I like computers. I got my first computer in 1995 before going to university, when most of my friends thought I was mad not putting the money towards a car. I got my first pda in 2000 just after I finished my undergraduate degree. There are so many reasons why I like IT solutions that when I create a new system I always use a computer.
However I have never found my pda (Palm Tungsten E) very useful for organising tasks. The best programme I have found so far is shadowplan, however I think because I am unable to install any desktop software at work I fail to capture all my tasks so it became an ineffective system. Therefore before Christmas I decided to try something new and started using a spreadsheet for my system incorporating aspects of both GTD and DIT. There was a sheet for:
- backlog tasks
- tasks I was waiting for someone else to do
- tasks for the future
- tasks I’d completed
- list of projects
- tasks to do on Monday
- tasks to do on Tuesday …
I used filters to show tasks by project, context and expected duration, so could easily narrow down my actions to the suitable tasks for where I was or the time I had. However I noticed two flaws. I was not good at using an inbox so I continued to lose actions, particularly from meetings. I also could not implement this method at home. There did not seem to be a good reason why it didn’t work it just didn’t, no matter how hard I tried and as I said in an earlier post I think an organisational system should be able to work at home and work.
After Christmas I was mulling over my ideas and started noticing the abundance of filofaxes people have. I started talking to people about them and no matter what size it is people love their filofax. I was convinced I should give a a paper system a go for the first time in five years, but how and what size?
I have split this post in two because of the length, part two will be posted in a few days.