Have you heard of Getting Things Done? I know, it’s a foreign concept to me too — or it was, until I learned about the process called … well, Getting Things Done. It’s an organization method set out by David Allen, and about three-fourths of the Internet swears by it — or at least, that’s what it seemed like when I first started researching it early in 2011.
Working in my first “career” position, I knew that I had to keep up with everything that was going on. I’m pretty organized anyway, but I wanted to step it up a notch since, you know, I had a salary depending on it. I read the book, got some manila folders, and made some labels. I started feeling organized at work, like I could keep track of everything because it was there in a file. I didn’t have to keep it all in my head anymore. Over the last year (I started in January 2011), I added more folders for more projects, made more labels, and found out how well this system really works.
One day when I was home sick from work, I was able to direct my staff to the folder that contained some important things needed that day. I knew right where it was, even in my feverish state. When I have meetings scheduled, I can grab the folder for the meeting and be confident that everything I need is inside.
I may not follow the system exactly to a T, but that’s what’s beautiful about it. Take the things that speak to you and implement them. If you want to take it further, go for it. If you just need a little bit of streamlining, that’s great too.
After a year of having this system work for me at work, I’ve decided it’s high time to implement it at home. Sure, I don’t necessarily need meeting notes at home, but the system can help organize bills and other paperwork, something that is sorely lacking here. I’m not sure what my labels will all include, but I’m sure I can find some inspiration out there among the masses.
Are you a GTD-er? Do you secretly dream of crisp manila folders and clean printed labels? (Or not so secretly, like me …)