I have to admit I am a bit of a geek when it comes to productivity systems, planners, etc. I got fully into the Stephen Covey stuff for awhile, and it was helpful. But for a few reasons it stopped being helpful for me, and a few months ago I found myself buried in projects and responsibilities because of a few new commitments I took on. I needed something to keep my head above water.
Enter GTD. I’ve been slowly reading through and implementing the principles of David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, which is an intuitive productivity system that really helps me keep my head clear so I can focus on the task at hand. I am far more able to do creative work when I’m not constantly interupted by my own brain remembering that I have to do something.
I read a quote tonight that kind of sums up for me what the whole system is about:
"You should use your brain to think about stuff instead of just think of stuff."
Like I said, I’m a bit of a geek, but the whole thing has helped me take a lot of stuff to do and keep track of it so I can feel good about giving my full creative energy and concentration to what I’m doing at any given moment. Do you use some kind of system to keep track of all your stuff?
Stephen Ticehurst says
I have used a number of digital systems such as Thinking Rock, VitaList, Remember the Milk. Out of these, VitaList was the best as it was online and at the time it was free (it no longer is, which means my favorite would now be RTM). Thinking Rock is fab but written in Java and not online.
However, I now have gone ‘analog’ and use my Moleskine notebook as my PDA. It is fab and the battery life is out of this world!
Ben Sternke says
I sometimes wonder about just going to a “hacked” Moleskine as my PDA, but I like the automation of software.
Right now I’m using one called Things, which is free while it’s still in beta, but will cost money once it goes live.
For implementing GTD you might try out this web-based application:
You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
A mobile version and iCal are available too.
Hope you like it.
Abbey Stombaugh says
I keep an open Word document on my computer that has a list of things I need to do or want to do and the day by which I want to (or need to) get it done. That way, I can scan the whole list at once, when I have a minute or an hour and decide which I should work on based on time and priority. It’s not too high tech, but it works somewhat well. When I get a new assignment, I add it to the list.
Andrew Booth says
I can testify to the fact Ben has become a new person. I have to admit it is slightly scary and totally intimidating.