Getting Things Done (GTD)

This week in my CEP 810 course, we watched a TEDTalk and read up on David Allen’s Getting Things Done model.  Before, I elaborate on what GTD tool I checked out, I want to point out some of the useful key information that Allen spoke about in his TEDTalk.

He introduced his lecture by talking about how “Crisis creates serenity;” and that as humans, we intuitively take action when we are in crisis.  He continues on by talking about how getting things done (GTD) isn’t necessarily even about actually getting things done, but rather how appropriately engaged you are with the task(s) at hand.

That comment resonated with me because I completely get that.  Between teaching Spanish all day, working for Apple (and teaching classes there) as well as being in grad school, while also trying to balance my relationships with friends and family, there are moments where I have to step back and breath.  Take a moment to myself and break down what needs attention first. I usually try to prioritize my work load by making lists (usually I use the Reminder App on my iPhone or the Notes Application).

My current system looks something like this:

Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 10.09.59 PM.png

All events, payment reminders, important dates for school are put into my Apple Calendar that syncs with my computer and iPhone (all via the iCloud) – so that anything I change automatically syncs to all of my devices (eventually I will get an iPad pro that will come along with me wherever I go).

Anytime I have notes or something I want to jot down in list format or have questions about –  I use the Apple Notes application on my computer and iPhone which also syncs between each other using the iCloud.

As for e-mail, I am syncing I believe a total of 8 different e-mail accounts to both my computer and my iPhone (3 different G-Mail accounts, School e-mail, 2 iCloud e-mail accounts, a Yahoo account and my @MSU account).  I have created folders for each of those e-mails and I read e-mail automatically as it comes in.  I delete SPAM right away and respond to e-mails as they come in.  Anything that I want to save outside of the inbox goes into one of the specified folders for that e-mail account.

For my finances — I specifically use a spreadsheet I created in Numbers to help me out with that and I check off the bills that I pay for each month within that spreadsheet (bill payment reminders are setup in my calendar).

So coming back to the GTD method and tools, I feel like I use so much already that I thought I’d take a look at EverNote because I know so many people talk highly about this software. I downloaded it to my computer first (I know there’s an iPhone application as well).

I think I could use Evernote to help me organize my notes better so that I can be more productive. The fact that you can create multiple “Notebooks” and put notes within those, makes me feel like I could separate a lot of my notes that I have now. I like the fact that it automatically syncs with the iPhone, Apple Watch & iPad — and I like that I can make handwritten notes on the iOS devices – which could be helpful for jotting down quick ideas or drawings that I have as they come up.

I also like the easy integration of adding photos and website information into the notes as well. I’m hoping to use this more thoroughly as the year continues to keep and clip information that I find.  Maybe it will eventually replace my current Notes application.

*The one thing that I did change about my current organizational system for getting things done, is that I started to create folders for my notes so that I can easily get to my notes better and find what I am looking for with ease.

If you’re an Apple user and interested to learn more about iCloud and the applications that sync with it check out:


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