I have been trying to incorporate GTD principles for several years. This all started for me with a great program on my PSION hand held computer called "mentor" ...thats another post). My system has evolved several times as the nature of my work and life changed. I am now at a key crossroads again and find myself in desperate need of some 3rd party suggestions. Thanks in advance for reading and responding to this thread!
I am a technology architect and project manager responsible for multiple concurrent projects. The job has forced a move away from my Moleskine reporter system (contextual tabs) as a my central system for Next Actions and projects. This was out of perceived necessity of working in a strictly digital environment. I have been using a hybrid system of ToDoMatrix (blackberry & web based) for the last 2 years combined with Outlook, OneNote and 8x5 paper notebook for business meeting notes. I'm fairly consistent with the review process but can always improve. I'm forced to use Outlook for email/calendar and leverage OneNote connected with outlook to facilitate the processing of meeting notes and as a means of searching audio recordings of key meetings. This also serves as teh repository for my electronic reference materials. This system has evolved from an outlook task-only model to having all projects and to dos for my personal and business life in ToDoMatix. This gives me the portability I need as a consultant, father, husband, builder, technologist, directory...etc.. I'll ad that I have tried many of the GTD software tools out there as this is what I do. I have purchased and tried the GTD outlook plug-in, web and Palm based tools. Again, currently using a Blackberry as the core of my system with the Laptop software systems as reference, and email, calendar.
Simply put I'm having technology overload. The blackberry application is amazingly robust and is perfect for GTD but all the limitations of the blackberry apply (small keys, limited screen real estate and being constantly tied to something with a battery) The volume of emails and meeting notes to process into resultant Projects and Next actions is flat out overwhelming. I continue to strive to make my system work but am reaching a level of that either leaves to :
1)Be bound to electronic/computer based system only (this would work for my business life but not for all other contexts/roles
2)Keep a hybrid system for my contexts outside of work. This would be a return to a paper system with electronic reference materials as needed. This would separate my system into 2 distinct hybrid systems. One for work and one for all other aspects of my life. This is how i'm currently leaning but i know that this is against all best practices for GTD. I think the appeal here is to be able to disconnect from technology when I'm not on the job. I know this has been discussed before but paper lists can be relaxing and 'focusing' but lack the ability to jump up and slap you when needed. I'm ok handling those alerts with the hybrid system. Its the process of starting separate systems that has be apprehensive. .I just can't seem to pull this split approach together though and ..something has to give.
I guess my question to the GTD family here is: Does anyone else maintain a separate book/list/system for business separate from the system they use for other aspects of their life? Maybe there are other suggestions or ideas out there and I am eager to consider what may be a 'better' approach.