Thursday, April 23, 2009

100 GTD Tips

I have said that I am a GTD junkie. Here's my list of 100 GTD Tips that have improved my GTD system.

1. Read the Getting Things Done until you're a black belt at gtd.
2. Visit the GTD forums.
3. Use one email account and have all of your email go into one account.
4. Use an online calendar like Yahoo! or Gmail.
5. Put an inbox folder in your briefcase.
6. Use your voice mail as a capture tool.
7. Create a daily review GTD checklist.
8. Stop taking notes on napkins and scrap pieces of paper.
9. Sync your calendar to a blackberry or other pda.
10. Use an online collaboration tool to delegate more effectively.
11. Consolidate all of your email into a Yahoo! email account. It's only $20 a year at this writing.
12. Use an email reminder system as a tickler file and ditch the 43 folders.
13. Create an Action folder instead of individual project files for smaller, short term projects.
14. Use index cards for your ubiquitous capture tool.
15. Try and go completely digital.
16. Store files you access frequently online.
17. Empty your voice mail inbox each time you check it.
18. Empty your text messages each time you check them.
19. Separate the collection, processing, organizing, reviewing and doing phases and do them separately.
20. Keep it simple.
21. Keep your @ calls list in your phone.
22. To get an inbox empty, determine the next action to move it into the system.
23. GTD will not do your work, only you will.
24. Put all of your daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly commitments on your calendar with an email reminder attached to it.
25. Put all of your bills on your online calendar as recurring events.
26. Make sure that all of your GTD components are setup before you start processing.
27. If things get stuck in your inbox, you don't trust your organizational "buckets".
28. Don't process your email from your blackberry or pda. Only process your email when you are at your computer and only delete from the blackberry.
29. Create GTD checklists to eliminate thinking and be able to focus on doing.
30. For your next action lists, start with the one David Allen recommends and considering consolidation once you've got your system running smoothly.
31. Have a capture tool handy when you are on the phone or downloading voice mail.
32. If others don't want to GTD, they won't. Set up your system and lead by example.
33. Create a compact system you can access from anywhere in the world.
34. Word next actions with a verb first. For example, "Call John Doe"
35. On your calls list put the phone number and subject of call with the next action. For example, "Call John Doe 555-0000 re: Million Dollar Project"
36. Word projects as an outcome. "Completed tough project"
37. Set up a project inbox that you empty. Decide if it's a project or someday maybe to empty it.
38. Use a laptop instead of desktop computer.
39. Buy a portable scanner to fax from your computer.
40. Use a labeller.
41. Use plastic folders for your briefcase folders.
42. Use a certain color folder for project folders and another for reference files.
43. Throw away or shred as much as you can get rid of.
44. Get a blackberry with a "Qwerty" style keypad.
45. Process for an hour each day until you get your inbox to zero.
46. Join GTD Connect.
47. Get a big inbox for your desk.
48. Set up an inbox at home.
49. Make a list of all your inboxes so you know what you have to check.
50. Always ask what's the next action.
51. Do your weekly review on a Sunday night.
52. Don't process during your weekly review.
53. If you are having trouble completing the weekly review. Do a little bit of the review each day. Break it down.
54. GTD is like working out or eating right. It's a good habit.
55. Text yourself quick notes.
56. Use timeless events on your calendar (or all day) for informational items.
57. Ditch the paper calendar and go digital. Then print out your calendar.
58. Set up an Action folder in your email for the items you need to process.
59. Use the two minute rule.
60. When you have more time, extend the two minute rule to a five minute rule.
61. Process your inboxes in the same order the same way each day.
62. If you have a ton of stuff collected that you need to process, sort out the urgent stuff and save the rest for later.
63. Start with a clean GTD system and move your backlog to a secondary action inbox for later processing.
64. If you there is no difference between contexts like @ Office and @ Computer, make one list called @ Action.
65. For birthdays and anniversaries put the year in your calendar entry too.
66. Assign days of the week to particular contexts. For example, Monday @ Calls, Tuesday @ Office, and so on. On those days focus on getting those lists processed.
67. Process first in first out.
68. A next action list is just another inbox that you can get to zero.
69. Use a ten minute rule to get things off your context lists. Adjust it up or down depending on your time available.
70. If you fall off the bandwagon, start collecting again and don't beat yourself up.
71. Time your processing to improve your speed.
72. If you get distracted easy, only put one thing in front of you at one time.
73. Crank out the easy stuff to get your lists down in size.
74. You have the same amount to do whether you put it on your lists or not so you might as well put it on your lists.
75. Work in 30 minute segments and take a break.
76. Master your GTD system one component at a time not all at once.
77. If you get your runway actions under control, your projects list will be clearer.
78. If you get your projects list clearer, your higher altitudes like areas of focus and goals will become clearer. It starts with the runway.
79. Separate shared projects with other people from your project lists.
80. Maintain one system for everything if at all possible. One calendar, one email, etc.
81. Instead of keeping separate folders for recurring bills, utilities credit card statements, etc., create a folder for each month of the year and file chronologically.
82. Get on paperless billings and automatic payments for all of your bills.
83. Set up alerts with your accounts to remind you of your statements and payments due.
84. Break all of your work down to checklists to reduce the mental overhead that it takes to remember all of your processes.
85. Write everything down as it comes to you in your capture folder or text it to yourself.
86. Make sure everyone you know uses your inboxes.
87. Create a list of frequently used rewards numbers (Flier, Hotel, etc) with phone numbers in your phone.
88. Make each system consistent. If you have an action folder, waiting for, read review file in your email, have it for paper too. Copy the system that works in one inbox to each inbox system.
89. Master your collection first, your email second and your calendar third. The rest after that.
90. When you process paper, get rid of the trash first, file the reference second, calendared information third and then process the rest.
91. Buy a crosscut shredder.
92. Shred everything.
93. Make your lists digital, but if you are a paper person, print them out and put them in a binder.
94. On paper lists, highlight completed items for a quick idea of what is left to complete.
95. Buy the Getting Things Done book for other people.
96. Go to a David Allen seminar.
97. Buy the audio CD to listen to it in the car or to put on your ipod for listening to while you exercise.
98. Read Steve Pavlina and 43 folders.
99. For Read/Review items, tear out what you need to keep to read instead of keeping the whole items (eg a magazine)
100. Complete my GTD Thirty Day Challenge.

Those are some of my tips I could think of for my 100 GTD Tips. Leave other tips in the comments!