[Updated] GTD/Evernote System Inspired by Kelly Forrister, 40Tech, Zen Habits, and Experimentation (Part 1)
Update: Commenting has been restored after a problem with a new plugin. Thanks for letting me know, everybody!
At the beginning of 2011, GTD Times posted an interesting article called “Waiting For” Advice. Within that post was a screenshot of the GTD setup that Kelly Forrister (GTD coach at DavdCo) uses via eProductivity. Instantly I could see a killer Evernote notebook structure that would work great without the need for stacks (read: works great on all mobile operating systems).
Here’s the notebook structure:
This setup is stupid simple and has been fairly bullet proof for several weeks now. Every action is within easy reach, whether I’m on the web or viewing my notes on a mobile phone. Routines, a Kelly Forrister recommendation, is a notebook of checklists, marked as daily, weekly, monthly etc. When… is a list of actions I intend or need to take once something has happened or I’m in a particular place in the future (such as “When I’ve moved into the new apartment”).
Zen Habits also inspired me to add an M.I.T. notebook that reminds me of the most important tasks of the day.
But there were several things missing from Kelly’s setup I thought could be added to the Evernote setup:
- Project support files
Project support files
As recommended by David Allen, we should have a list of our active projects. I accomplish this with notebooks, one for personal projects, the other for work. These notebooks DO NOT contain support materials, since that would clutter the view.
Instead I create tags that match the name of the project, assign the tags to the proper support notes, and store the notes in 04. Support (projects). Because Evernote allows linking between notes, I can even filter by tag then copy and paste the note links into the parent project note. Works like a charm.
For a solid Evernote based tickler system, I’ve turned to the setup that 40Tech.com posted about a while ago. Requires tags for Days (1-31) and Months (January – December). I have a notebook called Ticklers so anything can technically be thrown in there, but assigning tags makes filtering (and obviously reviewing by day/month) a breeze.
For me, References are old files I want to keep. Based again on a recommendation by David Allen, I’ve created A-Z tags with the occasional subtags for further filtering. Everything is tagged alphabetically.
Obviously I haven’t tagged every note quite yet.
Other GTD needs
So far this seems to be the most straightforward and easiest to maintain GTD setup I’ve ever used in Evernote. Granted I’ve not yet covered all our needs; Areas, Goals, Calendar, and other topics still need to be adressed.
As always, feedback is welcome and I hope my ideas are helping!