Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Getting Things Done - Voice Recorder


So during my reading of Making It All Work I stopped and seriously contemplated the very first "Capture" step. Realizing that I get a few TODOs into my head going to sleep, I sprang for a Voice Recorder ($35 on sale at Frys, Sony brand). It has helped so much.

In total I thought that I only had a few things on my mind but it amounted to HUNDREDS (300+ and counting). Furthermore I feel like I have my mind back again (clarity of thought), have the resources to be more proactive and am inspired to try this out at work. More specifically I'll make voice recordings of my ideas (some of them I've been kicking around for literally YEARS) and then transcribe them into Task Coach (a task management app).

Last weekend I started the next two phases "Clarify" and "Organize". Clarify means to tag a given item as Actionable, Archive, Trash and Decide Later. Everything that isn't actionable is basically done for now (Decide Later will be done later of course!) Actionable items (still in the hundreds for me) can be further grouped (Organized in Task Coach) and then we get down to lists of 10-30 items. Reasonably doable.

I got some stuff done around the house for the first time in months! I had the time before but not the cognition, and this helped me out tremendously.

In fact, I'm so pleased that I named my voice recorder. They say there are no silver bullets in engineering, but there is now; I named it "Silver Bullet".

So, take away point, GTD is effective and great with a voice recorder + Task Coach.

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