounts. I have never been able to find a Daytimer type system that I trust. I go from using the PALM back to paper and so on. Any ideas?

  • #2

    I'm in sales too.

    If you look at my post on the 5 phases you'll see that my challenge is doing all 5 phases. I think that in sales it imperative to do processing and reviewing. Processing has to be done every day and probably after every sales call. Collect it in a notepad - its faster. Organize (store it) in your palm.

    One has to ask oneself after every call:

    What needs to happen now as a result of this sales call (outcome)?

    Whats the next action?

    This is "processing".

    Organizing is the decision of where to store that project or next action or support material from the sales call.

    I've noticed that when I dont review a week of sales activity its like putting a gun to my head as far as the following week is concerned. I'm going to miss connections I could have made and opportunities because I havent looked at the whole picture.

    GTD can be a salespersons salvation!


    • #3
      You are using the sheet of paper as a tool to "collect," and there is nothing wrong with that. Collecting on paper and then doing the processing and organizing in the Palm is a very accepted practice. Many would say that is the best way regardless, and I would agree it's the best way to get started.

      The question is whether or not you can tell what you have written at the end of the day. If not, about the only thing I can suggest is to enough time jotting your notes that they are legible and understandable to you several hours later (and ALWAYS collect with same tool, not an envelope here, a napkin there, etc.)

      At the end of the day, sit down with your paper and Palm (or Desktop) and decide what needs to happen as a result of everything you wrote. This process will generate for you calls you need to make, people you need to visit, things you are waiting on oters to do, etc. Then, you can either trash the paper or file it. In your field, filing it (simply chronologically--today's sheets right behind yesterday's) would probably be a good idea for documentation purposes.

      Hope this helps.


      • #4 I know what I collected!


        All the ideas are great here, the only addition I would make is that whatever you use to collect, that that be processed sooner than later. Because of the life that some people lead, it's imperative that they consciously decide where they're going to collect "potential" work, so that it can be processed into next actions.

        Clients I have worked with carry 3X5 note cards in their pockets, a note pad in their purse, one even uses an "auto-dial" on her phone to "leave a voice mail at the office" when she's out on client visits.

        The important piece is to go back to those "in-baskets" on a regular basis, and walk through the Workflow Diagram identifying your agreements/commitments to the work there.

        For many years, I have looked at my in-basket as a concept, more than a place. Things land there that I may, or may not, have to do something about. The seperation of idea to action comes when I ask the question about every piece of paper, voice mail, idea, or meeting agenda:

        "What's my next action?"


        • #5

          In a nutshell: "damn superb advice"...