Confession: I have a horrible memory. Always have. In some aspects of my personal life, it has served me well – but as a professional, not so much. So I’ve always written things down.
It wasn’t until I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done, however, that I discovered lists. I mean, I always knew of them, and I always used them in a jot things I need from the grocery store type of way but certainly not how they are used in GTD. I’m not going to go into detail about GTD and lists except to say if you have not read it – it is a good book for self help on getting organized.
Ultimately, there were two things about GTD that didn’t work for me:
The first was FAT – File Act Toss. These are your only options and not everything I touched could be filed under one of those categories. When I came across such a thing – I’d try to figure out a way to refer to it so that I could force it into one - which was not only a time suck, it was a waste of creative thinking.
The second thing in GTD that didn’t really work for me were the lists.
Don’t get me wrong, once I got the hang of it, I was pretty good at lists. The problem was they weren’t good for me. Why?
Back when I first read GTD, it was not very easy to sync devices. I’d
waste spend so much time seeking out and testing tech – trying to find the right combination to make all my lists accessible and update-able and synced across my desktop/laptop/mobile device. No matter what I tried, it never seemed to work. Again, huge waste of time.
In the end, I was so busy with my lists and trying to get and keep them synced, I was neglecting to do the things ON them!
To resolve the first issue with GTD, I actually came up with a slight modification – I added another category for “Defer”; rearranged the letters and it became the foundation for my organizational system: DAFT Your Way to Organized!
In 2008 Technolawyer published a condensed version – “Move Over David Allen, A Better Way To Get Things Done” and I’m actually quite proud of how I was able to get the pertinent information to fit on less than 4 pages.
Now to resolve the second issue I had with GTD, I stopped using lists. Seriously. Stopped.
I have and always will take notes and I talk about how and why I use paper in Getting Email Done <-(the non-condensed and non free version of my organizational system) but up until recently, lists had been a thing of my past.
Enter www.bulletjournal.com – which I am finding is to a task list what my DAFT is to email – a simple and effective way to process and organize tasks.
I’m still testing it all out – but I have begun to use my Moleskin as described at the bulletjournal site – part task list; part calendar; part journal – and I’m liking it!
I’m only into my second month – but if you want to follow along, the 1st of the month is a great time to start!
Grab a notebook – take less than 3 minutes to watch the video and start bulletjournal-ing with me.
If you do – leave me a reply/comment so we can compare notes!
More Articles re: lists:
The Power of The List
Five Ways To Use Twitter Lists