Steve, one of our iheart members contributed this blog:
In the interest of truth in advertising I should probably point out that I’m not doing true GTD (Get Things Done) using the format that David Allen uses. I’m inspired by the approach, but also found that while I hold myself accountable to the work flow practices, the distribution of items and lists he uses don’t naturally work for me.
I like the Autofocus approach ( http://www.markforster.net/autofocus-system/ ) approach, mixed with the hipster ( http://www.43folders.com/2004/09/03/introducing-the-hipster-pda ) index cards.
Autofocus fits my intuitive temperament by allowing me to keep a simplified number of running lists of things I need to do. Forster suggests keeping a notebook. I find OneNote works great for this. I’ve created an ‘Autofocus’ notebook that has a primary section entitled “Critical Tasks” where immediate things go,”Tasks” where longer term or less pressing actions go, and one for personal stuff entitled “HOME”. Another section entitled “Futuring” gets a variety of ideas for longer range things to develop. A section group holds various resources I use on an ongoing basis, like printouts (Send to OneNote) of my Outlook 2007 calendar for the next 3 months, and hyperlinked items that show up on my “Critical Task” list.
I’ve set-up the pages in both “Critical Tasks” and “HOME” to a 4″ x 6″ index card format. This is where the ‘hipster’ piece comes in. I like to print off the current critical and home to do lists on index cards and carry them with me in an index card wallet so I can add notes, cross things off, and generally not have to be attached to the TabletPC all the time. I also carry a printed out Outlook 2007 weekly calendar with this week on one side, next week on the other. This way I can quickly add or change appointments, note kid pick-up times etc. all on my index cards.
There are two other pieces of software I use to brainstorm and organize that are helpful to me. The first is Inspiration (http://www.inspiration.com/ ) for quick mind-mapping and brainstorming. I love to do cluster diagrams to help me think of key steps, projects, things that need doing in the big picture. Part of my system that works so well right now is that I:
- Do cluster maps of various projects, responsibilities, and stuff in Inspiration.
- Hyperlink to particular OneNote sections where the outlines or details live. This means I can ‘see’ the concept maps in Inspiration in a way that helps keep them alive in my head and then go work on the detailed lists in OneNote.
- I also print the maps to OneNote so I have a current refreshed view without opening Inspiration when I’m actively working the details / action steps.
The other piece of software that helps me go from idea to action is Project KickStart ( http://www.projectkickstart.com/ ). This is a quick project management organizer that walks you through step by step developing a new project, assigning phases, tasks, responsibilities, and even lets you print and maintain GANT charts. I also love the fact that it integrates tasks and calendars with Outlook 2007.
This means that I can do the step by step thing, print out a professional looking project plan to share with board and colleagues, and connect it to reminders / actions / events in Outlook. AND I can:
- Print to OneNote a project overview including task lists and actions to take or follow-up on.
- Make notes on the project in OneNote, including using the assignments / task lists in shared notebooks so the whole team can see, work with where we’re at and who is doing what.
I also like to print the Inspiration mindmaps and the Project Kickstart GANT charts out in poster size (taping pages together) so I have a quick visual reminder on my office wall.
All of these things help me keep more or less on top of the 1,001 things I’m responsible for / working with. I’m not naturally anal or detail-oriented. What this system does is helps me:
- Get more done
- Not forget things
- Dump details out of my head so that I’m not thinking about them when I’m doing something else
- Do better by taking more timely action
- Actually make space for attention to the more creative aspects of what I want to do
So tell me please, does this help anyone or give you ideas…? Did you even read this far…?