Getting Things Done – Part 4 (My Moleskine Setup)

This is a continuing post on long, drawn-out Getting Things Done series. See also Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3. Without further ado (see Part 3 if you need the ado), here is how I go about setting up a new Moleskine:

Filling out the “In case of loss, please return to…” section inside the front cover.

The very first thing I do when I crack open a new Moleskine is to fill out the “In case of loss, please return to:” section. Here I list out my name, address and phone number. In the “As a reward: $” field, I usually add “A big ‘thanks’ and maybe $20 if it’s a good day”

Adding a Book # and a date range inside the front cover.

Directly inside the front cover, I list the book number and the date range that this Moleskine spans. I put the starting date in now, and when the Moleskine is filled, I come back and put the end date in. The book number is for future reference back to this book.

Numbering the Pages.

I number the odd pages 1-239. The Moleskine Large Squared Notebook that I use has 240 pages and I number them for indexing purposes. This is a bit tedious, but the ability to quickly reference and find what I want via my indexes makes it worth the trouble.

Creating space for a Particular Index.

Pages 1 and 2 are dedicated to my Particular Index. This is an index into specific contents on specific pages. Below is an image of what the Particular Index looked like in my last Moleskine (note: it did not reside on Pages 1 and 2 in the last book). When the Moleskine is filled, this index gets entered into my Master Index (oh, yes – there’s a grand scheme…more on the Master Index in a later post – suffice it to say here that I use Google Notebook as a Master Index for my life).

Creating the GTD (Getting Things Done) Index.

Page 3 is dedicated to my GTD (Getting Things Done) Index. This is an index to the multiple action lists (think “to do” lists), and various other lists that I keep (see below). The following is an image of what the GTD Index looks like in my latest Moleskine.

Creating space for my Action Lists.

My Action Lists are how I keep track of everything. These reside near the back of the notebook and consume about 20 pages. These are pages that I setup now (reserving the space) for use throughout the life of this notebook. Anything that I need to do gets logged here as soon as it pops into my mind. To keep some order, I maintain multiple lists (think categories). Currently my lists are broken down as follows:

  • Schmorgous – anything that doesn’t fit in another category
  • Project 2 Pillars – church planting stuff
  • Church/Seminary – things to do for church, assignments for seminary, etc.
  • Home – things I need to do around the house, etc.
  • Errands – self explanatory
  • Shopping list – self explanatory

In addition to just keeping an action list, I also keep a “Waiting for” list for most of the above categories to keep track of things I’m waiting for from others (i.e. an email reply, a book to be returned, etc).

Below is an image of my Schmorgous action list from my prior Moleskine to give you a feel for what this looks like. The little square boxes are for task prioritization. I’ll elaborate on those more in Part 5 of this series when I talk about “Moleskine Miscellanies”.

Creating space for my Listmania Section.

I also keep a section for multiple different lists at the back of my Moleskine. These are lists that I keep for books, movies, and bands that I hear about. Again, these are pages that I setup now for use throughout the life of the notebook. Ultimately, the books listed in here get funneled into my Master Book List that I keep in a Google Doc spreadsheet (for access anywhere), but the notebook list makes for a convenient place to write a title down when I don’t have access to the web. I also keep a “Wish List” for keeping track of gift ideas that I stumble across for others (and myself) as well as a list of future blog ideas.

Creating space for for new contacts, major dates, and a calendar.

Three more things that I keep at the back of the notebook are new contacts, major dates, and a calendar. For new contacts, I dedicate a couple of pages to record names, numbers, addresses, and emails of people I encounter. These ultimately make their way into my PDA and Outlook (although I should strongly consider changing to a Google App for this). Page 240 (the last page) is used to keep track of major dates coming up and is used in conjunction with a calendar that I print out and tape into the facing page (see image below). Dates jotted down in here also make their way into my PDA and Outlook. For the calendar, I use, select what I want, and print it with a shrink value of 70%.

Still to come in Part 5:

In Part 5, (which I expect to be the concluding part of this series) I’ll detail out some “Moleskine Miscellanies” including a discussion on linking entries since I use a single notebook for such a wide range of stuff. I’ll also talk about the method I use for task prioritization (alluded to above) as well as transferring things from one Moleskine to the next when one gets filled.

~ by toddbumgarner on August 22, 2008 9:20 pm.

4 Responses to “Getting Things Done – Part 4 (My Moleskine Setup)”

  1. […] This is the concluding post in my Getting Things Done series. See also Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4. In this part, I’ll be expanding on my Moleskine Setup by writing on a few miscellanies that […]

  2. […] – bookmarked by 6 members originally found by bkitt001 on 2008-09-27 Getting Things Done – Part 4 (My Moleskine Setup) – […]

  3. Great stuff — I’ve been looking for a way to implement GTD using Moleskines since I am no longer able to use a computer for an extended amount of time.

    I was wondering how you handle projects, though, using this system?

    Any ideas? Thanks!

    • To do projects with this method, I just create another list in the back of the notebook. So if I have a specific project that I’m working on, I’ll simply create separate, dedicated list for that project.

      Since I posted this, I have actually transitioned to using an application called Remember the Milk for all things GTD. I make use of the web version, but also use the iPhone app as well. What got cumbersome with the Moleskine method that RTM overcomes is updating weekly priorities, day-by-day priorities, and the transitioning of everything to a new Moleskine when the old one got filled up.

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