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. Mail.app – 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.