GTD: Overview of my implementation

GTD, or Getting Things Done, is a personal productivity system by David Allen.  One of its strengths is the way the concepts behind it are implementation agnostic.  That means the system can be done using index cards, a notebook, within Outlook, on a Palm or other PDA, using dedicated software, or many other ways.  That flexibility is one of the things that many people starting out with GTD find as a hindrance, not knowing just how to set their system up.

I’m planning a series of posts about my GTD implementation, as a model for other people to consider.  I started using GTD in December 2006, and after about 6 months of thrashing around trying things, settled pretty much on what I’m using now, which has mostly been unchanged since.

My GTD system is electronic, based on a plain vanilla Palm OS PDA, which I synchronize with the Palm Desktop at home, and Outlook at work.  I keep a single calendar for work and personal landscape, and I use the Task/ToDo list for my Project list and Next Action contexts.  The 15 categories provided by the Palm are plenty of contexts for me, with a little creative hacking of Outlook that I’ll detail in a later post.

I use a physical 43 folder tickler file implementation at home and at work.

Palm Memos / Outlook Notes are very useful for reference material of all kinds.  I reserve one category for Project Support information, and make sure I name the memos that relate to a project the same way, so they’ll sort together.  I reserve one category for general reference material, and one for “Higher Level” notes.  I name those so that all the notes for a level will sort together, e.g. 20kft-Finances for my “keep the bills paid” Area of Focus.

That’s the high level overview, more to come in the future.