Tuesday, April 3, 2007

GTD with OneNote: Collection

This is the second post on my GTD with OneNote system. Part One on initial set up is here.

One of the main principles of GTD is to get things out of your head. By putting everything into a trusted system you free up "psychic RAM" and achieve a "mind like water" state. The places where you put these thoughts / ideas / to do items are referred to a collection buckets. In my system OneNote is my digital collection bucket. I collect all my thoughts in my TODAY section.

First thing in the morning I open the TODAY section and create a page with the days date as the title. I then quickly brainstorm any thoughts I have at the beginning of the day. I flag them with CTRL+1 to mark them for processing later.

As things come up during the day I just reopen my TODAY section by hitting CTRL+SHIFT+0 and enter these ideas too onto the days page and flag these too for processing later.

Using this method I can also keep a record of my day by using the time stamp Alt+SHIFT+t to record what I was doing and thinking at a particular time.

Anything I clip from the web or print to OneNote also gets sent to the today section and I can quickly flag this for processing too.

As the day goes by I will have collected thoughts and ideas, things to do, reference information etc. All these items will be tagged to Process. I will also have a record of my day ready to review and journal later.

When time permits I then move onto the next stage of the GTD process which is Processing all my stuff.


Mick said...

This is great stuff!

I'm trying it out but I don't get the
CTRL+SHIFT+0. How/where does this work?

I get nothing when I try it.



Rob said...


I have created a desktop shortcut and assigned the key combination CTRL + SHIFT + 0 to it.

1. Right click on the Section heading you have set for "today" and click copy hyperlink for this section
2. Click on your desktop & select New - Shortcut
3. Paste the hyperlink into the shortcut target nlocation box
4.Click Next then give the shortcut a name.
5. The dialogue bow will close. Right click on the shortcut on the desktop and click properties.
6. Assign your shortcut key by clicking in the dialogue box and then hitting the combination you want
7. Close. Now you should be able to press your chosen short cut combination to open the "Today" section from any application open.

For more details check David Rasmussens blog - i've linked to this in the Set up article.

sonja said...

I know I'm a little late one this, but I just found this post and think it is great! How do you "collect" files on your TODAY page? Throughout the day I either receieve or create a number of files (Excel, Word, etc.). Right now I dump them all on my Desktop. I'd like to "process" them as part of my Daily Review. How do you handle this situation? - Thanks

Anonymous said...

Another Great shortcut you can use to get to your Onenote today section for Vista users, is to place a link on the quick access toolbar by simply dragging the icon of the today section on to the quick access toolbar ...

Vista automatically assigns numbers sequentially to the first Nine items in the quick access toolbar from left to right ...

Windows Key + ( Number )

Mine are ...
Win Key + 1 = My Shortcut Directory
Win Key + 2 = Firefox
Win Key + 3 = Outlook
Win Key + 4 = Dreamweaver
Win Key + 5 = Photoshop
Win Key + 6 = Today Page ...
Win Key + 7 = Thinking Rock
Win Key + 8 = Windows Expolorer
Win Key + 9 = Admin Command Prompt

This sure make my life a lot easier ... and faster too ...

Cole said...

So, if you are working on a next action for a project, and you finish that action, do you then write the next action on the page for the project or on your today page?

Horia said...

Any hope of getting something like this together for Onenote 2010?

Bealers said...

An easier way to create shortcuts to Sections or pages is to use the Onetastic Powertoy.

It works for me in One Note 2013:

It has lots of other features too (I am not the developer)

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