Home > GTD, Productivity > @agenda, 1-3 simple ways to keep your conversations on track

@agenda, 1-3 simple ways to keep your conversations on track


Do you fully leverage every precious moment with your boss…even those hallway conversations? Do you always remember to discuss every necessary topic with a co-worker during a meeting?  If you answered yes to these two questions then skip this entry; my advice is far too basic for you. However, if you are like me you probably forget stuff from time to time…so, read on!

Yes, you are probably are guessing that this is yet another post on GTD, to an extend you would be right, but these early posts are really leading up to the more fun stuff, the true topic of this blog…the tablet and how to use it to manage productivity. You see, I am simply focusing on the aspects of GTD that have consistently worked for me over the years, the practices that have stuck. And no, I am not a GTD coach and I certainly am not a strick adherent to its principles. In fact this response to a message board topic was a nice reminder of all those aspects of GTD that I could improve (and be more consistent at).  So, on with a few simple ways to never forget another topic of conversation.

Lets start with this White Paper on GTD Times. In the second half of the document Meghan Wilker brings up a neat use of the boring agenda:

Agendas at Work

Throughout the day, issues come up that I need to ask my boss about. Instead of bugging her about each one (in person or over email/instant messenger), I collect those items onto an agenda and — at least once a day — check in with her, run through my list, and move on. What’s important is that I don’t forget to talk to her about things because they’re all collected on an agenda. If our time gets cut short and I can’t get to something, it stays on the agenda until we have time to talk about it.

Creating a separate, running agenda list for each of my important contacts (boss, direct reports, peers, etc.) at work has been one of the GTD tools that have stuck. And to be honest, keeping a running list of items of discussion is probably not totally GTD; it just makes sense.

I feel that the trick to her advice is to have a ubiquitous capture method that does not have to be “processed” to be effective; your method has to be instantaneous. By this I mean that when you have a thought to discuss a topic with someone, immediately capture this thought so that it is not forgotten first and not waiting to be processed second. Finding this trusted method is truly the key to any productivity system.

My next several posts will deal specifically with the capture methods that have worked best for me.  In the meantime, start your agendas!

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