My View of Getting Things Done, GTD.

I found, or was found by the GTD (Getting Things Done) Tribe at 43folders.com. This wonderful site created by Merlin Mann is devoted to all things GTD, life hacks, cool tools, Merlins bands and music, and anything else that might in some remote way help you make it through the day. GTD, by David Allen is a process for managing your time, to accomplish more of what you have to do, to manage the stress in your life by knowing what you have to do. The principal tnets of the Getting Things Done Book are;

Write down EVERYTHING you are thinking about, clean out all of your

"in boxes", physical and mental.


Those tasks that can be done, calls, letters, etc.,

DO THEM NOW, decide on the NEXT ACTION to finish the task.

Tasks with more than two action items are called projects, manage

the tasks, not the project.

Find a system that you can TRUST, paper, electronic, the back of

your hand, whatever.

REVIEW your lists, constantly ask "What is the next action"?

Have a WEEKLY REVIEW process.

Stick with your system, trust it, trust yourself.

An entire movement has grown up around this book, even though it is several years old. Along with GTD there are these other bits and bytes of information called LIFE HACKS, most of these are tricks we all have developed to help us get through life. Some are what your Mother told you but you were/are too cool to believe. A great source for these is LifeHacker and of course, 43folders, plus many more. Some are common sense, most in fact. Some are genuine shortcuts and workarounds that very clever and smart people have thought of and share.

Much time is spent on 43Folders, 43Folders Wiki, and the 43Folders Group on tweeking, fine tuning, and refining the GTD tools. There is a great debate between the devotees of paper vs electronic systems. Time is spent debating the merits of various software apps to better facilitate the ease and speed by which one can save time. One of the favorite paper systems, with near fetish status, are Moleskine Notebooks and and the humble 3x5 index card. There is great discussion on which pen or pencil is best for jotting notes and thoughts in ones Moleskine or on ones 3x5 card. My own way down this path is still in flux, but so far I do most of my work on my PowerBook. I use OS X v10.3.9, I do love the elegance and beauty of the GUI and have a difficult time with all of the "Command Line" Ninjas. It almost seems that things must be made more difficult so to keep the riff raff out of the little UNIX club.

Several pieces of software that I learned about on 43Folders are really great and I am happy to have been exposed to them. I am writing now on ecto, which is great and free! I use Quicksilver, which I am still learning. I also use the subtle, Notational Velocity, as well as OmniOutliner for my GTD list keeping. Another big force in this movement is "Open Source", many of the applications mentioned are Open Source, and for this I thank all you programmers out there for all of your work.....all you users, be sure to donate. The question of electronic vs paper: I love my PowerBook and all it can do, I also love the physical act of writing on paper with a great pen. I use a broad nib, Mont Blanc fountain pen, and/or a broad tip gel pen, no brand loyalty for the gel pens.

My life is not very "Appointment Driven", so a calendar is not real important, but I do make notes on 3x5 cards and am working on the notebook thing. The Moleskine are beautiful notebooks with very nice paper, as an aside, there was a thread on the 43Folders Group about the anxiety of writing in one for the first time! There are many alternatives, I bought a "Roaring Spring Compositions" bound, notebook at Staples. It has a definite retro look, is 9 3/4x7 1/2, quad ruled, and very inexpensive. I have not used it yet because I dug out my old Filofax and am working on printing pages for it from OmniOutliner and other GTD tools. So many choices!!!! It is a wonder we ever get any work done.

One informational goal of mine is to have all of my "Stuff" in one place. With the index cards, notebooks, and PowerBook, the potential exists to have important information in several places, one of which is guaranteed to be somewhere else! There is also time spent copying data from one media to the other. The PowerBook has the major feature of searching, which is much more powerful that any paper based system. It is very entertaining to think about all of this and see the solutions at which other people arrive. The debates, techniques, and sharing of tips and tricks is great. It is good to be part of all of this. I'm listening to the Beatles White Album.

My View of Getting Things Done, GTD.

[composed and posted with ecto]