Posted by: Simon | June 17, 2008

GTD Hybrid System – 30 Day Trial

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I have been pondering my all electronic GTD system for some time now. It works well and has done so for almost a year. However, as I wrote here, I feel the need to explore the incorporation of paper into the system. And today begins my 30 day trial.

I have searched the web, listened to others’ various tips and decided how I am going to do it. I’ll write about it here each week so that hopefully my experience will contribute to the melting pot of views and may help someone make up their mind on which way to go if they’re starting out.

Firstly, I am only moving my Next Action and Projects lists to paper. I will be retaining an electronic calendar – it’s just too convenient syncing to my BlackBerry plus in the work environment I have a number of people who need to be able to see my diary.

I have chosen to use a Moleskine Cahier for my lists. Basically I will keep all next actions, waiting fors, someday/maybes and projects in this. After much indecision and confusion after looking online I am going to “sync” or backup my Cahier to Outlook. That way if I lose the Cahier I am not totally stuffed. I could photocopy the pages, true.

I will “sync” as part of my Weekly Review which I’m hoping will provide the dual benefit of getting me to really focus on cranking widgets during the week so I have the satisfaction of seeing the lists change dramatically. I’ll enter a Next Action on my paper list. Once I have backed it up to Outlook I will place a dot next to it. I’ll strike through the NA on paper when it’s done and then when I have checked it as done in Outlook I will highlight it in my Cahier. That’s my current thinking. This may all end up being too much effort for little return but that’s what the trial is all about!

Wish me luck!

Got any thoughts or ideas of your own on the shift to paper?

Please use the comments area to discuss.


  1. Good luck. I use composition books. I get lost in the electronics of all that. But no one needs to see what I am writing either.

  2. Thanks Laurie. As long as I can read my own writing I’ll be okay I guess :) …..

  3. [...] on my trial of a GTD hybrid system. Details on what I was planning to do are covered in this post here. So far so good. I missed doing a formal weekly review at the end of last week so I haven’t [...]

  4. [...] system I’m trialling seems quite viable for my circumstances. My original thoughts are here with my first week here and my second week here. Next week I’ll need to make a decision on [...]

  5. [...] Hybrid System – that is, one using paper combined with electronic tools – you may want to check out my original post on the subject first. To read some of my observations as the trial unfolded please check out my [...]

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