Saturday, September 19, 2009

Green Templates for Eco Time Management?! :)

In my previous post, I didn't mention David Seah - mostly, cause he deserves a post on his own! He makes fabulous forms that help you keep track of time, or start projects! (And keep track of them!)

And what's more, he loves the idea of going green in his next print runs! :)

I REALLY love his forms and design ideas.

I didn't want to start a project the other day, and just the thought of being able to tick a box on one of his forms sent me running to start it – and then it was pure flow for the rest of the evening!

I was really inspired by his weekly template too, so I made this form:
(I hope it's okay to post) It’s very makeshift and scanned badly, but it sort of works, lol!

I don’t have the tools to design well, so I just used scissors (and bits of David’s form – though his stuff is muuch more beautiful!) - and Microsoft Word!
(Hope he forgives me!:)

Ideally, it would be printed on chlorine-free or fully recycled paper, still haven't managed to source TOTALLY chlorine-free paper locally yet, though. I've got recycled paper but it smells funny and am not sure how exactly it was made either (no info on the pack). I suppose I'll have to ring them up.
There's non-eco paper in the house so I suppose the eco thing is to use it up, and then buy more eco options? (Ideally before we run out!)

I put ‘necessary’ stuff assigned to dates or hours into the first row of boxes, weekly stuff not assigned to dates on the far right or so, tick daily walks or such in the second row, and keep track of details/hours spent on a project below. (It could get a bit messy if I put too much there, so I think I’ll start tracking lunch etc. separately again)

Ideally, I’d assign ‘points’ to projects and stuff done according to the CEO idea, not quite there yet though (except for the first few days) – admittedly, I haven’t done much but read GTD and tried to get organized these past few days and it doesn’t count as ‘points’, does it? :)

I had quite great success with it for a while and tracked my daily progress (or lack of it) for two weeks or so, now I use it more loosely and don’t keep track of everything, mostly the upper rows above.

I had kept a similar form years ago and actually managed to practise the guitar and write the 2nd half of the first draft of my novel with it!:)
It was inspired by a 'schedule' I kept when studying and later on teaching..
(I then stopped using the original form cause it had too many categories, and it made me feel slightly frazzled and like I wasn't doing enough.. So I now chose only a few categories. Also, some of my priorities changed.. It's a good thing to have them editable.)

Why is it eco? Well, previously I was keeping track in an old planner that had daily forms to keep track of things, and it took a page a day! (With lots of free space remaining.) It’s now one page instead of seven!

This seemed an ideal solution... Until something was causing me a bit of anxiety/annoyance/avoidance (the research etc) and I didn't want to even look at it on the same page as my other weekly stuff! Hm!
I am now wondering how to go around that.. he he.. :)
I still like the idea of a weekly (and yearly) overview!

Not sure if I need a monthly overview too, like what Antony Johnston has, or..?

Am still finishing GTD (and feel a bit confused with all the options, lol!) My health is still not quite allright either.
Not sure if it was the old walnuts or a bit of a flu – or the thought of actually having to do all those projects that are in my head (or my cupboard!) that's made me and my stomach queasy!

The pig flu is in Slovenia already, and not so far away from us either, but who cares? It's mostly a scare to get people to buy meds, most seem to make it just fine without. I'm pretty sure it's not it anyway. Dad's recovered in 2 days, so I hope I shall soon too.

The comforting thing is that I'm actually feeling quite happy to have the flu or whatever it is to take off the pressure a bit, to give me time to reconsider, and get a grip on things (again).

David Allen of GTD says it’s okay to keep a list (or box, or shelf – maybe even a cupboard?) of maybe/someday-projects and re-negotiate stuff as other things happen inbetween! Which is very reassuring!

This form or my other ways of time management may evolve in time... Do post any thoughts, ideas or suggestions! :)


  1. Geesh Layla, I don't know how you get on with that AT ALL! I just spent 1/2 an hour looking at his site and forms and they are totally overwhelming. They are not for me at all, but I'm glad you've found something you like - that always feels good :)

  2. lol which site did you have in mind? GTD or Antony's blog?

    It's really quite simple once you get the hang of it - or so I hear!
    It seems quite complicated at first, and I'm still learning!!

    I like the idea of: INBOX (input for anything to be done) to be a box (not my whole desk or half the room!) Basically then you have projects to work on, and it's important to distinguish 'next action' actionables from 'amorphous blobs' lol!
    (of reference material and archives and such)

    I also like the idea of weekly review!
    (Am not much further on from these!:)

  3. Oh, or did you mean David Seah's site?
    I may have just had a 'blonde' moment!

    Well, depends how good you are at actually starting projects - if you have no problem with that, you might not need some of the forms!
    I love 'initiate' and 'attack' stars and clouds or just bullet points! (I did print out 3 different versions of that to see what works best with me! And have used it for different projects/actions!
    Often, even the thought of it is enough!)

    I like the 'CEO' idea of giving yourself 'points' for doing stuff, as I'm a bit competitive! (again, I don't use the actual form, I printed it out for reference!)

    So, today I get +1pt for guitar (just practised 5 songs) and +5pt for my novel (wrote the alotted 4.000 words, YAY!), other, more difficult or 'worthy' stuff (or actually stuff that earns $$) is rated higher!

    I also like the yearly 'overview' calendar. (I just put deadlines or such there.)
    It's basically like the small calendars you get at a bank or store, but you can actually write on it.

    Basically I read about his approach and printed out some forms I liked, and then I tweaked it into my own system as above.
    I spent a lot more than half an hour there the first night I came across it lol..

    It's basically a way of thinking, and if you internalized it, you don't need it :)

    I'm not good with post-it notes in visible places, as I do like some level of order, at least at the end of the day.. We're all different, and partly that's the magic of it!

  4. thanks for sharing the form! <3
    hope you are feeling better though :(
    i'v been feeling like i have a stomach flu as well but its tolerable :P meds are usually my last resort haha :P

  5. Thank you kAy!! :)

    Yes, I'm better!! :) just having a wee bit of PMS! (& want to strangle heads, he he!!)

    Meds are my totally last resort too, I never take 'em for the flu or any other stuff if I can help it!

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