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Changing to paper - Suggestions???

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  • Changing to paper - Suggestions???

    Hello, I've been using GTD for a year now and I am so thankful that this system was revealed to me.

    I have been using two blackberries and two outlook systems and a tickler file to organize my GTD system. The reason for the two devices and two Outlooks is because I am in outside sales for a large corporation and I have a company of my own that I run on the side. So my goal was to keep them separate. This process has been very difficult, especially when it comes to looking at Projects and Next Action Items. My wife and i both even started taking notes in meetings with our BBs. This was very distracting to people around us b/c they thought we where "text messaging machines."

    Anyway, we just moved and so it gave me a chance to purge and reevaluate my system. I went to and and looked at how people organized their offices (GTD Style). I did find some good info here. There is even a video on David Allen's office setup. Cool!

    Then i began considering my system. That is if i should stick with my blackberries and outlook or migrate to more of a paper base system. Currently, I am experimenting with a Cambridge Limited notebook (purchased in Office Depot). It has good feel to it and i have got some Post-It tabs that i can write on and section off different sections in my notebook such as: Projects section, @Today, @Agenda, and Notes. I still plan on using my BB phone & outlook for my Calendar purposes...and my "@Calls" context in my phone because it allows me to know the calls I can make to utilize my time most effectively while I'm out and about.

    I am looking for any kind of feedback. Mainly on the new notebook. Does anyone use a self-created notebook and how do you use it? I am very open to hearing suggestions! Please help!

  • #2
    I am still new-ish (several half-starts). This time I'm trying paper. I'm trying no to let the system usurp my time. I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible, adding as the need arrises.

    I started with a steno book and tabs this time, similar to how you described, but I found that I didn't like not being able to look at things next to each other and not being able to re-order things. I've gone to a regular three ring binder with regular dividers. I've had it like that for a couple weeks. So far, so good.


    • #3
      hey thanks Malisa for the feedback.

      I did consider a 3 ring notebook, yet it just seemed to large to carry around. I wanted something large enough that if i need to take notes in a meeting or in front of a customer then the notebook would work. And small enough that I would not hate carrying it around.

      I just implemented the system yesterday and so far so good.

      I still would like to hear feedback on other people's experiences. Thanks!



      • #4
        re: Changing to (Portable) Paper

        I prefer my own hybrid approach, but here are the two best hacks I've found for going all paper and keeping it portable:

        Moleskine "mind.Depositor"

        My Amish PDA

        If you go for a larger day-planner, something like the basic Moleskines, Circa Notebooks, or even the GTD At-A-Glance products might be an option for you. Everyone has their own preferences, but that should give you a good spectrum to choose from.
        Last edited by Todd V; 08-08-2012, 12:56 PM.


        • #5
          Time after time I've found that unless it's just for notes then notebooks for actions far too restrictive. I have a clipboard with individual sheets of paper clipped to it. Ie one sheet for na's and I write na in the bottom left of the paper and then rip off the bottom of the sheet next to it to make an index tab. That way my notes and actions are seperate without hassle.


          • #6
            Hi Todd V,

            Thanks for the suggestions. The Amish PDA was interesting.

            Your website was good as well. You really spelled out well your journey with your GTD system. I believe the easy answer is that we will never find the perfect system, and even if we did, we would probably get bored with it any way. Some of the fun is tweaking the system.

            I believe the hybrid approach is the best approach to the GTD system.