As I planned, I spent last night getting mostly back to organized. Since I am going back to paper for the time being and had a disc-bound notebook already I decided to use that. However I like forms. I hate just notebook paper. (Plus I appear constitutionally unable to do things in the simplest way.) So I went to diyplanner.com which has a bunch of nicely designed, free, printable pages. You can pick and choose.
In reorganizing it I realized a few things that I’ll talk about as I walk you through my book.
– I have a color printout of the next 3 months of my google calendar. Most of my schedule is pretty static but this lets me have it with me so that if someone asks my availability I can answer.
– diyplanner has a pdf of what they call a pocket page which when trimmed and glued makes a pocket to hold things. I made 5 of them out of some leftover section dividers I had (purple – my favorite). I am using one between each of these bullet items.
– next action lists – I know GTD recommends having different context pages but what was happening is that I wasn’t looking at them. I really only have 2 contexts – at a computer and not at a computer, and the second one is primarily things like “take down the blinds in the master bedroom and hang the curtains”. So I now have 2 action lists. Things to do at one of my desks and things to do somewhere else. All of my desks have internet, I carry my reading with me everywhere, so I’m going to try this simplified version of next actions for a while.
– agenda’s – lists of things I want to talk to a particular person about – mostly this is for my husband, my boss and my adviser.
– lists – I have my someday maybe list here, since right now it helps to keep it but there isn’t anything coming off it anytime soon. I also have the list I’m putting together of what everyone is getting for christmas so that when I start shopping I know what to look for.
– projects – Here is my BIG departure from GTD. Each research topic, major group of actions, etc has several pages allocated for it. They have task lists from which I plan to move things on my weekly review or sooner if I need to as well as my notes about the project (not supporting docs). Each of these is marked with on post-it tabs which I write the project name. For the vast majority I was able to write a clear objective and even if at this moment I don’t have a next action I can put “work on X project” onto my action list and that means to sit down and figure out what the actions are.
I then have blank note paper.
I think this addresses some of my prior issues, and we’ll see what new ones it creates.