The Blog

Jan 20, 2008

Getting Things Done 

by Maxim Porges @ 4:52 PM | Link | Feedback (2)

Of the two things I found at a reasonable price during my trip to a CompUSA closing down sale, David Allen's book "Getting Things Done" was one of them (a steal at $6).

I'm relatively well-organized (if it's in iCal, it'll get done usually), but since taking on more responsibility in the last year I have started to feel more "fragmented". Hopefully between some insight in to David's program for organizing one's self and letting go mentally of all the stuff you have in your head by organizing it effectively, I will find myself feeling as together as a hard drive formatted in HFS+ on Leopard.

I haven't gotten far enough in to the books to get to David's techniques, but so far I have done a few things based upon the direction I see him going in. Here are some of them.

1) Ditched using Mail for personal email and Thunderbird for work. I'm now on OS X Mail completely, with multiple inboxes in al their glory. Cleaned them all out this weekend (took me three days). I've got smart mailboxes setup in Mail to automatically sort items based upon whether or not they are unread (i.e. organize now), flagged (i.e. deal with later), and flagged but older than one week (i.e. maybe I'll never get to this or need to delegate it).

2) Offloaded all my software downloads, music, and photos to my Quicksilver G4 tower. It's got the Time Machine backup, and I need less crud on my MacBook Pro so I can stay focused. I'll be continuing to prune my laptop over the coming weeks.

3) Centralized iCal as my "what to work on next" organizer. I used to use a combination tactic of reminders of leaving important emails as "unread" in Thunderbird as well as creating "to dos" in iCal. Now I'm just using iCal for all reminders, with flagged items in Mail pertaining to those items.

4) Didn't get to clear off my MacBook Pro's desktop yet, but I will this week. Two things contribute to my messy desktop: Thunderbird is too stupid to save files that need opening in to a temp directory (i.e. Word and Excel files that are set to open in their respective programs get saved to the desktop regardless where you tell Thunderbird to save attachments), and as I get busy my desktop seems to get cluttered. Moving to Mail should help a little, since it saves all attachments and opened files to a temp directory. I'm also considering upgrading the MBP to Leopard soon since CheckPoint just released their early access version of their VPN client for Leopard; assuming it works passably on my Quicksilver, I'll be making the jump to Leopard on the MBP. Leopard has the nice Downloads folder that works in conjunction with Stacks, which should make my desktop of the future even cleaner.

I already feel a little better, and look forward to getting in to the details of David's program. I'll post anything interesting that I find, as well as reviews of any GTD software for the Mac (of which there are several options) that I decide are viable.