Without a System

This past several months I have been without any task management system. Subsequently, I missed a couple of posts for Tablet Habit. I apologize for that.

I wanted to talk about what it has been like without any task management system. Partly to showcase how important it is to have a system in place and partly because I want to articulate this to myself.

Day to day I was relying on my mind to not only come up with ideas and tasks for me to do but to remember them as well. As David Allen, creator of the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology, says, “Your brain is for having ideas, not storing them.”

Occasionally I would write my thoughts into a Field Notes notebook for safekeeping. The issue there was that I was capturing ideas, which is great, but after that there was little to no processing.

For those that don’t know the GTD methodology has 5 steps:

  1. Capture
  2. Process
  3. Organize
  4. Review
  5. Do

These steps aren’t hard to wrap your brain around, but I highly encourage people to read the original book of Getting Things Done to understand the full scope.

A quick anecdote on why people always say to read the Getting Things Done book. I thought it was a step or two away from a cult phenomenon with how many people told me to fully grasp GTD I had to read the book. However, I finally caved after years of reading synopsis and watching videos explaining the methodology. I have to say, the book is much better than anything I can watch on YouTube, read online, or listen to on a podcast. There is nothing like hearing straight from the horse’s mouth what this system is all about.

I had capturing down with my Field Notes notebook but I had nothing in place for digital items. When I shared with you my quick capture Shortcuts those weren’t something that I was making for the sake of my readers, it was something that I was in dire need of.

A long time ago I decide that Things 3 would be my task manager of choice. I could get into my reasoning on a later post, but for me it was the best option available.

WIth capturing down to a science the next step I have to nail down is processing.

For me, the next step is to make time for a mind sweep and gather all of my various notebooks and notes with possible next action steps and see where things go from there.

If you are someone that is in need of a task management system consider reading Getting Things Done by David Allen. If you are comfortable going to a library you can borrow the book for free.

I don’t intend to make this newsletter a GTD newsletter but sometimes the device isn’t the thing I want to talk about, I want to talk about the things we do on the device. Until next time, I will be capturing all of the tasks and ideas I can and begin processing them.

If you have any questions or comments let me know. I’m happy to help anyone interested.

This post was first shared on Tablet Habit, the quintessential iPad Newsletter. If you want more posts like this delivered right to your inbox sign up today.

Jeff Perry @jeffperry