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How I Get Things Done in Law School

I’m a big fan of GTD. Since I’ve started it during Christmas break, I’ve noticed I’ve been getting more done during the day and feel I have more control of my life. What I like most about GTD is how tweekable it is. I’m still working with my system, but I thought I would share with everyone how I’ve implemented GTD in my law school career.

Hipster PDA
I use a modified hipster PDA. I tried using pure index cards, but I didn’t like it very much. I like having all the information that I need right in front of me instead of having to shuffle through a bunch of cards. To solve this problem, I busted out Inkscape, a free open source alternative to Correl Draw, and created my own Law School GTD sheet.

At the top I have my Semester and Weekly goals. Below that I have my Weekly Review Section. This was inspired by the Emergent Task Manager from David Sheah. For each class, I’ve listed the four things that I want to do each week to review. They include reviewing outlines, going through flash cards, listening to Sum and Substance Mp3s, and hypo problems. My goal each week is to do each of those things four times for each class. Whenever I complete a task, I fill in the bubble. I figure if I fill out the bubbles completely, I’m in good shape going into finals. Next, I have my project list, followed by my next actions list divided into law school, home, and errands context. Here’s what it looks like.

2007-02-11_210647.gif

On the other side of the sheet, I print off a blank weekly calendar from Outlook. I like to fill out by hand. Sure, it might not be as efficient, but pencil and paper is my preference. I use that as my agenda to place my time specific tasks. I mark off time for outlining, reading, and my review sessions.

I fold up my agenda and include a stack of cards. On a few of the cards I write a context for each class: @ con law, @ property, @ crim law. On those cards, I write questions that come up during class or reading. I can refer to them later during my review sessions or I take the card with me to my professor’s office and get them answered.

This system has worked out for me nicely. I have the portability of a hipster PDA without having to shuffle through a bunch of cards.

I’ve created a generic version of law school GTD sheet. I’ve made it available in generic1.pdf Please feel free to use it.

Later this week I’ll be posting on how I use GTD in my legal research and writing class. Check back soon.

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