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Thanks for this community contribution from Pete Tambroni. Here’s how he has setup his GTD organization on the iPhone…
In the original Getting Things Done, much of the focus was on paper systems with an electronic complement. These days much of our world is the opposite.
I try to have as much as possible in electronic form with a paper complement. Having things on a computer or PDA allows it to be searchable and easily changed from one category to another. But just because we can search for something doesn’t mean we should. Why not just know where it is?Despite limitations of paper systems they do have the advantage of offering visual and tactile boundaries where a computer based system allows data to stagnate easily and just be searched. This clogs not only the system but our heads!
I have several programs on my iPhone dedicated to organizing and sorting information. But I found myself using all of them all of the time. That didn’t make sense – I don’t open my file cabinet every day. My electronic boundaries had broken down! To-Dos had meandered to my references and journals had infiltrated my to-do lists. I found myself adding projects and actions to my reference memos because I had that program open but we would never add a To-Do into our file cabinet! So, electronic boundaries needed to be set and implemented as everything had turned into a digital inbox. Here are some tips to clean the digital house.
I use SplashNotes for my contextual action lists and ShoveBox for my digital file cabinet. ShoveBox is really great because it can handle PDF files, pictures, web archives and bookmarks as well as text. It also syncs with it desktop companion. The calendar program (iCal) is obviously for items that need to be scheduled. I found the Notes program to be less than useful so for me that is relegated to short text for mental affirmation and meditation. I also use a program called The Daily Tracker for habits that I am forming or breaking. All of these are on the first page or the dock.
By putting an item in the appropriate program my head felt immediately better because it knew where to look! I didn’t need to check my electronic file cabinet every day. A quick morning scan of the calendar and a check of my contextual action lists was all I needed. After a workout I know to enter it into the Daily Tracker for logging. If I encounter dead time I can open Notes and review my meditations.
With all of my content in order – and it does take time just as the paper review process – the GTD system can continue to flow into the modern era and beyond.
Peter Tambroni is currently a classical musician, music teacher,writer and photographer in suburban Chicago. He holds degrees from the Crane School of Music and the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign. He is currently vice president of the School District 83 Teacher’s Association. Peter maintains and writes for MostlyBass.com and EvolvingEducator.com. With his busy schedule, using GTD methods is an absolute must!