Tag Archives | GTD

Plan Your Week

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“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Nobody truly knows for sure who first uttered that phrase, but it continues to be an unavoidable reality, especially in regards to productivity.

You must know where you are going and how you are going to get there. Do you set off on trip with no map, no reservations and no destination? No? Then why would you live your life or conduct your business that way?

All you need is a few minutes, a piece of paper and your calendar for a cursory review and planning. There are many tools both electronically and in paper form at your disposal to help make this process easier. You can use Microsoft Office products, Open Office, Google docs. /calendar or whatever works best for you. Some paper options are Accomplish notepads by Knock Knock, To Do notepad by Knock Knock or a weekly planner template available on Google docs.

I confess, I am sometimes guilty of neglect myself. I always feel a little off kilter when I do not take the time to see where I am and decide what needs to be done. So, today’s post is brief and I am off to plan this morning….

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Would You Like to Try Gtdagenda App for iPhone?

Have you tried Gtdagenda?

It’s a really neat technology tool I just discovered to help you up your productivity and get organized. Their website portal combines everything you need in one place; goals, projects, tasks, checklists. You can make schedules and integrate with some calendars. It allows you to use contexts and next actions. You can even prioritize and integrate with email.

Of course there is an iPhone app to go along with it!

I have one promo code to give away for the Gtdagenda iPhone app.

How can you get it?

Easy sign on to our new PLC community discussion forum by Feb. 1, 2011 and tell me you’d like to try it!

I’ll choose one person at random for the free app. I love giving stuff away!

  • GTDAgenda – web project and task management application that lets you accomplish your goals and get your things done (tech2all.com)
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GTD Practices – Review

This week we continue the ongoing series on GTD practices with a discussion on review. If you are not familiar with the GTD concept, read my GTD overview. Also, as a reminder, if you missed the previous posts in the series on the process of collecting or capturingprocessing or organizing, I highly encourage you to start there first.

When we talk about weekly review, we are really talking about series of steps that include reviewing and updating, clarification, prioritization and the thought process necessary to accomplish all of this. The lists of actions and reminders will be of little use if not reviewed regularly. It sounds very involved and time-consuming, the last thing we need, but it really does not have to be. My weekly review takes approximately 30-60 minutes once a week and it is well worth it. When I do not take this time, I find my productivity plummets and the leaks in my routine get more numerous.

Let’s talk through the process of review in practical terms. The first thing you do when you sit down for your allotted review time is to quickly look over all of your ongoing projects and unfinished tasks (actions.) Where are you on all of your projects? Check the status and make sure you have determined your next action for each project. Brainstorm any additional appointments, meetings and tasks that are not on your list? Look in your “tickler” file, your “waiting on response” file and your “someday” file. Is there anything that needs to be followed up on or moved to an actionable task?

The next part of the process, which might actually be done in tandem, as you are looking at your open items, is to clarify your objectives. Are all of your items and projects still really necessary or meaningful and productive? Don’t keep working on things that no longer serve you or your company just because they are on your list! This is a great time to check in with your internal goals, values and life or business plan.

The final phase to your weekly review involves setting priorities. Which actions are most critical or time sensitive? Are you holding up progress on a project with your inaction? Which tasks have a firm deadline? Considering the time, energy, and resources available at any given time, you must select the most important task to be done. If you are inclined to procrastinate, you tend to do the easiest or most comfortable tasks and never get to the unpleasant ones. To avoid this, you may want to prioritize your most difficult tasks first!

To optimize your GTD routine and clarify the method further I highly recommend listening to the GTD Best Practices of Review podcast from David Allen the creator of the GTD system.  David and members of his team discuss the critical step of review; their individual routines, tips, tools and methods.

Please share any tips or comments you might have on how you are using this system. Stay tuned for my upcoming posts on this topic….. in the meantime check out the related posts on the GTD System.

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GTD Practices – Organize

This week we continue the ongoing series on GTD practices with a discussion on organize. If you are not familiar with the GTD concept, read my GTD overview. Also, as a reminder, if you missed part one or two in the series on the process of collecting or capturing and processing, I highly encourage you to start there first.

In plain English, this step of organize really deals with the “nitty gritty” daily practice of how to differentiate your projects and tasks; first by separating them, then determining if there is a next action and if so, what context. If there is no immediate next action, then it is should be “filed” as either reference, waiting for something or someone or a someday/maybe item. A key component to any successful organizational method is an effective filing system that is simple to use.

Note: I use categories to organize my tasks instead of context, such as or by categories such as “work,” “finances,” “calls,” “review,” ”someday,” “WOR,”  “household,” etc.

To optimize your GTD routine and clarify the method further I highly recommend listening to the GTD Best Practices of Organize podcast from David Allen the creator of the GTD system.  David and some members of his team share tips and strategies for organizing tasks, actions and projects; including details on how they utilize lists and contexts.

Please share any tips or comments you might have on how you are using this system. Stay tuned for next week’s discussion on the process of Review…..and in the meantime check out the related posts on the GTD system.

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GTD Practices – Processing

This week we continue the ongoing series on GTD practices with a discussion on processing. If you are not familiar with the GTD concept, read my GTD overview. Also, as a reminder, if you missed part one in the series last week on the process of collecting or capturing, I highly encourage you to start there first.

In a broader sense, this step of processing encompasses clarifying objectives or outcomes and the decision process behind determining what is a project vs. what is a task and if each item is actionable (more on organizing and actions next week.) This concept might be easier to understand and implement by following the work-flow diagram below. In this case a picture may indeed be worth a thousand words.

To jump-start your GTD routine and clarify the method further I highly recommend listening to the GTD Best Practices of Processing podcast from David Allen the creator of the GTD system.  David and some members of his team share tips and strategies for processing, including keys for getting to inbox zero, why things get stuck, the process for deciding and more. Even more crucial they discuss how this process works when you are managing a project or as part of a team.

As with any other routine or skill, this process does get easier and become almost automatic with time and practice. Please share any tips or comments you might have on how you are using this system. Stay tuned for next week’s discussion on the process of organizing…..and in the meantime check out the related posts on the GTD system.

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