Adding analog for the sake of analog

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Gardener, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    So I tried playing with a modified bullet journal, more as an inbox than the master data source. And I discovered something that I didn't realize before:

    - I don't trust analog.
    - But I LIKE analog.

    Sitting down to type in ideas doesn't have the same appeal as writing them on paper. Now, I say "ideas". When I want to actually write, sentences and paragraphs, I enjoy the computer and the keyboard. But the process of recording a thought, thinking for a minute, and recording another thought, works much better for me on paper.

    So with a journal inserted in my personal system, the system is much more cluttery and I'm using it much more effectively. I've crossed that line from forcing myself to use the system, to the system drawing me in. I thought I preferred a single place to put things. It appears, so far, that I'm wrong.

    So right this minute, my system (again, this is my personal system, unrelated to my work system) consists of:

    - Scrivener, as the "warehouse". Permanent lists, reference, project support material, Someday/Maybe, Waiting, project ideas, etc, etc.

    And I do all my actual writing in Scrivener. (Actually, that's not true. I'm writing this in bbEdit. Why do I write forum posts in bbEdit? Huh.)

    - Reminders, as a capture tool and a way to share tasks with The Guy.

    - The standard Mac calendar, both as a calendar and as a place to put ticklers that I want to "ping" as opposed to ticklers in Reminders that I don't want to "ping".

    - A paper journal, primarily as a capture tool. I'm doing the daily bullet pages, but almost everything gets moved somewhere else before it gets done. I also have pages for various projects--two planned trips, home decluttering, etc.--but I suspect that after those projects "gel" to a certain level they'll land in Scrivener.

    I think that if I were to evalute the flow of everything, I would find that the journal appears to just slow down the entry of ideas that I could enter faster on the keyboard. But since I like it, I think that I enter ideas that I wouldn't enter without it.

    - OmniFocus, where the actual actionable projects, contexts, and tasks end up.

    I find myself forming a metaphor of a buffet. I do the "cooking" in Scrivener and the journal and Reminders. Most of the food lands in steam-table pans in Scrivener, though I may now and then nibble as I'm cooking. And then I "fix a plate" from that buffet, and OmniFocus is that plate.

    Weird.
     
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  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    1. A bullet journal is a great idea but indexing is not sufficient for finding notes. Especially log notes related to particular projects.
    2. I've recently moved to Scrivener for iPad to write my new bestseller ;-) and I am experimenting with Scrivener as a GTD tool. The most important drawback is that Scrivener projects are silos - as far as I know it is not possible to automatically create a list or a document with documents or parts of documents from different projects.
     
  3. Geeko

    Geeko GTD since 2017

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    I prefer a loose leaf planner. The advantage is that you can put everything just where it belongs. I tried to use journals before but I felt that these limit my degrees of freedom a lot. The downside of a loose leaf planner is that you don’t have the chronology like in a bullet journal. I also use some digital tools where it makes sense, e.g. for mindmaps and sync them between my devices with git.
    The big question is what you really need and the only way to find out what you need is to try different things.

    Cheers,
    Tristan
     
  4. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    I'm curious as to why? Are you saying you can't find them at all, or just that it takes too long, because you have to scan the whole index?

    I was going to say that you can, but then I realized I misunderstood your question. You can link from one Scrivener project to another, but I don't think you can actually embed the content.
     
  5. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Let's say you've got a Project "Rent a flat in Amsterdam".
    You call David Allen to ask what is the best district to live in Amsterdam. He says: "Amsterdam-Zuid near the Beatrixpark." You write it down in your Daily Log.
    To be able to find this note you have to copy it to the "Rent a flat in Amsterdam" collection.
    If you use an electronic journal you don't have to copy anything. You can tag a note or just use a search function.
    It is not possible to have actions tagged by context within projects and display them automatically as @context lists.
     
  6. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    OTOH Scrivener can handle huge volumes of stuff well organized into groups and can move things as a whole easily. SO if I was to use Scrivener as a GTD tool I'd have one huge GTD project that contained everything in it.

    However, for me, I find the lack of formatting and difficulty in changing formatting of Scrivener would be a problem for me for mt GTD lists because I like the colors and other customization I can do that make things stand out for me.
     
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  7. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    Ah, yes. And this doesn't bother me. I can't say why, but it doesn't. What I've been doing is going through the journal every few days, either checking off or moving each item for each day, and then checking off the whole day so that when I page through the journal next time I know not to worry about those days. And this all sounds like a waste of time, but so far I'm actually enjoying it. Weird.

    I have all my GTD-related Scrivener stuff in one "GTD" project, with projects separated by folders, so it is possible for me.
     
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  8. chirmer

    chirmer Registered

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    I have no idea if I've talked about this elsewhere on the forums here, but I've actually been bullet journaling as part of my GTD setup since 2014 and am on notebook #11. It also all started because I really like analog (fountain pens are a terrible hobby of mine), and also because at the time, my workplace was not very tech friendly.

    I do truly believe my system would be worse off without my bullet journal. The way I use it is this:
    1. Come into work in the morning, fire up my browser of choice (Opera) and thus my email, calendar, and Trello, and pull out my bujo. Actually the first thing I do is put on coffee, but that's like saying the first thing I do is inhale breath, so...
    2. Email. I clean my inbox down to zero, replying to everything, creating next actions by sending the emails to Trello and flagging them To Do in Gmail, etc.
    3. Trello. I go through my Incoming list on my main board, tidying up things and moving them to their proper lists. I then look through my lists and get a feel for the day.
    4. Bullet Journal. I open my notebook and start my daily entry. I add in any events from my calendar, then look at yesterday's entry and make sure I took care of everything there (no open loops). If there are things I didn't deal with, I deal with them now. That might be moving a quick note to project support, marking things done that I know I did and just didn't cross off, or adding tasks back to Trello. Oftentimes, the tasks I wrote down yesterday and didn't finish are important enough that I immediately move them down to today's list. Yes, I re-write them, even though they're right there. More on this later.
    5. I then head back to Trello. I choose the top items I want to get done today, and I stop at 6. Oftentimes it's 3 or 4, if I have any meetings or other appointments. I add these to my daily entry as tasks.
    6. I get to work. As the day goes by, I jot down notes about things that happen, conversations or meetings had, new tasks that come up, etc. I log my day, each day.
    7. At the end of the day, if there's time, I go back through my daily entry and try to clean it up so I don't have to do it tomorrow. This almost never happens, but I do try ;)
    It's pretty straightforward, but the notebook is crucial for me. I really find that working straight from digital tools hinders my focus. I open the app and see a number in my inbox, or items in my incoming list. It nags at me. I get notifications that take me out of the zone of my current task. I just find technology disruptive when I'm trying to work. Plus, a lot of my tasks are actually done on a computer (graphic and web design, as well as marketing), so I'm then flipping back and forth. Much easier and faster just to peek at my notebook and be on to the next thing.

    Another issue this solves is decision fatigue. I get really, really tired of constantly having to decide what to do next throughout the day. It's draining, and by 3 p.m. I'm worthless. I like setting the time aside in the morning to make these decisions and then never thinking about it again. It has the added benefit of me knowing that as of 8:30 a.m. this morning, these were my absolute top priorities, so any new tasks that come up throughout the day have to win their spot by kicking one of those out. It makes it very easy to say, "Yes, I'll happily work on this with/for you, but not today, as these are my current priorities. I'll get back with you when I'm ready to tackle it." We're a small organization (public library for a city of 25k) who're strapped for time and staff, so I can't be constantly reading through my next action lists five or six times each day. It's just too time-consuming. I get it done in the morning and make small tweaks throughout the day instead, and it really works for me.

    The final added benefit is that I've logged the last 4 years of work, daily. I have needed to, and been able to, look back on specific days to remember or figure out what happened. It's actually saved my butt a couple of times. And it makes me very aware of how I spend my time, and helps me direct it more meaningfully going forward. This is also why I re-write things. That, and it's easier to work from one daily entry. But I can then also see how many times I put something off, and the more I have to re-write it, the more I get tired of doing so, and the more likely I am to finally get it done. It's easy to just let it sit and fester on a digital list.

    I say all this as I am surrounded by technology. I love technology! I'm typing on a very expensive, custom keyboard, with an expensive computer, smartphone, smart watch, and wireless ear buds. I wouldn't have a job without technology. But sometimes, analog complements it and works with it to make it better, instead of trying to take its place. And I honestly encourage everyone to try it. Once it's a habit, it's physically painful to give up. It's just that good.
     

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