Over the past week, I’ve been playing with the idea of trying out GTD again – or at least a modified version of GTD. But the more I read about it, the more I really don’t know that it’s for me. I can’t see myself successfully using a tickler file, to be honest.
I suppose I do use a modified version of a tickler file. I have a to-do spreadsheet file on my computer with a tab for every day in the month and a tab for each month of the year. Each month, I look at the monthly list, decide if anything has to be done on a certain day, copy that to the appropriately numbered tab, and then just work from the daily tab, moving uncompleted tasks forward at the end of the day.
For my personal life, I live by to-do lists. I’ve tried online versions, but always go back to paper. Why? It’s portable. Plus there’s something very satisfying to crossing something off the list.
I’ve tried doing GTD and moving tasks around in categories. For me, the problem is that I’m proof of the “Out of sight, out of mind” adage. If it’s not staring at me, I will forget it. For now I just keep long lists of tasks and am trying to always put the “assigned” date on the task so I know if something is languishing on the list.
This seems to work for me, but I’m always looking for someting new and better. Thoughts, anyone? What do you use to stay organized?
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
Simple is the way to go for me. I have a to do list for work which I’d be lost without, as well as an online calendar to track meetings and use reminders of things I need to do on certain days. Personal life wise, It’s a paper diary, to remind me to do things and of events.. that’s it.. it seemed to work 99% of the time.
I’ve tried electronic organisers, but like you, I like the paper aspect.
For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:
You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
A mobile version is available too.