GTD with Lotus Notes...anyone?
I know there's Eric Mack's site at www.ICA.com, but beyond viewing a screenshot of his Notes template, are there any users out there successfully implementing GTD methodology within Notes either with or without a custom template?
I have heard within the GTD site that DavidCo is a Notes shop... so possibly we could have some expert advice!
A search on these forums reveals nothing apart from a plea for a dedicated Notes Forum :wink: and googling only shows ica.com with any GTD/Notes advice - which is back to a static screenshot again.
Comeon people, throw me a bone!
Adapting GTD to Notes, or vice versa
Here's what I attempted with reasonable success at my last job in blending GTD with Notes. Keep in mind I'm still a GTD novice and that Notes was strictly for work-related stuff; my Clie holds my personal lists.
In our office, the Notes templates were locked down so we could not create our own forms. (Also couldn't sync our Palms with Notes.) I relied on creating folders in the Mail view and alarms in my Calendar. I didn't use To Do view much.
Like many others on this board, I use a melange of programs, processes, etc. Notes was just another piece of the puzzle; I've stopped trying to find the one-size-fits-all program because it doesn't exist (for me).
I adopted a few strategies I had seen elsewhere on this board. So, mail arrives in the inbox. I may have 5 to 10 long- or short-term projects in play, and I have specially named folders for them:
P: Communications plan is done
P: Announcements for the software release are written
P: Monthly report is done
P: Doc library is up to date
and so on. P=Project, which sorts them all together. Outcomes are written with the nouns first, which I find stimulates my imagination more; sometimes I use abbreviations. And these folders hold all the mails associated with that project.
[Aside -- you can also create empty folders to hold little one-line notes which you can delete later.]
I used a @Calls folder to hold emails that required me to phone the person, an @Email folder that required a reply, etc. When the deed was done, I would move the file to the appropriate P: folder or delete it. I checked these context folders several times daily and during the weekly review.
I heavily used the @Waiting On folder: I would send a mail and file it to Waiting On, which I would check during my weekly reviews. Regularly checking that folder (and sending follow-ups as needed) made people think I had an incredible memory. Far from it! I was just a little more organized than they were...
When a project was done, I archived the entire folder. I would delete the P: and preface it with a symbol or letter that would sort below the P: folders. (Sorry, I can't remember all the details right now.)
Discussion on the Yahoo group and here made me realize I didn't need or want to digitally capture everything that came my way. Post-its and the backs of x-a-day calendars did fine to capture short-term assignments from my manager, and then they were scrapped. I also kept a list of someday/maybe projects written on a legal pad.
For extra support, I created my own little form in Ms Word using the line-drawing and text tools; the page had maybe 6 boxes labeled mail, calls, web, waiting on, etc. During the weekly review, I would look at my P: folders, decide what the next action was, and write it down (with today's date) on my form. When I performed an action, I crossed it off with a highlighter.
So, the Notes folders contained my list of active projects and prompted my next actions. When the form got filled up or messy, I printed a new one, transferred what I needed, and off I went. (I also adjusted how much room I left for each context, based on need; the form was always a work in progress.)
And of course, this was all supported by hard-copy project folders, tickler folders, etc. I tried to keep the Notes component of this process pretty simple so that I only needed to mess with the Mail and Calendar views on a daily basis. For my needs, it worked fine.
[I was fortunate in that I worked closely with my manager and did not have to fill out a monthly status report. So I didn't need to track every inch I crawled.]
BTW: A neat categorizing trick in Notes To Do view: Using the backslash creates a subfolder. So entering "Employees\Ted" creates an Employees category and a Ted sub-category. I think this is in the Notes help file somewhere.
Apologies for the long post.--mike