Getting Things Done with Backpack, SMS, and Google’s Apps

I have to admit: I love the Getting Things Done productivity system, but I’m not very good at sticking with it. At some point in the process, I forget about the single, trusted place to put down all of the “stuff” in my head (ideas, to-dos, etc.) and end up with multiple dumping spots. Random index cards at home, at the office, some things in my work email, some in my Gmail account, some on my white board – it gets bad. Bad enough that I can’t really trust my lists anymore, because I just might be forgetting something somewhere.

This past week, I finally said “enough”. I managed to get trust back into my system by consolidating everything back into my Backpack and Google Calendar accounts. Any event that happens at a specific date and time goes into my calendar. Everything else goes into a Backpack page for a specific project or topic. If I need to remind myself of an appointment or to do anything else, both Gcal and Backpack can send me email and text messages when I want.

The real benefit since reorganizing has been in getting stuff into my system. Each Backpack page has a unique secret email address that can receive info from my email (Gmail) or from a text message from my phone. This functionality has been there all along, but I didn’t take advantage of it until recently.

If I need to capture an idea, but I’m doing something where I’m not at a computer or can’t type on my phone’s keypad (while driving, for example), I can call up a CellTell phone number and leave myself a voice note. A few minutes later, it shows up on my Backpack home page where I can play it back and make a longterm decision of how to deal with it.

Having all of my opened items and commitments in one spot has been a load off my mind. If you struggle to track all of your to-dos, ideas, and appointments, my might want to take a look at doing something similar.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I’m following suit. I too set-up a Backpack and was amazed by Google Accounts features, but have failed so far as utilizing those tools to increase productivity. Not sure as of yet why. Either laziness or the products’ lack of true usefulness to my situation. I don’t know.

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