ForumsTime ManagementMaking TD a habit

Making TD a habit
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Posted: Feb 23, 2010
Score: -1 Reference
Hi all,

I'm committed to TD now and I have decent systems for things...except actually using it.

I still resort to my brain or paper when I'm in a hurry and I know this isn't the most efficient way and things get lost and done out of order.

Please let me know any tips or tricks you have for actually making this a habit. Thank you.


Posted: Feb 23, 2010
Score: 1 Reference
Hi Dan,

If you haven't read "Getting Things Done" by David Allen it's worth doing so. It addresses this issue quite well.

I record everything that needs to be done. I never rely on my brain because it's just not reliable. This really is a key habit that has helped me get better organized.

Using paper to record things is fine - I have a bunch of small notepads in strategic locations, e.g. at work, at home, in my backpack, in the car, etc. So I can scribble down a thought or a task that needs doing, tear out the page and put it into my inbox (with any other items that come my way such as documents & folders, bills, etc).

Having an inbox to collect your pieces of paper and everything else is important because it stops you losing stuff. I process my inbox regularly and this gets tasks into Toodledo where I can then sort/tag/context/prioritize them and eventually get them done.

I also record things directly onto my iPhone todo program which syncs with Toodledo. And anything in my Outlook inbox that needs doing gets forwarded to Toodledo.

By being "religious" about the recording of what needs doing and also where you put it (inbox), nothing should get lost, so you will have a reliable list that you can work through.


This message was edited Feb 24, 2010.

Posted: Feb 25, 2010
Score: -1 Reference

Also check out
After registering your mobile and email address, you can call them - say Reminder and then record a message.

They will transcribe the message and email it to you (it can also add directly to Toodledo, but I don't use this feature). It also includes a link to a WAV file which is the original message your left.

They have a free account for doing this (limited to 20secs), but this is plenty for leaving yourself a quick reminder when you don't have a pen/paper to hand.

All you pay for is the short call (I am in the UK, and it a standard number so it is part of my inclusive calls package).

Check out for a list of where they have local numbers (They only support English transcribing at the moment).


Posted: Feb 27, 2010
Score: 1 Reference
Thanks Peter & Steve. I think the underlying message is Just Do It, and do whatever it takes to build the habits to it becomes automatic.

I have read and believe in GTD, just hadn't successfully implemented it. Today I did a good review and I have been using SMS to drop tasks into TD into a dedicated 'inbox' folder. One of my big stumbling blocks was that when I sat down to do the work, tasks were not *exactly* organized in order - even if I filled out tasks correctly.

For me personally, discovering the 'due date' view made all the difference because it reduced the # of elements meaningfully into things I really need to do now. If I was accurate with Next Action, then sorting by priority/length (descending - I have this problem in another post) is my TRUE sequence of work. Prior to that I just wasn't appreciating any benefit of being almost organized, and I needed 100% awesomeness to help the motivation.

Thanks for the help!

Posted: Mar 04, 2010
Score: -1 Reference
Posted by
Hi all,

I still resort to my brain or paper when I'm in a hurry and I know this isn't the most efficient way and things get lost and done out of order.


For me, at times "resorting to brain or paper" post-it actually works extremely well and is far more effective than taking the time to put it in to TD.

The key for me is letting my "system" slowly evolve so that it really supports me and not being slavish about it. If I can trust that in different circumstances what I need to use to support me is different and then observe whether it is effective I can use that feedback to determine the system that really works. Self-observation as a feedback mechanism is for me all of what it is about. Some days I purposely avoid using TD at all and by intentionally giving up on my "system" I learn about what it does and does not do for me; experiment and observe.

Even when I enter things in TD the level of detail and what fields are used are varied to suit the particular task/subtask. Cookie cutters are for making cookies, but not for supporting my life.
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