Have been implementing the GTD system since a couple of weeks now; however there is one thing that I haven't figured out completely:
I have all kinds of ideas/inspiration that I want to keep track of but I need a way to properly organize them in a system that is easy enough to use, but also a system that doesn't get messy. I think a lot of people jot down their ideas on paper; but how do you make sure that you get back to it some time and get it in the right place?
organizing notes and ideas with Google Notebooks
I've been using Google Notebooks more and more as a repository of various ideas and inspirations on various topics -froming active projects, to the wildest someday maybe dreams. I like the ease and format of Google Notebooks for capturing ideas in different "notebooks" and segments or chapters.
Of course, current project list and next actions are tracked in my portable system, as the internet is not yet ubiquitous.
Options for capturing random ideas
We all get ideas from time to time that our minds cannot link to a particular outcome or action. As long as you have a place to park these ideas and a periodic reminder to review them, your brain can relax and release them from psychic RAM.
In his document Implementing David Allen's Workflow Processing with Microsoft Outlook, David Allen describes how one can use the Notes application within Outlook to capture "a hare-brained idea you didn't know what to do with". He suggested creating a category called "Ideas" and placing random ideas on a single "note" under this category. You can do similar things with Palm Desktop or other applications that have similar functionality. The list of ideas should be reviewed during the weekly review. If your mind has formulated some clarity about them, create the appropriate projects and next actions in your regular lists.
If you use a paper-based system, either capture the idea on a piece of paper and put it in your tickler file or create a folder in your general reference material called "Ideas" and capture each one on a separate piece of paper and keep it tucked away. Make sure you add a reminder to your system so that you don't forget to review this folder regularly (tickler, weekly review checklist, etc).