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Getting Back on the GTD Wagon

When my move fell through in October, I fell off the GTD wagon. My system mostly worked but it was now working toward a goal that was no longer in sight. If I was going to stay for another winter in London, I'd better not give my winter clothes to charity, to take one example. I was extremely disappointed and looking at my GTD list in LifeBalance only made me feel it more keenly with all the reminders of what wasn't to be.

Since then I've sort of muddled through without GTD but at the cost of increased stress levels and things falling through the cracks. It's not like I can't live without GTD but that life is unnecessarily hard without it. Or at least some sort of system.

I decided early on that I was going to start with a new database and that there were some things I wanted to tweak about my system. What bothered me most was that I had all these things on my to do list that were really Some Day/Maybe items. They were clogging up my to-do list and making me feel guilty for not getting done. That was particularly irritating for things that I normally enjoy. Stuff like creating web pages for my landscape photography.

My new database is in LifeBalance, just like the old one. To avoid the problem with the Some Day/Maybe items clogging up the to-do list, I've created a place called Some Day/Maybe. It's always closed, to keep it out of the to-do list. Now I can put as much things in there as I like and only see them when I choose to.

Right now my database has only a few items. That's OK, I need to build it up slowly. For now it has the following categories:

  • Job Search

  • Money & Finances

  • Health & Wellbeing

  • Support & Maintenance

  • Garden

  • Travel

Some of these are very broad, others narrower. In the previous version the categories were all rather broadly defined. I think I'm leaning toward using the more narrowly defined ones for now.

Something else that needs to change is my inbox. I used to use my PDA for that but since I got an iPod I often don't bring the PDA. I'd like to replace it with a paper-based system but it has to be simple and lightweight or it will stay at home too. The Hipster PDA seems convenient but the bulldog clamp is just too awkward. I think I'll poke around a stationery shop on my way to work one of these days. A moleskin book or a credit card holder with white cards might do.