Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-25-2005, 10:39 PM   #1
Francesco
Aficionado
Francesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enough
 
Francesco's Avatar
 
Posts: 391
Karma: 710
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Touch
Get organized, stay organized (GTD and a PDA)

Introduction.
On november 26, I hit the disorganizational bottom.
My responsibilities have been increasing over time since the day I was born, exponentially in the last six months, but I chose not to notice and to keep my old organization system. Namely, no system and no organization.
I managed to survive like this during 28 years not because I was good at my juggling act, but because for most of the time I had a second chance to ammend what was wrong --or even to do for the first time what I had forgotten--, and because as a student I was not a link in a chain. And, well, yeah, I guess I was good at my juggling act.
All that changed as I started to work, but not me, I did not change. I was able to handle my job, and that was enough. Now that I look back, I can see that I could have avoided a lot of stress, but as long as I could keep things going, I would never think on changing my "method".
Six months ago I was promoted into a position where my responsibilities were diversified, and where I had to make more decisions. For six months I had the feeling I was missing something, that there was something I needed to grasp about my new position, and that I wouldn't get rid of a certain background stress until I grasped it. In one weekend I found that there were two things that were missing: some way to easily organize myself, and to understand what is the core of what I'm doing in my job.
The answers came by after some research.
Indeed, it was as if the answers were looking for me. For some days before the havoc, I had found this 43 folders site. I've been trying hard to remember how I found it, with no results... Merlin, the 43 folders blogger, claimed to be a "GTD nerd", and provided some interesting hacks to organize yourself, which I found very interesting. Yes, even before the wreck I knew I lacked organization, I knew not to what extent, though.
Google told me what was this GTD thing. I know there's a link to the book in 43folders, but I thought GTD was more than a book. I don't know what, but more than a paperback! I thought it was more of a personal SAP.
I started to read as soon as I could get my hands on the book. In the first few chapters I found this jewel (what on Earth I was hired for):
"In knowledge work ... the task is not given; it has to be determined. 'What are the expected results from this work?' is ... the key question in making knowledge workers productive", Peter Drucker.
Pure common sense?
Hell, yeah! GTD is full of common sense. That's the beauty of it.
My plan is to describe the way I'm implementing GTD in my life in three or four threads (of course there's a PDA involved!). If you are a GTDee we could start an exchange of tips. If you are not, well, you should read it. I can't think of someone who wouldn't benefit from it. Heck, even "alpha geeks" (i.e. nerds with super powers), have found it quite useful.
If you think you could achive more than what you do, not only in your work, but in your personal life, then you must read this book. Actually, although I started all this GTD thing focused on my job, the most satisfiying results have been in my personal goals.
Get your copy, see you in the next thread.

Last edited by Francesco; 01-30-2005 at 08:48 PM.
Francesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2005, 08:32 AM   #2
Bob Russell
Recovering Gadget Addict
Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bob Russell's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,319
Karma: 590687
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Device: Note3, MacBook Air, iPad Air
Look forward to hearing more from you about GTD! I use something GTD-like also. And I was very excited myself when I read Allen's book. The weekly review is a good idea, but a tough one for me to get done. Maybe when I simplify things a bit more I'll be able to do that. I really appreciate the idea of putting everything in a trusted place (PDA for me) so you have access to it easily and don't have to keep track in your head. Really reduces stress.

Some of it is a bit too complicated for my needs... e.g. contexts like "@home" or "@work" or "@online" is something that I just can't keep track of properly which made it useless for my purposes.

Good luck as you formulate your own implementation!
Bob Russell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2005, 11:29 AM   #3
Liqiud
Infinite Oblivion
Liqiud began at the beginning.
 
Liqiud's Avatar
 
Posts: 84
Karma: 25
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: United States
Device: Sony Clie PEG-UX50
This is very interesting
Liqiud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2005, 01:50 PM   #4
brahamt
Groupie
brahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animalsbrahamt is kind to children and small, furry animals
 
Posts: 165
Karma: 6622
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: United States
Device: Palm Tungsten T3
Very interesting post. Also, very interesting how you related this to yourself personally.
brahamt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2005, 08:47 PM   #5
Francesco
Aficionado
Francesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enough
 
Francesco's Avatar
 
Posts: 391
Karma: 710
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Touch
Part I - The preparation
So I started reading GTD.
I was awfully busy during those days... I mean, really busy. Several times I had to stay at work until maybe 1 AM. The last week of the year, the company I work for closes its doors, and I looked anxiously forward that free week. Meanwhile, I implemented the "next action list" as a way of not going nuts.
I was reading avidly, and avidly taking notes. In the middle of the way, I decided to write a list (in Word to Go) that would include every wish, every project which I thought GTD would help me to accomplish. Later, David Allen was going to ask me to do the same. Heck, I had done the homework in advance! Let me tell you that this list is one of the most encouraging outcomes of implementing GTD. Whoa, there are so many things I wanted! And many of them were a couple of steps away. But most important, all of them are within my reach! My Someday / Maybe list is bursting, but it feels so good to move one (only one) project from this list into my current projects lists, not to mention to move them to my "done" list.

Simultanously, I was reading the book and thinking how to implement GTD. That my PDA was going to play an important role was out of the question. But how?
What I needed was an app with a desktop companion.
It was through Jeff Kirvin that I found Life Balance.
There were other candidates, but only two finalists: Life Balance and ECCO Pro. God, I really committed myself into finding the perfect solution!!! I spent hours and hours of my free week into this.
Life Balance has its own desktop interface. ECCO Pro is a Windows program that can be synced with the built-in todo, datebook and memo palm apps. This was a tough decision. It soon became clear that the only way to decide was to test them live.
I started with Life Balance, and I don't think I'm going back, ever. I'll review LB in a future post. Just let me tell you that during the first weeks of this year I was learning/testing the GTD methodology, integrating LB into this system (and learning how to use it), and trying to keep up with my daily life. Can you imagine how afraid I was? I mean, I jumped into this only hoping that the system would work and that it would work for me. I did sweat in those days. I'm not sure but I don't think I've gone nuts. Rather the opposite, it's been paying off, indeed. One example: six months ago I bought a book about yoga. It's divided in several progressive stages. Many times I started it, but never managed to make it not even to level three. I started level four two days ago. So, while I started GTD hoping that it would help me to be less stressed at work, it has helped me well beyond that. And it's only a book! I'm still at white belt, no doubt about it, but the future looks good.

Oh, let me tell you about another discovery I made these days: the notebook. For so long I could not believe there were people not going digital. Well, as it turns out, I have been re captivated by the charm of pen and paper. I have a legal pad at hand in my office, and one in my night table (how do you call them in English?). All under the influence of Merlin. Whenever some task in my @action list starts stressing me, I draw my pen and legal pad and brake it into tiny and less scary tasks.
Also, most of the tasks related to my job are on paper. This might trigger my expulsion from MRead, but I have to confess that my @work action list is on paper.

Last edited by Francesco; 02-16-2005 at 05:57 PM.
Francesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2005, 05:02 AM   #6
cheshire
Fence Sitter
cheshire began at the beginning.
 
cheshire's Avatar
 
Posts: 51
Karma: 10
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Singapore
Device: Asus P525
Very useful experiences, Francesco! I am looking forward to hearing more on how you incorporate GTD.

Being a former Palm owner, I had tried LB before, and found the approach refreshing.

I am still searching for a PPC equivalent of LB.
cheshire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2005, 04:32 PM   #7
Francesco
Aficionado
Francesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enough
 
Francesco's Avatar
 
Posts: 391
Karma: 710
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheshire
Very useful experiences, Francesco! I am looking forward to hearing more on how you incorporate GTD.

Being a former Palm owner, I had tried LB before, and found the approach refreshing.

I am still searching for a PPC equivalent of LB.
Thanks.
From Llamagraphics website:
Quote:
Does Life Balance run under Pocket PC?

For the moment, no, but we do have plans to eventually port Life Balance to Pocket PC. Life Balance is based on cross platform code, so the Macintosh, Windows, and Palm versions do have a lot in common. The user interface code is particular to each platform, but intended to be familiar for people who are using the software on multiple platforms.

Because the Windows UI is based on Microsoft's .NET Framework, we may be able to extend to PocketPC fairly naturally to leverage the work we've already done. However, that won't happen overnight.

We will keep this Answer updated as there is more news. If you would like to receive notification about Life Balance and the Pocket PC, you can sign up for email reports at: http://www.llamagraphics.com/email/index.php
Francesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 07:44 AM   #8
sUnShInE
Drama Queen
sUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to behold
 
sUnShInE's Avatar
 
Posts: 784
Karma: 11712
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: United States
Device: Palm Tungsten T|T3
A lawyer friend sent me a copy of Allen's Outlook workflow process a few years ago. I admired it. It scared me because I knew I could never be that organized and productive. I'm also really good at the juggling act, and never surprised when I drop a ball though others seem to be.

When I'm done with the other stuff I'm reading.... (yawn) Glad to hear it's working for you. Please continue posting so we can keep up. You may have incited me to read GTD once and for all.
sUnShInE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 09:44 AM   #9
Bob Russell
Recovering Gadget Addict
Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bob Russell's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,319
Karma: 590687
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Device: Note3, MacBook Air, iPad Air
The book is a fun read. Well, for me it was. It really got me thinking about a lot of stuff, and gave me some "language" to use when thinking about managing tasks.
Bob Russell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2005, 05:54 PM   #10
Francesco
Aficionado
Francesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enough
 
Francesco's Avatar
 
Posts: 391
Karma: 710
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by sUnShInE
You may have incited me to read GTD once and for all.
You should. Maybe you won't do the "full implementation", but you'll get a lot of useful tips/tricks/hacks.
Francesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2005, 05:56 PM   #11
Francesco
Aficionado
Francesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enough
 
Francesco's Avatar
 
Posts: 391
Karma: 710
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Touch
Part II - Life balance
I spent the first three days trying to figure out what was the best sw to implement GTD on my palm. As I told you in a previous post, I chose Life Balance.
LB, as almost any other software would have, presented another challenge: I had to learn how to use it. I don't really know why I was so obsessed about using any other app than the built-in ToDo. To tell you the truth, I haven't ruled out that option.
Well, I had a couple of days to learn at least the basics of LB. And I have to say I chose a rather complicated app. Really, even today I don't use all of its features.

So, what's LB? It is a task manager. Yeah, it is an app that sort all your tasks according to an algorithm that takes into account the importance of each task to its parent. The parent of a task can be a project, another task or an area of your life. What follows is a brief description. You can learn more about LB at Llamagraphics site.

LB has four main areas:
The outline. Here is where you input all the things you have to do, but not like in your regular to do list. Instead, you have Top Level Items. This TLIs should be the main areas in your life, i.e., Work, Health, Familiy, etc. My approach is different, though, as I'll describe later.
You can further subdivide each TLI. Health, for example, can be subdivided into Food, Exercise, etc. Or you might not subdivide. The thing here is that only the deepest items in the outline will be displayed in the...
To do list. A to do list sorted automatically by LB. You can filter the items that will appear in the list. LB filters are called...
Places. This is like the category in the standard to do list, but not quite so. Places have two particular features: you set the times at which they are "open", and they can be contained into others: i.e., Errands may contain Errands Home and Errands Office.
Balance. This is (obviously) the... the what? The climax (?) of this app. I don't use it. Here, LB tells you where you are expending your efforts, I mean, towards what TLI. This should help in balancing your life (in case you were wondering where LB got its name from). This doesn't work for me because of the way I set my TLIs, because most of the tasks related to my job are registered through pen and paper (it would appear as if I were focused in everything but my job!), and because, as a firm believer in GTD, I never register all those less-than-two-minute actions in any form, and, as you should know if you ever keep a log about your activities, most of your efforts will be spent there.
My plan is to eventually rearrange my TLIs into long term goals (something 7-habits-esque... that is, once I read it) and use more of the features that make LB a somewhat expensive app. I mean, I should, now that I registered my copy.
So why I'm using LB? One of the most interesting features is recurrence in tasks. You can set any task to reactivate itself some time after it was checked off for the last time. This single feature is helping me build a discipline of my own.

Last edited by Francesco; 02-22-2005 at 11:04 PM.
Francesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2005, 11:04 PM   #12
Francesco
Aficionado
Francesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enoughFrancesco will become famous soon enough
 
Francesco's Avatar
 
Posts: 391
Karma: 710
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Touch
Part III - My implementation
I have several inboxes.
My primary inbox is BugMe in my PDA. I have a recurrent task in LifeBalance to remind me every day (until I build a habit) to check all my BugMe notes. This is a very convenient arrangement. I've always taken handwritten notes in my PDA, with alarms all day long to remind me of every thing. This was most annoying, I don't need to tell you. Now, every morning I check every note and process it right away. This include phone numbers and addresses that need to be registered in my phonebook.
By the way, notes that need to be processed in the next daily review have no category. Other notes have their "temp" category.
Well, this works only for quick notes, for longer notes I use the built in Memos. These are reviewed weekly.
Some other tasks are input directly on Life Balance. I'll talk about later.
In my PC I use Keynote (http://www.tranglos.com/free/keynote.html), a cool freebie that I would call a Note manager. It is to the standard MS note pad built in into windows (you know what I'm talking about, right? I don't have an English version of windows), what Firefox is to Explorer... sort of: it has tabs, it encrypts your data, you can assign a passphrase to each file (you'll likely use only one), it has a "scratch" pad in one side which you can always see, no matter where you are in your document, and other features. I'm using it right now.
I'm also using a paper notepad! Some people find it awkward to start using hi-tech devices, for me it was awkward at first to do the opposite. Now, I'm quite comfortable with it now (putting aside the fact that I forget to take it to meetings, where it is most needed). Odd numbered pages hold my @work action list, even numbered pages work as quick note pads.

LifeBalance
All my set up is based on Ratz template, which can be downloaded here: http://actionable.org/files/
It was really tough to decide how to configure LB for GTD. There are as many ways as points of view. I decided for Ratz template, and it look like this:
TLIs are:
Personal actions
Work actions
Personal Projects & Actions
Work Projects & Actions
Someday Maybe
This set is for the most practical approach to GTD. After this one, Ratz developed another template merging the 7 habits' teachings with GTD, which is apparently the most complete approach.
Right now I hardly use the most advanced features of LB, I'm content with its recurrent tasks feature. I have recurrent physical exercises, pills, and reminders. A million monkeys typing (http://www.douglasjohnston.net/weblog/) is a wonderful blog written by a really smart guy. From there I took the following advice:
Quote:
write a one-sentence affirmation of the person you want to be. Sum up the “perfect you” in 50 words or less.
This is one of my recurrent reminders.
Every week, LB reminds me of reading one random GTD chapter, too.
But going back to A million monkeys, while I was searching for the perfect GTD implementation involving a PDA, I discovered several wonderful sites and blogs. People who is willing to share their experiences with GTD is commonly also willing to share their philosophies and points of view. This was an unexpected benefit.

EDIT: I forgot to include one of my inboxes: VoiceMemo! I don't think I could do without it. (Oh, well, I could!)

Last edited by Francesco; 02-23-2005 at 11:01 PM.
Francesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2005, 07:13 PM   #13
sUnShInE
Drama Queen
sUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to beholdsUnShInE is a marvel to behold
 
sUnShInE's Avatar
 
Posts: 784
Karma: 11712
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: United States
Device: Palm Tungsten T|T3
Ok, I bought a copy of GTD yesterday and am about half way through it. I decided, when I was on vacation of course , that I really needed to get organized. I stopped reading today in part II where he starts telling you how to organize workspace. I knew that I didn't have time to do it right, though I was encouraged by the fact that my workspace (at work at least) was 90% of the way there.

Quote:
Some people find it awkward to start using hi-tech devices, for me it was awkward at first to do the opposite. Now, I'm quite comfortable with it now (putting aside the fact that I forget to take it to meetings, where it is most needed).

I think the exact same thing everytime I'm in a meeting outside of my office. The funniest thing is that my pda alarm goes off to remind me of the meeting...yet, I never manage to pick it up when I leave.
sUnShInE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2005, 06:34 AM   #14
cheshire
Fence Sitter
cheshire began at the beginning.
 
cheshire's Avatar
 
Posts: 51
Karma: 10
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Singapore
Device: Asus P525
I read the book sometime back, so my memory may be inaccurate. I do recall however that the "workspace" can be your physical desk, your email program, or even your PDA.

What I find most valuable about GTD is the way that David categorizes... I find the use of "Next actions @ Work", "Waiting @ Home" etc categories useful.
cheshire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2005, 08:24 AM   #15
Bob Russell
Recovering Gadget Addict
Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bob Russell's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,319
Karma: 590687
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Device: Note3, MacBook Air, iPad Air
I really enjoyed that book. It's funny how everyone seems to like it, but different people find completely different parts useful. I tried the @ categories, but they turned out to be pretty much useless for me and too much trouble to keep up. I simple keep separate home and work to do lists instead. But I've heard others talk about how helpful the @ categories are, so I guess it depends on each person's particular context.

The part that helped me most was the two concepts of a trusted reliable place to put everything (so you don't have to waste your mental and emotional energies trying to keep track of stuff), and the weekly review where you make sure everything's aligned properly at the project level and the task level. I still don't do weekly reviews and keep things all well-ordered, but the system still helps me anyway.

I look forward to hearing what others think about GTD or how they use it.
Bob Russell is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Other Non-Fiction Smith, William: Strata Identified by Organized Fossils. v1, 25 June 2010 bobcdy ePub Books 0 06-25-2010 12:11 AM
Free Book (Kindle) - Living Organized koland Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion) 7 04-28-2010 07:40 AM
Stay Zoomed? lordsilent Sony Reader 0 03-16-2009 09:13 PM
Will I stay with iRex in the future? Gogolo iRex 16 09-22-2008 09:51 PM
Should Demonoid Stay Down? andyafro Lounge 206 12-11-2007 11:28 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:53 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.