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Getting Things Done

Our GTD® podcasts are here to support you at every stage of your GTD practice. You will hear David Allen and others interviewing people from all walks of life about their journey with GTD, from beginners to those who have been at it for years. The podcasts include personal and professional stories, as well as practical tips about GTD systems for desktop and mobile, using apps and paper. Start listening now and you'll be well on your way to stress-free productivity.
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Now displaying: Page 1
May 3, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Get Your Paper Based Filing System in Order

Actually, it's a tip for any time... If you don't have a really good, quick filing system that you can put stuff into and access easily. Then the stuff tends to mount up and then constipate your system. Get it clean, get it streamlined, get it current. Here's mine. My paper based system now lives three places. In a 2 drawer file cabinet, a rack of files, right on my desk, and then upstairs in an attic area, I have long term storage. My primary filing system is just a simple file drawer, alpha sorted, of things that I need, paper based. And sometimes paper based is better then PDFs, easier to see in a batch if I need to refer to something.

Anyway, there's my basic filing system, I used to have four drawers now, it's primarily in one. I have a lower drawer here that has some older documents, that I might need, you know, legal documents etc., that I might need to refer to three or four times a year maybe, but they're down there, as well as extra file folders. And then on my desk are the things that I actually throw stuff into almost on a daily basis. So, that's the filing system. It needs to be current, it needs to be clean and that makes a huge difference. You'd be surprised at how good a filing system like that can make sure that you keep your cockpit, and keep your desk and work area, nice and clean and organized.

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