anti failure implementation of GTD

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by bcool, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    But that takes the argument full circle--my point was that if you refrain from diving into all the features, OmniFocus is perfectly easy to use as a simple list manager.
     
  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Yes, I agree. My point is: when someone is learning GTD she should use a simple tool to avoid "functional distractions". And if there are simple free list manager alternatives why she should spend $40/$80 on Omnifocus. I prefer good enough tools since POTENTIAL functionality distracts me.
    David Allen Company's setup guides are the perfect example that GTD really requires just the basic functionality of the most sophisticated tools.
     
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  3. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    You didn't do anything wrong, so don't inhibit yourself out of a fear of being "inaccurate." I was just trying to explain where the disconnect between you and me was coming from.

    As you continue to read the book and apply the concepts, you'll get used to the terminology. This will also help you get more out of the forums. We tend to speak a lot of GTD jargon here.


    Don't worry about it. The conversation has been going just fine, regardless.

    But the purpose of GTD is to get away from a "crisis management" mindset and to have a "mind like water" when you're doing your day-to-day tasks. It's too much to expect you'll be able to achieve it consistently at such an early stage. But over time this is the thing to strive for and to guide you in how to implement the principles.


    Don't stop unless you want to. I was only trying to help you understand that even armed with personal criteria, you're going to be hard pressed to find a resource that will simply generate options just right for you. That's because the criteria are mostly subjective.

    That doesn't mean that you're wrong to do some research. Nevertheless, be prepared for some trial-and-error. You should also feel confident that if a product you try works well for you, you should use it even if other people say they don't like your choice.

    Frankly, based on what I've read from your posts I would wager that you'd be better off listening more to @Oogiem and @Gardener than me when it comes to list managers. That's because you seem to prefer full-featured tools. I'm from the "keep it simple, stupid" camp. :)

    The more you use this concept, the more you'll love it. Particularly because most people don't have a good way of keeping track of the commitments they make to you. They expect to be reminded. I used to work for someone whose favorite phrase was, "Don't let me forget to..."
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  4. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    I don't "feel offended by sheer existence of other opinions." I think having different opinions in this forum is extremely useful. I took issue with the manner in which you expressed your opinion. Terms like "fanboyism/fangirlism" come off as a personal attack and are unnecessary for getting your point across. In fact, they detract from it.

    The funny thing is, @TesTeq, I actually think like you do. I'd be hesitant to buy something expensive like Omnifocus if I wasn't sure I'd be able to get full use out of it over time.

    But @Gardener's point of view is equally valid, and there's no reason to attack her for expressing it. Not when you could just as easily have made exactly the same point in a less incendiary way.
     
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  5. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    I'm sorry for using "fanboyism/fangirlism". As a non-native English speaker I was so excited that I "invented" "fangirlism". I couldn't resist. I must keep my standards higher than my emotions! ;-)
     
  6. bcool

    bcool Registered

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    Criteria
    - MacOS/iOS
    - keyboard only navigation (no mouse will be needed)
    - hotkeys can be created for navigation
    - nested levels of horizons & ground (at minimum 3 levels deep nesting)
    - reordering of levels via keyboard
    - being able to connect (API/webhook/script/something) it to beeminder.com
    - strong community

    Lets experiment with omnifocus.
     
  7. bcool

    bcool Registered

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    Needed a whole week to move all my items to OmniFocus (OF). Waiting for my mobile phone subscription to renew to buy an iphone 6 with discount (because iOS 11 is required for OF). Meanwhile using evernote as mobile dump for stuff.

    For the people that use OF, perhaps you have an answer on: https://discourse.omnigroup.com/t/10-minute-warning-notifications/35864
     
  8. bcool

    bcool Registered

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    Read the book.

    So far from my summary I see 5 exercises (if these exercises have names, please let me know):

    1. e.g. "the essence "
    I suggest that you write down the project or situation that is most on your mind at this moment. What most bugs you, distracts you, or interests you, or in some other way consumes a large part of your conscious attention? Now, describe, in a single written sentence, your intended successful outcome for this problem or situation. In other words, what would need to happen for you to check this project off as “done”? Now write down the very next physical action required to move the situation forward. If you had nothing else to do in your life but get closure on this, what visible action would you take right now?

    2. e.g. "stacking"
    Choose one project that is new or stuck or that could simply use some improvement. Think of your purpose. Think of what a successful outcome would look like: where would you be physically, financially, in terms of reputation, or whatever? Brainstorm potential steps. Organize your ideas. Decide on the next actions. Are you any clearer about where you want to go and how to get there?

    3. e.g. "Capture all the existing stuff"

    4. e.g. "Capture all the new stuff"

    5. e.g. "The Review: Get clear, current & creative"

    I'll be probably starting, as suggested in the book and via the comments in this discussion (thank you all :) ), with 3 and 4.
     
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  9. chirmer

    chirmer Registered

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    I think there's a reason David Allen advocates starting the system with simple tools. It's actually a huge problem in tech industries - human nature is to fiddle with things until they're perfect, at the detriment of getting things done. The more features software has, the more one can fiddle and not be productive. You can see this in how many search results in this forum and on the web discuss simplifying systems that have become too complex.

    So while we can say "Just because the software has the feature doesn't mean you have to use it," that takes a lot of willpower, which is a limited resource. Using a tool at the start that doesn't even give you those options IMHO is the better way of getting your system ingrained as a habit. You can't even be tempted by feature creep or tweaking your system endlessly. You can hone your system and really learn where you need a specific feature, and then find a tool with it. I myself am in the middle of a tech detox as I let my system get too complex, for the 10th time. I am using the dead-simplest paper system you can probably find, and it truly helps that I don't have temptation to try this feature or that. I can find my weaknesses and find a tool that fills that and no more.

    FWIW, this did not sound offensive to me at all. A simple comment seems to have escalated quickly! I think we can all use a reminder to not assume offense when it can easily be explained as a difference of communication style :)

    And it should be stated I guess that this is my personal opinion, and everyone is free to disagree.
     
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  10. chirmer

    chirmer Registered

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    1 - This is part of your project planning. Every single project should be titled by its desired outcome (that one sentence). Then you list the very next task needed to move that project forward. You can freely list as many as you know, whether they have to happen in a certain order or can happen randomly. Put each task that you can do right now (versus have to wait for something else to be done first) into a Next Action list. Do this for each project.

    2 - This is either part of your project planning or weekly review. Or both!

    3 is good.

    4 is good.

    Next, insert Clarify. This is where you figure out whether it's a task, reference item, trash, etc. Identify each item.

    Then, insert Organize. Put tasks on the proper lists. Put reference material in its proper home.

    Then insert your #5, also known as Reflect.

    Then, the final step, is GTD - Get Things Done. Pick a task and do it :) When done, review your lists again. Pick another task, and do it. Repeat.
     
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  11. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    I get concerned when I see people set criteria like "nested levels of horizons & ground (at minimum 3 levels deep nesting)". Things like this sound good in the abstract, but rather than create a more manageable system they add complexity without benefit. Ultimately, things like lush nesting hierarchies create systems you won't be motivated to keep current and usable. They're a recipe for failure. I'm speaking from experience.

    I use a tool that has very few features. It's not even a traditional list manager. The most I can do is sort lists by category. I don't even link actions to projects. That may sound like it would make GTD harder to do, but I've found that the simplicity makes my GTD system more manageable, not less.

    My suggestion: keep it simple. I can't tell you the number of times people in these forums have insisted that complex list management schemes will be the answer, only to find themselves frustrated and eventually coming back wondering what's wrong. GTD is complex enough without adding unnecessary complications.
     
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  12. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    I agree but I think it can be beneficial to try out a system that you devised yourself if for no other reason than to experience first hand the problems encountered by the complexity. This is why I wondered earlier on in this thread whether I would appreciate the elegance of GTD if I had not previously tried out impossibly complex systems devised by myself.
     
  13. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    But... if you create a complex system and encounter problems it is much easier to blame @DavidAllen and "his damned GTD" than your own beautiful, thoughtfully designed but hard to maintain system.
     
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  14. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    @treelike: I agree that we all learn in our own way, at our own pace. But we can also shorten our learning curves by benefiting from the experiences from others. And @TesTeq makes a great point: there's a risk if someone encounters frustrations from "rookie mistakes" they may just give up. I did for a time.

    Anyway, as I've said before, I offer my advice to be helpful but no one is obligated to follow it. If someone finds a better path that proves me wrong, I'm happy to be incorrect.
     
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  15. bcool

    bcool Registered

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    Thanks for the discussion above. So far Omnifocus is solving my nested levels problem (which I had at wunderlist). I still need to dig into the keyboard shortcuts. Especially the one where I can just add stuff to the inbox out of a random place of my screentime (e.g. urls or waiting for things)

    I've been using this: https://gettingthingsdone.com/gtd-q®-assessment/ to get an overview of how I can improve during my weekly review.

    It has been useful. Who made it?

    I'm waiting for march to arrive, as now I don't have omnifocus on mobile and it's annoying to put things in notes / evernotes / worst place (between my ears).
     
  16. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I don't know who made the GTD-Q assessment but I've been taking it for years. Somewhat useful but I am almost always in the same quadrant. 35 times out of 42 in Visionary-Crazy Maker. I've never been in Implementer-MicroManager and only once in Responder-Victim.
     
  17. bcool

    bcool Registered

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    Bought an iPhone 6, for iOS 11, so I can start playing with OF on mobile.

    There is certainly a price for peace of mind.
     
  18. John Forrister

    John Forrister Moderator

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    David Allen developed the GTD-Q. The coding was done by Robert Peake, who has since moved to England to work for our partner there, Next Action Associates.
     
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  19. bcool

    bcool Registered

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    I had a talk with someone also practicing GTD. Great conversation as you're able to articulate things much better with the same abstract terms and mental construct. Using OF on iPhone 6 is perfect. The office is in my hand and available if I want to. I just have to restart the weekly review thing. Be more proactive with things above the current projects level.

    How do you stay on top of your game?
     
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