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GTD in a lab coat pocket?

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  • GTD in a lab coat pocket?

    I am "newly committed" to GTD, having read and implemented to a casual degree in the past - I have recently been promoted to a position that promises to challenge every past concept I held about organization. I'm trying to figure out how I can fit a system into a lab coat pocket that enables me to travel light (those pockets have to hold a lot of other stuff as well....), capture new assignments and have next actions available at all times. I will be spread between different locations, with only occasional access to my desk and computer. I'm a pen and paper geek, so I've purchased some small Moleskines and a sampler from Circa (I was thinking of using the DIY templates), all are great -- but I just have to think through the system. Any "ultralight" concepts out there?

  • #2
    Hipster PDA

    I think the most versatile paper-based solution are 3"x5" index cards (AKA the Hipster PDA).


    • #3
      Seconding the Hipster.

      I love the small moleskine notebooks, but haven't been able to make them work for GTD. Most of the implementations I've seen for moleskine involve using lots stick-on tabs, of which I'm not a big fan (because they stick out from the edges of the notebook getting stuck on pockets and such).

      GTD involves so many lists; I need the ability to move those lists around -- of course, this is not easy with a moleskine.

      You may have better luck with the Circa, although it seems to me that the little discs used to bind the pages together add too much bulk. You have the benefit of a lab coat, which probably is a little roomier than the pocket in the back of my pants.

      I still keep my calendar on the computer. This is something of a problem when someone asks, "Can we meet next Wednesday at 3:00?" because I don't always have my calendar with me. But I have so many appointments that carrying them all with me would cause too much Hipster bloat.


      • #4
        Originally posted by dinahsor View Post
        Any "ultralight" concepts out there?
        I recently spent three weeks in Spain, where I ended up using a Moleskine cahier journal as my system. It worked very well as a low-volume, self-contained system for the workshop I was attending. I used one page per day, with the front for events (mostly talks), and the back for notes. One page each for a few contexts: @apartment, @conferencecenter, @computer, and pages for projects. It was simple, very portable, and very effective. I don't know if it would scale well for the complexity of my "normal" life, but I am tempted to try it.


        • #5
          Small and thin

          I love the small moleskine notebooks, but haven't been able to make them work for GTD. Most of the implementations I've seen for moleskine involve using lots stick-on tabs, of which I'm not a big fan (because they stick out from the edges of the notebook getting stuck on pockets and such).

          GTD involves so many lists; I need the ability to move those lists around -- of course, this is not easy with a moleskine.

          I'm thinking to print my computer lists every friday, for example, and use a re-positionable glue) to update every week my Moleskine notebook or the Hipster PDA I'm just using. What do you think?

          An alternative could be the Ipod. Very thin but I don't know if it exist a software that can help to synchronize your outlook with it. It could be great have a bluetooh connection to the Ipod, so every time you are close to the PC you have your updated "support"


          • #6
            Great input - - I test drove my Moleskine today... it worked great to capture info, tasks, processes, all that, but I couldn't see it going beyond being a (very nice) inbox. It will become a reference (also in the pocket) to ease me into my new position. I guess I'll re-try the hipster concept, ala Circa for starters...
            Thanks for sharing your ideas.


            • #7
              I lurrrve my Circa. One thing I appreciate about them is the ability to customise to get exactly what I want: dimensions, number of pages, and contents.

              FYI, I've got the monthly calendar pages (I don't have many appointments, so that's all I need, and I like being able to see the month all at once); regular writing pages (for lists and collection and notes and such); and a set of the plastic dividers. I got the bookcloth notebook in the second-smallest size, so it fits in my handbag (in the section assigned to it ). The stuff I collect from my brain or elsewhere can come out easily once it's processed, as can completed months. And I can move things around easily if I need to (or want to: I'm still tinkering with the order of things).

              Voila - GTD. All you need in any GTD implementation is the calendar, some lists, and a place for collection ideas that crop up. The Circa is the best solution for me, although the Hipster PDA was a reasonable second. My problem with the HPDA was that the clip would sometimes come loose, allowing cards to scatter. Plus it's harder to page through the HPDA: you either read/write the top card or spread the whole lot out loose.


              • #8
                Hipster PDA, Glue and Project list

                I found the not permanent glue. Wow!

                As I told you, before, my idea is to use, outside, an Hipster Pda, a Moleskine Calendar and a little ruled Moleskine to keep my @Projects, my lists that stay in Outlook 2003. In the future the ruled Moleskine could gather calendar and think-tank in few pages ( Next project!).

                I keep my @Projects, my lists into Outlook 2003 and I thought to print them - every time there is a change ( probably on friday when I have my Weekly review). Then thanks to the not-permanent glue I thought to keep them in the ruled moleskine. Like a think-tank!.

                Now, my friends, if possible I'd like to ask an help.

                I tried to print my Outlook 2003 Tasks in a size little as the moleskine. I couldn't find the way to print them choosing the only columns: Subject and Due date, as filtered in the suggested basic system. Do you know which is the way?


                • #9

                  Originally posted by clango View Post
                  I found the not permanent glue. Wow!
                  Never used!
                  This idea of the glue helped me to straight on.
                  I found the system to print all the tasks in outlook. So every week I updated them and then i print them down. Six pages, only stay always with me, my moleskine and my few Hipster PDA to collect quickly the stuff during the week!


                  • #10
                    On my blog early this month, I wrote about my Hipster PDA and included lots of pictures ~ here is the post, if that helps give you ideas.


                    • #11
                      Second on 3x5 Cards

                      3 x 5 cards are the way to go with just a lab pocket. You can get a nice holder for them with some mini-pens.

                      For projects, you can tier post-it notes on one card and put each next action on one little note. As you complete each dependent action, you can then throw the finished actions away to see the next ones.

                      For unique tracking, you can make special cards by using colored highlighters down both sides of one card - green for tracking expenses, blue for calorie-counting, or other colors for whatever you like.

                      You can also laminate one card and use it as a bookmark. You put it between those cards that have already been written on and those that are still blank. There are lots more ideas out there as others have already mentioned. But 3 x 5 cards are the way to go.
                      Last edited by Todd V; 08-08-2012, 01:13 PM.


                      • #12
                        hPDA as part of a Hybrid system

                        I also move between the R&D lab, my desk, and meeting/teleconferences. My system has found middle ground on the digital/analog toolkit spectrum. In essence I use the analog mainly for capture and the digitial tools (PDA/Outlook/Lifebalance) to organize and archive the next actions.

                        When I'm roaming and in the lab I do carry the hPDA, but I use it mainly as an input tool. Here's my setup on flickr:

                        In that photo I have the hPDA "tricked out" to the max. Nowadays, its mainly stuffed with this month's calendar, blank 3x5s, and stuff captured on the 3x5s for processing.

                        At teleconferences and meetings I find the 3x5s are a bit too small and so I carry a simple Franklin Covey (classic) with a lot of blank paper to these places.

                        While it may seem haphazard - Its only one part of the system - capture. At the end of the day/week it all ends up in the inbox to be processed and reviewed. The next actions that are generated from processing (daily) and review (weekly) this stuff is fed into either Life Balance for personal stuff and Outlook/Project for all the work stuff.

                        Good luck


                        • #13
                          Nice hPDA

                          Lou, great wallet. I have the same one. It is a little large, but works fantastic. I love the fact that you can get refills (3x5 cards) ANYWHERE and for CHEAP.....

                          I roam around with mine and when I think of it- toss the card in the inbasket and replace with a new card. Although I use mine as a "notetaker wallet" I like your version simply as a UCT-simply because it is a little large at 5" tall as a wallet.



                          • #14
                            Erik -

                            Thanks. You're right its a bit big for a wallet. I admt when I have to travel and wear a suit I'll compress it all and I tuck the visa, insurance card and drivers license in the pocket. As notetaker wallet, its not ideal but it forces me to carry less when I travel.

                            After 2 years it still works as a UTC- there's the proof that its working, at least for me. The only thing I end up printing special for this is the business card calendar. Its just too much work to print out all the DIY cards when the digital solution for organizing was right there in my Palm TX / LifeBalance / Outlook.