Since I'm now mostly electronic based this may seem heretical but IMO the essential supplies to get started are all paper based. Once you have it down in paper you can figure out whether you need to do something else.
Originally Posted by gr8ful2GTD
Ream of 3 ring notebook paper. I splurge and buy the tri-ring refill paper from Levenger. It has space for margin notes (Cornell system) and is a good quality. I use it for all my paper notes and project planning stuff. I also have a ream of Levenger's storyboard 3-ring paper because I use that to plan and sketch out scrapbooks and web sites. I also use their letter size viz pads for drawing notes for the building remodel we are doing and for other physical planning like what's in what garden bed, where fences will go, weaving warp designs and so on.
3 ring binder simple 1-2 inch ring type If you decide to stay with paper get one you enjoy using but initially just get something that works and is cheap.
Labeler I have a Brother p-touch model PT-1280 because I wanted one I could easily get tapes for and that would not use batteries. I looked first at what tapes were avail. from my local stores then got the labeler to match.
big box of file folders - I had these already in colors for the major areas of focus. If I was starting over I'd probably not bother with the multiple colors although it's a nice addition I use 3 position tab because that is what was available. Does mean you have to think a bit to get the adjacent file not be the same position so the label gets hidden.
good quality filing cabinet that does not require hanging folders and has a sliding backstop Hard to find. I already had cabinets that require hanging folders but if I was starting out I'd buy something else.
stack of cheap small notepad or scrap paper I used the back sides of my tear off daily calendar as scrap paper for initial collection. A 3 x 5 spiral bound notebook from the drug store also works as long as you tear out the pages.
several pens it's frustrating to run out of ink in the middle so have spares readily avail.
Oogie McGuire - Mac, iPhone & Omnifocus
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Paonia, CO USA