My GTD “Get Things Done” Moleskine Setup

We all have our ways of keeping up with what’s going on in our work and personal life. For me, I’ve adopted a very simple system with the Moleskine Classic Notebook, Pocket, Ruled, Black, Hard Cover (3.5 x 5.5).

My method is very loosely based on David Allen’s GTD system. You can listen to one of his awesome podcasts on iTunes with one of my clients, Jared Easley, HERE. He’s a very interesting guy, and his method really makes sense. It’s all about getting information out of your brain so you no longer have it clogging up your amazing creation maker (aka brain).

OK, so here’s how I do it. This is one I just set up, so it’s basically empty which makes it less cluttered and easier for you to get the system:

1) Get a Moleskine Notebook. You can use the link above, or stop by most book stores. You can sometimes find them at Target as well. I use the 3.5 x 5.5 notebook. I also use a larger plain paper notebook for sketching and journal entries.

IMG_0001

2) Open that bad boy up and get to it. I add a calendar to the inside cover, and on the right I put my first name and then a reward if returned. I also name each of my notebooks after Auburn football players for reference (Way cooler than Notebook 3). Also, I number the pages in the notebook in the bottom corners.

Setting up inside cover Moleskine GTD

3) Important Numbers: The next page I add all of the phone numbers I would need on the fly if my iPhone were to fall in the toilet.

Moleskine Important Phone numbers

4) Start and End Dates: I label the bottom with the start date, and when I’ve filled it up, the end date is added and then it goes on the shelf. As far as finding what I need, I scan most pages into Evernote, and because I’m a premium user, it reads “most” of my handwriting for easy search later.

Labeling Moleskine

5) Create an Index Page. This will help you find what’s really important when you go back a year later looking for something. I usually use post its because the pages can be all over the place, and I like to go back and add the index pages in order.

Index page Moleskine

6) Tabs: I use two or three large tabs in my notebooks. I keep one at the starting point for my week in the front, and because my ramblings, sketches, and quick notes start on the last page and move inward from back to front, that’s where I add my second tab. I sometimes use smaller post it tags to help me move to a specific page I’m working on. Move the tabs along as you move through the notebook.

Tabs Moleskine

7) Quick Calendar View: I use two pages each week to add Calendar events. As you can see here, my little one is sick, so I’ve taken most of the week off. I DO NOT replace my calendar on my iPhone (I use Sunrise), because I like being able to send invitations, have reminders, get quick directions, and access contact info on the fly. It’s more for me to quickly pop open when someone calls to ask about a meeting.

Calendar Moleskine

8) The bread and butter. My GTD section: I do things a bit different, but it’s the basic system. Each week after my Calendar pages, I add my GTD pages. I use @work, @home, @waiting, and @future. This helps me organize my tasks to clear my mind so I can focus on other stuff. If a task requires more than one step, turn that task into a “Project”.

Moleskine GTD pages

Also, my photo below shows you my symbol system I use to keep up with where I’m at on tasks. I can’t remember where I saw this done, but I loved this idea because it’s so simple and I no longer scratch though tasks that I’d like to see even if completed. Here is a great breakdown of the GTD system. (Click photo for full page)

IMG_0011_2

9) Project Pages: I use project pages when a task requires more than one step. You can see the very first step to a project page in the photo below. Use as many pages as you need for a project. (Click Photo below)

Project Page Moleskine

10) Day Logs: I take a quick day log every day and then scan them into Evernote at the end of the week so I can reference when things were done.

Day Log Moleskine

11) Back pocket: Keep extra Tabs and post its stuck to back pocket, and inside keep a few business cards and some cash. One of the cool things about a Moleskine is the pocket…use it.

Pocket of Moleskine

12) Keep your Journal regarding work in the back section and move to the center. Also, people are always trying to come up with “hold a pen” hacks. Mine is simple. Here is a photo.

Pen holder Moleskine

 

So that’s pretty much it. I love my tech stuff, but nothing beats a pen and paper. Give this a shot and see if it helps you with your productivity…or rather clearing your mind a bit so you can get things done.

Tell me how you set up your Moleskine or other GTD notebook in the comments below, and CLICK HERE to pick one up at Amazon.

 

 

8 Comments
  • Jared Easley
    Posted at 11:41h, 23 January Reply

    this is awesome Joe!

  • Jeremy T.
    Posted at 14:29h, 25 August Reply

    This is Absolutely Great. I am always looking for ways to stay more Productive. Thanks again!

    • Joseph Bass
      Posted at 16:16h, 25 August Reply

      Thank you Jeremy! How is everything in the Chicago area? Looks like you have a good business going there.

  • Tac Anderson
    Posted at 09:28h, 19 June Reply

    Great system. Very similar to mine, but I find the differences interesting. That’s what I love about this approach, it’s flexible to meet many different needs. Here’s mine http://tacanderson.com/gtdhack

    • Joseph Bass
      Posted at 19:11h, 17 August Reply

      Awesome stuff Tac. This comment got stuck in the mud…sorry for the late response, and thanks for sharing your hack. — Joe

  • ArchiMark
    Posted at 12:35h, 30 July Reply

    Hi Joe,

    Great setup and info….thanks for sharing it…

    A question for you please….

    I’m not clear as to how you actually divided up your notebook to create the various sections in it?

    I’ve got a notebook I want to use in similar manner as you do, but trying to figure out how to divide it up now….

    Thanks for your input!

    Mark

    • Joseph Bass
      Posted at 19:12h, 17 August Reply

      Hi Archi,

      I experimented with the amount of pages to dedicate to each section…which I use tabs to separate. It took a few books left with some blank pages to figure it out. Thanks for touching base. Cheers! — Joe

Post A Comment