I was talking GTD with a friend the other night and I described my “agenda” lists. I couldn’t remember whether DA wrote about keeping agendas for everyone, and since Jon has my book, I couldn’t check. So if it’s in the book, this is a rehash for the old hands.
One of the things GTD promotes, that I don’t really adhere to, is the idea of context lists. So, you’d have a “@phone” context list where you’d keep a list of all the phone calls you needed to make, then next time you were near a phone and in the mood. Similar lists for other contexts like the computer, in the office, in the garage, etc. I never really got into the context list thing because, you know, when I’m out working in the yard (yeah, right) I don’t usually have my Palm with me to check my “@shed” context list.
However, I have had great success using context lists for people agendas. I’ve been doing this for years and it’s good stuff. I keep all my lists in my Palm, specifically in ShadowPlan. I’ve mapped a hardkey to launch Shadow and I have a category in Shadow called “Agendas.” Within the Agenda category I have everyone’s name. My boss, colleagues, direct reports, my wife, etc. Everyone gets their own agenda. Whenever I think of something I need to talk about with that person, I just drop a quick note into their agenda. When I find myself in someone’s presence, I do a quick check of their agenda to see whether I’ve got anything that needs to be addressed. This works out really well for recycling certain items. Like if your boss can’t quite give you an answer on something, just leave the agenda item in there. A good trick when recycling agenda items is to update the item with a note about the most recent conversation, so you’re always starting where you left off, rather than starting at the beginning again and again.
This would probably work pretty well with the Hipster–especially if you made your agenda cards a distinct color–a visual category, if you will. You’d just flip to the agenda color and find the person you wanted to update and make your notations.