23 Jan 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.