Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A low-tech personal management system

It's a new year and I've noted a plethora of ads and blogs in the last week touting ways to "turn over a new leaf" by using some new technology tool on a phone or laptop.  It's a noble cause and useful endeavor. 
When it comes to organizing one's business and personal life, I've not found any better system than the one described in Getting Things Done by David Allen.  Importantly, GTD is not software but a system of principles.  I first read Allen soon after his book came out in early 2003 and went through several iterations of implementation.  I finally put a system together which worked.
The system is decidedly low tech; it consists of a small, organized stack of colored 3x5 inch index cards held by a bulldog clip.  No batteries to recharge, no Internet connection, no usage fees.  I wrote up the entire system in this post on the GTD Connect blog in April, 2008.  I re-read it last week in response to all the urgings to try new apps.  I chuckled that, 2.5 years later, the simple system I wrote up then still works, daily, for me. 
So, if you are trying to find a way to organize yourself, I commend GTD to you.  Feel free to use my  implementation to trigger your own thinking to take more effective action with less waste.
Keep learning.