Monday, April 4, 2011

GTD chapter 4 - It's all about the automatic Brother Labeller.

David Allen really finds his groove in this chapter. He gets down to the nitty gritty and tells us what we need to buy and do. Details are not in short supply. Here are some gems.

- Manilla folders. You'll need lots of them. Order more when you only have 100 left.
- A Brother automatic labeller is key. It needs to have white tape and print black letters. Buy one that comes with an AC adaptor. Don't share your labeller with anyone else. Get your own and keep it close at all times.
- Label your manilla folders with the Brother. Don't hand write on them. Having files with printed labels changes your relationship to them. They'll look at home on the board room table... and you'll feel like a legend carrying them around.
- Arrange your files alphabetically
- Don't use multi coloured manilla folders.
- Don't use hanging files. Just stand up your plain coloured, brother labelled manilla folders and squash them in with the back plate.
- Don't skimp on your filing cabinet. It needs to run smooth...
- You need a big stack of letter sized paper.
- You need a desk and filing system set up at work with a replica system (maybe smaller) at home, and a micro in-transit office to carry with you where-ever you go. (I have a macbook. It does all of this.)

I don't have any automatic labeller, let alone a Brother with an AC adaptor. I don't have a stock of manilla folders either or a smooth rolling filing cabinet or a stack of letter-sized paper. And yet, somehow...


  1. I'm totally with him here.

    I love Manilla Folders. I'll make a file if someone drops a hat. And if my cabinet doesn't run smoothly then someone gets hurt.

    I've even got a brother file labeller. With an AC adapter.

    I've got a macbook. But it can't process paper or file it. So it's limited in its use.

    The only thing I don't have is a home study. I work on the kitchen table which is less than ideal.

    I love this stuff. I'd give anything to have a dictaphone and a secretary.

  2. Oh, this is freaky.

    I've fallen behind, I'm afraid - haven't read chapter 3 yet. But I haven't been NGTD (Not GTD)...because the other day I went out and got some coloured manilla wallets, and a toast rack, and labelled them all with my Dymo. White tape, black writing.


    Oh dear.

  3. Wallets rather than folders?

    You're not the man I thought you were.

    Alistair - I wonder that you marriage has survived your kitchen table habit. David Allen would too.

  4. All true about the labeller. It's amazing what a difference it makes! In our household it's me that works at the kitchen table...

  5. Oh, that hurts (sob)!

    Had to be wallets - I wanted to stand them up portrait rather than landscape, and nobody makes


    folders these days.