Getting Started – Getting Things Done Chapter 4

GTD ToolsNow that the book is read, there is no time like the present to start. I have allocated a day to collection, and also as long as it takes to processing. This is one of the benefits of working for yourself. You control your own time.

Chapter 4 of the Getting Things Done book is concerned with setting up the time, space, and tools to make a start with the whole GTD methodology. This is something which I have been waiting with excitement to start, but something that has to be planned.

Lets look at each of the three items, starting with time.

The book recommends that you spend two whole days on setting up your GTD system. Ideally these days should be together and not split up. As with any task like this, immersion in it makes it a lot easier as you can focus on the task at hand. OK, time is no problem and this is important so the dates are set in my diary.

The next item is setting up the space. Luckily, I have my own dedicated study/office within my house that is well equipped and where I work from, relatively undisturbed. However, the book also covers people who are not as fortunate and have to either share an office, or utilize some nook or cranny within their house. I must admit that it is hard enough being organized in an area, without having to share this area with other members of your family so I am happy I have the freedom of my office. I no longer have an office I “go to work in” as I am currently based at home, so this is just a single task for me.

Right, I have the time, and the space. Now the tools. There is a GTD shopping list that I will outline below:

  • Three paper holding trays
  • Stack of plain paper (letter or A4)
  • Writing instruments
  • Post It notes (3×3 ideally)
  • Paper Clips
  • Binder Clips
  • Stapler with staples
  • Scotch Tape
  • Rubber bands
  • An Automatic Labeler
  • File Folders
  • A Calendar
  • Wastebasket

I had a quick run through this list to see what I was missing. The main thing I needed was paper and also folders. I have never used a filing system or tickler file and I was very interested in utilizing both as part of my GTD methodology as I believed in the benefits they would bring.

Being a network engineer, I already had the labeler and I totally agree with the clear benefits that labeling can bring. My handwriting is the bi-product of spending my entire youth on a keyboard so utilizing a labeler has always been a great idea for me.

So, off I trundle to my local Staples store.

I bought 200 file folders, 100 tabbed and 100 plain. Could not get over how cheap these were! as well as 1000 sheets of A4 paper. I also bought a rather cool looking A to Z index expanding folder. Just place this in my file drawer and I have an instant A to Z filing system. I was tempted to get the 1 to 31 version as well but this would have not made a true tickler file so I decided to stick with the manual folder tickler system.

So, I now have the time, space, and tools, no stopping me now.

Collection, here I come!

One thought on “Getting Started – Getting Things Done Chapter 4

  1. Stephen

    Good Luck! I wish you the best on this. Stay focused and do not let yourself get distracted. I let some “tasks” get out of hand this morning and nearly blew my whole Weekly Review. Blegh.

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