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Inbox Zero, but not quite Getting Things Done

My journey with Outlook and GTD continues, and is settling into a nice routine at the level I have currently achieved.

I am sleeping much better, and heading into work each day with a clearer view of what it might contain!

I astounded a client project meeting the other day when the client side Project Manager said he had hundreds of unprocessed emails. He went on to speculate in front of the full project team that I must be in a similar position as a service provider PM. I took great delight in stating I clear my email inbox each day! and therefore always have a clear view of all the actions I need to take.

I have reverted to using my Filofax as my primary note taking tool for meetings, etc. I bought one day per page sheets and use those for my notes each day, which I transfer into Outlook daily. Side bar - I got 75% off from my stationer simply by pointing out at the checkout that the year is nearly half gone!

However, my frustrations with further tuning GTD to my workflow and tools continue:

  • I still haven't got my GTD definitions right (for me), particularly Projects v Actions v Contexts;
  • I still can't meaningfully view my tasks outside of my primary copy of Outlook (on my main laptop) which is an issue for a mobile worker like me who isn't always sitting in the same place in front of the same PC;
  • I am still wading my way through my accumulated physical inboxes to extract all the projects and actions buried in them.

image courtesy nerd merit badges


Reader Comments (4)

Good news Gavin :)

I know the projects v Actions v Contexts is the hardest thing for me too. Strictly speaking, anything taking more than one step becomes a project but taken to the extreme, (as I think David Allen does in his book), I reckon would cause more paralysis, not less!

Contexts are perplexing for a whole other reason, but they're definitely worth getting your head around!

As for working on multiple computers, you should check out Eric Mack's recent post http://www.ericmackonline.com/ICA/blogs/emonline.nsf/dx/managing-gtd-systems-on-two-machines and then pop out and buy yourself an individual Lotus Notes licence ;) hehehe

BTW - Love the picture!

May 8, 2009 at 4:10PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Gardner

thanks paul

May 8, 2009 at 7:35PM | Unregistered CommenterGavin Knight

Do you sync your tasks to a mobile device?

May 9, 2009 at 8:32AM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Sampson

Hi Michael

I used to sync them to my Blackberry but don’t currently for the following reasons:
• Needed USB cable connection which I find to be a pain as I don't use the USB cable to my laptop for any other reason on a daily basis (calendar and contacts are auto-sync’d regularly over the air via Google);
• More, importantly, having my full task list on the blackberry is unworkable as there are too many tasks to skim through visually and until I get my contexts working ‘for me’ I can’t filter it meaningfully!

This is the key element of ‘work in progress’ in adapting GTD to me!


May 10, 2009 at 10:39PM | Unregistered CommenterGavin Knight

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