Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2014

GTD + EN: Notebook Setup

Notebook Setup in Evernote

In my last post I indicated that I am using notebooks to sort out the "What" context.

By using notebook stacks, you can quickly organize your notebooks into meaningful categories.  
If you don't know how to create a notebook stack, here is a short video.  

Keep in mind that I only create a notebook when I need a place to put a note.  I would advise against creating a whole bunch of notebooks that you think you might need someday.  You will end up with a bunch of empty notebooks that keep nagging you to put something in them.  This same advice goes for tags.  Build your tags and your notebooks when you have a need for them.  If you use this method, your entire system will feel more useful.

I number my notebook stack in order to keep them organized.    

This is a notebook and not a stack.  Everything goes through this notebook.  This is my electronic in-box.  I forward e-mails that need action into this box.  The web clipper dumps into this box.…

GTD + EN Tag Setup

Each note in EN has the potential of being tagged with 4 conditions: What? Where? When? and Who? The debate will go on about weather to use notebooks or tags as part of your GTD system.  Not to be a fence sitter, but I have decided to use a combination of both. 
What When I first look at a note, my mind puts things in categories.  What is this?  What pile does it belong in?  What does it mean?  When I first started using EN I made tags to sort out all of the "What?" questions.  After using EN for a while I decided that I wanted all of my notes for a particular subject grouped up into one notebook.  For example, my notes about my vacation were all over the place.  When I put them all in one notebook, it simplified things for me.  Now, I can go to that notebook and review all of the items associated with that subject.  Another thing that is good about using notebooks for your "What?" question is that when that vacation/project/idea is done, I can move the entire no…

GTD + EN: 3 Key Tools

Here are three tools that have proven to be incredibly valuable in making my GTD+EN personal workflow run smoothly.

1. Evernote Web Clipper for Google Chrome. I use Chrome both at home and at work. Whenever I see something that needs to be reviewed/read later or something that I want to reference later, I just grab the web clipper and it sends the information straight into my inbox for processing. The proved particularly helpful when we planned our last vacation. I just put the maps, contact info, operating times, and ticket prices of the places we wanted to visit right into EN.

2.iPhone Evernote app. I am convinced that this system would not work without the iPhone app. It is the key to getting stuff out of my head and into the EN inbox. I put in items when I'm working out, sitting on the bus, in a meeting, and I have to admit that occasionally in church. Getting a note typed in is both fast and easy. I don't process items on the phone because it is too clunky, but I do use it …

GTD + EN: 43 Folders

The Tickler File system or "43 Folders"

Does anyone still use David Allen's 43 folder method
One folder for each day of the month (31)One folder for each month of the year (12)I have tried using the 43 folders method in the past, but with Evernote reminders, it does not make sense any more. Here is why
Anything I need a copy of, I can get into a note. (Picture, document, web site.) If there are things that I need a paper copy of, for example, plane tickets, then I just create a folder for it and put it in my master filing system. Then I reference that folder in a note that reminds me to go to the folder.EN reminder tool serves as my "tickler". I simply set a reminder and it pops up on my phone, in my e-mail and and in EN on the date/time I need reminded.Keys to getting rid of the 43 folders and making it work in Evernote: Make the next week's the upcoming reminders part of your daily review.Have the discipline to include a date/time on the note when you are m…

GTD + EN: Daily Review

One of the critical things you must do if you want GTD to work is the Daily Review. 
For those of you who are struggling with you daily review, here is mine.  Hopefully it helps you.  
PrayReview my calendarEmpty outlook in-box (GTD Workflow Processing) Actionable? NoTrashIncubate (send to EN in-box w/tag !Someday/Maybe)Reference (send to EN in-box w/tag .Reference)Project? Yes (Send to EN in-box) Do/respond (If less than 2 minutes) Delegate (Send it first then send to EN in-box with a tag of !Waiting for) Defer (Calendar or send to EN in-box and tag with !Later or !Someday/Maybe)File all email in appropriate folder in Outlook (Get to In-box Zero)Scan gmail in-boxes  Look for items that are work related and process the same as the Outlook in-boxFinish processing the rest of the gmail in box at homeProcess my Evernote in-box Give every note a !When, @Where tag.  (Some notes also get .Who tags)Move note to appropriate Folder (Folders are my "What" categories)Run "daily revi…

GTD + Evernote

I'm going to start a series of posts on my experience with Evernote (EN)and the Getting Things Done (GTD) system by David Allen.  It has been a bit of a journey of discovery for me, so maybe what I have learned will help someone else.

To begin, I have been a fan a GTD for many years.  While I admit that I have been a bit on again/off again with the entire system, personal work flow has been tied to the GTD workflow for many years.  The two-minute rule and "Do it, Delegate it, Defer it" have helped me keep my e-mail inbox at zero.

A couple of months ago I started a new job and decided that it was also time to get re-engaged fully with GTD.   The good thing is that GDT is not dependent on any software or system.  You can make it work with an inbox, a few folders and a note pad.  However, some of us like to geek it up a bit.

About a year ago I tried Evernote and it just didn't seem to be the application that I needed.   I was looking for a better system than the &quo…

How much should an e-book cost?

I read between 20 and 30 books on my Kindle Paperwhite each year.

I think the PaperWhite is a superior reading platform, but I'll post another article about that.

I'm a free book hound.  I use Book Bub and I scour the top 100 free books often to find deals.

Right now I have over 80 unread fiction books in my favorite genres on my kindle and I got them all for free!  I know, I will probably never get to them all in my lifetime, but I like the fact that now I can go and choose a book from my "library" anytime I want.  Best of all the book is not sitting on the shelf nagging me to read it, "You paid $13.99 for me, when are you going to pick me up and get your money's worth out of me?"

So, how much should it costs?
- There is a near zero marginal cost from e-books (transaction cost and some minor storage/maintenance costs)
- It should cost no where near what a printed book costs.  I would say easily less than half and more like in the 1/4th range
- Many ne…

Book: Tribal Leadership

I just finished listening to Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan.  Overall, I was very impressed
with the content, stories and the method he has used to categorize organizations. It gave me several great ideas of how to improve the culture in both the organization that I work for as well as my family. (Yes, the book begs the question, are we a stage 5 family?)

One question that keep nagging me through the book was this. I work in an organization that has the the ultimate noble cause and the greatest opportunity to operate as a stage 5 tribe, but I still see behaviors from the lower stages more than I see level 5 behavior. Why? 

I appreciate the ideas I got from the book to help me be a stage 5 leader. Like other authors in this genre have pointed out, the way to change the culture is to first change yourself. 

Since the audio book is free I would highly recommend you download it and listen to it