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  • New to GTD and Mac

    I am new to GTD, new to Mac and not really IT savvy. Any advice how to get started? (My hope is that finding the right GTD software would help me get some order into my stuff, since I am also in the process of starting my own business)

    So far, my experience is:

    Mac: 1 day of exploring
    GTD: listened to 3/4 of the audio book

    Do you think it would work for me to just download THL or some other program and add the first projects/tasks while figuring out all the details of how both GTD and Mac work?

    The thing is that I really want to get going - I have spent a year now planning to implement GTD and didn't do it, and I believe actually starting would help me (if I found the right angle and didn't get frustrated right away).

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Joy, I think you should consider starting with a paper system. Learning GTD, the Mac, and another software all at one time may distract you from what you really need to focus on - getting in control! Give yourself permission to just start with a "temporary" system.

    I think the software is going to have much less of an impact than you think once you really understand GTD. The key is to just make some lists and get going with it! Also, once you get your GTD practice down, it will be relatively easy to move it to the software of your choice.

    As others have said, don't let the search for the perfect system stop you from implementing a good enough system. The software is not the methodology, it's just a tool. And if you don't know how to use it, or if it doesn't fit the way you work, the software may become a barrier to your success and an additional hurdle that makes everything you do more difficult.

    If you don't like the idea of a simple paper system, consider using a software you already know how to use (Excel spreadsheet which allows sorting, plus calendar you already use?) If you use a simple tool that you already know how to use, you avoid creating additional barriers to getting things done!

    And a final thought: once you have been GTDing successfully for some time, you will have a much better idea of what software features will actually be useful to you.


    • #3
      re: New to GTD and Mac

      --> Focus on the principles, since there are multiple ways to implement them.

      I designed the Ready-Set-Do! approach for the Mac. Regardless of whether you choose to make it your own, you may find some of its how-to's helpful for learning the GTD habits and getting at least the file-system of your mac organized in a GTD-esque way. I recommend watching the tutorial Juggling the GTD Habits. There are also videos on this YouTube channel.

      But I agree with lareaarnett. Getting your paper-based system under control is going to be necessary anyway; so it makes sense to focus on that. Plus there's something about working with physical space where things have locations and placements that helps reinforce the GTD Habits. Once you've gotten the paper-system under control you'll be able to migrate to other things that build on those skills.

      Good luck, and keep us posted on how it goes.
      Last edited by Todd V; 08-08-2012, 12:54 PM.


      • #4
        Originally posted by joy2010 View Post
        I am new to GTD, new to Mac and not really IT savvy. Any advice how to get started? (My hope is that finding the right GTD software would help me get some order into my stuff, since I am also in the process of starting my own business)

        So far, my experience is:

        Mac: 1 day of exploring
        GTD: listened to 3/4 of the audio book
        My suggestion, from a long time (started with a Mac 12 mac user is separate the 2 tasks. Learning GTD and learning the Mac are independent. I'd echo the suggestion to do your GTD stuff on paper first for a few weeks or months until you are comfortable with the mac. Then consider trying out the several programs that are available. I started with a paper implementation, which lasted about 2 weeks, then moved to LifeBalance, which was great until I got sick and then it was impossible to keep up. Moved to Omnifocus and haven't looked back. I eliminated all programs that use cloud based computing and also any that didn't have a good link between e-mail generation of tasks/next actions and the contexts. But initially I started on paper as well.

        It's a lot easier to learn the GTD methodology with pen and paper and then once you are going fairly well figure out what critical features you need in a GTD application, if you decide paper isn't working for some reason. Plus paper is cheaper to start with.


        • #5
          Thanks all!

          Somehow, I had had the idea that it would help me to "do it properly" from the beginning, but after starting, I see how the challenge lies somewhere else anyway, and paper seems to work fine.


          • #6
            Todd V,

            Wow!!! Just watched your tutorials and was seriously amazed. It may work very well for me for the beginning, and later I can see if I have additional requirements. But something like this was exactly what I needed to get going.



            • #7
              re: Wow!!!

              Hi Joy,

              No problem. Thanks for letting me know.


              • #8
                Hi Todd V,

                I'm struggling to get RSD started. Even though I changed my language preferences to English and restarted the computer, I still get the same error message inviting me to change my language preferences to English.

                Any idea how I could move past that?

                Thank you in advance!


                (feel free to PM me if you think this is to special to be of interest for others)


                • #9
                  I'd second @Oogiem and say that you should try to get a paper system working first. I tried jumping straight into a software program first and didn't catch all the nuances of how do GTD. It took going to a GTD seminar and about 3 months of going back to paper for me to work out some serious bugs in the way I was trying to get things done. From there I went back to OmniFocus and haven't looked back.


                  • #10
                    The answer I got from Todd

                    (in case anybody whose Mac originally was set to another language preference ever has the same question)

                    RSD is set to work in English. Your default settings are for another language. To get it to install, set OS X to English by dragging English to the top of your International Preferences Pane in System Preferences.

                    Go to the Files to Install from the file that you unarchived. Locate the folder that says "English". Change it to anything else - like English1 or something. Then run the installer and RSD should install just fine.