22 12 2007

As previously said, I’m lazy and as such I’ve always a tendency to procrastinate, being, in the end, overwhelm by all the work I’ve said I’ll do and that I (almost) forgot to do …

However, I’m trying to fight against this tendency, and to find some new ways of both improving myself and delivering on time the best work I can…

In order to not forget what I’ve to do, and to get things done, I’ve turned toward … well, GTD. I immediately find the concept quite clear and coherent: the idea is to flush the brain from all the things you need to remember (buy bread, write some meeting minutes, and so on) by writing them down, and reviewing periodically your list of things to do (based on the context you’re in: at home, in front of computer and so on).

Being a geek, my first reaction to note my list-of-things-to-remember has been to use a computer (well a set of, including Palm Pilot and so on). This lead to development of several tools (ranging from a simple todo list command line application with RSS feed publication, to a GTD list — todo list with contexts — updated through a set of key bindings using Launchy and Snarl for the visual notification), the usage of several tools written by others (ThinkingRock, GTDMonkey, a plugin for Lotus Notes, …).

However none of them was really my cup of tea … I began using them, really trying to keep them updated, but after some time, I stopped using them …

I now have found my perfect tool for all this, or I should say the perfect tools: a notebook, a black pen and a red pen.

I spend a lot of time attending meetings, and it is more natural, more simple and more easy for me to manually take note than using my laptop for this (it’s hard to add drawings to notes on a laptop for example). I thus develop a simple method to keep track of all the things I’ve to do or to delegate.

In the left margin of my notebook, I draw a red ‘[ ]’ for all of the task I’ve to do myself, and write on the right, in black, the task by itself. Should this task by delegated to someone, I wrote a ‘( )’ instead of the bracket version, in the left margin, and clearly identify the person I’m going to delegate this task too (i.e. adding his name in red).


Each time one of the tasks is either done or delegated/done to the right person, I check the bracket or parenthesis block.

Using 2 different colors allow me to easily flip over pages to check all the tasks have been properly addressed.

Should I need to add task that are not part of the current meeting (i.e. some additional ideas that come up but have nothing to do with the meeting content), I use the same schema, but using the top margin as a scratch pad.

This may look oversimplified or old-school, but hey, it just work for me.



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