Back to lo-tech for GTD

I use a paper-based GTD filing system, as per David Allen’s suggestions.

I also use various digital tools for collecting, storing, filing/archiving and setting up tasks or alarms:; mainly Evernote but recently also OneNote and Outlook.

What the heck is this envelope doing on my shoes? Oh yeah! I need to take this to work…

However, while these tools are great for storing, archiving, annotating and collecting, they are not so good for setting up tasks or alarms: I need the alarm when and where I need it (like the document I need to take to the office, placed on my shoes by the front door where I can’t fail to see it and take it with me in the bleary morning).

Although I use a computer for much of the time, and am frequently online, I rarely use a computer in class and even when I do, I am even less frequently online. The only time I have been online when actually teaching has been to show a YouTube video. There is no computer in the classrooms I teach in. I can borrow a laptop and plug it in, but it’s a bore and usually more trouble than it’s worth.

I have not yet bought Evernotes‘ premium account so I don’t have access to all my Evernotes when I’m in the classroom.

Er, can one of you nice students tell me what the homework was?

When I’m in the classroom, one of the first bits of information I need is what was the homework from the previous class. Twice I did not have this information with me and could not recall it. This prompted me to refine my use of electronic tools and combine them with a paper-based low-tech system: index cards.

I’m therefore going back to a low-tech system for my next actions: index cards in the appropriate physical file folders. This way, the information I need is right in front of me where and when I need it. I go into the classroom, open the file, and there it is: what we did last class and the homework I assigned, plus today’s handouts if any.

 

Comments 2

  1. Busy Signals wrote:

    I’ve had an iPhone for 3 years and have been all over the map with productivity and organizing apps, but sometimes (for some people, at least) you just can’t beat paper.

    I even go paper for a lot of my reminders and lists–in the realm of what David Allen used to call “mid-tech”, i.e. more sophisticated low-tech solutions, like complex day planners. I really like the GTD Coordinator DavidCo puts out, for instance.

    Posted 28 Nov 2011 at 12:01 pm
  2. sheffner wrote:

    Thanks for the comment. Rather than “hi-tech or lo-tech”, for me the prime consideration is what will I have in my hands or on my work-space when I’m working? “When I’m working” means for me much of the time, in the classroom, where I don’t have a computer or an Internet-connected iPad or other device.

    Posted 28 Nov 2011 at 10:16 pm

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