Thursday, February 3, 2011

Getting Things Done

I teach at 4 different schools. This means I have 4 different offices, 4 different principals, 4 different physical inboxes, and 4 different secretaries. Each school has its own events and schedules. On top of all this I have a work voicemail and a work email.

Before working on my process I read Kelly Forrister’s blog post on GTD. I started to think of what I carried to school with me and how I could implement some of David Allen’s ideas. The only think I always have with me is my cell phone. I also have computer access at all of my schools and at home.

Collecting seems like a difficult task when I am always on the move. I want to get everything into on inbox. All of the school mail gets routed through one building and then out to individual schools. I could talk to the mail room and get all of my mail routed to one signal building. I know that this would not reroute the local in-school mail but it would streamline most of my mail. I am going to make my School Gmail account my only inbox. All my mailboxes have a copy machine that can scan a document and email it. So when I collect something I plan to process it goes to my Gmail.

I also found out that I can Email myself through sms on my phone. So if I have a task to process I can send it right to my inbox.

Processing. The main thing I learned from this section of Kelly’s blog was to make decisions about things when things first show up. If the task takes less then 2 min do it.

When things are in my inbox I can than organize them. I made different folders in Gmail where I can send tasks. Using the ideas from Kellys Blog.

Reference - no action, you just need to hold on to it.
Someday/Maybe - no current action, but you want to incubate it for possible later action.
Projects - a list of your current outcomes that require more than one action to complete
Next Actions - one list or sorted by context, to manage your physical, visible next steps (project related and not)
Waiting For - actions that require you to track that you are waiting on someone or something.

Steps Review and Do just fall into place by looking at my new gmail folders and deciding how much time I have.

I do think this process will help my mind rest a little knowing that I have everything in on place and I will no forget about things. One problem, I just realized about my system, what happens if Gmail goes down?

My first time through everyone was wondering why I was using the copy machine. I think I will get my mail later in the day when Everyone else in their classrooms except me so I don’t have to wait in line to use it. Also, coworkers keep wondering who I am always texting.

I could see my self sticking with this. The more you do something the easer it gets.


  1. LOVED this ~ "Someday/Maybe - no current action, but you want to incubate it for possible later action." It reminds me of the teacher "stuff" I have in my basement - saving it for the day that I have time to "incubate" all those wonderful ideas. Just this past summer, I began getting rid of stuff, during those "2 minute" task events=8-)

  2. Really liked the idea of creating Google labels...I'm a big Google user and it never occurred to me to do this!