How I’m Getting Things Done

After years of using Apple’s Stickies as my standard To Do list organizer, I’m a month into an entirely new productivity system. It’s working out pretty well.

With David Allen’s Getting Things Done as a foundation, here are the modifications I’ve made:

  1. Next Actions:
    This is a stack of index cards. One thing per card – boiled down to the smallest task discernible. The task I’m working on right now is on top. If I get distracted, just look at the stack of index cards to re-focus. Work-related things are added to the calendar at the same time the index card is made, to reinforce the commitment. Best part – crumpling up the index card when it’s complete and tossing it across the room to the circular file (iCal gives me the record of when).
  2. Tickler File:
    Yes, I’ve got my 43 folders – manila. On my physical desktop. Don’t have anything in them yet, I’m checking daily, just in case.
  3. Waiting For / Someday Maybe: Both are iCal calendars I add to via Quicksilver (activate Quicksilver, ‘.’, type thing, create iCal To-Do, select corresponding calendar, return.)
  4. Inbox:
    I have 3 inboxes:
    1. – a bit of hack, a Smart Mailbox that only shows me today’s mail
    2. Clean Out – this is a directory on my MacBookPro’s Desktop where browser downloads go, where NetNewsWire dumps to, basically where everything digital goes – that isn’t mail.
    3. Physical Inbox – a little IKEA cloth basket sits on my desk behind my MacBookPro anything physical goes there for processing.

4 thoughts on “How I’m Getting Things Done

  1. Ha! I’m right with you though I’ve yet to take the two days, pile *everything* on my desk, and go through it all dumping everything out of my head.

    I’m getting hot on KinklessGTD and may buy OmniOutliner and it. Mainly because it will sync to all my Mac OS goodies and thus my Treo 700p (which has become my constant companion and ultimate reminder system).

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for the reminder on TiddlyWiki. I played around with it earlier Jan-Mar of this year. I’ve still got it’s bookmark in Firefox. In the end, I didn’t click w/ the browser-based-ness and even after hacking around with it, couldn’t get the entry and sorting models to something that made sense to how I work.

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