Morgan McDonald

Photographer

68

2

Operation: ORGANIZED

Before starting this course, I thought I was very organized. I had a system that worked for me and I seemed to get things done relatively well and on time. However, more recently, things have started to change and my load has become a lot heavier. Between launching two businesses, trying to have some sort of social life and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, things became a bit overwhelming! I am always open to learning new ways of doing things (especially if your current system could use some changes), so I decided to enroll in this course to see how I could make life a bit easier.

Project Step 1 - Take GTD Diagnostic Quiz

My results:

Not SO bad (or "not so good" as the test stated), but it was a little surprising and confirmed my thoughts that changes could be made.

Well, here we go!

Project Step 2 - Download Task Manager and Evernote

I currently use Wunderlist and Evernote. Although, the instructor has based this course off of Things for Mac as the task manager, I am going to see how Wunderlist works using this system. 

Project Step 3 - Set up Collection Containers

Wunderlist is installed on my phone and computer.

Project Step 4 - Collect every Open Loop in Collection Containers

I didn't think I had too many open loops. Most of them were already in Wunderlist, but I did have hundreds of emails in my inbox that were just sitting there. I didn't look at them as "open loops" before this course because they were in there for reference in case I had to come back to them for some reason. 

Project Step 5 - Set up Reference Containers

Evernote is installed on my phone and computer. I have a plastic storage bin that I use for important documents I need to keep. They are organized in categories and then there are different file folders within those categories. The larger categories are as follows:

  • Credit Card Information
  • Income
  • Medical
  • Miscellaneous
  • Memberships
  • Vehicle
  • Verizon Wireless

It will probably make more sense to rename these categories. Perhaps they should  be:

  • Finances
  • Medical
  • Memberships
  • Vehicle

I may get rid of "Verizon Wireless" because I manage eveything online now. The documents in there are from years ago. I may also want to get rid of "Miscellaneous" altogether and find a category for the documents in there to be included in.

Project Step 6 - Process Open Loops in Email Inbox

It took some time but after collecting all of my open loops, I was able to go through them and delete (and archive) those emails I did not need. Some emails I sent to Wunderlist and they were added to the "Read Later" tab. So my inbox currently looks like this:

Project Step 7 - Rewrite each Open Loop as Next Physical Action

Here is an example of how I wrote each open loop for my business I am starting as a next phsyical action. I tried to be as specific as possible:

Project Step 8 - Create Projects in Task Manager and Evernote

Going through the Project Steps, I tried setting things up in Wunderlist according to how it was suggested using Things for Mac. Overall I think it worked ok, but I did have a little difficulty. I also noticed that my Projects are not as detailed and I wonder how that will affect my organization and productivity as I go through the course. Changes may need to be made (I may choose to go with Things for Mac) as I go through the course. Here is my set up in Wunderlist and Evernote.

Wunderlist

  32 tasks need to be handled!

Evernote

Project Step 9 - Create Areas of Responsibility in Task Manager and Evernote

I was not able to create areas of responsibility in Wunderlist as it was suggested using Things for Mac so I tried to create a system that seemed to be working ok before starting this course. 

I am not sure if I will be able to get my system in place by going through this course just one time. This may be a process that I have to go through again to get it "just right" or to see what really works for me.

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed! (lol) 

Project Step 10 - Put Each Task into Project or Area and Each Project into Area

I put each task into a Project in Wunderlist.

Project Step 11 - Create Project Stack and Area Stack in Evernote

I have not created Project or Area stacks in Evernote because my Wunderlist isn't set up like that. 

Project Step 12 - Select Containers for Project List, Project Plans, Waiting For, Calendar, Next Actions, Reference, Someday/Maybe

  • Evernote - Reference, Project Plans
  • Wunderlist - Project List, Waiting For, Next Actions, Someday/Maybe
  • Calendar - Calendar tool on iPhone and MacBook

Project Step 13 - Create Daily, Weekly, Monthly Review and Schedule Them in Calendar

I have scheduled my daily reviews each morning. Weekly reviews are every Sunday and monthly reviews are on the last day of each month. So far it's been going well.

Project Step 14 - Decide on Tagging System and Tag Every Task

Unfortunately, Wunderlist does not have a tagging system and I presently do not use a tagging system in Evernote.

Project Step 15 - Choose Digital Tools

  • Task Management - Wunderlist
  • Calendar - Calendar on iPhone and MacBook
  • Reference - Evernote
  • List-Making and Reminders - Apple Reminders
  • Read Later - Wunerlist or Pocket
  • Time-Tracking - will not use at the moment

Final Thoughts

This class had a lot going on and I learned some great tips to work more productively. It was just a bit difficult trying to follow along at times if you do not use Things. I found it hard to complete some of the Project Steps in Wunderlist and I'm not sold on converting over to Things. The plan is to continue to use Wunderlist as my Task Manager and Evernote as my Reference Container and maybe in 3 months I will revisit. At that time, I may decide to switch to Things for my Task Manager and go through the Project Steps again.

Thank you for such an in-depth course!

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