When you first start digging into GTD, most models assume that you already have a working, reliable calendar. You have one, don’t you?
In a talk that David Allen gave a Google a while back, he told the audience that in their time together, none of them were thinking “Where am I going to be a week from Friday at 3:15?”. The reason is because they trust that system. They know that their calendar is updated and referenced frequently, so they’ll be aware of any items on their agenda for that day. That’s what GTD tries to do with the rest of your life.
If you can get all of your tasks into a system, and your mind can trust that you’ll access the system often enough to avoid letting things slip through the cracks, then you can free your mind from worrying about those things. It’s a beautiful thing.
I don’t think it’s worth getting deep into calendar specifics, but make sure yours is solid. Most of you have a system that you use and trust, and that’s great. However, if you’re looking for some ideas to improve your system, I’ll lay mine out and maybe you can get something from it.
- Google Calendar. Solid system, accessible from anywhere, easy to share data with co-workers, friends, etc.
- SaiSuke for iPhone. It’s $10 (though there is a free test version as well) and it does a great job of syncing itself to your Google Calendar. Very handy when you’re on the go.
- Nozbe and Toodledo. I’m going back and forth between these two programs (more about that in a later post), but both can push your time-sensitive tasks directly to your Google Calendar, or a variety of other calendars such as iCal.
- Jott. You can Jott items directly to your calendar. It’s slick, though I really don’t use it for that very often.
- You can also SMS items directly to your calendar. Send a message to 48368 (“GVENT”) with something like “meeting with sue tuesday at 3” and it’ll put it on there for you.
The other key is to reference it often. When I’m at home, I leave a browser open with tabs for Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Reader always open so they’re available for quick access. Other tabs alongside them come and go, but those always remain.
Any other tips for making the best use of your calendar?