After getting just a taste of what GTD could do and realizing that my trusty little Nokia 3100 had seen better days, I decided to take the next step. The biggest lesson I had learned from my first attempt was that I needed a system that could be carried with me at all times. At this particular millisecond in the world of personal technology (and I would venture to say that it is still the case today), there were not many legitimate smartphone choices.
As far as I can remember, the options were:
Treo 650 Blackberry Sony Ericsson P900 type stuff Maybe an HP or an HTC type windows device that weren't all that convincing
The bottom line is that several people I had initially introduced to GTD all turned around and recommended that I use a Treo 650. With such an overwhelming consensus, for the first time ever I bought a gadget without spending hours of time researching every bit of functionality.
At first I was nervous, and then I was furious when I found out that not one single outlook syncing application allowed you to take advantage of the public/private checkbox I so highly coveted in My GTD Life: the first setup.
After hours of searching and trying a wide variety of applications, I settled on the following setup:
Dell D610 laptop (same as before) Treo 650 Handheld Outlook Chapura Keysuite (instead of the native PIM apps on palm)
Notice: this list is shorter than the last one, and in retrospect it worked infinitely better. It was just scary to be between systems with nowhere to write down your ideas! I basically erased everything on my Axim and sold it to help pay for the Treo 650, so there was no going back.
Now to go over the details.
Nothing really changed on the Outlook end of things. I had a set of tasks according to my previous GTD setup, and those needed to be converted over to this new system once I realized that no palm apps had the same type of Outlook syncing functionality (that I was aware of) that Pocket Informant had for the Pocket PC.
The fact that I had to choose a Treo was going to be driving all of the changes, so it all came down to Chapura.
Finding Chapura was the result of a bit of luck and a lot of panicked irrational searching. I did evaluate a lot of different applications (agendus, datebook 5, etc) but I won' say I did so rationally, because I was quite nervous without a system in place.
I stumbled across the functionality I needed without even knowing it. Initially I still had tunnel vision searching for exactly the same setup as on my Pocket PC, and then I came across syncing multiple folders in Chapura. I could copy all my personal tasks from my outlook view to one task folder, and then copy all my professional tasks from that particular view in outlook to another folder.
This initially ruled the easy input I had gained by reading David Allen's GTD and Outlook, because I couldn't figure out how to change folders with a keyboard shortcut.
Eventually I realized I was mainly going to use the Treo for input, and I never spent much time after that with my fancy outlook keyboard shortcuts. Because I didn't have as streamlined a way of inputting tasks my use of GTD on the professional side of things, I slowly fell off the horse. I know it's a pretty pitiful excuse, but it coincided with the introduction of Microsoft Project in the office to manage strategic tasks, so my professional commitments where taken care of. Maybe someday I'll get back on the GTD wagon for the professional side of things.