Time management and smartphone. GTD and Google Calendar Self-Organization

In 2018, I made a new, completely revised version of this material based on the new features of Google Keep and Calendar.

1. Self-organization, GTD and time management - why is this needed?

This book discusses the implementation of a self-organization system based on the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology and an online calendar ( Google Calendar , etc.).

An exemplary view of Google Calendar after implementing the self-organization technique proposed in the book: Self-organization is the process of creating some form of general order or coordination based on the interaction between the components of an initially disordered system. Closest to the concept of “personal self-organization” (that is, self-organization as applied to a person) are such concepts as “self-control”, “self-control”, “self-discipline”. Self-organization goal (discussed in this book)

- improving awareness and harmony in different areas of life - work, leisure, hobbies, relationships, etc.

As the goal of self-organization, it does not directly consider improving work efficiency or controlling time use in itself - these are only consequences of self-organization, and not its end in itself.

The indicated goal of self-organization is very broad, therefore we will formulate it more narrowly and specifically:
To free consciousness from the storage and search for things that need attention.

And, even more narrowly, breaking it into two stages:
1. Collect things that need attention on paper and on a smartphone
2. Organize things that need attention, for the convenience of their review and implementation

In both cases, goals are understood not only as the achievement of a certain state, but as the installation and maintenance of certain processes (not to assemble - but to assemble, not to organize - but to organize).

The implementation of the first stage does not depend on the second, and, in itself, has value (although less than the implementation of both of them together). Therefore, they can be carried out in turn - in accordance with the stated objectives. And the book is composed in such a way that makes it possible to implement the first stage, regardless of the second. And then, already following the results of the first, make an informed decision whether to continue to engage in the second stage or not. GTD

Technique (Getting Things Done) proposed by David Allen and described by him in the book of the same name. It is based on the principle of freeing consciousness from remembering tasks by transferring reminders of them to external media. The workflow, in accordance with GTD, is divided into 5 phases - collection, processing, organization, review and execution (collect, process, organize, plan, do).

At the first stage, we will implement only three phases, the minimum necessary for launching a self-organization system - collection, processing and implementation. At the same time, the GTD framework will be introduced - the constant management of the collection of temporary storage (baskets) and the regular processing of the collected, during which these baskets are released.
At the second stage, we will supplement them with the other two phases - organization and review.

The implementation of the main elements of the GTD technique based on entries on paper, a smartphone and an online calendar (such as Google Calendar, MS Outlook, iCal, etc.) is presented that does not require the installation of any additional programs from the user. Further in the book, Google Calendar will be used: https://www.google.com/calendar

The use of a smartphone is due to the fact that one of the phases of the GTD methodology - collection, requires it to be kept constantly, including outside the workplace, even on a rest.
An ordinary mobile phone (not a smartphone) is not quite suitable for this because of restrictions on the speed of inputting information and the difficulty of integration with other elements of the self-organization system.
On the other hand, replacing a smartphone with a similar tablet with a large screen (diagonal larger than 6 ”) is not entirely effective - due to the fact that the tablet, as a rule, does not imply constant carrying.

It is also assumed that the workplace is equipped with a desktop computer (stationary or laptop). However, when using a smartphone, a desktop computer is desirable, but not required. The fundamental differences between a desktop computer and a smartphone are only in the speed and convenience of input / output of information and in accessibility outside the workplace.

If there is no smartphone to work with the presented method, you will need to purchase a small notebook, pencil or pen and keep them with you at all times (it is desirable that all this fits in your pocket, so A7 is preferred over A5 or A6, and a pencil or pen is better take compact, shortened).

When using a notebook for collection outside the workplace, collection will not take place according to paragraph 2.2, but similarly to collection at the workplace, that is, according to paragraph 2.1. Before processing (process) it will only be necessary to tear out all the completed sheets from the notebook and process them together with a stack of sheets collected at the workplace.

All other elements of the system (except for reminders of things that need to be done outside the workplace) work on a smartphone in the same way as on a computer, but more slowly.

Due to the insufficient content of the Russian Wikipedia on the issues discussed in the book, the book in many cases provides links to English versions of its relevant articles.

2. We collect things that need attention (Collect)

2.1. Workplace collection

Installation of the collection at the workplace:
The workplace refers to the desktop and the adjacent space.
We take a stack of blank sheets for small format recordings (90x90 or so) and two supports for them. We will use one of the supports to store blank sheets, and the second to store collected sheets with notes (incoming).

Maintaining a fee at the workplace:
When we are at the workplace, we write down on the sheets all the things that attracted attention and may be needed later - ideas, questions, obligations, deeds, etc. - one thing per sheet, and put them in a pile collected leaflets.
New contacts, dated cases, immediate and deferred cases — if we find out about them at the workplace — we also write down on the sheets first (although outside the workplace, as will be shown below, they will be collected in a completely different way).

The peculiarity of the proposed collection procedure is that it records absolutely everything that may be needed later - one thought per sheet, onto identical small sheets - such notes are easier to organize.

Some self-organization and time management systems do not include paper recordings.
But, in fact, a complete rejection of recordings on paper is impractical and impossible - because such recordings when manually entering disordered short texts provide a significantly higher input speed compared to a computer or smartphone.

The difference compared with the GTD:
No need to immediately do a complete collection of everything, throughout the workplace.
A long but simple process - instead of a short but complex one.

2.2. Off-site collection

Setting the collection outside the workplace:
Hereinafter, the book discusses self-organization based on Google Calendar, but, as indicated at the beginning, you can use any other online calendar - for example, preinstalled on a smartphone or used by the organization - if only it would provide the following functionality.

On a smartphone, it is better to use a mobile application, rather than a mobile site - it is more convenient and remains operational in the event of a mobile Internet failure. Google Calendar is preinstalled on Android smartphones. In other systems, it can be installed additionally.
Put the shortcut for Google Calendar in the main menu of the smartphone.
Register a Google Account (if it is not): https://accounts.google.com/signup

In the future, it is possible (when connecting mobile Internet not via Wi-Fi), it will be necessary to maintain data synchronization between the Google Calendar application on the smartphone.
To do this, after changing the contents of Google Calendar from the computer, you need to open the Android settings, select the "Accounts and sync" ("Accounts & sync") option and click the "Sync All" button.

We create the 1st day of the current month in the calendar event (event-heading) "- Inbox" (without quotes) without specifying a time interval.
Similarly, we create the 2nd, 3rd, 4th day of the current month similar heading events:
2nd: "- Nearest affairs"
3rd: "- Deferred cases 7..90"
4th: "- Background information"

are indicated by the fact that they do not have a specific time, and at the beginning of the name is "-". They, in essence, are not events, their meaning is only to make it clear that below (in the hourly calendar for a day) a certain time range (0.00-10.00) is reserved not for normal events, but for “note events” .

“Events-notes” are indicated by the fact that they have an “event-heading” above them and are in the time range of 0.00-10.00. They, too, in essence, are not events, their meaning is to store some information in themselves and to remind about it in a timely manner.

"Events-notes" it is advisable to do the duration of one hour. In the case of a large number of "events-notes" for one day, they can be combined with each other, creating them at the same time interval, and also make them with shorter duration.
This approach allows you to place up to 30-40 “event-notes” for one day and at the same time show them all on the smartphone screen (albeit in cropped form), which is much more than for any version of the text list.

Maintaining the collection outside the workplace: We
write on the smartphone all the things that attracted attention outside the workplace, which may be needed later:
  • If this is a contact , we write immediately in the address book.
  • If this is a dated business , we open this date in the calendar and write it in the event (if necessary, we indicate the time).
  • If this is the nearest thing - which we are going to deal with over the next week - we open the 2nd day of the current month ("- Nearest affairs") and write it in the note event.
  • If this is a deferred business - which we are not going to do in the next week, but are going to - in the next 3 months - open the 3rd day of the current month ("- Deferred affairs 7..90") and write it into the note event.
  • If this is something else or we can’t decide , we open the first day of the current month (“Inbox”) and write this thing into the note event.

To quickly switch between different dates in the Google Calendar mobile application, use the menu item “Month 31” (“Month 31”) - all days of the month are displayed in the form of buttons and any of them can be selected with one click).

Difference in comparison with GTD:
Some processing moments that do not slow down the collection process and do not distract from it - outside the workplace are performed simultaneously with the collection.
Putting notes on the calendar on the 1st of the current month in "- Inbox" requires exactly the same amount of time and attention as on any other day of the month. Therefore, the choice of category is combined with the collection. And in the "classic" GTD, this choice refers exclusively to the processing phase.

3. We process collected (Process)

Processing in GTD is a phase of the workflow in which the collected is moved from temporary storage to certain categories of the self-organization system.
If possible, you should do the processing of collected at the workplace, using a computer.
Processing collected should be done at least once a week. Preferably - at least once every 2-3 days.

Open the calendar and create the 4th day of the current month ("- Reference information") an event-note "- Self-organization" in the time interval 0.00-1.00.

3.1. We process collected paper notes

For each sheet from the pile collected:
  • If this is a contact , we rewrite it in the address book of the smartphone.
  • If this is a dated or immediate or deferred business , we record it in the event or note event.
  • If this is something else - we write this thing on a separate line of description to "- Self-organization", while the wording can be corrected.
  • If this is a duplicate of the already existing content in "- Self-organization" - you can either rewrite along with the previous wording, or make a new wording based on the old and new, or simply ignore it.

After that, discard the leaf and proceed to processing the next leaf in the stack.

3.2. We process notes and calendar events

For each event-note on the 1st day of the current month ("- Inbox"):
  • If this is a contact , we also rewrite it in the address book of the smartphone and delete it from the calendar.
  • If this is a dated or immediate or deferred business , we change its date on the computer, respectively, to the real one or to the 2nd or 3rd day of the current month.
  • If this is something else - copy the name of the event-note, paste it on a separate line in the description to "- Self-organization" and delete the event-note from the calendar.

For each event-note on the 2nd day of the current month ("- Nearest affairs"):
  • If done , delete the note.
  • If the job is not done and we decide not to do it at all , we delete his note event.
  • If the job is not done and decide to leave it closest , we do nothing.
  • If the business is not done and we decide to make it postponed , we change the date of its event-note on the 3rd day of the month.
  • If the business has not been done and we decide not to do it in the next 3 months , we copy the name of the event-note, paste it into the description to "-Self-organization", delete its event-note.

For each event-note on the 3rd day of the month ("- Deferred affairs 7..90") we process in the same way.

During the processing of notes in paragraphs 3.1 and 3.2, most likely, new things will be discovered that require storage and attention in the future - for example, ideas about new cases or notes on completed tasks and achieved results (for review) - in this case, they are required collect according to clause 2.1 during processing and then process according to clause 3.1.

After the processing, we look through the description of "- Self-organization" for duplicates; if it is detected, delete the newer one or combine their wording into one.
Also during processing, you can rearrange individual lines in the received text to group information of the same type or on the same topic.

3.3. We transfer information that does not require quick access from the calendar to the attached file

The maximum size of the description for an event in Google Calendar is about 8 thousand characters (about 4 pages). But already with about 3 thousand signs, the inconvenience associated with its volume begins to appear.

Therefore, after some time, the contents of the description for the event-note "- Self-organization" will need to be transferred to a more spacious storage, according to one of the following options:
  • Break “Self-organization” into several note events, for each of which the description included therein will be used.
  • Rewrite on paper.
  • Copy to email on server.
  • Copy to a local file (on a computer or on a smartphone or synchronized between a computer and a smartphone).
  • Copy to a file on the server (cloud storage).

Next, we consider the implementation of the option with a file on the server using the Google Docs service. The advantages of this option are:
  • Comparative ease of implementation;
  • No need for any additional programs;
  • Accessibility both from a smartphone and from a computer (including editing);
  • The ability to point to a Google Docs document with an active link from a Google Calendar event.

The disadvantage of this option is the inoperability in case of Internet crashes in the absence of specialized applications installed (however, in the Chrome browser for the desktop computer it is possible to edit Google Docs documents even when the Internet is turned off, while they are saved on the computer and synchronized with the server when the Internet is turned on).

Create a new Google Docs document: https://docs.google.com/document/create
In the window that appears with a new blank document, click on the inscription "New Document", enter its name: "Self-organization" (without quotes).

Open the event note "- Self-organization" in the calendar and insert the address of the page with the created document there in the "Where" field. This will create an active link to the Self-Organization document from the event in the Google Calendar mobile app.
In the "Description" field, this link should not be placed, since it is already used for other purposes.

The link you just created will not be active when working from the computer, so for the computer it will need to be created separately.
In Google Calendar, click on the gear button in the upper right corner of the screen, and in the menu that opens, select the “Labs” item.
On the Laboratory page that opens, we find the Attach Google Docs add-on, select the “Enable” item in the menu opposite it and click the “Save” button.

Again, open the event note "- Self-organization" in the calendar, now there is a link "Add file" at the bottom of the event description. We click on it and select the document “Self-organization” created earlier from the window that opens, after which the active link to it will be in the event-note and when working from the computer.

After attaching the Google Docs document, the processing of the results of paragraphs 3.1 and 3.2 should not be saved to the description of the event-note, but directly to this Google Docs document. After that, the description of the event-note can be used to store information that requires quick access outside the workplace (for example, shopping lists, transport schedules, etc.).

4. Doing things (Do)

4.1 Choosing tasks to do with GTD

The GTD methodology assumes that the decision on the following actions is made by intuition, based on a list of the following actions and on the basis of the following criteria:
  • Context (place, tool, person, and other conditions)
  • Available time
  • Available energy
  • A priority

In our case, the main list of the following actions is the calendar category "- Nearest affairs" (on the 2nd of the current month).

In addition, as an additional list of the following actions, you should also look at the “Inbox” calendar category (1st day of the current month), as well as a paper storage device at the workplace — because they may contain reminders of urgent matters that are not yet processed and not entered in the appropriate calendar categories.

It is also necessary to view the current date of the calendar so as not to miss out on dated cases tied specifically to the current date.

Thus, the choice of the next action to be performed is based on a sequential viewing of the following categories of the self-organization system:
  • "- Nearest business" (i.e. calendar for the 2nd of the current month)
  • "- Inbox" (i.e., calendar on the 1st of the current month)
  • Calendar for current date
  • Paper inbox (if at work)

David Allen in his book also classifies all activities into three types within the framework of the GTD methodology:
  • Doing Predefined Work
  • Execution of work as it appears
  • Task Planning and Identification

At the same time, Allen separately notes in his book that people, as a rule, are too keen on the second type of activity - performing urgent tasks that have just arrived - and miss the other two types of activity, which hurts them greatly and leads to anxiety.

This problem is especially relevant when working on a computer. In this regard, the need arises for some additional system, which will not be intended to select the next case, but to maintain a focus on the ongoing business and its timely switch to another business, the implementation of this will be considered in the next subsection.

4.2 Focusing attention when doing things at a computer with Pomodoro Technique

Information resources (sites, services, etc.) are often designed to distract the attention of the user, with the aim of holding him for as long as possible.
The same can happen on its own, off the Internet - simply when doing work on the computer - due to the lack of a clear time frame or criteria for achieving the goal of the work.
At the same time, procrastination can occur   - a long distraction of attention from really important and necessary things to household trifles and to entertainment.

That is, the problem is that when working at the computer, our attention is distracted from our goals and from the system of self-organization.
Therefore, the workplace should have some additional system in order to draw attention to its own goals and to the system of self-organization.

The most popular of these systems for focusing attention is the Pomodoro Technique , proposed by Francesco Cirillo.
This technique involves dividing the workflow into 25-minute intervals, alternating with 5-minute rest breaks.

The following is an implementation of the method using ordinary sheets of paper and a clock - either regular or built into the operating system:
  • We take a piece of paper from a stack of blank sheets and write on it a lesson on top, which we plan to do on a computer for the next 25 minutes. It is desirable (but not necessary) to formulate the purpose of the lesson in this entry.
  • We write down the time below on the sheet, which is 25 minutes ahead of the current moment.
  • Put the leaflet in a prominent place in front of the eyes. It is advisable to lean or attach the sheet to the monitor.
  • We carry out the business indicated on the sheet before the time written on the sheet occurs - that is, during the 25-minute interval.
  • When we find that the time written on the sheet has arrived, we immediately stop working on the computer for 5 minutes. If possible, temporarily leave the workplace.

We take a break from the computer lasting 5 minutes.
During the break, in addition to rest, do the following:
  • If the job is done, draw a line on the sheet and put it in a stack of collected sheets.
  • If the business has not been done yet and will continue to do it now, write down the next time even lower on the sheet, 25 minutes away from the estimated time for the break to end, and return the sheet back to a prominent place.
  • If the work has not yet been done and will not be done now, then draw a line on the sheet, write down under it what was achieved in the case, and put the sheet in the pile of collected ones.

In the future, notes collected in this way can be processed along with the rest of the paper notes (according to paragraph 3.1), and their contents can be transferred to the note event “Self-organization” for further review.

After completing four 25-minute work blocks with 5-minute breaks, you should take a longer break - at least 15-30 minutes.

Pomodoro Technique is not focused on the urgent execution of new tasks as they arrive (for example, if there is a large flow of interruptions - visitors, urgent directions, incoming calls, etc.). With a high frequency of such interruptions, the use of this technique will be limited.

It is important to note that in the methodology itself and various publications on it it is highly recommendedthe use of a separate device (preferably a mechanical one) as a timer, even despite the presence of a large number of applications that programmatically implement such a timer on a smartphone or computer. Mechanical timers cost between $ 3-5 and are usually sold in the same departments as cutlery and kitchen utensils.

Mechanical and electronic timers IKEA: Mechanical timers Tescoma. The name of the technique “Pomodoro Technique” comes from a similar timer in the form of a tomato: When using a timer instead of specifying time intervals on paper, you can simply start the timer for the right time - 25 minutes or 5 minutes. This is more convenient and does not allow you to accidentally skip the end of the corresponding interval.

4.3. Implementation of the first stage of self-organization (Collection + Processing + Execution)

For 2-4 weeks we constantly collect things that need attention. Also, during the specified time, we carry out the selection of cases to be performed in accordance with the GTD methodology, and also apply the Pomodoro Technique methodology to focus on cases when working at the computer.

Periodically, at least once a week (preferably - at least once every 2-3 days) we replenish "- Self-organization" with new collected things - first we replenish the description for the calendar event-note, and then, when the description is overflowed, we attach a Google document there Docs "Self-organization" and transfer there.
Also, we look through everything collected in "- Self-organization" for the presence of new cases (dated, nearest, pending) and add them to the calendar.

When a new month arrives, we change the old month in the calendar to the new month in the date of each heading event and note event on the 1st-4th day of the month.

This completes the implementation of the first stage. The organization of reference information at the first stage of self-organization is not considered, this is the task of the second stage.
At the first stage, you only need to constantly collect incoming notes, process them in a timely manner, set reminders about cases and do things in accordance with reminders.

5. Organization of reference information (Organize)

Based on the results of collection and processing, within 2-4 weeks, an event-note "- Self-organization" and an attached file with notes about things that need to be saved and the process of putting things that need attention there is debugged will be generated.
But this file is inconvenient for extracting information when searching and browsing. This situation can be mitigated by grouping things of the same type in separate paragraphs, but the problem remains.

At the second stage, the process of classification and distribution of the content collected in the event-note "- Self-organization" and the file attached to it will be carried out in some data structure, providing ease of search and review.

5.1. Organization of self-organization information

We create the text document Google Docs “Processed” and attach it to the event-note “- Self-organization” . In the future, when processing incoming PP. 3.1 and 3.2, we will collect them there.

The point of creating a separate file for the processed ones in the second stage of self-organization is that in the second stage the information that does not fit into Google Calendar events will be classified between several attached files, while in the first stage it is collected in one Google Docs “Self-organization” file - at the second stage, this file will be used only for information directly about the self-organization system itself - ideas, notes, etc. And the file “Processed” will be used as a buffer for processing the assembled ".

We create on the 4th day of the current month ("- Reference information") the note events "Checklists" and "Read / View" , both in the same interval as "- Self-organization", that is, 0.00-1.00.

In the description of the “Checklists” we write down a list of rules that we decided to follow regarding self-organization (daily routine, etc.) and a list of regular tasks — which are repeated at some intervals — once a day, week, month, etc.
Also, there you can subsequently add checklists listing the elements of the self-organization system that are viewed during the review at different levels.
Separate lists in the description of the event-note can be entitled, while highlighting the whole headings in CAPITAL letters (text formatting is not available there).

In the description for “Reading / Viewing” we write down a list of everything that we would like to read, listen to or watch in the future — books, music, films, etc. Despite the possibility of wide scatter in the subject matter — all this is inconvenient to keep separately, categories on relevant topics. It is more convenient to consider receiving information in any form, as part of a self-organization system - as some separate category similar to incoming ones.
In his book, Allan seems to emphasize the importance of this category, noting that when traveling he has with him a folder for reading and viewing, along with a folder for incoming.

Using reading / viewing events, as well as Shopping, Schedules, Meetings (see below) to combine the same type of case allows you to somewhat relieve the categories of nearest and deferred cases, because it gives the ability not to write separate events on the calendar for similar affairs.

5.2. Organization of information requiring quick access outside the workplace

Information that requires quick access (within 15-30 seconds) outside the workplace includes things such as abstracts and questions for the meeting, shopping lists, transport schedules and institutions.

We create the 4th day of the current month ("- Reference information") events-notes "- Quick Access", "Shopping", "Schedules", "Meetings", all in the same interval 1.00-2.00.

In the description for “Shopping” we write down a list of everything you need to buy (except for large purchases) - you should not create separate affairs for them in the calendar.

In the description for “Schedules” we write down the schedules of transport and the work of institutions (for work or for leisure) that we are going to visit; for this, we also do not need to create separate cases. Next to the name and timetable of the institution, where you have not been, you can write its address.

In the description for the “Meeting” we write down topics, theses and questions for the upcoming meetings (both formal and informal - that is why the title of the event notes uses a more general word).

In the description directly to the event-note "- Quick Access" we record other information that requires quick access outside the workplace.

5.3. Possible methods for storing help information off the calendar. Comparative advantages and disadvantages

Benefits of saving notes in calendar events:
  • Access outside the workplace.
  • Access when the Internet is down, followed by synchronization.
  • Quick access on your smartphone (few clicks, compact and legible elements, you can place several events-notes in one line).
  • Location along with other categories of the system (no need to switch from one program to another).
  • Convenient movement between different categories (without the need to drag and drop, by only changing the date and time through the drop-down menu).

As already indicated in paragraph 3.3. saving notes to the calendar is irrational with a large size. Notes outside the calendar can be saved this way:
  • Письма в почтовом ящике (черновики) — Тоже имеют ограничения по размеру, связанные с удобством просмотра и редактирования, но гораздо менее жесткие, обеспечивается прикрепление других файлов и автосинхронизация между компьютером и смартфоном без каких-либо дополнительных программ.
  • Локальные файлы на компьютере и смартфоне — Возможна автоматическая синхронизацией отдельных папок между компьютером и смартфоном — с помощью программ типа BitTorrent Sync.
  • Файлы на сервере — Google Docs, Dropbox и аналогичные сервисы.
  • Записи от руки на бумаге — Ограничены по размеру и по возможности доступа вне рабочего места, обеспечивают высокую скорость ввода текста и графики.

When using Google Calendar and Gmail together, it is not necessary to use the letters themselves directly as reminders of the following matters, as is often accepted.
You can create individual items in the calendar for emails requiring processing using the Google Tasks service - https://mail.google.com/tasks/ - and process reminders for them in the same way as other calendar events.

Further, as in paragraph 3.3, we consider the implementation of the option with files on the server using the Google Docs service.

5.4. Organization of information in the main areas

The difference between the direction and the project is that its goal is not in itself to achieve some desired state, but to maintain it for a long time. That is, the direction is a broader concept than the project, therefore, in the future, background information and cases will be classified by direction.
For a project, you can formulate a goal and at any time evaluate whether it is achieved or not. And for the direction - you can only assess the state of affairs according to the desired.

We create notes on the 4th day of the current month to store reference information in the main areas, similar to the previously created "- Self-Organization", for example, each in its own separate time interval between 0.00 and 10.00:
  • "- Work"
  • "- Life"
  • "- Hobbies"
  • "- Relations", etc.

Any of the directions can also be divided into components, for this you can create the corresponding “event-notes” in one time interval with it, for example:
“- Work”: “Consulting”, “Marketing” and other areas of work.
"- Life": "Home", "Auto", "Health" and other areas of domestic affairs.
Unlike the main directions marked with a hyphen at the beginning of the title of the note, their components do not have it, so in the calendar they will be grouped after the corresponding main direction.

If necessary, we attach to the event-note a text document of the same name Google Docs, to record various information on this topic.

We look in turn each line from the processed ones (the previously created attached file “Processed”), insert it into the description for one of the event notes in the directions, or in the file attached to it according to paragraph 3.3.
You can store it either in its entirety in the description, or in its entirety in the attached file, or more important in the note, and less important in the attached file.

In the future, with a large volume, the contents can be divided into sections - as in the case of checklists, highlighting their headers in capital letters - for example:
  • “Goals” or “Checklist”
  • Ideas or Maybe Someday (Maybe / someday)
  • "Notes" or actually "Reference Information" in the direction of (Reference), etc.

5.5. Organization of contact information and obligations

In GTD, a separate category is provided for storing other people's obligations to themselves and recalling verification of their fulfillment - Waiting For.

Difference in comparison with GTD:
We will collect in a separate category not only other people's obligations to ourselves, but also our own in relation to other people, as well as information on contacts.

Contact obligations and information can be saved this way:
  • Description of the event-note in the calendar by contact - Provides the ability to store directly on the calendar, in the same place as the rest of the background information, which makes it convenient to review.
  • Примечание к контакту в адресной книге — Обеспечивает удобство обзора непосредственно до или после звонка соответствующему контакту. Контакты с заполненными примечаниями при этом надо заносить в отдельную группу адресной книги, чтобы можно было делать обзор всех ожидающих.

Next, we consider the first storage option - an event-note on the calendar.

We look at the category - Self-Organization and the address book. If there is an obligation or information regarding any person that we want to keep, we do the following:

Create (if not created before) an event note with the name of that person’s name. The interval for it is set the same as for the event-note "- Relations", or directly behind it - so they will be visually grouped together in one place on the calendar.

We write down in a note to this event-note what we agreed on with the person or the information related to him that we want to keep. If the size of the note to the note is too large, we also transfer its contents to the attached file, similar to section 3.3.

6. Isolation and organization of projects and their components (Projects)

If it turns out that a business consists of several steps, each of which requires separate attention, then the business should be designated as a project and its individual steps should be distinguished into separate elements of self-organization, we do it this way:
  • We open the category where the case is located that we want to convert into a project: "- Nearest affairs" or "- Pending cases 7..90" (that is, the 2nd or 3rd day of the current month).
  • Добавляем дефис спереди к имени мероприятия-заметки с названием дела, "-". Таким образом будем обозначать проекты (Projects), состоящие из нескольких взаимосвязанных отдельных действий (Actions). Под действием понимается дело, которое выполняется в одном и том же месте и интервале времени одними и теми же средствами.
  • Создаем в том же интервале, что и мероприятие-заметка по проекту, мероприятия-заметки с действиями, входящими в состав проекта.

The background information on the project that we want to keep is written down in a note to the event-note on the project, or we transfer it to the attached file, similar to section 3.3, or transfer it to an external storage system.

Upon completion of the project or actions on it - the information stored in the project note for the project can be rewritten in the category "- Reference information" (on the 4th of the current month) - in the note event in one of the directions.

Difference compared to GTD:
There is no separate list of projects and no requirements for identifying absolutely all projects. Simple projects with obvious actions are stored along with the rest of the affairs, there is a procedure that allows you to smoothly transform the case into a project.
Complex long-term projects with unobvious results are considered as directions and stored along with background information.

7. Overview of the self-organization system (Plan)

7.1. Review objectives and related elements of a self-organization system

A review refers to periodic review of a self-organization system with the following objectives:
  • Search for previously unreported things that need attention
  • Awareness of the state of affairs in various areas

To implement this, you need to have a review program for each level that runs at a certain frequency — day, week, month, quarter, year, etc. It is advisable to formulate these programs in separate checklists — specifically for storing such lists in clause 5.1 in the self-organization system was provided with an event-note “Checklists”.

The search for things that need attention (ideas, thoughts, obligations) is carried out by compiling a list of all your information storages and viewing them with a certain frequency during the review (day, week, month, etc.).

Awareness of the state of affairs- carried out by maintaining lists of results (completed actions) - these lists can be qualified by dates (more convenient for daily replenishment) and by directions (more convenient for review over long periods of time).

Create a Google Docs Information Warehouse table   . We list there all the sources, drives and storage of information that we regularly use.
We attach this table to the event-note "- Self-organization" - this is done as well as for a text document. We also create and attach the same Google Docs text documents “Results by dates” and “Results by directions” .

In the future, we keep records of completed cases - add notes about them in the inbox (paper sheets with notes or “- Inbox” in the calendar), then in “Results by dates”, then periodically combine them into “Results by directions”.

7.2. Weekly Review

One of the main elements of the GTD self-organization system is a weekly review. If possible, it can be carried out more often - 2-3 times a week. It is advisable to dock the review and processing.
We carry out the processing according to paragraphs. 3.1 and 3.2, we collect the processing results in the attached file “Processed”. After that, we distribute its contents between the categories:
  • If this is a note on a completed task , we add it to the “Results by Dates”.
  • Если это — информация, требующая быстрого доступа вне рабочего места — сохраняем в соответствующую категорию «Быстрый доступ».
  • Если это — информация или обязательство по контакту — сохраняем ее в мероприятии-заметке по этому контакту.
  • Если это — информация или действие по какому-либо проекту — сохраняем в мероприятии-заметке по проекту или создаем мероприятие-заметку для действия по этому проекту.
  • Если это — что-то другое — сохраняем в мероприятии-заметке по наиболее соответствующему направлению, либо во внешней системе хранения.

7.3. Завершение внедрения системы самоорганизации, реализация ее второго этапа (Организация + Обзор)

Once a day or more often we conduct a current review to select actions to be performed: We look
through the categories “- Immediate cases”, “- Inbox”, paper inbox, as well as the contents of event notes “- Self-organization” and “- Quick access”. At the same time, we assess the feasibility of performing the cases listed there and the compliance with the principles listed there in accordance with paragraph 4 (the first stage of self-organization).

Once a week or more often we conduct a weekly review: We
continue to regularly carry out all the actions listed in clause 4.3, supplementing them with the organization of background information, highlighting projects and conducting a daily review in accordance with paragraphs. 5-7.

About once every 1-3 months we conduct a review at a higher level:
Add information from the “Results by Day” file to the “Results by Destination” file.
We look through the self-organization system - the calendar, the attached Google Docs files on the self-organization system, the address book. In addition, you can view the external storage system (in whole or in whole).
We determine previously unaccounted things that need attention, add notes about them in the inbox, then process them and distribute them into the appropriate categories of the self-organization system.

Also popular now: