How about a little fun on this Friday?

A friend of mine and I were talking a few nights ago about productivity and all the little gadgets and “things” that people get to help stay organized and be more productive. The funny thing is that, in general, I seem to do better with less. Stuff, in my world, doesn’t usually equal productivity. However there are a few things it seems everyone who’s into GTD wants to have.

So I decided, for fun, to create a shopping list of personal productivity items. Don’t take this to mean you, by any stretch, need any of this stuff to be more productive at all. It’s just a little Friday fun.

h3. The Essentials

* Getting Things Done. The book. You’ll want this first and foremost. $10 at Amazon.
* Some index cards. A must. $2.32 per 100 at Amazon.
* Binder clips. To clip your cards together and to create your very own Hipster PDA. $.48 a piece at Amazon.
* A small Moleskine notebook. For taking notes anywhere, etc. $11 at Amazon.
* A space pen. In case you need to take notes on your Moleskine underwater or make notes on your dirty shoe. $20 at Amazon.
* A Brother P-Touch label maker. To GTD you need to label stuff. $20 at Amazon.

So, for about $70 you’ll be all set up with the stuff you need to start getting things done. ;) But, wait, there’s more.

h3. The Non-Essentials

* Post its.
* A little pencil. Not as good as the space pen, but I think it’s got more style. You can pretend you’re a reporter!
* Some manila folders. The labels from your label maker will work great with these.
* An inbox. So people don’t leave focus killing papers on your chair.
* A trash can. To throw away all the stuff you’re not using to get things done. ;)

7 Comments on A GTD Shopping List

  1. If you use a regular Bic and a 50-cent Mead notebook instead of a Moleskine and a Space Pen, you can spend the $30 you saved on a copy of David Allen’s other book, “Ready for Anything.” I’ve found it more useful than my Moleskine.

    But you just won’t be as cool.

  2. Ryan Latham says:

    You know I used to carry around a notepad and pen everywhere but I got tired of that. Because I go through a lot of paper and lose pens (I refuse to use cheapo pens) it got expensive.

    I think one of the best things for people who want to get things done is to invest in a PDA. Naturally I am a power user (faux baller) so I have a higher end PDA; however, I started out on a lower end Zire. It personally saved me a ton of time and money in the long run.

    If you are serious about getting organized and it is within your means; get a PDA that suits your lifestyle. Do not go out and get the top of the line PDA because its top of the line, just get something to keep you organized. Something that lets you take notes, maybe record some memos etc. Don’t let your PDA become a distraction. Mine has WiFi on it which could distract some, but when I’m at home it doesn’t matter. Work there is no WiFi so its not a distraction.

    Do some research and look at some reviews find something that suits your needs and go for it. It adds additional cost to what Keith talks about here but eliminates the paper and hassle…in some cases costs lest in the long haul.

    If you need a suggestion as where to start with a PDA; my first (which I still use from time to time) is the palmOne Zire 31 which provides basically anything you need to get things done. If your budget and requirements entail a bit more look at any of the Asus myPal’s which I recommend as well.

  3. LogSense says:

    Barebones GTD

    A nice post over at To-Done lists the few items one should get to start using GTD. I would shrink that list to the first 3 items plus a download that is free: – David Allen’s Book “Getting Things Done”…

  4. Teli says:

    I agree with Ryan about the pen thing, I’m always loosing the cheapo pens, however, for the budget conscious folks who don’t intend to move to Antarctica, journey into space, or need to bring a pen 20,000 leagues beneath the sea — you can still get a nice pen for under $5 (Dr. Grip) and just purchase the refills about about $2/pack of 2 – I still have min from college :) and it’s still going strong.

    While the moleskin notebook is quite nice, you can get the same functionality (more or less) out of a $2.99 pocket notebook from Wal-Mart (or Amazon as the case may be).

    The label maker is optional in my opinion – if your hands aren’t broken and your handwriting is halfway decent, you can get away with making your labels the old fashioned way – but I do have a label maker and it is pretty cool.

    That’s my 2 cents worth :)

  5. larry in sf says:

    I found a great cheap alternative to the Fisher space pen. The uni power tank. It’s pressurized, and plastic. It looks disposable, but in fact can be refilled. I love these.

    Stores around here seem to be just getting them.

    peace out

  6. Chuck says:

    On the supply side, you may want to include the GTD cards from They are the size of business cards so they easily fit in your pocket, and come with a neat template already printed on them that allows for easy organization. You get 250 for about $10.00 which is cheapter than printing them yourself on business card laser or inkjet stock. You can use them either as a capture method or as your whole GTD system.

    Yes, I am affiliated with them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a great product!

  7. r says:

    I followed the trend & got a moleskine. I don’t see the big deal. The pocket is useful, but the paper kind of sucks for that price. I was fortunate enough to pick up a pad by Rhodia. 80 3″x4″ sheets for $2. The paper is great.

    Still haven’t decided on my preferred pen..Lots of good, modestly priced ones out there.

    I liked doing the Hipster PDA thing, but the pad has replaced it. The index cards just got beat-up too much. I considered making a so-called “pocket briefcase” (which you could actually buy (and those willing to spend $11 on an over-hyped notebook might)), but decided it wasn’t worth it. Ditto the zipster-PDA (although it is a neat idea): there’s less appeal in cutting my own custom notecards to fit my case than to make a custom case for my notecards.

    I see little reason in having both the hipster & a notebook in any case.

    I got my labeler free after rebate. It is extremely useful for my filing, but I found that that basically described only the first few days on GTD & found myself MOSTLY reusing files since then. The labeler has come in handy since for the odd folder I haven’t labeled, Media which I must share with others, and to label my cables. Best FAR item I’ve gotten in a while.

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