View Full Version : Need help getting re-started
12-03-2005, 10:31 PM
I've been following GTD for about three years now with low to moderate success, but for some reason keep going back to try to refine my system to only end up back at square one. The problem I keep running into is that an outlook/computer based organization system doesn't work efficiently for me as I may be working on several computers at work (one for e-mail and another as a workstation) as well as my computer at home, and then the mobility aspect in which I may be away from a computer for several weeks. Next when you throw in the GTD aspect of putting projects and tasks at home into my system the whole thing tends to go haywire. I've gone from paper planner to PocketPC to hipster PDA and just can't seem to find the median between these to meet my needs (or at least feel satisfied with my system.)
Has anyone else encountered similiar problems and how did you overcome them? Does anyone have a recommendation to help me stay on track?
12-04-2005, 01:56 AM
I don't think I can help with your problem but personally, I find using a portable electronic system the best way to do GTD. I use an ancient (but brilliant) HP200LX MSDOS based palmtop to keep all my lists and info. The palmtop has a built in flat file database program and all the lists (NA's, projects, somedays) are kept as separate queries. The beauty of it, as I see it, is I can keep the system with me at all times and can even do a bit of reviewing while waiting in the supermarket queue! I suppose if you had a well designed paper organiser the same could be done.
What it all boils down to in my opinion is you've got to have enthusiasm for whatever format you use. I like messing about with my palmtop and databases etc so it was natural that that is what I would use. I guess I'm just stating the obvious here.....
12-04-2005, 06:44 AM
...for some reason keep going back to try to refine my system to only end up back at square one.
This is a great prompt. I am looking forward to reading what fellow posters have to say!
Personally, I find that seperating "system" from "methods" (which you have done in your prompting post) is the easiest way to takle this situation. From what I see you saying, you have multiple systems with which you want to apply the GTD Process. Sometimes, I look with clients at each phase of workflow, to create "mini-systems."
As you review the next four phases, consider outlining your "systems" for each one:
12-04-2005, 07:43 AM
The problem I keep running into is that an outlook/computer based organization system doesn't work efficiently for me as I may be working on several computers at work (one for e-mail and another as a workstation) as well as my computer at home, and then the mobility aspect in which I may be away from a computer for several weeks. Next when you throw in the GTD aspect of putting projects and tasks at home into my system the whole thing tends to go haywire.
I am coming to believe that "know thyself" is one of the great commandments of GTD (and life). You can understand the GTD philosophy and process very well, and still have big problems. Until you know what you want to do, what you are willing to do, and what you can do, you may have problems with implementation.
How do you want to work? You have two computers at work. You get email at one, and keep your lists on another. How much email do you have to deal with? Is your current set-up optimal? Can you change this? Are you willing to print out relevant email and enter relevant data on the other computer? How skilled are you at using technology? How skilled do you want to be? Would using a palm or pocket pc to transfer data between computers be possible? You imply that you travel for weeks at a time. Would a single laptop be better for you?
The most painful part of this kind of analysis is that you have to be honest with yourself. For example, I know that I am just not the kind of person who faithfully follows a disciplined schedule. I don't do my weekly reviews at a regular time, and I don't back up my data on a regular schedule. I try to compensate by using systems that work with me rather than against me. My email is maintained on a server and synced so it is available to me in multiple locations. My important data is similarly synced, but via a different mechanism. However, if I did not understand the technology involved, there would be a significant risk of bad consequences. My system isn't perfect, and neither am I. We muddle along, and sometimes I hit upon a better strategy or tactic. Every so often, I try something new that turns out to be a really bad idea, or I just don't do the weekly review in a timely manner. Then I have to "get back on the horse" and get engaged productively again.