After reading Adrians blog post Mind mapping software as a lifecycle management tool, I thought about how much of a mess my life is. Not a bad mess, I hasten to add, but a diaphonous morass of must-do's, could-have-beens, maybe-one-days. I would like to do so much.
So it was with a degree of self-interested interest that I came across GTD. This stands for Getting Things Done, a “lifecycle management approach” that Adrian would be proud of.
Essentially there are 3 parts: workflow, framework process and planning. The core idea, at the heart of the workflow, is to get everything down, all ideas, get them out on a regular basis. Dump your brain. You then use the tool of your choice (paper, index cards, software) to process the ideas into actions which you do, delegate, schedule or transform into projects.
The framework process is each week to take time out to focus on different levels, from current actions through to life goals.
The planning, as far as I can see, comes in useful examining and shaping your projects.
I have come across some very exciting software called Thinking Rock, a cross-platform Java application which has been designed for the GTD approach. It takes a while getting used to, as you are supposed to add everything regularly in the Collect process rather than firing off like a loose cannon. My hopefully most helfpul tip is to use the Projects view to organise your actions into some sort of framework (see screengrab below).
I am also trying out the Novell Evolution PIM (Personal Information Manager), which is very Gnome-like in its simplicity/lack-of-customisationism. The integrated calendar is pretty swish though, next step is to integrate it more with Thinking Rock.
What I have found is that using my previously-mentioned The Google Mail-Hosted IMAP Email Anywhere Experience, it's really easy to set up a new email client. The only bugbear is setting up new rules. Also, Evolution plays ball pretty well with Google Calendars.
Now, what was I supposed to be doing...?