I started using a Daybook after I read Barbara Sher’s “Refuse to Choose.” She talks about the scanner personality. “Intense curiosity about numerous unrelated subjects is one of the most basic characteristics of a Scanner.” And to help scanners she introduces the concept of a Daybook which I have incorporated into My GTD Planning System. I’m going to explain my definition of a Daybook and how I format mine. I’m also going to explain what a GTD Someday Maybe List is and how I use my Daybook for that purpose.
I’m sure many of you have read David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” I’ve applied the GTD methodology to my planning system. You may have to look closely to see all of the elements. I’ve adapted the GTD system to my needs. I tried to follow the system that’s outlined in the book “Getting Thing Done,” but I just couldn’t sort all of the information. I wasn’t getting any projects done. I just had lots of tabs in my planner and lots of lists. You have to take the elements of this system and make them work for you. Just because it doesn’t look like everyone else’s system doesn’t mean it won’t work. You have to find what works for you, just like I did. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new products. When you find what works stick with it!
As I found tools that I did like to use I modified their use to fit in with my version of the GTD planning system. Instead of having a traditional inbox I have an Idea Notebook. Instead of having a someday/maybe file I use my Scanner’s Daybook. Instead of just having reference lists in my planner I also keep some electronically. Instead of having a project planning folder I use the Moleskine Professional Notebook for Project Planning. Instead of using a traditional ring bound planner I use a traveler’s notebook, which is my Folio Planner by May Designs for Blue Sky that I purchased at Target.
The first part of the GTD System is the inbox. I use my Idea Notebook as the biggest part of my inbox. My Idea Notebook is the place where I write down any ideas, tasks or projects that I think of during the course of the day. I work away from home so my Idea Notebook has a place in my desk drawer at work. I can pull it out and jot something down when I think of it. I don’t have to pull my planner out.
These ideas are then either transferred into my someday maybe file which is my Scanner’s Daybook, put on my Task List in my Daily Planner, or added to a Reference List. The idea of the inbox is to gather everything in one place so that you can deal with it and nothing falls through the cracks. You then have to set a time to go through your inbox. This can either be on a daily or weekly basis depending on how much information is gathered. If you gather a lot of information you might want to process through it more than once a week. That way good ideas and tasks you want to complete don’t get lost.
David Allen has a file for his Someday Maybe projects and ideas. I use a Scanner’s Daybook. If I put things in a file I never think to look for them. The Scanner’s Daybook is an idea from Barabara Sher’s book “Refuse to Choose.” The Daybook is a place where I can elaborate on ideas and collect information for projects I want to work on someday. These are things that are not in the next quarter and probably not in the next year. They are ideas that are captured just in case I want to work on them someday. It’s great to flesh out an idea even if you don’t think you are going to work on it. You might need an idea someday and your Daybook can hold or spark the idea that you need.
I keep reference lists in paper and electronic form. My paper lists are list to reference such as blog post ideas, my morning routine and my yearly goals. Things I will flip to often. My electronic lists are in Google Docs and in Evernote. These are lists of references like social media links and affiliate links. Things I need to copy and paste and use over and over. If I don’t need to copy and paste it then it goes on a paper list. I’m much more likely to reference my paper lists while I’m planning. I keep them right there in my planner in a simple notes insert.
The Moleskine Professional Notebook is laid out for Project Planning. There’s a project index at the front and most of the book is project planning pages. The project planning page is divided into three rectangles. One large rectangle across the top of the page is a place for a project summary, due date and any pertinent project information. The large rectangle on the inside of the page is for projects notes and reference sources. The small rectangle on the outer edge of for your action items list. These are the action items you will place on your weekly task list so you can get your projects done.
I not only use the project planning pages to plan project I use them to plan my blog posts and YouTube videos. I was trying to find a good solution to blog and video planning and decided to try it out. It works great. I have room to reference all the items I need for my blog posts and YouTube videos with extra room for notes.
My daily planner is the heart of my planning system. The first insert is my calendar. It contains a monthly dashboard with goals, tasks lists, events and celebrations. Then a month at a glance calendar where I can note any date specific items like birthdays, doctor’s appointment and due dates. It also contains a week on two pages planning sheet with a weekly task list and a place for reminders about errands, calls or emails and other notes. I try to get one task completed each day.
The second insert contains a gratitude list and a day on one page. I use the day on one page if I have a really busy day. This is usually on the weekend when I have several hours to work on my tasks and projects. I need a place to outline my priorities for the day. The third insert contains my weekly time tracker. This is where I track the time I spend on my projects, blog posts, videos, personal development and other tasks. I want to make sure I’m spending my time wisely and on the tasks and projects I say I want to work on. The time tracker is not part of the GTD system, but I like to see where my time goes. My fourth insert houses my paper reference lists. These are on simple lined notebook paper. Reference lists can include day, weekly and monthly reviews, morning routines, evening routines, workout routines, grocery staples list, books you want to read, movies you have watched, and presents to buy. Anything you need to reference!
Even though I don’t have all of my GTD tools in one planner I think my planning system is user friendly. All of my planning system components work together. I have a place for everything and I can easily reference any information I need. My GTD Planning System is doing it’s job and helping me get stuff DONE. And that’s what we all want to do. Plan our days, weeks, tasks and projects and ultimately Get Things Done!
If you have any ideas or suggestions please leave them in the comments below or on one of my YouTube videos.
Thanks for reading!
This blog post is not affiliated with, approved, or endorsed by David Allen or the David Allen Company, which is the creator of the Getting Things Done® system for personal productivity. GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company.
For more information on the David Allen Company’s products, visit their website at http://gettingthingsdone.com.
If you’ve never heard of choosing a word of the year let me tell you how it’s worked in my life.
I chose my first word of the year in 2016. That word was FOCUS. Focus did just that. It reminded me I needed to FOCUS! I was having a terrible time with shining object syndrome. I would go from project to project never completing anything. Focus is a hard word to have or maybe it’s just that I was so unfocused it seemed like a hard year. I still have a little FOCUS post it on my desk to remind me.
In 2017 I decided I wanted to be creative so I chose CREATE for my word of the year. Every time I sat down to do something it reminded me I needed to be creative and Create! I dabbled in art journaling and creative visual journaling. I rediscovered my love of fun stickers. I took up my pencil and started drawing again. I tried new techniques and let myself experiment and create. I found my joy again in being creative.
By concentrating on being focused for a year and creative for a year I can now move forward in 2018 still being creative and focused but also working on my new challenge.
My new challenge is to Embrace Faith and Release Fear. I don’t know about you but fear keeps me from doing a lot of things I want to do.
I was reading The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn. She said something that really stuck with me. She said, “…we must substitute faith for fear, for fear is only inverted faith; it is faith in evil instead of good.”
That really stayed with me so I decided if I wanted to Embrace Faith and Release Fear what I really needed to do was to BELIEVE. So that’s my word of the year for 2018. My reminder to myself of what I want to accomplish.
Now that you know my story and how my words of the year worked in my life, what about you? Have you chosen a word for 2018?
What are your goals for 2018? If you’ve set some big scary goals for 2018 what word will help you keep focused? What word will help you stay on track and remind you of what you decided you want to do in 2018?
What areas of your life aren’t working as well as you would like them to? Is there an area that you need to focus on for 2018? Do you need to focus on your family, your health, or your wealth? Where do you need to add energy and increase activity?
How do you want to feel in 2018? Do you want to feel excited, happy or joyful? What feelings do you want more of in your life?
What do you want to add to or practice in your life? Do you want to show gratitude or be generous? Do you want to show charity or be patient?
Christine Kane put together the Word-of-the -Year Discovery Tool. It’s a really great workbook that will help you with brainstorming your word of the year.
I tell you what I’ve done with mine in this video:
And The Reset Girl put together a really great Late Night Crafty Club video last year all about different ways to include your word of the year in your life.
I hope this has helped you set your intentions for 2018. Let me know what you chose for your word of the year in the comments below or on Youtube.
Thank you for participating in my life journey.
Talk to you soon.
Simply put a journal is a book. A book where you record you thoughts and ideas.
A journal can be a sketch book, planner or bound book. It can be a disc bound notebook or a pretty tablet.
A journal can be created in anything that you love that can house your thoughts and ideas.
The more complex answer is that a journal is a tool. It’s a tool to help you reach your goals.
It’s a tool that lets you plan and document. Investigate and discover.
It’s a tool that will allow you to record your thoughts and feelings so you can look back on them and find answers to your life’s questions.
How am I using a journal?
This year I’m building my Roadmap Journal.
I’m recording where I am and where I want to be.
I’m recording my vision for my life and how I intend to get there.
I’m recording books I’ve read and knowledge that I’ve gained.
And I’m recording all the great and wondrous things that happened along the way.
Please join me and build your own Roadmap Journal.