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New Convert, want to use best tools (smart phone, computer software, etc.)

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  • New Convert, want to use best tools (smart phone, computer software, etc.)

    Hello experts: I read about the David Allen program in Businessweek (I finished a Ph.D. in business in July) and was so intrigued I bought the book right away. I start a great new job in May and want to fully implement the system in the best way possible. One of my initial sources of confusion is integrating all of the paper and pencil items with the electronic data that many of us use. Right now I'm using a computer running Windows Vista and using Outlook, but I plan to buy some sort of smart phone with a planner, etc. that would sync with whatever is on my computer when I move.

    My question is what are the best tools/gadgets to work with the David Allen system, and do you have general recommendations on integrating the "hard" and "sort" aspects of your organization systems with confusing yourself or excessive duplication.

    Thanks so much.


  • #2
    I am not an expert, but I suggest that if you are starting a new job soon, you wait and see what systems are in place in the company. Lots of employers restrict their employees use of software etc, so there is no point in getting all set up on something you won't be permitted to use.

    It might be a good idea to practise implementing GTD at home - just start applying the principles to your own email, bills and whatever other stuff you have to deal with. Then you will get a feel for the workflow GTD encourages.

    You can start with an all paper system - in fact it may make it easier to understand at first, rather than learning GTD and a bunch of new tools at the same time.

    Good luck with GTD and with the job!


    • #3
      Starting GTD

      I'd beware of trying to learn both the GTD systematic approach and a computer software system at the same time.

      GTD can be implemented using a variety of software tools but from my experience you have to REALLY know the software to make it an effective GTD tool.

      Learning the software at the same time as learning GTD can be tough. My own opinion is start with GTD on a very simple system (e.g. paper) and once you get the methodology down then the tool itself becomes less important.

      In my own situation my digital systems became so fragmented (e.g. work choices) that my fastest and best GTD tool is a simple paper set of lists (Time/Design). But these lists point me to take actions on a variety of digital tools such as email, URLs, spreadsheets, etc.

      Hope that helps!

      - Mark


      • #4
        GTD is just a systematic approach...

        GTD is just a systematic approach - you may use your old, tried and tested tools.