Getting Things Done: The Calendar

The Getting Things Done method also places a great deal of importance on the calendar. It’s the “bucket” in which only three types of information should go:
– time specific actions (meetings, appointments)
– day specific actions (tasks and to-dos that must be completed on a certain day but not at a specific time that day)
– day specific information (things you want to know about on certain days such as directions to appointments, events of interest)

Evidently only these three types of information and nothing else can go onto your calendar – be it digital or analog. This is to prevent the jam-ups that occur on your daily to-do checklist because of constant new input and shifting priorities. Additionally if there is something on the list that doesn’t really need to be done it dilutes the importance of the tasks which must be accomplished that day.

To that end, actions that are not day-specific and reminders should go on a “next actions” list. So your daily tasks revolve around two separate sources of information: your calendar and your next actions list. This seems needlessly complicated to me and is why I love my Moleskine daily planner, it’s the best of both worlds. I can put in events by time and list what I have to do that day – as well as a general time (morning, afternoon) in which I have to get stuff done. The only drawback is that if I don’t get something done on one day, I have to transfer it to the following day…which would be painful except I have a fetish for my own handwriting and adore making lists. Just sayin’…

How do you keep track of daily tasks – do you have a system with which you are similarly obsessed?

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