Wednesday, October 28, 2009

GTD is my New Shiney Toy. GTD is my Landmark Forum.

I've recently finished a brain dump and taken the first steps in converting my life over to the GTD system. GTD stands for "Getting Things Done" and is a productivity methodology based on Paul Allen's book of the same title. I've noticed that extremely productive people (my brother, and old boss, and Ramit Sethi a blogger I like) use the GTD system so I'm going to give it a try. I'm going to use this blog to track my progress since this will be a iterative process.
Now that I've had the system more or less in place for a month here are the challenges I'm dealing with that are holding me back from being in a "Mind like water" state.


  • I'm not in love with my GTD desktop task management system FusionDesk. The biggest reason is that I don't find myself wanting to open it up and add a task, which is contradictory to how I feel about the other system I'm using for GTD, Evernote. I don't like FusionDesk mainly because the free version does not contain reminder functionality, so, I feel like the tasks I put in it go into a black hole unless I dig through and discover them. That's bad. I think I need to shell out the $90 for a license since I prefer FusionDesk over all the other GTD systems I've tried (on a PC...).
  • I'm horrible at processing. I don't make time for it. I don't have a re-accuring time each week like I probably should to do this. Therefore things pile up in my inbox. This breaks the whole system. I need to set up one time each week to process. Maybe Sunday night? Sunday nights I'm always unpacking from the weekend...maybe Thursday mornings before work? 7am Thursday mornings? I'll try that, but that means I'll have to get up early each Thursday...see why this is hard?

  • I continue to be really good at the "capture" phase--I have a notepad and inbox system set up and I generally know where to place the odds and ends that enter my mind and my life. I've got this part of it down.
  • I'm enjoying Evernote--I've created a notepad to keep all my odds and ends organized. It's also fun to use and share with other people. That's good.
  • Mastered the filing cabinet thang--I redid my files combining two separate systems I had going into one, and it feels accesible and comprehensive. I can easily add new paper to it. Big win there. I can see myself refining this further by archiving all the folders that won't grow (for example I have files for old jobs that can be stored somewhere else).
  • I feel more organized--Even though the system isn't firing on all cylinders, or whatever, I still feel the relief that came with my initial data dump. Mentally I've moved from around a "5" in feeling organized to a "7". I'd like to be at 10.

Next Steps
  1. Figure out FusionDesk solution
  2. Find a time to process 1x/week and stick to it...try a couple of different times and stick to the easiest
  3. Archive "dead" folders, figure out a place they can go to die
  4. Reassess in a month or so on this blog