Friday, October 5, 2007

Organization, Lists, and Getting Things Done.

For over a year now I have been toying with the idea jumping into the Getting Things Done system. If you're not familiar with it, or haven't heard of it, follow the link to get the gist... Basically though, if you're not interested in the link it is a system of organizing your thoughts, time, and activities into manageable lists and projects in order to keep yourself organized... Followers of GTD are almost as fanatical as mac users when it comes to loving the system and being "pushers" for the cause.

I went so far as to buy the book but never really got around to reading it. ( How's that for irony ) My cursory glances made me think it was just too complicated, and would take too much time to setup the processes, so I just kept putting it off and putting it off.

Steve, being aware of my affinity for moleskine notebooks ( link1 , link2 ), recently sent me a link in which one of the bloggers we both follow had created for himself a moleskine pda following the advice he had seen on some other blogs.

Since this long story is already too long, I'll just get to the point and say that based on some of the links that Adam pointed out in his blog I took the time to create a simplified GTD system, using a moleskine ruled pocket notebook, and have employed a simplified system to "get things done" myself.

These two pages [ Hacking a GTD Moleskine and PigPogPDA ] were the two posts that most inspired me to put the system I'm using together... I am mostly using the hyalineskies method form the first link, with small borrowed elements from the PigPog system.

If you really want to understand the systems in detail - go read their sites... The basics go something like this though...

1. You put everything you can possibly think of that you should be spending any time on at all down in an annotated "to-do" list.

2. The notations on the list show ( at a glance ) tell how long each item has been on the list, how many times you've put it off, and if there is something preventing you from actually being able to do it right now.

3. If an item is too big to actually be done in one fell swoop, then it spawns a project. A project is a collection of action items ( to-do's ) that all go together.

4. At least once a day, you start at the top of the list and take some action on every item! The action can either be to "Get-R-Done" ( Sorry Jenn! ) in which case you do it, or or to put it off in which case you move it down on the list and alter the notation.

With my OCD, I'm hoping that as the iteration number ( how many times have I put this off ) gets higher and higher it will drive me nuts and I'll have to do it...

Anyhoo... I actually started using the system last Saturday, and this has been a really productive week at work... We'll see how it goes from here on out.

Here are two photos of my current system ( Yes, I included my pen... more on that in a minute ).

The Hyalineskies GTD Moleskine


My current inbox/next action page


And now a notes on the pens... You already know ( you do know this right ) that I am such a huge pen nerd that I occasionally obsess about my writing impliment... One of the greatest thing about reading all of the blogs I surfed about moleskine organization systems, and from people who just have and love moleskines in general is that EVERYONE who writes about them mentions their preferred pen. It is great to see other ink pen fanatics posting about their weapons of choice. Love it.

Enough on this topic. I am interested to hear thoughts/comments.

-Roogles Out

( thanks to Steve for sending me the link, Adam for his original post, Eston Bond for the hyalineskies system, Tersie for this post (which motiviated to blog about this), and Jenn for tracking down some moleskine ruled pocket notebooks for me on the cheap )


julie p said...

this post was entirely too long....i had to put off three things from my to do list because of the fact that I took 15 minutes to read this post and the links....LOL

theviolinist said...

you are completely ocd...e...who has time for this?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I use the post-it-note system of organization. I typically use a pen from whatever was the last hotel I stayed at. And I don't even know what a moleskin is. I feel so ancient.