Thursday, 21 October 2010


I have been really struggling over the past few months with implementing GTD at home. I keep trying to make it work as well as it does in my work office, but somehow I never quite manage to get far enough to make it as comfortable as it needs to be to keep the habit going. Then yesterday I realised that some of my resistance to this was due to my inadequate filing system at home. I think the realisation may have been building since I listened to the "Digging out from the backlog" series on GTD Connect. The drag that this lack of effectiveness had on my implementation only became crystal clear when I finally got round to doing something about it!
These are the basic changes I made yesterday:
  • Changed to an alphabetical filing system (why on earth was it not like this before?!)
  • Allowed myself to file one piece of paper in one folder and label it, if that was the best place to file it
  • Made some proper decisions about some of the stuff in the “filing” pile
It is very difficult to explain how much the pressure lifted when I had finally got rid of that horrible filing pile and I appreciate more than ever the importance that David Allen places on the ease of filing. If you have to add it to a pile because you don’t want to have the bother of filing it, you need to change your filing system.
Here’s to no more filing piles!


  1. Yup. Filing sucks. I revert to piling and try and do the actual "filing" once a month. Even worse, I tend to hang onto old papers far too long e.g. "this bank statement from 1998 may be needed just when I've thrown it away!".

    One change was to file everything from "last year" into its own box. That has helped somewhat :)

  2. Filing certainly is a tough monster to tame! I have certainly found that the modifications I made in October have really helped my fight against the filing. In particular, and most importantly, I find it much easier to find something again when I need it quickly!