Build the Business of Your Dreams
By Brett Kelly, on Monday, April 16th, 2007
I’ve had several requests come my way for some tips on how to implement GTD on the super cheap. After all, not everybody can afford a super-fancy PDA or even a spiffy Moleskine notebook – especially college students. So, after doing a little research, I’ve figured out a way to make your very own GTD setup for around $20 (USD). Remember – my goal here was to find the absolute cheapest items (and even some DIY solutions), so I’ll be cutting a few corners.
First, there are a few things I’m going to assume you already have (or have access to). If you don’t have these things, well, you may have to adjust the bottom line a skosh:
Now, assuming you’ve got all of the above equipment, here’s the rest of the goods you’ll need:
And if you want to get really clever, use the top of one of your boxes as your poor man’s in-basket!
Get these folders here for $5.99/box for a total of $11.98 – only $8.02 left to go!
If you don’t have a computer or don’t want to use a web-based calendar for whatever reason, you can get a very simple weekly day-planner-style calendar for $6.40 from Staples. Again, it’s pretty bare-bones, but it should suffice for most people.
You might be thinking to yourself “Sir! The David considers a labeler to be an indispensable tool! You haven’t included a labeler in your list of items! Sir!”. Well, yes, a labeler is a very good thing to have (I have 2, actually), but I don’t believe it’s absolutely necessary to implement GTD. If you want to reuse folders, get some White-Out or some other correctional tool and use that to cover up the writing on previously-enjoyed folders. Remember, we’re trying to keep the price tag low here.
So far, we’ve spent $11.98 + $6.40 = $18.38 on our supplies (or just $11.98 if you went for the web-based calendar), which leaves us with just over a buck to play with. In my opinion, you should take that last dollar and go to some drug store and buy a package of index cards to keep with you for capturing information. Since starting with GTD, index cards have been a staple of all of the different incarnations of my system and will likely continue to be in the foreseeable future. They’re just too simple and too cheap to not make constant use of, if you ask me.
One caveat about these prices – the Staples website prices things differently for different zip codes, so you may find slight discrepancies between the prices I’m showing here and the ones on the site. But I seriously doubt the differences will be anything but negligible.
So, by way of conclusion, here’s what your GTD arsenal should now include:
There you have it. And if you’re really a penny-pinching sort of person, you can probably find even better deals than these. Sometimes office supply stores will sell their own branded products at a substantial discount to try to move them (I got 100 pendaflex hanging folders for something like $8) – just keep your eyes peeled.
Heck, you might even have some change left over – go get yourself a package of binder clips and use one plus your index cards to make your very own hipster PDA!
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