GTD

Up In Smoke - Disaster Recovery for Paper-Based Planners

One of the temptations of the paper-based planning fraternity is the almost irresistible desire to be smug when faced with the technical difficulties of others' electronic organisation systems.

After all, paper planners don't crash. They don't have PC connectivity problems. Appointment entries and notes don't just vanish inexplicably, just when you need to access them. Paper doesn't take an age to boot up, and never seems to run out of batteries. We proudly extol the virtues of paper to our collegues fuming faces, and brandish our little loose-leaf planners at them, parading them as evidence of the future of productivity.

However, things go very, very, wrong, when the next day, we leave our planner in the coffee shop and it's gone when we rush back....

Sun Tzu Meets David Allen: The Art of GTD is War

Terracotta WarriorRecently, I finished rereading Sun Tzu’s Art of War. For those not familiar with the work, Sun Tzu was a general in ancient China around 400 B.C. The slim tome attributed to him is an approach to warfare and strategy. Many ideas connect to the idea of Tao, such as being in harmony with nature, and understanding yourself and your enemy. One of the most important ideas is that it is better to not fight than to fight, but if you must fight, then fight with everything you have.

So, what does this have to do with us, the modern man and woman, dealing with productivity, organization, and GTD? Well, more than you might think. In my rereading of the book, I realized that many of Sun Tzu's principles apply to our own struggle; the struggle to be productive.

GTD-based 8.5 X 11 MSWord Templates

Actions - Phone
Actions - Computer
Actions - Work
Waiting For
Communication Planner
Ideas (graph paper)
Week Tracker (Mail Merge Document. I've included the date.xls file for it)

Usage advice: 

I work in a 8.5 X 11 world, and while resizing the "classic" sized templates here is easy, I get left with way too much margin room. Tired of this, I created the attached files.

The Week Tracker is a Mail Merge document. Use the included "date.xls" file as the data source, and print out any week that you want.

I've left it in MSWord format because of the Mail Merge, and also because I don't want anyone to be stopped from doing all the customization they want.

Paper size: 
Letter
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Microsoft Word (unsure of the version needed. I used 2003)
Language: 
English

Week Tracker

I've created this template to track my week in relation to the projects that I'm involved with. It includes Projected time, Actual time, a weekly review, and a place to list accomplishments from the week.

Usage advice: 

I print this on one side of a sheet of paper, and on the other side print a weekly calendar. When 10's of these sheets are then put into a binder, you get to see your entire week at one glance.

Paper size: 
Letter
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)
Language: 
English

DIY/GTD Teacher Kit

A set of 21 forms (all 2up) which should be of use to teachers who are implementing a GTD system on their work- and home life. Includes a number of GTD pages, plus school specific items (Dayplan, student records, anecdotals, etc.)

Usage advice: 

1. Today's NA (stuff to do today)
2. Class Checklist (ensure everything's handed in)
3. @ marking (remember what you need to mark, record, and return)
4. student records (record marks; take attendance)
5. communication (record communication with parents; file later)
6. anecdotal (keeping tabs/observations on a student; file later)
7. dayplan (self explanatory)
8. lesson planning (for actually planning/preparing for lessons)
9. @waiting on (2 kinds: one for borrowed stuff; one for work)
10. unit sequence (for recording what order things were done ... for next year purposes)
11. assorted GTD type pages with various self-explanatory contexts (@recon=errands ... it sounds more like what teachers do; @thinking about = someday/maybe ... has a more 'positive' sound to it)
12. A sheet of mini next action cards (to be sliced up and kept as a mini-hipster, for those times you don't have your little binder with you)

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)
Language: 
English

German A5 tasks and contacts list

Using the Widget Kit, I've put together a German tasks and contacts page which can be assigned to a given date.

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

This template is for those people who want or have to do their tasks and have to contact people at a certain date. Parallel use of a calendar is recommended.

Paper size: 
A5
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
OpenOffice 2.0
Language: 
German

Weekly GTD Combo Page

Right hand margin page with Next Action, Waiting For, Projects and Someday/Maybe.

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

Based on the 0.6 Widget Kit.

There is not a whole lot of space here, esp. for projects, but that is on purpose. If I try to do more then 6 or 7 projects at a time I am going to drop things.

There are no labels for the columns on this page. I generally use the the right hand next action for a project or location code if needed. I use the left-most column under Waiting For to note progress and the right-most for a date, sometimes the other is useful for a project code or the like. I use the left-most column under projects for a project code.

Designed to be used with my 2006 weekly planner pages with dates. Formatted for a right hand margin, two per standard size letter pages and two pages with only one form per page.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader or Open Office 2.0 Draw
Language: 
English

Setting Up a GTD-Based Hipster PDA

HipsterPDA KitI think many first-timers to this site trip across something very confusing. They want to learn how to set up a Hipster PDA using the D*I*Y Planner templates, but the forms are so flexible (or, if you would, "non-exact") that such a thing isn't immediately obvious. This is by design, I'm afraid: I believe in trying to create templates that allow people to create hPDAs to suit their own lifestyles and system. And therein lies the problem... how can people get started if they have no idea how to use the cards or build a stack in the first place?

So look at this post as a little guide to implementing a simple Hipster PDA that might be used for David Allen's Getting Things Done productivity methods. And simple is the operative word here. As you use it, you'll find quite a number of ways to modify the system for your own use and circumstances. So don't take this as gospel, only a starting point.

Filofax templates 3.75 x 6.75

Ten of my most used classic templates converted to filofax size (3.75 x 6.75), with a few additions. Even pages are the backside of the odd pages. Two separate templates per page.

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

These pages are my most commonly used pages from the classic version, with a few additions. They include registration and crop marks.

Paper size: 
Other
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)
Language: 
English