GTD with your Blackberry
World's Easiest & Free Blackberry GTD Solution
One of the reasons I like GTD is because I can be rather lazy. I hate doing something twice and I really hate forgetting to do something when it was right there in front on me. GTD helps me with this and since I always have my Blackberry handy, the laziness errr principle of GTD says that this might be the best solution for me.
Now I have read all sorts of reviews on Blackberry GTD software and the limitations of the basic Blackberry Task manager. But since this is the only device I use I sought a better implementation and here is my Blackberry GTD solution. Which for me is as near perfect as I could ever wish for. Why? Because my Blackberry GTD implementation is Free, has a single entry /input field and is lightning fast to use. Assuming that you already know the concept of GTD and have the general system down, here is how it works:
Just 2 Simple Steps (the rest are just helpful ideas)
- Save Your Task/Action - Let say its an @Call type so in the first field "Task:" start typing "Call John about 2009 Budget". Make sure the very first word is your Context item (Call, Web, Email) followed by the details. Put additional 'keywords' towards the end of the sentence.
- Review Your Tasks/Actions - Just type the keywords anywhere in the BB Task program and BB will filter all tasks with those keywords. Example: let's say you're at the phone and you are ready for a task. Open the Task program and just type "Call" and suddenly your Blackberry sorts all of the Tasks that contain the word "Call". Scroll and delete the completed.
Its that simple. There are only two fields: 'Find' for your search terms and 'Task' for the title. Just delete the completed tasks.
NOTE: Don't waste time adding the "@" symbol on a cramped keyboard, there's no need for it as Blackberry does not filter any symbols from the search - "Find:@Home" lists both "Home", "@Home" and "Homework". If you really need to add an "x" instead (or some other letter). Then "xHome" will only find xHome and not Homework.
Associate Tasks to Projects with Keywords!
The beauty of this is the simplicity, speed and ease of use. The masterpiece is that I can assign a Task to multiple contexts or to a PROJECT just by adding a keyword to the subject line.
Want to see all of the emails for the project Budget? Just type "Call Budget". Want to see anything related to the budget for 2009? Just type "Budget 2009" and every Call, Email, etc magically appears. Suddenly ran into John in the hall way? Type "John" and now every task, email and call, related to John shows up.
Associate Tasks to Multiple Contexts with Keywords!
Have a task that you could do online/WEB or while OUT? Then title it "WEB research new laptop BUY STORE OUT". Now I can research a laptop from the WEB or at the STORE or while I am OUT. I also add the project BUY to any task that is a purchase so I can review all items that need bought from one filter. I buy books online/WEB and also at the Bookstore/OUT.
The subjects are organic, natural extension of your own thoughts. Just reminder to stick the 'action verb' (Call/Email/Web) at the front so you can easily scroll through the list if you need to later or if you use a Desktop program as outlined below. You can fill out all of the extra fields but I generally just do the title, unless I need this task to happen on a specific day and then I will set a reminder alarm.
What If You Also Use Outlook or Lotus Notes?
This solution is intended for people like me, constantly on the go, so its focused on the Blackberry device. But if you remember to keep the context identifier first ("Call John about 2009 Budget") then all of your tasks will be listed alphabetically in the Desktop program. You can also easily add new tasks on the desktop keyboard since my solution is based solely on the title field, so ANY task manager can sync to your Blackberry.
Making It Look Pretty
You can take it a step further by using symbols (#, *, -) to create a Heading or to sort more important items. NOTE: this would break you from using any desktop program since they may not alpha sort the same as your BB. First create a task titled "***Call ***" (the * has to be right next to the "C" for BB to list it above the others). Now at the beginning of the subject line of each 'Call' task add a symbol followed by a space and followed by the action verb. Blackberry only sorts by letter and number so all of your 'Calls' stay together but they will be listed in order of importance. Here is one example of how you can sort your list. Not that call Mary is listed above call John (even though J should come before M).
I could try and make it more complicated but its just plan easy. Easy to learn and even easier to use.