Getting Things Done (So Far)

By | October 22, 2010

It’s been about a month since I’ve completed the book on “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and integrated lists into my organizational process.

It’s a quick read (200 pages) and if you don’t want to buy it I found my copy readily available at my local library.

In this whole process of re-organization I have to say the greatest difficulties have been:

  • Finding time to go over the lists (have now blocked out time for myself)
  • Being sure to add items when they cross my mind
  • Figuring out exactly what categories are effective for me

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the “Getting Things Done” (or GTD) process here is a quick summary.

The first phase is to gather. This could be a simple as everything from your Inbox to brainstorming all of your tasks and writing them on slips of paper.

Once you gather all of your to-do’s then you process. Each item gets placed into a category of your choosing. If you run across any items that take 5 minutes or less you go ahead and do them on the spot (phone call, quick e-mail, chat with a co-worker, etc).

Once you process you have lists of everything that was weighing on your mind in nice neat lists. From there it’s up to you to review and prioritize.

It is suggested that you run through this entire process once a week to ensure you are staying current and have confidence in your lists.

I personally am a big advocate of trying to do everything electronic. I find if I try to maintain a list on paper I inevitably tend to lose it or forget it.

So what could I use that would be fully electronic, easy to use, and be readily available wherever I go?

Seeing as how I carry a Blackberry for work, an Android phone at home, and split my time between 4 different computers I chose Evernote (http://evernote.com). Evernote has allowed me to set up my categories, access my lists from any device, and allows me to easily add an e-mail, picture, or a documents on the fly.

If you haven’t checked out Evernote it’s definitely worth a look.

The GTD process is still very new to me and the jury still seems to be out on how much more effective I am in work and home life (mainly because I have not fully formed the habit of add/checking my lists).

I think right now it’s subtle, but in time I hope to be one of those people that others say “when does he sleep?”

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