*Getting Things Done-David Allen’s productivity system.

My biggest challenge in perfecting my GTD personal productivity system has been tracking information through transitions in context. Things that are perfectly organized on my Mac can be forgotten when I am offline. Items captured in analog format in my Moleskine notebook sometimes don’t make it back to my office system. By far the biggest hurdle has been smooth integration of a Quicken based bookkeeping system,, so many receipts!

With the help of a little Moleskine hack, I have devised the perfect tool.

Materials Required:

Moleskine Memo Pocket
Moleskine Pocket Journals
3×5 index cards and small binder clip for Hipster PDA
x-acto Knife

The folks at Moleskine were crafty in devising the Memo Pocket. Its a perfect little pocket filing system, and it looks nice too.

Strangely, their Pocket Journals are too big to fit inside the pockets. Enter x-acto knife.

Setp One: Carefully slice off about 1/4 inch from the top of the Pocket Journal. This does not have to be perfect, but the straighter the better;) I tried to make it as big as would fit into the pocket, but the smaller you go the easier it is to get into the pockets.

Step Two: Slice about the same 1/4 inch off the outside edge(not the binder edge) of the pocket journal. Not only are the pockets too short, but they are also not deep enough.

Step Three: Clean up any loose bits and test for fit. You may have to trip a bit more depending on the fit of your gear. You have not completed the installation of the Pocket Journal Extension to the Mobile GTD Office.

Step Four: Hipster PDA integration. If you are not hip to the Hipster PDA, it is simply a cheap, easy and effective way to capture and organize thoughts, to-do’s, and information while offline. It fits into your pocket easily and can be made from items found at most any office. Depending on your level of GTD geekiness, you can complexify your use of the Hipster PDA indefinitely. I pretty much just use it as an easy capture and task solution. The problem is, the note cards get really worn out all unprotected in my pants pockets.
So step four is simply, get a hipster PDA and stick it into the second pocket. It fits perfectly. Hipster PDA Extension installation complete.

Step Five: Quicken Expense Capture Module. If you are into the whole personal bookkeeping thing, you know those receipts can stack up quick. I tend to process my receipts weekly, which leads to a messy wallet inbox, that continually irritates me. The Mobile GTD Office can help with this. I reserve the back two pockets for the Quicken module, one for personal receipts and one for business receipts.

Step Six: GTD System Install. You now have all the resources necessary to mirror your office GTD system in your pocket. Extensive notes can be captured in the journal pages, temporary items or to-do’s can go to the Hipster PDA and all other input can be filed accordingly. Since GTD is totally personal, i won’t go into too many details as to how to use the remaining pockets in the Mobile GTD Office. I use one as an Inbox, where things go to be processed in the mobile context. I use another as an Outbox, for items that will need to go to another context such as, to my Mac GTD system. I then have a free pocket or two for stamps, credit cards or cash, effectively replacing my old wallet.

With this easy hack and system set-up, my mobile context just got a whole lot more streamlined, easy and effective. That is the goal of personal productivity right?