Good stuff, and lots of it.
A blog following one man's journey from chaos to (hopefully) organization using the principles of 'Getting Things Done' (gtd)
But it was all too ... digital. All of the nuances of life - the margin notes, the scratched out words and curvy lines - were demoted to little ASCII characters on the screen. Notes were meaningless without that context, splayed out on rigid horizontal lines, one after the other. And then few months ago, I snapped. I went out and bought a bound blank book from Spain (by Miquel Rius), grabbed a UniBall Vision Elite from the drawer, and felt the tension ease out of my shoulders as I put pen to paper, scratching away as I slowly regained my feel for handwriting. It took me a few weeks to remember how to happily form characters again, but now I find myself writing with abandon, hooking the bottoms of my "g"s and crossing the tops of my capital "J"s.
For my Retro solution I opted for the Moleskin Japanese NotePad in A6 which I modified by cutting out pages which I complemented with a thin notepad A6, where paper is thinner and some can be teared away. For input I acquired a Muji pen with multiple pens, it has black ink, red ink and a 0.5mm pencil. This allows me to make small mind maps with some highlight colour.
I LOVE Google Notebook. Regardless of what other tools I may or may not use, I'm confident that I'll keep it as part of my organization system. But let's be clear: Google Notebook is not a tool for organization per se, but rather an excellent rounding-up tool, which you will later process and filter by means of organization. For that purpose, it is simply awesome.
When you try and remember something, like a favorite summer day, does the memory come back as text? If you're telling someone how you want a new house to be built, would you open a word processor up and start typing instructions? Our brains are wired for a mix of systematic thinking on the left side, and visual thinking on the right. So why, then, do we take notes primarily in textual form?
I actually didn’t find implementing GTD too painful. I made sure to read the book through all the way first, and then went back and skimmed where required. To be honest, most of what’s in there is plain common sense, but it were so common, everybody would have some. I immediately instituted the concept of writing everything down, using contexts, using my calendar as a hard landscape, and instituting a general filing system. I had a home filing system, but I also had stacks of one-off things that didn’t deserve their own file folders. GTD changed that.
I told you it was bad. But I've been and acquired a big stack of file folders today, and i'm feeling determined...