Over the past few months I have written about GTD and some of the ways of implementing the system.
In this post I am going to give a quick overview of the systems I am using in pursuing the ideals of GTD.
The core of my GTD system is IQTell. IQTell has all my Google Calendars and gmail accounts and my Evernote account synced. Basically this covers all my digital in boxes. Any hard copy that I want to add to the system is scanned to Evernote.
IQTell is then the one place that I have a complete overview of information and can process everything in terms of , projects, ticklers, waiting for, next actions etc.
One reservation I have about IQtell being the cornerstone of the system is that it is a web based system with limited off-line capabilities, recent updates have added limited offline abilities for Android and IOS devices but not the web client . On the other hand the Evernote application does allow me to keep a local copy of data on my laptop and desktop.
I have tried implementing GTD exclusively with Evernote but there are limitations and workarounds that just make the system harder to manage than it should be. An interesting approach to using Evernote for GTD is The Secret Weapon which takes you through setting up a GD based system using Evernote.
By far the hardest part for me has been vigilance and discipline in managing and processing in-boxes and ubiquitous capture. I’ve found it too easy to skip in box processing, the result being a loss of clarity and control.
Ubiquitous capture has been a really difficult challenge, I still make the mistake of committing things to memory in the belief that I will write it down later, this is sudden death for the GTD system. You immediately lose the confidence in your system if you do not get information into the system immediately. As David Allen points out the mind is not good at remembering things and particularly bad at reminding you of things at the right time, often as not you realise you need to get something done when you are completely unable to do anything about. Trying to develop the habit of capturing everything is an ongoing challenge but is improving slowly.
Keeping the physical work space clear has been a major change as in the past my work space has been a clutter of items and papers. By maintaining a clear work space with everything processed I can be confident that I haven’t missed something.
At the moment I have a weekly review item to backup IQTell folders to Evernote. Basically I print the folders and user Clip to Evernote to send the contents to Evernote. This provides a snapshot of key data, as currently there is no offline functionality for IQtell outwith Android and IOS devices.
The system is developing all the time but the basic structure is set and the challenge for me is getting better at recording everything. To that end I am getting into the habit of always carrying a notebook for quick notes, combined with smart phone / Evernote combination for quickly scanning documents. One area I have yet to explore is using audio notes from smart phone and Evernote which could improve data capture