Saturday, December 24, 2005

When reference becomes “stuff”

In chapter 7 of the Getting Things Done book there is an interesting observation about reference collecting. Reference materials need proper organisation and tidy habits. Otherwise they metamorphose into another breed of headaching stuff!
(Click the picture to see a bigger version.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Beggar’s PDA and other opinions

The Getting Things Done book has been very useful for me, more as a good advice in specific time management techniques than as a complete philosophy of organising one’s life. I’d say GTD is at least 80% common sense: but we all know this is the less common of senses. And some of the tips, tricks and observations are wonderful and inspiring.

Actually I wasn’t desperate to improve my daily activities, and I had been practicing some of the ideas often mentioned in GTD for many years. I have always tried to take advantage of the windows of time and managed to have a clean workspace with manageable lists and reasonably organised projects. And I have been using my Hipster’s Beggar’s PDA (even simpler and lower-tech: sometimes just a letter envelope and a pencil carried in any pocket) for as long as I remember. The key is having a system: something you can trust in, with a previsible structure and clear rules about where to put your stuff and how to process them.

Anyway, I have really enjoyed this book and it will certainly provide a better framework for my activities. I’m sure I’ll benefit from it too.

Comfortable organising

Getting organised should be an appealing activity: get rid of the daily stress with an attractive and stress-free set of rules. That’s one of the big secrets of the GTD system. (you may click the sketch to see a bigger version.)

The intimidating IN basket

The power of focus

I agree with the importance of seeing yourself doing something if you really want to do it easily. Many painters actually see themselves painting a canvas. What do you think they do, sitting hours in front of a work in progress? Claude Monet’s latest landscapes are very deceptive in this sense: while they seem a very quick and improvisational work, he spent a lot of time in each painting, most of it seeing himself paint.
(Click the image for a bigger version.)

Mind cleanup

So you want to enjoy the “mind as water” state? First it is necessary to clean up all the stuff that has squatted into your mind.
You may click the illustration ( pencil sketch) to see a bigger version.

Page with sketches - I

This is a large composition with some sketches related to the first part of GTD. (Click the image to download a higher resolution version.)

1000 Heads: the book

1000 heads, my illustration book

My artwork at Flickr

Inspiring books for the creative type

My GTD (Getting things done) illustrations

I conceived this blog basically to share my visual side notes of the Getting things done process. My most recent posts about GTD software and related topics have “masked” the original posts.

You can access most GTDrawings in the archive of december 2005 and january 2006.

Here's a miniature with most of my sketches: this is what you will find, commented and in larger sizes, in those previous posts.

See also the article about GTD drawings.

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