Paper and pads
Supporting structures- File folders, cloud based organising tools
The objective of all these tools should be to be able to capture and retrieve as easily as possible. So, from my experience, the lesser the number tools the better. With lots of iterations and of course evolution based on the tech, there is a system that is working well for me currently. Mind you, the principles of GTD remain the same- as you will see:
This task management tool fit s like a glove for the GTD method. It has a desktop version and a android app which syncs semesterly so you have a capturing tool that is available to you anywhere. It allows you the flexibility of managing different lists based on the context and the funnels through all the tasks for the day in separate list.
I do not need to talk of the all the functions of Outlook…you know them better. I will talk of the folders that I have created matching the context. I have the following main folders:
@Action- All the mails that I need to take action on that is more than 2 minutes
@Waiting for- Any mails that I have sent and am waiting for the response
@ Team- It has subfolders all the people that I work with and the mail exchanges I have made with them
@ Content dev- An alphabetical order of content dev filing that I 'm working on currently along with an Archive folder
@ Sales funnel- All the sales activities that I need to have my eyes on. All the prospective clients and customers that we are reaching out for business. All the sales collaterals, capability briefings done, proposals sent,
@ Delivery- Individual folders on all clients or subfolders on multiple projects in the same org.
@ Read/review- Anything that I need to read or review for a project but do not necessarily take action. I may decide on the next step for it once I have completed reading it. Depending on the relevance of the document, I may file it or trash it.
@ Admin/ Accounts- All the accounting, banking, and legal communication & documentation goes into this folder and is taken care by the accounts team on a weekly basis who have access to my mail folder
@ Personal- Any personal/ non work related communication goes here.
This organization of folders allows me to keep my in box to zero. Using these filters I can quickly sort out my mails and then allocate time to them based on the context.
One More thing…
I have the same folders and sub folders on my OneDrive
Filing & Organizing Folders
Filing system- Four Categories
Consistency- I does not take effort while I move between mails and file folders
Sharing- If I have to share a content folder with a team member, I know I can do that without sharing any other files.
All my writing/ drafts/ reading notes- Why? Because it allows me to add all sorts of different file- Audio, video, screenshots, links, ppt
Office Lens- for scanning and capturing screenshots- I have synced it such that it is easy for me to attach these screenshots to my tasks in MS To-Do.
Simple minds - Mind-mapping software- Great for capturing your thoughts as they occur
When I want to organise my content and ideas for the future. It allows me the flexibility of moving around and If you use Jeera, you will know what I mean
Some More- Reading lists
Scribd, Audible, Kindle,
Paper based writing Instruments
Spiral bound notebook- I have tried different kinds of organisers but the on that works for me is the plain and simple six punch binder. I keep loads of A5 size paper and with sticky tags for partition for taking notes in meetings and for day to day task management. A the end of every week, I will pull out all the notes and go through the Do it, Delegate it, Defer or Dump it exercise and reload the diary with fresh sheets. This way I am always current and I know the notes have been used or flied appropriately.
This is an example of how GTD can be used using different tools. You depending on your situation may choose to use different tools and you may already be using. The value is not in the tools. It is in the practice of thinking through your unique situation , creating habits and designing a system around the GTD principles that works for you. You may not get it right the first time or you may realise that you have system that is already working and you do not need to do anything about it…either way it's good to know what the best practices are.
Like always, if you need help with any part of setting up the system, you are welcome to reach out to me and we can discuss it.