Tuesday, February 20, 2007

emdot GTD hacks

I've been working the Getting Things Done book since the beginning of the year. This book has literally changed my work life. I do take more time to organize things and sometimes that feels a little time-waste-y, but I've seen it pay off in time-savings even more so.

There are a few (or a lot?) of sites out there that discuss GTD and how people have morphed or embellished David Allen's suggestions to make the book work better for themselves and their unique situations.

Here are things that I have done that have really helped me.

David Allen recommends keeping all of your files sans hanging folders in a file cabinet. If you have to use hanging file folders, then make a strict rule that you only put a single folder in a single hanging file. Label your folder, not your hanging file.

So, I love me some hanging files. :)

Here're my hacks:
One folder per hanging file folder
Easy. Done. Awesome. No problem. I love this one.

Exceptions: 43 folders
Put current folders for the month in one hanging file folder
Put next month's folder and its "children" in the next hanging file
Put all of the other upcoming months in the next hanging file

I was trying to just stack/lean them like Allen recommends, but they kept leaning the wrong way and that was driving me batshit crazy. So, modification bliss.

Other tips:
Deep hanging files
Use "deep" hanging file folders for your 43 folders. This way your massive amounts of folders in one file will stay low and uniform with the rest of your files

Single colors can decrease clutter
Use hanging files that are all the same color and make sure it's a color that you love to look at
I can understand the preferring many different colors. Livens up the work place?

Paper clips for month organization
If you still use the "lean" technique, put a paper clip on next month's folder as well as the month after that.
That way it is easy to see where you need to put today's folder when it's time to file it.

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