Keeping track of all your stuff is largely about what buckets you put them in.
- These buckets could be contexts where you want or need that stuff. Examples: @home, @office, @car
- Or perhaps they are when you’ll need that stuff. Examples: ^Today, @Someday/Maybe, 30k (1 to 2 years), 40k (5 to 10 years), @Tickler with a specific date
- Or it could just be a bucket that is easily recognisable and accessible whenever you need it. Examples: checklists, templates, various reference with any topic you like e.g. ‘productivity’ or ‘homes’ or ‘drink recipes’
GTD® is a methodology that defines the various buckets you need to corral all your stuff. And I promise you, no matter what the ‘stuff’ is … GTD® has a bucket for it.
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My GTD system is primarily in Evernote and I use mostly tags, and a few notebook stacks, to create my buckets. In this blog post, I walk you through the basic tag structure I use to create buckets.
Arguably the most important bucket for those wanting to get stuff done. The context is where you will get the stuff done. It could be a physical location, a tool or a frame of mind.
My context list is pretty standard though I have one or two consistent contexts that I are non-standard.
I have several people who I delegate tasks … and who do not use GTD®. Surprise, surprise. I am sure there are many of us in the same boat! To make sure I don’t miss something, I track all the things I have delegated. Well, at least the ones I’ll want to follow up on if they did not get done. In other words, I have some kind of commitment to them. However, I do not like them clogging up my @Agendas list with tasks I am going to discuss with someone to take on, tor my @Waiting For list with delegated tasks I am waiting to be completed. Instead, I use @Delegate and @Delegated, respectively.
I also separate my @Computer and @Internet tasks.
One of the nice thing about using tags is that you can nest tags. So for example, underneath @Computer you could have @Computer – MS Word, @Computer – MS Excel, @Computer – Work Application 1, and so forth. That way when you can open one application, you can do everything you need in that application before moving to the next application. This could work with parts of the house (under @Home), parts of the office (under @Office), and so forth.
Rather than use tags for this sub-context, I write it with my next action description. For example, I would have a next action description of: MS Word – Draft report to Joe Blow for project Y. That way I can see all the next actions in that context in one view but still be able to sort by the sub-context.
Here I simply add a list of people here who I either talk to frequently, delegate tasks or projects to, or am waiting for tasks from. I do title my @Agendas, @Delegate, @Delegated and @Waiting For tasks with the person’s name first. For example I would have a next action description of: Jane Doe – Discuss TPE Report. For people I work with or talk to regularly I can simply click on this `People tag and it will show me all agendas, delegate, delegated and waiting for items that are related to them.
@Email next actions to be short tasks but even then I may tag the task with the name of the people I am sending the email to so that if I happen to see them we can discuss it instead of sending the email.
Next Post: Tags Away! – Part 2