Before Going Digital – “The Hipster PDA”

Merlin Mann's "The Hipster PDA"David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology is said to be “tool agnostic,” meaning that no single tool or software is the universally effective tool.  In fact, all to often new GTDers get caught up in finding a fancy software setup that automates their life.  If this describes you, why not try a simple, paper-based solution.  Behold, the infamous Hipster PDA.

This system is absolutely analog, perfectly portable, and supremely simple.  Merlin Mann of 43folders developed the Hipster PDA (Parietal Disgorgement Aid) after tiring of his Palm V device.  With nothing more than a decent pen, a pile of 3″x5″ file cards of various colors, and a binder clip, you can have a comprehensive system that you can quickly and easily customize to your lifestyle.

When you get back to the office or home (wherever your physical inbox resides), you can toss all your new notes into the pile and process them like you would any other incoming items. Alternatively, you can base a whole GTD system around index cards, sorting them into piles for “Next Actions,” “Waiting,” “Sometime,” and so on. Whatever works for you.

I highly recommend giving this a try for at least 1 month before going digital.  This will allow you to get used to the little things that work for your, and help you filter out the apps that don’t meet those specific needs.  Hit the link below to head over to Merlin’s original post back from 2004, in which he’s included several links to different variations and modifications to this system people have used.

“Introducing the Hipster PDA” by Merlin Mann at 43 Folders

Have you tried the Hipster PDA?  Tell us about your experiences, modifications, and success with it in the comments below!