One of the really great systems that I have read in the last few years was the Getting Things Done book by David Allen. Getting Things done lives on the principle that if you organize every part of your life then you are not thinking of the things that do not matter, you are only thinking about the things that will make a difference and acting on those. Anything that you can not get done in a simple 2 minute process becomes part of a project that you work towards completing.
I was over at David Allens GTD site and there was a bunch of pdf files that you could download. While going through these I ran across a really great way to organize the journal that I wrote about a few days ago. Instead of having just a few sections this is a way to sort all of your thoughts and projects into a few sections. More…
Get 8 sections in your notebook, if this is to hard you can get a four section book and use the front and back of each section of the book a new section for yourself. I have done this to break up a two section book into four by using the first page as section one the last page of that section as section 2 and then the same for the other divided section of the book. This also forces non linear thinking because you are working backwards from page to page on your second and fourth sections.
Here are the 8 sections that you can use:
Notes/In the portable in-basket – For capturing random notes to be processed later–voice mails, meeting notes, random thoughts, phone conversation notes, etc. Process and purge regularly.
Calendar Lists day- and time-specific actions and information–appointments, have-to’s for the day, and things we need or want to know on or about that day.
Action Lists – The lists of pre-defined actions to choose from when we have discretionary time–next steps on projects and single actions that need to get done as soon as we can do them. Can be broken down into subsets by context of where the action has to happen–at home, at computer , at phone, errands, etc.
Projects/Goals – The more-than-one-step outcomes that we need to keep reminders about–the “open loops.” This section can also include the bigger-picture outcomes, such as professional goals, personal visions, values, etc. as well as the “someday/maybe” kinds of things we want to keep alive for review. This section to be reviewed at least weekly to ensure there are actions on the active projects in the system.
Agendas – Things to bring up when we meet or talk with individuals or groups, organized by the person or the meeting.
Project Planning/Notes – Place to hold support material for projects, themes, and topics. Project plans, project support materials, etc. To be used to capture project thinking, and for reviewing as needed to ensure appropriate next actions on the action lists or agendas.
Reference/Misc – Various reference lists related to interests and activities, and a general “catch-all”section.
Telephone/Address – The basic Rolodex of names and addresses. as well as websites or forums or even blogs on the road.
Setup headings in your book and then you will have a bit of a road map in which to organize your thoughts in the future for your internet business.