I've just started reading the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I don’t want to dwell on this point too long right now but I will say that it is just complex enough for me. That’s important to me — to not oversimplify my life and miss out on a deep enough experience — I have a great need to do so many things. I’m not the type content or happy doing things like IMs, Facebook, watching Hulu, catching up on my weekeday work. When I do things like that, I usually regret it later on…resulting in stress and unhealthy living.
Much like school, I've decided to do practical exercises interspersed with reading. I have started taking the first steps implementing the system into all of the tasks and things that I do — work, doctor’s appointments, social media, money, social appointments, creative projects, career development, home and house work and anything else I can think of that can make sense. That’s right — all, everything — that is the only way to really get anywhere with this. This follows much reading online concerning the GTD method — especially at http://43folders.com, http://i.doitim and studying curious things like “the hipster PDA.”
I've been studying the first of the five phases — collect, (the others are clarify, organize, reflect, and engage). Part of what is needed to collect is a tool or set of tools. I first tried written notes & books but it seems that as much as I don’t want to admit it, I need to use my smartphone and other electronic means. Access to a good writing surface is not always possible commuting on trains and things like voice-to-text have made taking notes easier PLUS much of what I have already been collecting has been with electronic tools. Here’w what I already do.
- I use Do It to collect and keep track of my doctor’s appointments, meds, bills and creative photography projects with pretty good results.
- I keep track of much of my work life using Outlook.
- I collect mostly music and writing ideas in notebooks books & Google Drive.
- I save my internet items to look at “later” in the cloud-based tool Pocket (with zillions of things saved that I have only barely gone back to),
- I route much of my social media with IFTTT (to keep myself away from the ever-distracting Facebook). I also use IFTTT to connect things from the iPad/Apple world, weather, quotes & RSS/XML feeds.
I am somewhat involved already — making my title of “first steps” above a bit untrue…however it is true that I am making more deliberate moves here…so I started by gluing these things together…
I decided that Do It was the most desirable tool to base everything on because the workflow is heavily influenced by GTD.
Here are a few things I have worked on so far -
- Transferring my appointments to a Google Calendar (GCal) to facilitate the use of IFTTT, my Android phone and other tools — their architecture is much more open than Do It’s and I can (and have) set up a two-way sync between these.
- Trying to figure out how to get Outlook appointments to forward over to the GCal so that they would end up on Do It. I can forward manually but I’d like the process to be a bit more automatic.
- Now that I understand why it is there, I started using the Inbox in Do It.
- I added/changed my “email” Channel on IFTTT to point to the DoIt task-adding email. I also added this email to my unified Android contacts — figuring that it could be used for things like emailing myself a receipt of something I bought to remind me to carve out some time to use the thing.
- I created a new IFTTT recipe to send all adds to Pocket to my Inbox — this includes not only those which I add with Google Chrome’s button and the share feature on the Android phone but also any tweets I make (usually things I want to look back at later).
- I set a reminder up to blog here on each Tuesday
I’ll continue next time with more…