GTD at Home

I have been using GTD (not in the strictest sense) at work since around 8/05 (see previous posts). I work in a somewhat hectic position. Unfortunately I have to multi-task frequently and have a lot of distractions. The GTD process makes my position manegeable, and really keeps me on track.

With the new year, I decided to incorporate some form of GTD at home. I started by cleaning and organizing my office. It took the better part of 2 days to complete, but it was really worth it. I know where things are at now.

I decided to take another look at my use of the GTD process. At work I use the instiki wiki to manage all of my lists and a lot of my notes and reference material. I can access my wiki at work via a VPN, and I also back it up to my 1G usb drive every few weeks. The problem I ran into is that I think of things for work outside of work when I may not be able access my wiki. What I usually did was try to remember whatever it was and send myself an e-mail. Commiting things to memory is a no-no in the GTD process.

I worked for an older guy at Fermilab when I was an undergraduate. He used to really disuade his engineers from commiting anything to memory. He wanted everything written down someplace. I had never given it much thought before then, but it was one of those things that made sense, and I have lived by it since then.

For some reason, when I stated using GTD I didn’t want to take the authors sugestion and use folders and lists inside of the accordian style, colapsable folders. I guess it was because I was just using GTD at work.

When I started using GTD at home also, I decided to use a 5 subject notebook for the lists. I did that for a few weeks, then decided to go to the folders. The folders are working well because I can put reference material in them also. So, now when I think of something for work, I have the work list that I can pull out and write it down on. It is really a much more functional system. Another advantage is that it is portable.

If you are just getting into GTD, my advice is to go with the folders, and give instiki a try.

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