What exactly in GTD drawer, how to classify them?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by kerem parlakgumus, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. kerem parlakgumus

    kerem parlakgumus Registered

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    Dear All,

    Greetings from Turkey,

    I am setting up my physical environment with drawers with GTD. I have stuck with some problems that I want to take your recommendations about:

    There are 4 drawers for hanging files:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_bbUBAe-PGQfJmyVIGHfarGTa5sIL_Ns/view?usp=sharing



    I do not know how to organize these 4 drawers. Can you help me how to design those drawers? From the video, 2:11, David has:
    1) Tickler File
    2) Reference Filing System which is A to Z alpha filing system. (I can spare two drawers for reference filing system: 1st drawer: A-L, 2nd drawer: M-Z)
    3) The filing system that needs action I understand it from David saying in the video "current projects coming toward me" such as "TALK to John". how to organize the filing system that needs action? is it like an alpha system for all (closed, active, passive) projects.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1khbV5bWYyG7WLGmSVAzjeGtmB3Yz2kgY/view?usp=sharing

    Like S letter, I will have this S separator for 29 letters (A-Z) (Alpha filing system) for both reference file system and the closed, active, passive projects (which needs action). did I get it right?

    To sum up:
    First drawer: Reference filing system A - L
    Second Drawer: Reference filing system M - Z
    Third Drawer: Tickler File
    Fourth Drawer: All (Closed, Active, Passive) Projects

    if it is not true (or there is another better way), what is your suggestion? my mind gets very confused, how do you suggest to organize the drawers? or how do you set up your drawers? does it process in the way you want?
     
  2. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Hello Kerem; First thanks for sharing this video. There were so many nuances of GTD I picked up on from seeing Dave in action! My "next action" after seeing that was to put a pad of paper and pen in the corner of my desk. (It took less than 2 minutes to do so I did it right away ;))

    For my 1-31s, I use something called a "accordion file". I think the manufacturer is "Pendaflex". Every evening, when I plan my next day, I take everything for tomorrow's date file out and dump it on my desk. I do the same thing with my physical inbox and I go through what I have to do the next day.

    I also have a four drawer filing system;
    1. A-Z - I go through once a year
    2. projects-reference material
    3. Financial Jan - Dec each file has my receipts for that month
    4. archives - everything going in has a date to shred and discard on it

    In North America, not a lot happens between December 24 th and January 1st. Thus, it is a great time to go through your files to discard and re-evaluate.
     
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  3. kelstarrising

    kelstarrising Kelly Forrister

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    There's a new video on GTD Connect where David shows his very latest office space in Amsterdam and explains how he deals with reference.

    Getting Control of Reference
     
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  4. kerem parlakgumus

    kerem parlakgumus Registered

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    John, hello,

    Thank you so much for sharing your valuable information, experience. This is really valuable for me:)

    1* when you mention 1-31s which you use for an accordion file, is it a "tickler file"? if not, is the same thing that you use, can be used as a tickler file?
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j5F-3efno1-6YoWAwHI34rBmADPCe9pK/view?usp=sharing
    https://gettingthingsdone.com/pdfs/tt_tickler_file.pdf

    2* when you mention 1-31s which you use for an accordion file, is it this carriable filing folder:

    3* you mentioned:
    1. A-Z - I go through once a year (is it for reference files or your todo's or projects. because they must be in different drawers. A-Z reference files and A-Z projects which are closed and passive. The active projects are on the table)
    2. projects-reference material ( i don't get it)
    3. Financial Jan - Dec each file has my receipts for that month
    4. archives - everything going in has a date to shred and discard on it

    4* I am trying to solve the problem of this 4 drawer thing for a long time. I think it is because everybody personalized their drawer and there is not 1 only very effective solution. Until now, that is what I am sure of:
    first drawer: Tickler File system
    second drawer: Closed projects and passive projects (A-Z)
    Third drawer: A-Z Reference Files
    Fourth drawer: ???????????
     
  5. kerem parlakgumus

    kerem parlakgumus Registered

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    Hello kelstarrising,

    Thank you very much for sharing your valuable information.

    From this video, David does not physically have a folder, drawer for projects (which needs action), did I get it right? He just uses his drawer, physically filing system ONLY for reference files. is it?
     
  6. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    The picture above are manila files (that would need a file drawer or holder). The main disadvantage of these files is that they are designed to hold flat pieces of paper and I like to put “stuff’ in my 1-31s. the main advantage is that the 1-31s hold both the daily reminder documents for the CUREENT month and the NEXT month. This is important because, without this, a daily reminder that is due early in the next month can be missed until it is too late.

    I use the term “accordion file” which I have used logn before GTD.. Each section can expand to hold more “stuff”. What I use is a something like this

    https://www.quill.com/is/image/Quill/s0040657_s7?$img400$

    With the accordion file’s “pockets”, you can put physical objects in each pocket. For example, I have a rubber replica of a handgun in one of the pockets (to remind me to bring that to my next martial arts class).

    My 1-31 accordion file (and the companion Jan – Dec) sits on a shelf above my desk. Every day, I habitually take the contents from the folder for that day and set it on my desk and go through it. On the last day of every month, I turn the entire file upside down and shake it. The I go through the next month’s Jan-Dec. (I use to use twp 1-31 accordions – one for this month and the other for next month. As more documents become electronic, I just don’t have much physical stuff in my 1-31 anymore. For small pieces of paper, like business cards, I will paper clips them to the day’s pocket.

    No. As you will note in the picture of the one I use, there is not even a lid for it. This is so it I can quickly put items into my 1-31 or Jan – Dec. Also, I have no need to transport my accordion-files. If you have to move yours, you might consider getting ones with lids. If you travel with them, you might buy ones that are made out of plastic.

    This is for my reference files. Once a year, I take everything out of the drawer. As I put each file back, I determine if the entire file can be;

    1. Discarded (or shredded if its confidential)

    2. Stripped – I remove unnecessary contents and discard/shred

    3. Review – I move the file into drawer #2 to review the files’ contents

    4. Action – sometimes a GTD action item comes out of this process


    I put my files to review in the 4th drawer of my filing cabinet. (The one that you don’t know what to do with )

    Documents that are related to a project. For example, my physical project files all have the ink-and-paper contracts. My digital version of the same file has meeting minutes.

    You are correct. The solution is to find something that works for you.
     
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  7. kerem parlakgumus

    kerem parlakgumus Registered

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    Hello John, and other valuable readers of GTD Forum,

    Thank you very very much for your explanatory reply which was very helpful for me.

    To sum up, the subject which is having for drawers for hanging files:

    I have labeled them as below:
    1) The tickler file:
    You explained the accordion filing system:
    https://www.quill.com/is/image/Quill/s0040657_s7?$img400$
    I can use the same logic with tickler file, It turned out to this in my drawer by applying Tickler File:
    [​IMG]
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mMK1r79f_XNh5cAxuvL7uwEMfFT2awng/view?usp=sharing

    2) Closed Projects & Passive Projects
    in the second drawer, I have my closed and passive projects:
    [​IMG]
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LhmIloCTW-opYaXengtSf1iG7dNkzzIn/view?usp=sharing

    To have an addition, my active projects stay in front of me outside the drawer (active projects & current projects coming toward me):
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AWSyZzuiD0wyGU7NStUVw1s-EvbJPVW-/view?usp=sharing
    [​IMG]

    3) Reference Files
    A - Z ordered my reference files are stored in my third drawer:
    [​IMG]
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W2LTJsi4s-d2PIIS_3LLbFCl1osDJSlY/view?usp=sharing

    4) ?????????????
    what should, must, can be the 4th drawer? what is needed for the fourth drawer? what are the possible choices? what can it be there? in GTD book, David tells us to have a drawer which has a 4-pocket drawer. why 4? I really need this specific information.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  8. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    It seems to me that you are too attached to the idea of 4 drawers. On page 173 of the GTD2015 book @DavidAllen says: "Most people wind up needing from ONE to FOUR physical file drawers." It is really up to you how many drawers you need and what you put in each drawer. My fourth drawer is for bills and tax declarations.
     
  9. kerem parlakgumus

    kerem parlakgumus Registered

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    TesTeq hello,
    thank you very very much for your reply, valuable answer.
    "Bills and tax declarations" were great another option, parameter, choice.
    Anyone else using drawers for except "bills & tax declarations", "Tickler File", "Reference Files", "Closed, Passive Projects"?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  10. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    The bottom drawer in my filing cabinet holds my bills. I have a file above my desk between my 1-31 and Jan-Dec accordion files for the bills, invoices and receipts for the current month. This File is labelled "August". On September 1st, I will put the August file in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet, take out the Septmber file and throw away the contents and put this now empty file where the August file was.

    I prefer 1-31 and Jan-Dec accordion files on a shelf above my desk as I can toss things into them without standing up or moving from my desk. I am not being lazy...just efficient :)

    I do have an L shaped desk and would consider a 2 drawer filing cabinet that would fit under or beside my desk. That would be efficient, in filing intmes in my 1-31 and Jan-Dec accordion files. It is too much work to stand up to use a 4 drawer filing cabinet.
     
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  11. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    As mentioned the quote is generally 1-4 drawers. But that is not set in concrete. You need to use as many or as few drawers as you need for your stuff.

    For example. I have my tickler and active projects folders in about half of 1 drawer. The amount of space it takes varies as my project load varies and whether those active projecys have physical files associated with them or not. Then I have 14 drawers (Three 4 drawer file cabinets and one 2 drawer cabinet) filled with my closed, someday/maybe and reference files. I put them all in one huge A-Z system because that works better for me. Lastly I have one 2 drawer cabinet that holds office supplies like blank file folders, my special note and storyboard paper and my yearly files into which I toss stuff for my scrapbooks. That last set is just a series of 12 folders, one for ech month where I collecte the memorabilia and things I may want to use in a scrapbook. When I plan and stage a scrapbook project I go through those to see what is useful to keep and add and what, if anything, I can toss out.
     
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