Getting Things Done was recently recommended to me. If you want to be more productive with much less stress go read it now!
The premise of the book is that you have open loops, ideas that you’re constantly remembering over and over. Instead of the replay you should write these down, not just the idea, specifically an action that needs to be taken.
I have done something similar for years with a txt document, however it wasn’t quite holding up recently. My previous method was to do this in a txt document on my work computer. This only works if the open loops are work related and I have my computer open (actually pretty often but still).
Reading the book sent me down a rabbit hole to solve the following:
- Need to represent my personal life as well.
- Input from phone, tablet or computer.
- phone, tablet & computer need to be in sync.
Enter Things 3
This let me to Things 3 from Cultured Code, which is available for MacOS & iOS (Not sure if Windows or Android versions). There are separate versions for your Apple Computer, iPhone and iPad. These all cost money as well, worth it but maybe worth considering on which devices will you use it?
Applying GTD w/ Things 3
I have 2 areas within Things 3, one for work and one for personal. Within these areas I have projects, for work I have a project called “Daily” that most tasks fall into. Work projects are done in JIRA so I haven’t had a need to replicate that at all.
For Personal I have more projects, for example “Weekends” where I put personal tasks to be done on the weekend.
Essentially whenever you have an idea or open loop starts you should record it to the inbox of Things 3, preferably with an action. Being able to do this on your phone or tablet ups the game here. For example, Email Cantus on the Festival of Bells. Leave these in the inbox.
Each morning, or whenever works for you. Work through your inbox in Things 3. The idea is to move these to the right project and assign a day that you will do it. This helps normalize the random to just one additional place that isn’t your mind. To be clear it does not take the place of calendar, email, project management software or IM, just provides a personal task management system for anything outside of that.