Me and GTD

I first read the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen when it was published in 2001. (Affiliate link: I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase with an affiliate link. Thank you for your support!) Despite enjoying the book and the ideas therein, I didn’t actually implement them. When I began this blog and became aware of some of the blogs available with productivity ideas, I saw that this book has a huge following. So I decided it was time to take another look. Upon review, I see that there are a couple of things that I have difficulty with.

One is the complexity of the methods. While it sounds good in theory to corral and process all your stuff, when the rubber hits the road it makes me tired just to think about it. I think I’ll go lie down for awhile. When I wake up from my nap, I’ll talk about the other thing.

The other thing is the terminology. It just doesn’t speak to me. In the book “How to Get Organized Without Resorting to Arson,” Liz Franklin says “use your own verbs and no one else’s.” People have different work personalities and organizing styles. Some access visually, others are spatial or chronological. Our words should reflect how we access things.

Here are some words that I am more comfortable with:

Getting Things Done

Alternative Terminology

Collection buckets

Waiting for

Agendas

Next actions

Someday/maybe

Organizing tools

Pending

Discuss

Action steps

Idea file

Getting back to complexity:

Getting Things Done

Daily PlanIt

Calendared actions & information

“Next Actions” lists

A “Projects” list

Project support material

A “Waiting For” list

Reference material

A “Someday/Maybe” list

Calendar

Master List

Goal and Project Plans

Goal and Project Plans Master List

Follow-up System

Weekly Plan

Daily To-Do List

Idea file

You may be thinking now: “Wait a minute…that right side is waaay more complex! But notice that the Daily PlanIt components include goal and project plans. In my view, this is a crucial difference. Since I believe that goals and productivity are like peanut butter and jelly, I make a sandwich that includes both ingredients. For me, it’s clearer to know where to put incoming tasks in this system, and easier to see the big picture.

See also GTD Essentials

I enjoy finding great information, combining it in new ways, and packaging it creatively. I'm highly interested in the areas of goal setting, time management, and skills to improve life.

Posted in Books, goals, productivity
4 comments on “Me and GTD
  1. cc says:

    Hello!! I just had to say “BRAV0!”

    I read GTD two times and I didn’t understand what David Allen is trying to say until you just put it in more familiar terms! I made a notebook with all those sections and contexts. I found it nice to have everything written down on paper, but it makes more sense to me (visually) to have a list of the 5-10 things to accomplish, rather than flip to a “context” list.

    I’m going back to Stephanie Winston’s two list system, which I think is really simple & motivating. I like to keep up with new ideas though because it was worth reading GTD to get the easy file system which I have maintained.

    Sincerely,
    Chrystal

  2. […] Daily (to-dos/next actions, use the terminology you like): […]

  3. […] “Getting Things Done” by David Allen (OK, you saw that one coming, didn’t you?!)-workflow chart, next actions, checklists […]

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