A Year of Getting Things Done (plus giveaway)

UPDATED: A winner has been selected at random. I was inspired by all the great project goals for 2013 people shared in the comments of the Facebook status update for this post & giveaway. Check them out if you haven’t yet.

I am good at many things.  Unfortunately, I do not know how many because math is not one of them.  Things go downhill for me after the loneliest number.   What’s worse, I’m not good at time management so I do not know when I will get around to counting my skills nor do I know how long it will take when I do.

I can get around the mathematics issue with a calculator and by only providing estimates when an exact number is requested of me.  ”How long until the show starts?” “About 15 minutes.” / “How far is the next gas station?”  ”Just a couple exits.” /  ”Your total is $17.62.” “Here’s a 20.”

A time management deficiency , however, is much harder to hide.  It’s pretty obvious when something doesn’t get done or you arrive 45 minutes late or “lose track of time” again.  This has been an issue for me for I don’t know how long (see math issue above). I’ve made progress in the past but eventually equilibrium returns to the universe and I continue to show up late to offset everyone that arrives early.

This year, oh this year, I’m making my most concerted effort yet.  I’m reading Getting Things Done for the third and surely not final time.  Like Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War, though, I get more out of it with each pass.

Today is not the post to share what I’ve learned so far.  It’s only February after all and the tubes of the Internet are already congested enough by the blind leading the blind.

What I will share is how I’m experimenting with different customizations of our Bound Memo notebook as my pocket GTD companion.  On this topic I have at least one eye to lead the way for anyone afflicted by blindness as well.  Here’s the configuration I recommend.

  • Make a notebook for each month.  48 pages is a great size for this and it is really satisfying to take stock of the month and start fresh with a blank one in a new notebook.  I also recommend it because it is really helpful to always have it with you for the critical “collection” step in the process.  I can’t tell you how many times (math again) I’ve captured a task standing at a cross walk to do next time I’m at my computer or what not.
  • Monthly Calendar – Put the month’s monthly calendar view as the first section.  You’ll need this for a quick view of major events that will occur during the month.  The combo between the monthly calendar and the daily log help achieve the “43 Folders” technique, especially if you make all 12 notebooks in advance.
  • Daily Log – Reserve the next 28-31 pages for a page per day using the daily log template.  Only use this pages to write things that MUST happen on that day.  This is a big thing I’m taking from the book this time so far.  When you are on that day you can use it for ad hoc notes and identifying priorities or what have you.
  • Lined Pages – You’re gonna want to just jot stuff down.  Blank or grid work for this as well.
  • Checklists – After trying both the two-column and one-column layouts we have I can say you’ll want a mix of both.  Here’s why.  You need the one-column layouts for tasks that warrant an articulate next action statement.  If you’ve read GTD you know how crucial that is.  At the same time, you do not need a full line on your errands list for “Milk” or “Whale Blubber.”

Here are some shots of the two I’ve worked with so far.

Getting Things Done January and February Memo Notebook

Getting Things Done January Memo Notebook

Dixie Chicks Serious.

Monthly Calendar Getting Things Done Custom Notebook

Smudged the personal stuff

Daily Log Getting Things Done Custom Notebook

Smudged the personal stuff

Lined Pages in Getting Things Done Custom Notebook

Complete with Phase 10 score card.

To Do List Pages in Getting Things Done Custom Notebook

Can’t reveal all the secrets of what I do at Bound.

Getting Things Done February Memo Notebook

Folded page means one more day down

Getting Things Done Book Cover and Notes

I’ve been taking thorough notes.


I think I’ll take the time to do a giveaway today.  It’s been a while and this is a decent opportunity.  Here’s how it will work.

  • Go to our Facebook status update regarding this post before midnight EST Wednesday, February 12.
  • Leave a comment on that status update stating one thing you’d like to improve this year that might be aided by a Bound notebook.  Things like “Write a screen play”, “travel the world in 180 days,” “Get to class on time” are all acceptable submissions.
  • One winner will be randomly selected from the comments to receive a $115 gift code to make his or herself 10 Memos for the remaining 10 months of the year.  Yes, $115.


Bon Courage!



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