Sunday, October 14, 2012

My new set-up, part two

I've been reading about Getting Things Done for a few years now. I've always been an organizational geek, so when I discovered David Allen and his system, I was in heaven. I read everything I could find that was free, especially off the official website, because I'm poor thus cheap! That means that I only read the book this summer, when I had the opportunity to borrow it. I wasn't disappointed, and decided to include a bunch of GTD ideas in my set up. I won't explain the whole system here because I think you guys basically know the principles of GTD, but if anyone wants to talk about it please let me know in the comments!
So my new set-up is a balance between the cutesy I love, GTD ideas, being plain enough for work... perfectly adapted to me :)

As I was saying in my previous post, I now take this binder more or less all the time with me. It starts with the same cards as before in the cards slots, I only added my ID and some business cards, as well as a blue BIC pen in the pen loop. You'll see I try to color-code my entries, and blue is for the 'personal' stuff. I also have a pencil in the second one.
I have the fly leaf right at the beginning, with a variety of post-it notes on it. Right behind it there's a sheet protector and then some draft paper. I took the calendar pages I haven't used and turned them upside down. I did 'erase' the dates to make it less confusing... This part is basically my 'capture' area. I'm trying to make it easy for me to collect my ideas and thoughts, wherever I may be : small post-it notes to quickly jot down something, sheet protector to insert a note I might have taken from somewhere else, blank pages...

Right after that I have my registration page, personal information page, and my 2012 goals mind map.

The next section is my 'next actions' and 'waiting for'. Like last time, I used washi tape to mark my tabs, this way I can reuse the section page easily. In this section I have, again, a bunch of blank pages. The context is written at the top of the page, and actions and waiting fors are separated by these pretty postcards, on which I put Tracy's Martha Steward for Staples tabs :)

The next section after that is the calendar itself. I start with a year calendar I printed off the internet, and then monthly calendars I made and printed. They have a section at the bottom that uses Ray's monthly planner main parts. I decorated them with the tape Tracy sent me. Here I write the main events of the day, like trips for instance. I also use them to track my weight.

Then I have my week on two pages calendar. I try to color-code my week so it is more readable. Black ink is for work, blue for personal, pink for sport, brown for blog, and purple, bright blue, green, orange for everything nice :)

I write down the appointments in the time slots, use the remaining of the column for to do list and a summary of my day. Most of my to-dos are on the next actions lists, so in the calendar you'll only find things to do on a specific day.

After the calendar I have a 'Projects' section. It starts with a list of all the projects inside, and then the main ones are identified with Tracy's tabs. I have Finances (I designed my Finance sheets, so I could follow my budget), Sport (with my C25K training plan, list of workout, etc.), everything about our move here (budget, plan of the apartment with dimensions, shopping list, infos...), Next summer vacation... There are a few more blank pages here as well so I can insert them where I need.

Then I have my 'Someday/Maybe' section. For the moment it's just a list of things I may or may not pursue... This section feels very liberating, I must say! It allows me to think about things I may not have the time or money to do for the moment without feeling guilty.

And finally, my 'References' section, of which I am most proud. I decided to organize my references with my alphabetical tabs. I have a first sheet here on which I have my access codes to a bunch of sites, written with a code of course. Right behind that I have a 'work' page where I put all the important contacts from work + my MS exchange access to Outlook. And then, I have a summary of what is behind each tab. For instance, under 'EF', you'll find a page about Filofaxes :) (more specifically, ideas about set-ups). So behind these tabs I have the corresponding contacts, and then a few references. Under 'OP', with my organisation-related notes, I have my GTD notes.

And then, we have some business cards, and my beloved notepad.

Here you go, my new set-up! I really like it, it's easy to use, and to find everything I need. The only thing is that it's quite heavy...
What do you think? Did you see any ideas you liked? Do you use GTD? Have you solved the 'I need all this with me but my back is breaking' problem?


  1. I like the someday/maybe section...great idea! I do not use GTD and I have not solved that dilemma. I carry a personal compact with me but i have a regular personal with the majority of my sections. It just seems silly to be using 2 personal sizes for this purpose but I'm still working it out!

  2. Thanks Cheryl for your comment!
    I know, it's always hard when you use a paper based system to find a balance between the amount of info we want to keep on us and the weight of it! Let me know if you ever find a solution :)