“Collect” to “Do” in Real Time?



Journal History to Current Action

All -

To embellish on what has been mentioned earlier, here's the complete "Franklin Quest" (not Covey)/Hyrum Smith method.

(For those not familiar with it - this is based on a 2-Pg per day "Classic Franklin" format. Your Left-Hand page is your pre-made "plan" for the day, and your Right Hand Page is your record of what actually happened during the day that you wanted to capture. Both pages are already pre-dated)

1) An "Event" happens (phone call, coversation in the hall, idea, etc..). You write it on your "Daily Record of Events" page. In the margin to the left, you write a brief code, combining the date with the sequence of when it happened to you. For example, if it's the first thing that happened that day, its at the top of the blank page (right?) and in the margin you write "13-1" The fifth thing that happens to you that day is 2/3 of the way down the page, and it's code would be "13-5."

2) If you are planning a future Task, or Appointment immediately - go to your future Task List or Calendar, and write a brief description of what it is. THEN write in Parenthesis the same code that you put in that left hand margin ("13-5")

3) When that planned Task or Appointment actually shows up, the parenthesis drive you back to that original "Daily Record of Events" or "Journal" entry for your Support Information.

4) This way, you the info has a "permanent root in time" as Hyrum says, but you keep it as an easily accessible resource for the future. It can bring past & present together in a matter of seconds (literally)

5) If you write something down on that "Daily Record of Events" page, and don't know when you're going to need it - the beginning of each month had an index page. Anything that you think has value, and you want to be able to find easily, you put on the Monthly Index. You use the same "code" in the left hand margin of this page. So you may have "leaps of days" on that Index page, entries like 3-6 Order Confirmation #; then leap to 7-2 Call Tag Return Info.

NOW - this DOES have some strong parallels to David's methods; and can be used electronically.

If you find David's Article on "How to Set Up a Paper Planner" - his first section is "IN" Where you write down random notes from the days events for future processing. David also recommends that you date and time any incoming information. Same function as "Daily Record of Events."

Here is how I have my Palm set up.

In Memo Pad, I've tried to think of each category as a tabbed section in a book. I have a section called "D.R.o.E. = IN" - givng a "nod" to both systems. When I write incoming information in that section; the first thing I do is use a Graffiti Shortut for "Time & Date Stamp." Then I give it a short title. This also lets you list the entries in chronologica order when you view the entire category on your Palm. This in effect, duplicates the "Monthly Index" function of the paper based Franklin Planner.

If I'm making a new "Task" or Appointment that's connected to that entry at that moment - I copy & paste the "Time & Date Stamp" and put it parenthesis at the end of the Task or Appointment title. That draws me back to the orignal conversation, without confusting past & present. You can also use the Palm's "Find" feature to speed up this function. If anything, if the tool is used properly, the PDA may add value to this methodology by allowing you to carry years of Journal entries on your waist (if you decide to).


Thanks for that Andrew.

My version of the journal is much closer to DA’s uncomfortably accurate term, “stuff”. On reflection, and based on past experience with numerous pieces of paper, I think a lot of it will turn out to be interim thinking-on-paper concerning work in progress, which will be redundant in a day or two.

Any useful ideas will become active or someday/maybe projects. Interestingly, I have realised that story ideas can easily be termed projects also, and identifying the NA can be incredibly useful in getting the thing actually written.

Anything left after that will only amount to the odd diary entry, which will entail a lot less transcription than I originally feared.

I will therefore be able to regularly dump section 1 of my Filofax after all.

(Before hearing of GTD I tried to follow the Covey model. As a result, I have four annual binders of kept daily pages – none of which I have looked at since. Looks like I will be making some room on the bookshelf this weekend!).

Have you been to Dublin recently? The last five years of the “Celtic Tiger” have seen a drastic amount of building taking place. The original suburbs have remained more or less the same, but a lot of the old spaces in the city centre have been filled with offices and apartments.




I too have a filofax, but I use a separate notebook for Journal notes. My filofax is full enough as it is; adding the journal pages might just be too much.

Or do I need to review my Journal more often? I try to review it weekly. Due to project deadlines, a lot of meetings, travelling around and a never ending flow of e-mail it is over two weeks now. yikes!

If I manage to review my Journal today (or at least part of it), I will try to switch to daily/every other day processing next week. This might keep the volume manageable.
This might also mean that I can drop the extra notebook (less paper to carry around). An additional benefit is that the paper I use in my Filofax is much better suited for fountain pens than my current notebook. (But this is taking us off topic)

I have been to Dublin recently. Unfortunately I had only limited time to visit the city the night I arrived. So I did not see a lot, but I liked what I saw and tasted (Guiness is good for you :D ). What is the spacy needle in the city centre? It looks nice, but does it have a function as well or is it just, well, what it is?


Daily stuff

As much as I use my Clie, with an Inbox set up in Shadow Plan, there are still things that I find are easier to capture on paper. I recently designed a pad of paper I call QuickNotes. This is a pad that fits into a classic size binder (Franklin, Daytimer, whatever). Each page is broken into several boxes that have spaces for the Date and Time, and an area to write a free-form type of note (no lines). I've included things to circle to indicate where it came from (Telephone Call, Conversation, Incoming Voice Mail or Email), whether it is just for information, requires an action or a follow-up, priority (High, Normal, Low) and check boxes for Completed or Entered.

The pad is available near wherever I am. If someone comes into my office and asks me to do something (or I speak to someone on the phone and I need to take some action based on that call), I'll write it down on the pad, and fill out the info, which takes very little time, and is faster than using the Palm, much as I hate to admit it.

I process things from the pad throughout the day as needed and as time allows. I review it either at the end of the day, or at the start of the next day. Eveything gets either completed (2 minute rule) or entered into the Palm by the end of the day, and gets checked off appropriately. That way I can quickly review the "stuff" on the pad and know that I've taken care of all the items I can by the end of the day, and anything else is in my system in the Palm. This is NOT a "To-do" list. It is just an Inbox for stuff that comes up during one day, and that stuff moves within a day to either get completed or put in the Palm system.

This way I don't use stickies (which I'm always losing), I have ONE place to put all those miscellaneous notes, and I can make sure everything either gets done or gets into the system I have on the Palm. It is much harder to describe this system than it is to use.

(By the way, I simply designed the pads in Word, took a disc to my local printer, and had them print and make up the pads. It works really well for me...)

Hope this helps...


Redundancy is good for you

Busydave said:
Anything left after that will only amount to the odd diary entry, which will entail a lot less transcription than I originally feared.

I don't mind transcribing - it helps me to refine the item (a little more processing).

I haven't visited Dublin for many years. My favorite memories are of Clonskeagh, where my uncle had his Chemist Shop at the Clonskeagh bus terminus, and of a childhood visit to Hood Brothers dairy. It's probably all changed now.