On Monday I posted a picture of some of the tools I’ve been working with for planning & project management lately. Today I want to get more in depth about how I’ve got this journal set up and all its GTD flavored goodness.
Wait a sec. What’s GTD?
GTD stands for Getting Things Done, and it’s a time management system first introduced by David Allen. (There’s a whole book, actually.) There are three things I’ve borrowed most heavily here. One is Allen’s definition of projects as,
“outcomes that will require more than one action step to complete and that you can mark off as finished in the next 12 months”
Another is the concept of “contexts” and their shorthand identifier being the @ symbol. And the third is “next actions”, which are the next individual steps of a project that can be done by me without needing any additional resources or assistance. If you’re waiting on something outside yourself to be able to do it, it’s not a Next Action yet.
This is the first section in my journal. I’ve made sections by putting little bits of washi tape along the edge of the first page of a section.
Projects has a running list of all the multi-step things I’m working on. Then, I’ve made columns on the next few pages for the @context categories I’ve defined.
After that I have page spreads for some of the projects, mostly the ones I’ve been working on most recently. For some, I’ve highlighted headers and important info with my Zebra Mildliners. (I’m into the dark yellow one lately.)
Next Actions is at the very front. It’s a neat table that includes the action, it’s context, and the date it was completed (if I’ve finished it).
A section I made to write down song lyrics and poems that make me feel powerful. Writing them down makes them easier to remember, and I repeat them to myself when I’m really stressed or paranoid. It’s actually really helpful to calm me down!
I made this section because my boyfriend’s mom wants us to cook more. I love cooking but it takes a lot of energy. One thing that helps is having recipes already in front of me so I don’t have to hunt for them. (I don’t actually have anything in it yet though haha.)
There are tons of posts on the web about how awesome Done Lists are. (99U – the Behance folks – have a great one.) So why not have a section! I actually used to do this back when I was in college the first time, too. It really helped with the executive dysfunction garbage that comes along with depression.
(Okay this one might just be me being a crazy person. I’m okay with that.)
I’ve been working on programming projects a lot lately. One of the most helpful things is the error log. When something goes wrong or doesn’t work, that’s the first file I check to figure out what happened. It’s got a timestamp for each error message along with some kind of detail to what the error was.
So, the logic goes, I can track my own maladies and mishaps in a similar fashion. And maybe it can help me figure out how to fix or work around those “errors”, too.
This journal (like most) comes with one bookmark ribbon. But some of these sections have multiple things that are “current” for me to flip to.
Enter my best friend, the paper clip. Keeps everything tidy and super quick to flip to.
(These aren’t affiliate links. I just really like using this stuff.)
And that’s what I’ve been working on.