With the arrival of 2010 coinciding with the end of my Year of Nothing, I found myself with an unusually large pile of new projects to launch, and a bunch of old projects to re-launch.
On top of that, my head is bursting with a million ideas for possible business ventures, books I want to read, skills I want to learn, articles I want to write, character traits I want to develop, movies I’d like to watch, countries I want to visit…
So the timing couldn’t have been better for me to pick up a copy of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD). Well, yes — there could have been a better time: this is the kind of book you always wish you would have read a few years earlier.
Being such an uber-popular personal-productivity classic, I will assume that you already read the book, or that you have picked up a pretty god idea of the gist of the GTD method from friends, co-workers, or the Internet. If you haven’t, I’d recommend that you read the book, or at least google “GTD” before reading the rest of this post.
Marrying GTD with Evernote
I have been playing around with Evernote for a couple of years, but it wasn’t until I read Allen’s book that I got the motivation and framework I needed for it to become the central, indispensable, all-encompassing, hologram-of-my-brain tool that it finally turned into during the last few weeks.
The only thing I modified from Travis’s method is that I use an additional notebook for my Inbox instead of a tag, and another one for stuff I want to share with the world, the URL of which will be published shortly in this blog.
So while Travis’s Evernote-GTD system looks like this:
Mine looks like this:
In Travis’s one-notebook method new, untagged notes are automatically placed at the bottom of the notebook’s notes list. This makes it easy to locate the notes that need to be tagged as “Inbox” at any particular point in time; but I was annoyed by the extra task of erasing the “Inbox” tag from the notes once they are “taken out of the inbox” and assigned to other “folders” of the GTD system.
With my two-notebook system, all I need to do for taking a note out of the Inbox is to drag it twice: first to the relevant tag, and then to my main GTD notebook.
The clean simplicity of this productivity management tool is part of the reason why I became a big fan of it so quickly. But in an upcoming post, I will argue that there is more to my GTD-fanaticism. And it has to do with the mindset I developed during my Year of Nothing.