As the subject line states, I'm just starting out with GTD -- as a matter of fact, I think today marks the first week! So far, I've managed to go through my office desk, my home desk (and filing cabinet), my briefcase, and clear out my RAM. I did this in stages (RAM first, then the office a couple of days later, and then the home office last).
I've been using a PDA (Sony Clie) for keeping track of projects, NAs, calendar, and contact info during this last week. I put NAs into the Todo list, with categories used to separate contexts. I also used Shadow (Palm outlining software) to keep track of Projects, with individual tasks in the projects linked to a NA in the Todo list.
I also carry a small notebook around for data capture when entering text into a PDA is not convenient.
Some problems I have noticed:
1) Any actionable e-mails I get are stored in an appropriate folder (as per the suggestions in GTD), but the NAs themselves are entered into the Palm. Therefore, I have to sync with my office PC, my home PC, as well as keep track of what's in Shadow and what's a NA. Edit: Note that by "sync" I mean manual syncing, and not 'Hotsync' - although I do that too!
2) I am not sure how to link information that is associated with a NA. For example, if my project is "Organize daughter's birthday party", and I have a series of NAs associated with it, where do I store the information gleaned from each NA? I currently have the invitation list and gift ideas in Memo Pad, and other notes in Shadow (as part of the Project entry).
3) In addition, if there is information that I want to keep after the project expires, how do I archive that with my (paper) file folders?
I believe that what I am experiencing here is (a) the feeling of spending too much time on working with the PDA (i.e., working on the mechanics to enable GTD), and (b) a lack of hard edges that defines the proper place for information.
OK - that's all of the background info. Now, I'd like to present what I plan to do, and would like to solicit the opinions of those more experienced than I to determine potential pitfalls.
I think that I need to use the Palm for calendaring and contacts, and possibly to store NAs (by context). Then, I think I will supplement the Palm with a small notebook that will be used for data capture, keeping track of projects, brainstorming, and general information storage. The workflow would be something like this:
1) Capture data in notebook (from meeting, weekly revieew of projects, etc.)
2) Generate NAs from notebook data, and enter into Palm.
3) Information generated from executing NAs is entered into notebook.
4) When project expires, either pull paper from notebook or scan into copier and store with the appropriate paper folder.
Final note: None of the problems I've mentioned above have kept me from enjoying initial success with the GTD system. I'm only concerned that my lack of a well-defined support system will hinder me from being able to report success months/years from now!
I think I've dumped everything I've wanted to say into this post. I await and welcome your opinions!