GTD Planner System – How I use GTD in my Planning System
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.
MOLESKINE PROFESSIONAL NOTEBOOK FOR PROJECT PLANNING
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.
FOLIO PLANNER BY MAY DESIGNS FOR BLUE SKY AT TARGET
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.