Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Rounding things up

Today we finish with the original sketches I made during my particular reading of Getting Things Done. I hope some of these images have contributed somehow to enrich your own experience or provided an additional insight about the topics covered in the book.
Next weeks I will upload some related drawings.



The someday/maybe category of your organising system may contain those things that lay farther ahead on your future. It is necessary to envision what really matters to you to set the goals (realistic goals) for the next years of your life.





Try to have your colleagues let you lead a well organised work environment. They should follow your advice and use your IN basket to your advantage.






One of the most important things one should get used to is to taking advantage of odd windows of time. Those moments when you really could do some task and save more quality time for other activities or simply leaving more free time. You can do things whenever you're waiting on a queue, on a waiting room, a traffic jam... just have your laptop, pda or your notebook close at hand.





Why 43 folders? You wonder... really simple. That's how you set up a functional tickler file.

A few more notes about GTD

Another selection of my sketches. Note that most of them are either pencil or pen drawings. I drew them on separate sheets of paper (in different places, both in one of my sketchpads, individual sheets and even on the back of envelopes.)







Even more side notes...

In these post I am rather including the maximum of pictures and the minimum of text, because you'll have enough to read with the book and related websites. I will rather include these pictures about specific points that captured my interest.
Additional description is missing because all of these illustrations are already scribbled with some explanation.






Details and howto images

Today I'll add a variety of my visual side notes about Getting Things Done, together with some text annotations about the context for each of them. You may click any image to see bigger versions. If you wish to use some of these sketches, read about the use licence below. You'll also find contact information in case you should need something more polished.


(Deciding the next action depends on several criteria.)



(Never hesitate to process what is coming into your in basket. On to your filing system.)



Well, the image carries a text note. The monster of anxiety and emergency situations appears often when you leave non actioned lists.



In your daily life you will probably have to dance among many different tasks. You must learn to do it with the safe net of a solid GTD system!


A good filing system, be it digital or paper-based, is absolutely necessary for a sound organisation of your work and life.

The formality factor means that some decisions fail because of the apparent complexity of deciding what to do. If you streamline your decision-making with a good system, you will speed up your activities and get rid of stuff.

Keep a big (or giant) stack of fresh folders and a good supply of stationery items. Nothing is more frustrating than putting of your organisation task because you have just run out of folders, paper sheets or whatever item you need.


At a very simple level, the humble lists are one of the most formidable tools to lead a better organised life. But remember that you must follow some basic rules to be able to write effective lists.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tools of the trade

To have success in getting your life organised, you really don’t need fancy tools or high tech gadgets. A simple notepad and pencil or pen is almost everything you could possibly need if you have a good and sound system.
Some GTD -oriented stationery like a Hipster PDA (see links on the right side) are fine examples of this simple and trouble-free (and electric power-free) approach.

Idea-generation methods and GTD

Some idea-generation methods frequently used as creativity enhancers are also very good for organizing your stuff and get it on track to get things done.
These sketches are related to some passages in the Getting Things Done book where brainstorming, mind maps and distributed cognition are mentioned (click for a bigger version.)

Miscellaneous notes

These are some miscellaneous sketches about concepts such as:

  • the importance of substituting a mess of partial, non systematic lists, by well-structured to-do lists with clear contexts;
  • keeping the calendar as a kind of “sacred territory” only for tasks or appointments with a very specific time allocation;
  • the back-of-the-envelope planning idea, frequently mentioned in the text;
  • the usefulness of brainstorming techniques as a way of organizing your stuff;

As usual, you can click the image to see a bigger 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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