The Power of Printing to PDF

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The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format I use very frequently. One of its key properties is that it is readable and printable on almost any platform you can think of, while maintaining the look-and-feel of the original document.

Besides receiving and reading a lot of PDFs daily, I also create and distribute a lot of PDF files. It is a common misconception that creating PDF files is complicated and expensive. In fact, I’m using very easy to use, open source software to create my PDFs.

For today I want to share a few useful productivity tricks with you concerning PDF files!
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3 Quick-and-Dirty Productivity Tips

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I’m still amazed at how well my current GTD system is working for me. I’ve made a few minor tweaks but essentially I’ve been using the same system for over 6 months now!

It also never ceases to amaze me how well the entire GTD concept fits into my personal and professional life. I can’t really imagine how to be productive, effective and organized without it anymore! So, it seems my search for the “perfect” GTD system is finally over and I can safely conclude that GTD has become an important foundation for structuring my life.

You may have noticed that I’ve been busy over the past couple of months. I’ve been busy at work and with my family, but I’ve also spent quite some time catching up on my reading and learning more and more about productivity, personal development, NLP, life purpose, achieving goals, coaching, success and financial freedom. More on that later, I’ve got some things brewing!

For now, I would like to share 3 quick-and-dirty productivity tips with you. These tips have proved to be useful in combination with GTD to help me keep organized and decluttered.
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Lists: To Do vs Action vs Next Action

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This post originally appeared about 1 month ago as a guest post on whatsthenextaction.com.

We are all making lists. Especially if you are into Productivity in general and GTD more specifically, you will be very familiar with making lists. Odds are you are making these lists to keep track of all the things you need to do to make progress in certain (or all) areas of your life and to be reminded of them at the appropriate time.

But are you making the right list? Are you maintaining your list? Are you sticking to your list? And is your list encouraging you to actually get things done and achieve your goals?

From my personal experience and from what I see around me, I want to show you different lists and why one is better than the other for getting things done. More importantly, I will show you how to create an effective list which is attractive, encouraging and easy to maintain.
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Results of 1 Year of GTD

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After consistently applying GTD for close to one year now, I can safely conclude that valuable and lasting productivity habits have formed in my life.

Like many other people, I have studied and used several productivity systems. I picked up various useful principles and techniques from them, but none of them seemed to fully apply to my life. As fun as it is playing around with various productivity systems and changing one for the other occasionally, I was looking for concrete and lasting results. Sounds familiar?

About one year ago when I encountered GTD and started applying it to my life, I immediately noticed how easily it could be adapted to my life. It didn’t take months to get started, it didn’t need difficult or expensive tools and most of all it just made sense! GTD is easy to integrate into your personal as well as your professional life. All of this makes it easier to apply it consistently and you start to see results almost immediately.

Let’s take a look at some of the valuable and lasting habits that have formed in my life as a direct and concrete result of applying GTD for one year. Believe me, it does get easier after one year and these habits could be part of your life right now!
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GTD Buzzwords: Advanced Common Sense

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This is a guest post by GTD Wannabe of gtdwannabe.com.

The other day, I was listening to Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero presentation, which was essentially the audio track to a talk he gave to Google employees back in July. It was a great talk, focused on your email, but there were many other nuggets of GTD wisdom in there as well. If you haven’t seen it, or heard it, I recommend you checking it out.

The talk reminded me of the term “advanced common sense”. It’s a great way of describing the whole Getting Things Done philosophy. Of course the term is great – David Allen uses it himself to describe GTD.

Since I listened to that talk, I’ve been contemplating “advanced common sense”, and what parts of GTD really fit under that heading for me. When I first read the book, there were several places where I had “EUREKA!” moments. Places where I slapped my head and said, “Wow, now why didn’t I think of that, it’s just common sense!”. Advanced common sense, but common sense nonetheless.
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Are Your Lists Really Complete?

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This is a guest post by Jennifer George of Lifemuncher.

Sometimes the most important thing GTD gives you isn’t on your list.

When gtdfrk asked me to write a guest post, I happily obliged. I spend so much time thinking about GTD and reorganizing my system that I figured it would be easy to dash off a few lines about my latest set of lists or the nifty new software I’ve been playing around with. (In case you’re wondering, it’s ZuluPad, a personal note-taking wiki program. Very cool.) After some thought, I decided instead to write about an important insight I had recently.

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5 Tips for Fast and Effective Learning

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This post originally appeared about one month ago as a guest post on Gearfire.

If only I had known a little bit more about accelerated and effective learning when I was still a student! That would have saved me a lot of frustration and, most of all, precious time.

Fortunately, learning and learning to learn well, will always be one of the most valuable skills in your personal and professional life. My point is to start building these skills as soon as possible, preferably when you are still a student.

Fast and effective learning is a skill for life and I could talk about it for days. However, to get you started I will give you 5 powerful tips on how to learn more, how to learn well and how to learn effectively.

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Getting GTD Done

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This is a guest post by Jeroen Sangers of El Canasto.

Getting Things Done isn’t easy. To implement the method described by David Allen, you’ll have to change your habits, and that is a very difficult thing to do. This becomes very clear when reading the forums at the David’s site. Almost on a daily basis someone mentions getting back to GTD after having fallen off the wagon.

In this article I present nine tips that in my experience as GTD-er and occasional coach helped in Getting GTD Done.

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Reviews of my GTD Site

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A couple of weeks ago I started a promotion experiment: earn money by writing an honest and serious review of my GTD site. The initial call for reviews apparently wasn’t interesting enough, so I upped the ante a little bit.

The second call for reviews produced 4 reviews of my GTD site by fellow bloggers. Today is the end of the promotion experiment: reviews of my site are always welcome but there’s no money to be earned anymore!

Let’s see what professional bloggers think about my GTD site. Here’s a list of the 4 reviews in order of appearance:

1. “Get Your GTD Up to the Next Level” by Stephen Smith of HD BizBlog 1.2
2. “Introducing the Getting Things Done Blog – No Robots Need Apply” by GTD Wannabe of gtdwannabe.com
3. “Gtdfrk is getting things done” by Lodewijk of How to be an Original
4. “A Window to the World of GTD (GTD Blog Review)” by Craig Huggart of Tech Rest

I’ve thanked each reviewer inidividually of course, but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Stephen, GTD Wannabe, Lodewijk and Craig once more for writing an honest review of my GTD site! Be sure to check out their sites as well.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about my site!

My Weekly Review Checklist

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My Weekly Review ChecklistUpdate Aug 29, 2007: a plain text version of the (example) weekly review checklist described in this blog post may be downloaded directly from here.

It’s no secret that the weekly review is my Achilles’ heel. In fact, I would bet anything that this is the case for many GTDers!

Fortunately, I have learned to do a daily mini-review of the essential components of my GTD system. For general, daily use I feel that my GTD system is up-to-date and ready for action. However, there is this nagging feeling I should spend more time reviewing my Projects and Someday/Maybe lists. I also feel I should spend more time above the 20,000 feet mark (in GTD speak).

In an attempt to be more strict and consistent about my weekly reviews, I recently sat down and revamped the checklist I am using for my weekly review. I thought it might be useful to share the current one with you, hoping it will provide some inspiration. At the same time I’m hoping to get your feedback about your weekly review checklist (if any)!

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