There are many ways of handling tasks and keeping track of appointments, but they seem to boil down to two basic methods. The first is compartmentalized and topical – appointments go in one place, tasks go in another (often divided into contexts), notes in another, and any other needed things go into topical sections. To-dos are only scheduled if they are time-sensitive – otherwise, you should work off of the various lists as you see fit. Getting Things Done is the most well-known incarnation of this method.
The second method is mostly chronological, with appointments, tasks, and notes all attached to dates. You schedule your to-dos in order to make sure you have the time to get them done. You keep your notes on the daily pages and refer back to them later. Project lists could be kept on monthly pages. Julie Morgenstern is an advocate of this way of doing things, and her book Time Management from the Inside Out explains it well.
Both methods claim that they will change your life and help you get things done, even though they are opposites – and both have worked for hundreds of people. Having read books on both methods, I can see why. It really boils down to what works for you. Some have found huge success with GTD methods, while others have tried them and found GTD doesn’t work for them. Others find that scheduling everything works for them.
Personally, I tried GTD and found that I needed a daily to-do list. Now I’m firmly in the schedule-everything camp, and while I still move tasks more often than I like, I’m finding it works pretty well for me. I still have a separate notes/”inbox” section instead of using daily pages, though, as my page-per-day insert doesn’t have enough room for me to use the inbox as my only notes area!
There are plenty of lovely inserts that one could use in setting up a Filofax for these methods. Personally, if I were going to have a GTD set-up, I would use Filofax WO2P or WPP in cotton cream, with Filofax to-do lists and notepaper to make up the rest. My current chronological set-up uses FC PPD. I’m still pondering switching to 2PPD for the extra notes space, but as it is the PPD layout is great for my tasks and appointments.
What method do you use? Have you tried the other? Feel free to leave links to blog posts, as well – I love reading blog posts about such things! :)