Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting Things Done

Ok so it’s now 2009 and thoughts turn to getting organized, once again.

I’ve just been reading a thread on Friendfeed about this and all the different ways other people organize their to do lists.

Text file
Emailing self
Notepad (real paper not the app!)

And I’m nodding my head down the whole list because I USE THEM ALL, in addition to iGTD, and that surely is where I am going wrong!!! No wonder my mind is so fragmented most of the time, wondering not only what I need to do but where it might be written. Duh.

David Allen in Getting Things Done says it’s important to write everything down, get it off your mind so you then have space there to actually DO stuff. I got that bit right at least though now I understand why I still wasn’t actually getting much done. It was all out there just not in an organized form so I could act on it.

Years back when I was running a huge family business, pre-computer/internet days, with nearly 30 employees and hundreds of accounts and suppliers to keep an eye on I used just one A4 sheet of paper every day with all my to dos on, split into four.

Top left - business ‘to dos’
Top right - business ‘to buys’
Bottom left - home ‘to dos’
Bottom right - home ‘to buys’

And that was it.

I would do or delegate each task and next morning simply transfer undone jobs/buys to today’s list.

Hmm, and now I’m wondering with the huge variety of projects and tasks I currently have on if this will work as well but there’s only one way to find out, so here goes and will report back after a week, or maybe two.

How do you organize your life, what works best for you?


  1. I use "Things" from http://www.culturedcode.com/ on my Mac. It syncronises with their iPhone app.

    Easy task management. You can tag them, schedule/reschedule them, view/search per category or tag, stick them into projects or areas or just leave them in your inbox.

    No big hassle or learning curve.

  2. Definitely sounds worth investigating, thanks Ralph :)