I've poked into David Allen's GTD methodology repeatedly for a good while now - the book has sat on my shelf, come off my shelf, and returned to my shelf a number of times (and yes, it has been read!). For the past year or so I've been happily reading along with the communal experiments over at 43Folders (and the allied Google Group for 43Folders). I even began spinning up a Chicago GTD MeetUp group...
The past month I've been working to get back on the GTD wagon, after a couple months not trying very hard. My lists of Next Actions had gone stale, my projects were (and truth be told still are) underrepresented, and my inbox is not yet empty. But getting back on the wagon, day by day, has been paying off - especially on those days when I have both the self-discipline and the open uninterrupted time to plow through NA lists.
In a recent entry, Kevin made noises about jumping on the GTD wagon himself. So for him (and for me ease in retuning in the future), my system.
For one iteration of my system, I used ShadowPlan extensively, with a master project outline with subitems each tagged with their Next Action contexts (in some cases this was more than one context tag, which in hindsight was excessive syntactic sugar. This outline lived only on my Palm (I love Jeff Mitchell's work, but the MacOSX desktop feels too table-focused for me as yet).
I might have kept that up, but the data entry to the Palm in Graffitti2 seems to be a bit of a step back; particularly on managing word breaks (every L I put at the end of the word became a T!). So rather than write things down, I'd THINK of writing them down, forgetting them 10 minutes later. I looked at using the OmniShadow Plug-In scripts, but they don't support tags yet, which were a pivotal part of the Shadow based system.
For about 3 days I tried keeping my project lists on a thumbdrive and using the pyGTD script to build the nicely prioritized list of actions. But I ran into more problems running the script on my OSX home computer vs my WinXP work computer - I lost actions, or spent 15 minutes cleaning up one file or another when it would inadvertently get munged. If keeping actions in a trusted system is paramount, keeping them in an untrusted system is paramountly foolish.
I've been running a HipsterPDA solution for the last 2 weeks. Combined with some other paper-based and electronic items, it appears to be working reasonably well. The simplicity of the tools has helped me to focus less on the system and more on the doing.
In the HPDA, I am keeping a pair of carddecks; one is a set of context based next action lists (@calls, @comp, @errands, @errands, @home, @homeComp, @office (which subsumes my work computer), and @waitingFor). This deck also holds a set of blank cards, for use in capturing inbox items and ideas when I'm not sitting with a notebook.
The second deck is a set of projects, each with a set of known steps or tasks to complete the project; some projects are never-ending, an artifact of poor project definition on my part. But they're listed, and I have plenty of cards with which to make more.
As I work through the day, I've been trying harder to logbook what I do; decisions I make, configuration options chosen, paths taken. This is easier at the office, where I have been trying to keep logbooks for years. I need to integrate this in my personal life as well. Arguably this could be wikified, but the impermanence of bits in an enterprise has held me back from renewed experiments. I've begun using some Moleskine hacks to try and improve searchability of paper - news on that front in ~6 months.... As I go through the day, I use my logbook as a quick INBOX, transferring actions from the book to the HPDA on a periodic basis.
Why not use the Palm's builtin apps? Because I like to synchronize the hard landscape - and I can't sync effectively at work. As it is, I use an ineffective 'copy outlook to palm by hand' mechanism, but it allows me to keep my personal and work schedules to be blended only so far as I want them. YMMV.
This morning, as I watched portions of the SteveNote... AZ said
We're going to be hearing about this for the next few days, aren't we?
Sounds a bit familiar...
I've been long form silent yet for a while, while I've promised others writeups of various events of the past few weeks. Between family visits, holidays, recovery, and work I appear not to have recovered sufficiently to give these events the text they deserve.
So what we've done