I am very excited with the possibility that GTD will help me function very efficiently at work and at home. I bought and have read the book and both the Implementation guide and the GTD for Outlook 2010 manual. I have been at this process for almost a week now, non-stop basically. This is where I stand today, but I feel there are some things missing.
-finished setting up all my categories in Outlook. I have a total of 14 categories. The maximum tasks I have for a category are @computer = 49 items, followed by @projects = 35, @home = 28, @errands = 18, and so on.
-finished setting up my calendar using the Outlook layout provided in the GTD and Outlook 2010 manual.
-finished setting up my email as suggested in the GTD and Outlook 2010 manual.
What I don't have:
-Folders for project support material -
Reason: I don't understand where this is done and/or how.
Example: I need to write a science research paper. For this I will do brainstorming, find references (lots of these, could be 100 for example), do lab work, make figures, write at least 10 drafts overtime that I will submit to my advisors for revision (send by email and/or hand out in paper format), receive email back with revisions or questions, and so on until the paper is completed and submitted. Where do I store all of these material? I used to store it in folders in my laptop's desktop, for example:
1 folder - all the PhD references I have so far about the general and specific topics about my research.
1 folder - named as "X paper" - includes figures, pictures, written work, including revisions returned by the professors.
Are these two folders okay as Project Support Folders? I could try to make a copy of the references I need from the "All PhD references" folder, the problem is I am trying not to have double copies of research papers.
Although I am not completely set up with my system yet, today I had a meeting (not research related) which reviewed aspects that will be discussed in another meeting tomorrow. I took notes in a paper (this meeting does not occur frequently), when I got home I reviewed them and added A for action and WF for waiting for. Then I proceeded to tomorrow's date in the Outlook Calendar and in tomorrow's date I wrote down the appointment with the scheduled time. Within the appointment window there is some blank space below where you can write notes. That is where I wrote down the processed list. Although most of the list has actionable tasks (such as finding a document that I would need to bring with me to the meeting tomorrow) I do not feel moving them to the @home category would help, they would get lost in all the tasks I have @home. Where do these actions go then?
I am really trying to get better at this, but is difficult and stressful. I am either very disorganized or I am doing something wrong. Help please! Any academics around that could share their 0.02 cents? Much appreciated