The Tickler


Sounds like an item for sale at Babes in Toyland….

However, one of the big take-aways from Getting Things Done, is the importance of establishing a “Tickler File” as an adjunct to your usual filing system. The idea is that anything that you may need to be reminded of at a later date goes into this file. Copies of interesting articles, ideas for future globe hopping vacations, restaurant reviews, etc. Every day (or at least weekly) you are supposed to put the folder in your inbox and go through it – adding any time sensitive information to your daily action item list. It should be kept in your line sight, so it’s not forgotten.

I’m looking at my tickler folder now. So far I’ve added a Rolling Stone article to remind me to buy tix to the RHCP show in Austin if I ever have any spare cash, research regarding putting together a will and getting a health savings account, and a blog posting about how 3.5 year olds are the worst people on the planet (which is absolutely true, by the way) that I plan to pass along to other unfortunate parents of such.

Now there is some controversy in the lifehacking/time management community – over whether the Getting Things Done or the more complicated and time-sensitive “43 Folders” method (1 folder per day of the month = 31 + 1 folder per month of the year = 43 folders) is preferable. At this stage in my game, I’m sticking with the simpler Getting Things Done plan, as I’m not back at work yet and the amount of really time-sensitive information I need to keep on top of mind is limited to home-management type of stuff. I’ve also set up a virtual “tickler file” in my gmail to accomplish the same. I think I’ll migrate to the 43 folders method as I progress through the steps in the book, just because my OCD-ness is drooling over the possibility of having daily and monthly folders in which to file, and check meticulously. Excellent.

Now – the trick is – will I remember to check both my paper and electronic tickler files daily? I guess I’ll have to add this as a recurring item in my “action list.” Sigh. Complicated.

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