So, as promised, this is my set up. Here’s a picture of my desk right now:
I basically went to Office Works here in Sydney, and picked up a bunch of cards, and small and large clips.
Whenever something comes to my mind, or I’m talking to you guys and I need to track something, I write one task / idea on one card. And stick that in Inbox. Later, I can move that card to one of the other categories, categories being:
- DGraph (Project, most used)
- @ Computer (second most used)
- @ Outside
- @ Home (less used)
- @ Office (less used)
- @ Done
- @ Waiting For
- @ Today
- Agendas (things to follow up on with others)
- Other people based on who I’m talking to
I wrote each of these categories on a card, and then just clipped all the cards belonging to that category behind it using small clips. When I’m working, I remove the clips, so I can easily move the cards around.
In addition, I realized it was hard to quickly pinpoint a category from a stash of cards, so I also picked up a few colorful stickies to mark the category card. For e.g. I chose red for
@Waiting For category, which don’t need my immediate action. As you can see, the color coding and naming makes it really easy to find the desired category card stash.
Every morning, I pick up a few cards that I think I should be working on that day, and move them to
@Today category, which I place on my keyboard. I work through them over the day. If some of them are left, I just clip them together, and re-consider them next day. Anything I don’t want to do today, I move those cards back to the right category.
I like to keep these cards with me all the time. So, in the evening, I use the big clips to put them together.
Now, 2 more of these big clips – one for
@Waiting For, and another one for the stash of unused empty cards. So, with 3 big clips, my system is ready to go with me to home. Sometimes as I work through emails at home, more tasks show up – so I mark that email as unread, and also jot down any action item, again on a fresh new card, and put that in
Inbox. Later, they get merged into categories as I explained above.
I read this book in 2005 – with a friend of mine who introduced me to this book and concept – we used PocketMod back then, and I’ve used it over the years on and off. But, the power of digital is always very convincing, so I’ve tried online lists. The one which stuck out the most was Omnifocus. It’s a very well designed software built around GTD, but it’s only available on Mac and iOS – and, I realized digital task organizers just don’t have that stickiness to them. Once, you close the software, they’re gone – out of sight, out of mind.
The current system with physical file cards is working much better – there’s a certain joy in physically holding a task and finishing it – and I’m quite liking it. Time will tell how it goes .
P.S. Also see: http://www.43folders.com/2004/09/03/introducing-the-hipster-pda