September 13, 2007

Revisiting GTD in the library

Posted in Geeky Stuff, Getting Things Done, GTD, Web 2.0 / Medical Library 2.0 at 1:04 pm by Alexia

A little over a year ago I wrote a post on Getting Things Done in the Library.  One of the things I like most about this “system” is that it is geared towards helping you manage tasks and not time.  I believe this is a major factor in my success of using GTD as a librarian.  Even if one could manage time our jobs are full of too many interruptions.  The best we can hope for is to manage what we have to do in such a way that we can get it done between reference questions.

The tool that has worked the best for me in using GTD has been AirSet.  This Web 2.0 application offers a calendar, lists, files, contacts and links.  You can use it alone or for groups.  I use my calendar for my “hard landscape” tasks – meetings, appointments, etc. – that have a definite time.  I use the list function for keeping track of my tasks and projects.  Between those two functions I am able to keep track of my projects and tasks and that is half the battle.

I would be very interested to know if other librarians are using GTD and if so, how.


August 30, 2006

Getting Things Done in the library

Posted in Getting Things Done, GTD, Productivity at 1:51 pm by Alexia

Back when I introduced myself and this blog I mentioned that one of the areas I planned to blog on was work productivity issues. So, here’s my take on time management in the library – you can’t.

Most time management systems advocate setting aside blocks of time to work on certain tasks. Obviously the proponents of such systems are not librarians, or any other professional or worker in a workplace where interuptions are the norm and time is never of one’s own. One day though, while surfing the Net in desperation of finding something, anything that would help me get rid of the feeling of drowning, I ran across David Allen and his methology of “getting things done”. There are two key objectives to his methodology:

  1. Capture all the things that you need to get done in a trusted system.
  2. Discipline yourself to make front-end decisions about your inputs.

In essence, you manage what your “open loops” by writing them down so you don’t use brainpower trying to remember what you have to do and when. It is more than a calendar system, and far less restrictive than an organizational system. David Allen gives us the tools to help us establish stress free productivity but leaves it up to us to decide how to iimplement those tools.

Rather than overwhelm my blog readers with a lengthy summary I will try to post one day a week on GTD and how it can relate to managing workflow in a library. In the meantime, I highly suggest reading “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen.