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Author: steinbergm Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 45  
Subject: questions from a new GTD convert Date: 2/10/2005 11:15 AM
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I just started readin GTD and think it seems great! I've changed my Outlook task categories and am finding his suggestions incredibly helpful. I just ordered a Brother label maker and will start labeling away shortly!

Here are my questions:

1. How do you organize files without hanging folders as D.A. suggests? I just can't envision this. For example how would you handle the following situation without hanging folders?: I currently keep a hanging file labeled "Travel" where I keep receipts and other information from trips I make for work. Within that hanging file, I keep manilla folders with the date and city of the trip I took or will soon take.

2. What types of "paper holding trays" do you find work best for you? On page 92, he says "The most functional trays are the side-facing letter or legal stackable kinds..." Does this mean something that keeps the papers perpendicular to your desk rather than parallel?


Thanks for your help and any suggestions. I'm less than halfway through the book, but am really enthusiastic about the potential!

thanks,
m
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Author: sean1arch Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 34 of 45
Subject: Re: questions from a new GTD convert Date: 2/10/2005 1:23 PM
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Hello m.

I thought the same thing as you with regard to the hanging file folders until I actually tried it. Here is what I do. . .

My file cabinet has a rectangular metal thing in it that is adjustable and clicks into place which allows you to basically bring the "back" of the file cabinet forward as much as you want. I adjust that "thing" to where the manila folders are compressed enough to stand upright but loose enough to where they can be pulled in and put away easily.

As David Allen suggests, I now file all of my manilla folders in alphabetical order (as opposed to grouping them by type). This makes it easy to thumb through and find exactly where the exact folder is instead of having to thumb through to find a general classification "travel" and then thumb through to find "Paris" (or whatever). Personally, when I want to group certain manilla folders together, I label them by type and specifics. For example, I might lable a folder "Travel-Paris" and another "Travel-Madrid" and then file them in alphabetical order. And this can be broken down even further (i.e. "Travel-Paris-02/04/05" or "Travel-Paris-02/04/05-receipts", etc). This way, as long as you keep a consistant order to your naming of folders, the "Travel-Paris-02/04/05-receipts" will be right next to "Travel-Paris-02/04/05-maps".

But I find that this is even unnecessary for many things. Because once you have an alphabetical system, who cares if the maps of Madrid folder is adjacent to the maps of Paris folder. As long as you know to check under "P" for Paris, you will find what you need in an instant.

I have also found that the hanging files not only make it harder to find what you need, but that they display the information in a way that makes things harder to find. Without the hanging files, the manilla folders all seem to be at the same height and distance apart, making it easy to thumb through quickly.

Bear in mind, my way might not be best for you.

Best,
Sean

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Author: dmcostello Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35 of 45
Subject: Re: questions from a new GTD convert Date: 2/10/2005 1:28 PM
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1. How do you organize files without hanging folders as D.A. suggests? I just can't envision this. For example how would you handle the following situation without hanging folders?: I currently keep a hanging file labeled "Travel" where I keep receipts and other information from trips I make for work. Within that hanging file, I keep manilla folders with the date and city of the trip I took or will soon take.

Without hanging folders, you could just label each folder "TRAVEL - date - location".


2. What types of "paper holding trays" do you find work best for you? On page 92, he says "The most functional trays are the side-facing letter or legal stackable kinds..." Does this mean something that keeps the papers perpendicular to your desk rather than parallel?

I use the side-facing letter for my projects and reading material. For my inbox, I use a plastic box. I throw everything into my inbox, even non-paper things. I had an old cell phone that I wanted to recycle, I thre that in there. I couldn't do that with a tray. It works for my needs.

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Author: dmcostello Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36 of 45
Subject: Re: questions from a new GTD convert Date: 2/10/2005 1:31 PM
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I have also found that the hanging files not only make it harder to find what you need, but that they display the information in a way that makes things harder to find. Without the hanging files, the manilla folders all seem to be at the same height and distance apart, making it easy to thumb through quickly.

I can see what you mean. I use the one hanging-folder/manilla folder because my file drawers does no have the adjustable back. It is much cleaner than the multiple folders/hanging folder but the manilla folders lie too low in the hanging folders, making them less easy too see quickly.

It is still light-years better than it was before.

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