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. 

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