Bridging the gap between me and orthodox GTD [en]

[fr] Je note ici quelques divergences entre le système d'organisation que j'ai mis en place et ce que recommande directement le livre "Getting Things Done" (comme il ne semble pas qu'il existe en français, j'en parlerai -- peut-être de vive voix -- plus longuement à l'occasion).

(Whatever “orthodox” GTD is, to start with.)

I started to try to hack together some implementation of GTD based on what I had read at 43folders, and, I have to say, I didn’t do too badly. I’ve now received The Book and am starting to read it. Of course, there were some missing elements I’m now understanding, and I’m preparing to set aside enough time to start implementing a good system for myself. Roughly 2 days work to gather and process all the “open loops” in my life — most people I talk to tell me they would have expected more time was required, but I still think it’s a lot of time when I look at my overbooked calendar. Still, I’m really looking forward to doing it, and I already know it will be worth it.

For the moment, I’ve noted the my filing system isn’t really DA’s-GTD-compatible: I use 26 hanging folders, and stick translucid folders (labeled! I got that bit right! love using my labeler, in fact!) under the right letter. But I’m already noticing that letter C is bulging (don’t ask me, but clients as well as administrivia tend to collect under the letter C). I’m not going to get a hanging folder for each file (way too expensive), and even the cardboard (manila-type) folders we can get here don’t really come cheap. The transparent plastic ones are really nice, but I’m not sure they’d stand up on their own.

In addition to that, the box I’m storing them is a bit deep, and I had to line the bottom with the lid of another box to have the daily folders of my tickler file stand upright at the right place. I’m not quite sure which solution I’ll come up with. How much do manila folders (A4 size) cost, and can I order them online without the shipping fees killing me?

Another huge gap I’ve noted is that I store the tickler and A-Z reference in the same box. That’s not going to be enough space for very long, so I’ll have to go and buy other boxes to store on/under the desk.

Also, I’ve been noting “action items” on small index cards (A8), and DA suggests using a whole sheet of paper per item. I’m looking forward to reading through chapter 7 to understand where that comes in handy. I’m also looking forward to figuring out good lists to use, and of course, going through the initial collecting phase (though I’m a bit frightened I might end up putting my whole flat in the inbox).

Will keep you posted.

4 thoughts on “Bridging the gap between me and orthodox GTD [en]

  1. Funny you should look at GTD more or less the same day as I did. I ended up trying Backpack which I find really useful and is a help and a nudge towards GTD.

    On an unrelated topic has anyone checked out Mindjets offer to Swiss bloggers ? (try

    I don’t understand german but a friend translated it. Apparently if you apply before the 31st of August you get a free copy of Mind Manager.

  2. Well it worked! One legitimate copy of MindManager 6 Pro. Here are the details : send email to [email protected] detailing PC, OS and address of Swiss Blog. By return of post the download link and activation key. I even got to choose the language. Neat. I’ve asked wyh this offer but haven’t had a reply yet. Maybe some sort of viral marketing?? I’ve not blogged about it yet. Just commented here.

  3. Excuse my bad english !

    How your tickler file can be in your references ? Aren’t you confused ?
    I’m a very new-GTDer, as you know…and I’m knowing myself needing a very straight organisation.
    My tickler file is a text document that I manipulate with my OpenOffice (for the decoration bold, etc.) and print every day, so I can remove easily items, and have a lisible list all the day.

    At work, I also use a tickler file, but disconnected of any GTD system. It helps me !

    At home, I have my analog tickler file : a sheet with items.
    in my errands (or in metro, bus) I have little CD-wraps with bristol cards : each card is an item.

  4. For the moment they’re in the same box because I haven’t finished putting things in place yet 🙂

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