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Getting Things Done with a Notebook.

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  • Getting Things Done with a Notebook.

    So I've learned a few things from Getting Things Done:

    1. Always have paper and writing utensil nearby at all times to prevent 'memory leaks.'
    2. Don't procrastinate things that you need to do.
    3. Be organized as possible.

    Being able to defeat the urge of procrastination is key to your GTD setup in my humble opinion. Being organized helps you prevent your memory leaks. This is a very simple theory that I try to live by.

    I have found you can incorporate a nice GTD-like system into your a notebook.
    I have this system written down but I only have 1 question bothering me. I need subjects I can use to label certain parts of the notebook for easier use. I'm 18 and I plan on this notebook helping me out with life. What "subjects" should I use in my notebook. I've been coming up with a few like To Do List, Schedule, Want List, etc. I will label ONE page in my notebook with these "subjects" and use that page to organize information according to that subject. The remaining pages will be used for me to draw out projects and such. I'm also thinking I will need a subject that I can use to contain my sensitive information and a "Return if Lost" subject and such. Can you guys help me figure this out? THANKS!

  • #2
    A subject index for your notebook

    I was surprised there were no responses to this post. So this is a quick reply off the top of my head.

    1) Make sure your index system is flexible. You should be able to change subject headings or categories very easily.

    2) Think of the last 20 items you would have put into your notebook had you started some time ago. For each item decide the best category for it then put that category in your index.

    3) As new items enter your system decide if it goes best in an existing category or if it should go in a new category. If new, create the category.

    4) Decide the maximum number of categories that is efficient for you. Once you exceed that number start combining categories. Start by combining the least used categories.

    5) Adjust categories to make your system more efficient.

    6) Some of the most important categories are your lists, i.e. list of projects, list of items you can do in specific places, list of people etc.

    Hope this helps...


    • #3
      Take a look at the method recommended by DA himself:


      • #4
        Tony gave very good advice imho. One thing I want to add though. Once you established some categories, think about them a little. Which ones do work best? Categories have categories themselves. For example you can have categories as themes like 'photography, 'family stuff, 'sports. Or you can have functional categories like "organization, 'checklists, 'appointments, 'thoughts and so on. Presumably you will and with a mix of them. I always have found it benefiting for my thought process to be aware of those meta-categories. Oh, and did you see the DIY Planner site already?


        • #5
          You are on the right track!

          How about:

          You goals for the most immediate time frame (if you are a student, then the semester or grading period) and your goals for other time frames that make sense to you (1 year, 5 years, etc), thnk in terms of work, play, friends, family, health, etc.

          Active Projects: have one page for each for various notes and a list

          SDMB projects (read this board and the book to understand)

          People: a page for each person that is important to you, also contact info and things you want to talk them about or do with them.

          Calendar Section for all important dates and a piece of paper for things you need to enter or schedule but you will need the time to juggle stuff around.

          One page for each place where you do specific things in such as Job 1, Job 2, library, at home.

          A whole section for lists.

          If I can suggest: don't carry everything around if you have only one copy. Most 18 year olds are bounce around from place to place, make plans on the fly and have bigger peaks of energy and than fall into great tiredness, oversleep, leave backpacks at places, etc. Things can get lost that way.

          As soon as you are able, try to go partially electronic so that you can easily have back up copies and password stuff that you don't want a snoopy friend, date, family member to see. You are clearly more self-aware and self-directed than some people your age and your peers that may not make their thinking so clear and state it outwardly. They may not understand that if your goal is to have $10,000 in the bank before you graduate AND you happen to be out of money on a particular day when you are out together and you need to borrow $20.00 AND you may forget to pay for a while if you don't see them, it was not planned as a way to build your bank account. Or if you want to "get to know and understand Toby's musical taste" it is not necessarily in anyway related to "I want to see if Robin and I can work the same hours sometimes becuse we work well together".

          Good luck.


          • #6
            I wonder if you are trying to incorporate too much into your notebook. If you follow the methodology in the GTD book I think you would wind up with a notebook with one section for a calendar, one for telephone/address information, one for your "next actions" lists separated by context, and one for a list of your projects, an "agenda" list and maybe a few other things. Most everything else will be in your general reference files or project files and not carried with you regularly. Your notebook may have a few sections for your most important projects. It will also be a good capture tool for information that will be channeled into your filing system. But if you try to put your whole GTD system into a single notebook, I think you will have problems with that.