Question on paper Planners
I have read the DA guide for setting up a Paper Planner as well as the many ideas on this forum. One question for those using a Paper Planner. Do you have a separate tab for each action list or just one tab labeled @ Action List with multiple pages with the list header's @ Calls, @ Computer etc. I know it's a personal choice, just curious.
Recent convert to paper & my tabs
Here are my tabs, for now...
Originally Posted by gator
Wait-For (Sorted by first name (oftentimes initials, and the creation date))
Agenda ABCDE (Sorted by first name or initials)
Proj-PG (Project list Personal)
Proj-Work (Project list Work)
R/R (Read and Review)
Various focusing lists (tabs for each major project/area of focus)
20K - HOF (Horizons of Focus)
30K - HOF
40K - HOF
50K - HOF
That looks like quite a bunch of tabs, and I've cut it down from originally way more! It works for me, because I focus more completely within each context. I had to do what I did with Agendas because I work with many people (personal and professional).
After several years using the GTD Systematic Approach, I've converted to a paper system (one system for both work and life - that was a big jump for me). One of my several realizations after switching was that writing the Next Action down encourages me to slow down and really process the item. Spending just a little more time gets me to determine the meaning of the item, position it correctly, and possibly either complete or initially tackle with a 2 minute action. I've created more forward progress knowing that I can subtlety reword/re-categorize the Next Actual Action after doing some work on the item. I'm now using Technology for what it's good for -- full-text searching, MindMaps, Databases, etc and cross-reference within my actions and projects lists.
When I can eventually manually Capture and Process at the speed of light (which for me was a liability because my brain knew I hadn't really committed to what I had lamely processed, so it checked out), I'll go back to using a technology system -- until then, paper is my preferred choice.
What's wild is that my Project List isn't as big as it was within the technology system -- that's because I was creating too many new projects from spontaneous ideas after reading an email vs. parking the idea within a Project's Action Support for a related Project.
Another really wild thing is that I realized my brain can actually make links between actions and projects -- for years, I didn't think this was possible. Sure, I may end up with dupe actions across contexts for the same project, but it all works itself out during Weekly Review.
I agree -- it's a personal choice, so do what works for you. The question I ask myself every so often is, "Am I really doing GTD?":D
Paul's home-made GTD Binder
Originally Posted by Philb
Thanks for your reply. The David Allen Company paper-based products are excellent and a good starting point for someone new to GTD - everything's laid out for you and you're up and running quickly. I originally started with the full-size binder and then down-sized to the smaller format because I walk around a bit between buildings.
As I've been doing GTD since 2006, my paper-based system has morphed quite a bit (additional tabs), so I needed a thicker 7-ring binder. I lucked out because I still had my classic-size 3" leather binder from my Franklin Planner days, which just needed a dusting.
As for tabs, if you purchase additional ones, I'd recommend the Avery 5 1/2" by 8 1/2" Durable Write-on Plastic Dividers #16180 which come 5 to a pak -- assuming you're going with smaller format. Reason being is that the tab has strong bending resistance and is wide enough for a printed label.
I created a mini portable InBox by purchasing pockets from the same brand - one pocket to house my cut-up scrap letter-sized paper (which I hand tear into 4 squares) and another pocket for the actual InBox.
To carry the Templates around, which I find useful for review and my Weekly Review Checklist, I purchased sheet protectors from the same brand.
Best of luck in your GTD practice.
Meaning of the written word
I appreciate all of your comments on the paper planner. I do my best thinking when I am writing (as opposed to "texting.") It's just that you then have to carry the binder around. Or not. But thank you, Mr. Garth.