About to move back to GTD on paper - what folder/paper-binding system to use?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by Ship69, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Julie_Flagg

    Julie_Flagg Registered

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    I use a red Letter size paper circa Levenger notebook and usually keep it at my desk but will take it to important meetings- and I travel with it . It makes for a pretty direct daily and weekly review - it is particularly good to know exactly where my projects are and what I need to do next. As a surgeon , I like to feel things- it is a real stake in the ground for me and I like a lot of grounding. I love being able to turn a divider and point to the name of a patient that I am waiting to hear from - it helps my brain to click and keep track of things and ultimately reduce "mind buzz" and worry. People know that with the notebook I am unlikely to drop an important ball. It lets me spend more time getting things actually done. I tend not to loose things like my good pen (always in my shirt pocket) and have never lost the notebook. The notebook and the lists are attractive to me and I like thinking and planning and reviewing in them- they are not a thing of beauty and I am not at all artistic- this is a very functional, basic, simple system- workmanlike. It is also very quick- instantaneous- open the notebook and BAM- start getting things done! What could be better?
     
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  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Just like iPad? ;-)
     
  3. Julie_Flagg

    Julie_Flagg Registered

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    Good point - I am still old enough to appreciate the tactile benefit of pen to paper and the more or less consistent location of a particular project or that special phone number in the notebook. Plus I don't have to go through the upheaval of off and on again omnifocus, Evernote or Wunderlist which is just about to be shut down! Plus I just like the feel of pen and paper- it is a definate plus and I 'll take all the pluses that I can get.
     
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  4. chirmer

    chirmer Registered

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    I may be just shy of 30 years old, but I also love the feeling of pen on paper. I've come to realize I learn and remember things better when I hand-write them. I have used a paper system for 90 days now and am really enjoying it. It's slightly terrifying, being dependent on paper, but I've kept work journals for five years now and not lost a single one, ever, even once. So, the worry diminishes when I remember this :)

    For me, I switched because of my tendency to over-complicate my system. Pretty soon I've added in 20 new things that help me get 0 more things finished, and I realize I've done it again. I've gone down the tech rabbit hole. I'm forcing myself to use paper for at least 6 months to get rid of that habit. After that, we'll see - but so far so good!
     
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  5. photodiva

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  6. photodiva

    photodiva Registered

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    Very interested in this thread! Chirmer, if you have time, it would be great to hear how you've implemented a paper system. I have had the same experience of you, overcomplicating things and having some things on paper, some in tech apps, until it's just a blur.
     
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  7. RS356

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    I'm enjoying this thread as well. I keep coming back to paper, despite my many attempts to go digital. The benefits I experience with paper are many:

    - Increased focus and ability to be fully engaged in my work, family, or community activities;
    - Less friction in my system - there's no learning curve with paper;
    - More freedom - I don't feel the need for constant connectivity in order to be productive.

    Here in the United States, it was a holiday weekend, and I used some of the extra time to migrate back to paper. For those curious, I'm using a Filofax filled with blank paper. It's dead simple, flexible, and familiar in a way no app has been able to replicate.
     
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  8. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    I am really enjoying this thread. I think I will move back to paper too! I love digital "things", but one can get so lost in them and you find yourself working on the "system" versus actually doing real work. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    Still thinking about it. I love paper, but I also love my Nirvanahq system. Hmmmm....
     
  10. sesteph6

    sesteph6 Registered

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    WOW does this resonate! I have bounced around systems SOOO much! I have been considering either going to paper ... back to the basics.
     
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  11. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    Me too....still thinking about it!
     
  12. RS356

    RS356 Registered

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    I'm in no position to persuade anyone, but every time I switch systems, I remind myself that I'm only one weekly review from going back. :D
     
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  13. TMac

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    I've been stuck between digital and paper for far too long. For those of you who are using paper, can you share some of the details of your setup?
     
  14. RS356

    RS356 Registered

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    To be fair, I rely heavily on digital tools for file storage, addresses, and shared calendars (Google at home, Outlook at work). The main part of my system is housed in a personal sized Filofax, modeled on the David Allen Company paper planner setup guide. I have the following sections:

    1. Inbox
    2. Calendar (I use Filofax's Week on Two Pages format)
    2. Next Actions, Agendas, and Waiting For
    3. Projects (The first 1-2 pages are my projects list, followed by any project plans and notes. I start a new page for each project, but not all projects need supporting materials)
    4. Someday/Maybe (Following the same section format as Projects. I keep multiple lists for Projects on hold, books to read, places to visit, and other ad hoc lists)
    5. Focus & Direction (my higher horizons and goals)
    6. Reference (checklists and miscellaneous items).

    Regarding the materials themselves, I use regular blank paper rather than forms. I find that blank paper gives me the most flexibility for notetaking, mind mapping, and sketching. During my weekly review, I ensure that my paper calendar matches its digital counterpart. This seems cumbersome, but it allows me time to pause and consider whether an appointment should be deleted or renegotiated.

    I keep coming back to this streamlined setup after nearly 15 years of practicing GTD. It just works for me. I've also used a Levenger Circa, although the smaller sized Filofax is currently a better fit for my needs.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 4:52 PM
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