About 4 years ago my boss suggested that everyone in our group read David Allen's book Getting Things Done. I did and picked up a few things from it but was not really ready to embrace the whole thing. At first glance it feels overwhelming. Way too complex for me. I need simple right? Well, over the next few years I found myself incorporating bits of what I had read into my life and about 6 months ago I re-read the book and went full on. It was life-changing. I don't toss terms like that around lightly. Since then I've been asked to forward on a listing of the tools I use a number of times so I thought it would be good to share that info here as well. But first, what is GTD?
In a nutshell:
GTD is a system wherein all ideas, projects, actions, etc are captured in a safe dependable place so that your mind can stop worrying about them. Sounds like list management right? Absolutely, but on steroids. First, capture all of your projects and base those projects on their expected/desired outcome. Then ask yourself "what is the next action necessary to move this project forward" and capture that as well. There are all kinds of nuances to this as well, filing reference materials, immediately processing anything that takes less than 2 minutes, taking your inbox to zero everyday, etc. But that's really the heart of it. Here are a few links to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
David Allen discusses GTD
Inbox Zero - Watch at least the presentation in the video. The last 30 minutes is Q&A and there's some good stuff there but not as good as the presentation itself.
How I Getting Things Done - I wish all presentations were put on a 30 second per slide timer. Some good stuff but really, I just like the efficiency of the presentation. :-)
So how do I do it? In the most geeky fashion possible.
The key, for me at least, was to get everything in a place where I can always access it. And of course, to make it fun, I had to gadgetize the process. I am most always connected but still need to get access to my stuff if I am not. I use mostly Windows PCs at home/work but don't want to be limited to that in the long run. AND I need to have access to this stuff when I'm not at my computer.
For capturing and tracking all of my projects and actions I use Nozbe. It's web based, has an iPhone client and allows me to invite others to share in a project so I can assign tasks to them.
Nozebe - GTD software. If you sign up, use the link here with my affiliate ID so I get credit. :-) There is a good overview here.
For storing reference material, documentation, shopping lists and really just about everything else, I use EverNote. I scan most all hard copy that I need to keep and like with Nozbe I can share notebooks. I have tons of lead sheets out there, schedules for soccer, school, etc. and I can pull them up anytime, anywhere. To top it off, it integrates with Nozbe. Just tag the document with the name of a project or a context and it shows up right in Nozbe.
EverNote - Info on integrating with Nozbe can be found here.
To get hard copy stuff into the cloud I use iCopy with CutePdf. This allows me to scan directly to PDF. I save the document in a folder on my hard drive that is monitored by EverNote and viola, there it is in the cloud!
iCopy is available free here and CutePDF here.
That's what's working for me these days. Do you GTD? If so, what works for you? If not, you might want to give it a try.