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The Problem With GTD Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
My largest issue with the GTD book is... David Allen shies away from giving a concrete, specific example of how to make the system work with a specific tool.

There is so much out there of...
well... you need to find your own way... and whatever works for you... and here are all the tools you could use... but not much of...
this is how to do it... exactly.

Sometimes, that's what a person needs to get a picture of first,
then branch out to the system that works for them.

It can be extremely difficult for a person to get a sense of the system and how it can work.

I had help in another forum from a member named RATZ in the Life Balance Forums. (Bless you RATZ, wherever you are). Without him, I never would have clued in how to use Life Balance with GTD. And now OF with GTD.

Sometimes, a person needs a hard, cold, mold until they are stable enough to stand without the mold.

In leu of abstract openings... here is a workflow I developed of what it looks like to process the inbox. This may be a good time to do the same thing for yourself. Use a tool like... Omni to develop a workflow. It will help concrete your understanding of GTD.

I restricted myself to asking true/false questions throughout this workflow.

For what it's worth...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GTD Workflow.pdf (23.0 KB, 797 views)
 
Spiral, have you seen this from David's Site? .

Take particular look at the Advanced workflow. It's literally what you drew out.
 
There is a difference.

Last edited by SpiralOcean; 2008-08-30 at 07:44 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean
My largest issue with the GTD book is... David Allen shies away from giving a concrete, specific example of how to make the system work with a specific tool.
Maybe he doesn't in the books, but there is a very comprehensive downloadable guide to doing GTD with Outlook/Entourage in their web store. If you read that it gives you a pretty good idea of how to go about implementing the system in any similar piece of software.
 
I seem to remember David Allen saying in an interview somewhere that he intentionally kept away from discussing implementing a GTD system in any particular software or product because he wanted people to focus on the principles and wanted to keep the book relevant -- in 10 years, we may not be using PDAs or computers or cell phones the way we are now, and he didn't want to book to become dated.

I also think that there is a type of person that will nitpick the details of the system and use those nitpicks as faults of the system as a whole.

(From a completely mercenary point of view, the intentional vagueness of the GTD book probably doesn't hurt DavidCo's consulting services business, either.)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_f
Maybe he doesn't in the books, but there is a very comprehensive downloadable guide to doing GTD with Outlook/Entourage in their web store. If you read that it gives you a pretty good idea of how to go about implementing the system in any similar piece of software.
Yeah, I bought that and use it at work (Outlook/Treo). It is pretty good but doesn't allow for full project planning, more of "What is your next action".

At home, I am using OmniFocus and it is pretty good except for no ability to bring stuff with me via the iPhone.

BZ
 
Some people learn how to use a particular system and then never grow beyond it's limitations because they don't understand the principles behind it. This is the flaw of things like Franklin Covey which are basically a scam to sell overpriced day planners to people who don't want to be bothered to figure out the hard details.

David Allen's system is intentionally vague because it's supposed to be about personal growth as well as productivity. You can't hand someone a system for personal growth. No matter how well-tuned your system is, it's not the right system for me or anybody else.

I understand the complaint though. It's easiest to learn from examples rather than from abstract ideas. That's why I'm thankful for people like Merlin Mann who went into startlingly fine detail describing their GTD systems in public forums and started discussions on the various topics of ground-level implementation. For those of us who can't afford the personal coaching, it helps a lot.

I like the way David Allen talks about GTD in vague ideas rather than specifics and I like the way that the rather large online GTD-using community fills in the blanks with back-and-forth pro vs. con discussions of real-world implementation. I understand David's approach (knowing his background and interests in Eastern philosophies and martial arts -- I can relate to it having studied Eastern philosophies and martial arts myself) and I really do think that for many people, it's the absolute best way to talk about it.

But that doesn't make it universally effective for everybody. He had to choose a way to teach it, and he chose. His method of teaching GTD (or GTD in general) won't work for everyone. I don't think he's ever claimed it will. Not that I've read/heard at least.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEP
David Allen's system is intentionally vague because it's supposed to be about personal growth as well as productivity. You can't hand someone a system for personal growth. No matter how well-tuned your system is, it's not the right system for me or anybody else.
I don't think I've heard it described quite this way. I now have a framework for how to explain the difference between GTD other productivity systems.
 
what's that saying about giving a fish or teaching how to fish?

Yeah, GTD takes some time to internalize. Personally I've been through up and down phases... I bet a lot of us do. I think it's great to draw your own workflow, but I don't think it would work as well if someone else drew it for you... :)
 
SpiralOcean, I, for one, find your workflow useful. I already have the one that Scott Moehring created, but it does try to cram the whole of a GTD system onto one page including reviewing, doing and combating stress. Yours is a lot less cluttered.
 
 


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