GTD App designed by David Allen himself!

TesTeq

Registered
As someone who is not a programmer, my big takeaway from these drawing was a glimpse into how the guy who pioneered GTD sees the methodology working. It gave me some ideas to improve my GTD game. Using the same old tools. At least for now.
There is also hope for some of the GTD heretics between us. ;) For example despite the official statements that Project-Next Actions links aren't necessary, David's drawings show that he wanted them to be implemented.
 

David Parker

GTD Connect
I am, or rather was, a programmer and I have always viewed GTD as a system (or at least, a systematic approach) to getting things done.

As such, to me, the GTD system consists of an operating system (think macOS, iOS or Microsoft Windows) that has a number of routines (think Print, File, etc. in Windows and so on) running on it (Capture, Clarify etc., Mindsweep, Natural Planning Model, Weekly Review and so on).

The GTD "operating system" is you, and every app you use helps to a greater or lesser degree to cover some parts of this operating system or some of the routines.

Encompassing the whole GTD approach would require an operating system and several routines working together. It's almost like trying to replace the human brain with a computer program.

GTD is simple but it's necessarily flexible to deal with whatever is coming at you and your own way of thinking that it can never be handled by a single app - witness all the discussions on these forums about this app versus that app.

What is useful is the discussion around using David's "system diagrams" as a means of validating your personal approach and even working out what app supports which part of the system and how well it does it.

What would be great, would be if we can produce from David's diagrams, a GTD "requirements matrix" (systems analysts out there will know what I'm talking about) against which we can evaluate our systems and any GTD app.
 

Oogiem

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What would be great, would be if we can produce from David's diagrams, a GTD "requirements matrix" (systems analysts out there will know what I'm talking about) against which we can evaluate our systems and any GTD app.
Good idea and yes, that would be very helpful. Note added so if I pick the project up next season I'll look at doing a requirements matrix first.
 

bcmyers2112

Registered
There is also hope for some of the GTD heretics between us. ;) For example despite the official statements that Project-Next Actions links aren't necessary, David's drawings show that he wanted them to be implemented.
The "company line" has always been that linking projects and next actions isn't necessary, but it's not a bad thing to have either. So there's nothing "heretical" about wanting those links.

When the GTD book was first published, I don't think there were any digital list managers out there that could sort lists by project and context -- and of course you still can't do it on paper -- so people had a choice: you could either organize your actions by project or by context. If you have to choose, the GTD position is that context is the better way to do it.

But I've never heard anyone from the David Allen Company assert that using software that can provide links between projects and next actions is a bad thing. I think as long as such software doesn't get in the way of good GTD practice, they'd say it's OK and probably even useful.

And DA himself said in this forum something to the effect that anything that works for you and not against you is "canonical GTD." Which makes it pretty hard to take a position that is "heretical."

If you read the Fast Company article at the link I provided, though, you'll notice that DA wasn't talking about another yet another list management app. The article quotes him as saying, “What I’m seeking is, could somebody, some system, please embody my intelligence about how I want to have data structured, and how I want it to come out? Instead of running down rabbit trails, by making me open Outlook, or my browser, or my phone, to write that down?”

It sounds to me like he was talking about artificial intelligence (AI). He may have been a bit ahead of his time, which may be why the first two attempts at creating the GTD meta app didn't get off the ground. AI is becoming the next big thing, though. So who knows what the future might bring?
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
But I've never heard anyone from the David Allen Company assert that using software that can provide links between projects and next actions is a bad thing. I think as long as such software doesn't get in the way of good GTD practice, they'd say it's OK and probably even useful.

It sounds to me like he was talking about artificial intelligence (AI). He may have been a bit ahead of his time, which may be why the first two attempts at creating the GTD meta app didn't get off the ground. AI is becoming the next big thing, though. So who knows what the future might bring?
Right you are. Some of us at the David Allen Company use eProductivity for IBM/Lotus Notes, which allows for linking projects and actions. Very useful.

Speaking of AI, the first of the earlier software ventures had the ability to parse natural language. For example, writing or speaking, "call Fred Flintstone on Wednesday at 2" would put a reminder on the calendar on Wednesday at 2:00PM and include Fred's phone number, if he was in your contacts list. "wf Fred re: gravel delivery" would go on the Waiting For list. "Email Fred re: granite countertop quote by tomorrow" would go on the At Computer list with a due date of tomorrow. Cool stuff at the time.
 

TesTeq

Registered
It sounds to me like he was talking about artificial intelligence (AI). He may have been a bit ahead of his time, which may be why the first two attempts at creating the GTD meta app didn't get off the ground. AI is becoming the next big thing, though. So who knows what the future might bring?
I'm a little skeptical about AI. They say Google is great at Machine Learning and has gazillions of terabytes of data on their servers. And still their translations are often at the kindergarten level. For example in Polish "zapasy w błocie" means "mud wrestling". But the word "zapasy" has two meanings: "wrestling" and "stocks" (plural of "stock" as "inventory"). So Google proudly translates "zapasy w błocie" as "stocks in the mud" though I'm sure nobody ever typed such thing on any keyboard...
 

Oogiem

Registered
“What I’m seeking is, could somebody, some system, please embody my intelligence about how I want to have data structured, and how I want it to come out? Instead of running down rabbit trails, by making me open Outlook, or my browser, or my phone, to write that down?”
As a related issue I've been exploring a lot of the stuff available from Wolfram and some of the tools for significant data mining and automation. It seems like the one language that might be suitable for writing the all in one app would be the Wolfram stuff.

Without going to the all in one app scenario I think that Siri, or the other AI apps we have in homes plus automation tools like Shortcuts, Hazel and others are a good start. I'm only familiar with the Apple ones but there are similar things for all 3 major operating systems. I think there is a better than 60% chance that you can develop a linking system that coordinates existing apps in a much more intuitive and seamless manner to implement the vision represented by those drawings.

This talk makes me want to activate that project but I really don't have any time to do that till fall or winter....

o Google proudly translates "zapasy w błocie" as "stocks in the mud" though I'm sure nobody ever typed such thing on any keyboard...
I have or at least similar things. Stock can frequently get stuck in the mud. We had a horse who fell into a sinkhole up to her hindquarters. Fortunately she was calm and allowed us to work to get her out. By note of reference for anyone in a similar situation, you can pull a horse out by the tail as long as it's a straight pull. Don't bend it or you can break the tail but straight out works for horses and cattle.
 

SimmonSydney

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From my email it was only 20 days after the end of the conference for folks buying the digital access. I didn't buy. I cannot guarantee I can get to all those useful bits in the next 3 weeks!
Hey Oogie

I did end up buying it and just got through all the content yesterday. I planned some long distance work meetings to help myself out with a bit of time to listen. Mine had a 20 day cap

If it eases your mind a bit, I don’t think you missed as much as you may think

It was great and I learnt a lot, but not necessarily about GTD. More about life I guess.

At the start, David describes it as like sitting around a campfire listening to stories, and thats pretty much what it was.

For me it was very much like listening to a bunch of “Slice of GTD life” interviews, but with more of the speakers life than their system. And some of them were a little “out there”. Apparently David didn’t ask any of them to see what they were going to talk about, and I have no doubt in my mind there would have been a couple of times that David would have said to himself “where the hell is he going with this” !!!!

One Guy even started promoting his album he wrote and sang the song he has just released, and made everyone dance. Haha, and I was just wishing he told me how he processes his email :)

So albeit helpful, I didn’t find that “nugget” of info that would change my system forever, like I was hoping to find haha.

I think we get a lot more valuable advice and information in this forum.

However @John Forrister was a star with his TV interviews I must say :)

So hope that puts your mind at ease a bit
 

TesTeq

Registered
Hey Oogie

I did end up buying it and just got through all the content yesterday. I planned some long distance work meetings to help myself out with a bit of time to listen. Mine had a 20 day cap

If it eases your mind a bit, I don’t think you missed as much as you may think

It was great and I learnt a lot, but not necessarily about GTD. More about life I guess.

At the start, David describes it as like sitting around a campfire listening to stories, and thats pretty much what it was.

For me it was very much like listening to a bunch of “Slice of GTD life” interviews, but with more of the speakers life than their system. And some of them were a little “out there”. Apparently David didn’t ask any of them to see what they were going to talk about, and I have no doubt in my mind there would have been a couple of times that David would have said to himself “where the hell is he going with this” !!!!

One Guy even started promoting his album he wrote and sang the song he has just released, and made everyone dance. Haha, and I was just wishing he told me how he processes his email :)

So albeit helpful, I didn’t find that “nugget” of info that would change my system forever, like I was hoping to find haha.

I think we get a lot more valuable advice and information in this forum.

However @John Forrister was a star with his TV interviews I must say :)

So hope that puts your mind at ease a bit
Yes, I agree. Presentations on the stage were about life. The GTD part of the Summit was present during great networking breaks between sessions. We were really exchanging our experiences and talking about GTD. GTD for teens was a big topic and everybody had an opportunity to talk about it with Mark Wallace and Mike Williams.
 

aderoy

Registered
Just a thought:
DOS based Lotus Agenda could and would link next actions to projects way back in the day. Of course no longer supported in any modern OS, nor would it allow linking to external application in Windows/macOS.

Now there is Zoot from Zoot Software that can do the link between next actions and projects plus to any Windows application etc. Problem is this is from a one person development team, very slow manual creation to understand how it all works. Keeping an eye on this one for now, flexible enough just a bit hard to form into the one tool for me.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Just a thought:
DOS based Lotus Agenda could and would link next actions to projects way back in the day. Of course no longer supported in any modern OS, nor would it allow linking to external application in Windows/macOS.

Now there is Zoot from Zoot Software that can do the link between next actions and projects plus to any Windows application etc. Problem is this is from a one person development team, very slow manual creation to understand how it all works. Keeping an eye on this one for now, flexible enough just a bit hard to form into the one tool for me.
IMHO, Lotus Agenda was an unmitigated disaster. It lacked a clear vision of how it could be used and was locked by the technology of the day to one desktop. Times are better now, at least on Apple hardware. Links to email and other things pretty much just work across platforms. For me at least, the linking is mostly a convenience. It’s possible to spend a lot of time on linking and such, and rarely as rewarding as simple clear thinking.
 

aderoy

Registered
What you say is true in todays world, yet back when it was developed it was 'ahead of it's time' imho. Yes lacked the linking to email and other applications which I did remark on.
Was just tossing the idea into the mix that there was an application that did do linking of task to project 'automagically'. Did not say it was the best in class for today's world, yet would think it to be a 'decent' foundation for one if it was updated over the last what 20-25 years?
As it is it Agenda is a failure, but can be used as a learning tool of what is possible.
Until there is a personal AI, your mind will have to do the work. The mind can and does rather well once the Signal to Noise Ratio is raised.

As always this is my opinion and does not reflect anyone else.
 

Bert Kruisdijk

Registered
38C072AB-732F-4149-BAAB-668DAC17C3D3.png 36D1FC65-625B-4076-AC12-67C7F52F9AEE.png AA72D25A-D86B-48BA-B839-CECDED95C958.png 36D1FC65-625B-4076-AC12-67C7F52F9AEE.png View attachment 424 36D1FC65-625B-4076-AC12-67C7F52F9AEE.png Hi all,

I was able to build the setup as indicated in the drawings of David Allen at the GTD summit and I do think it comes close to the concept of David Allen. Using standard apps, connected with each other by Shortcuts. See the “Initial screen” attached. With many thanks to David Sparks, Tim Stringer, Rosemary Orchard any many others for sharing their ideas.

One of the ideas of a GTD system is to keep it simple. The view and use is simple, setting it up not so simple.

A quick overview how I did accomplish this:

- Using iPados 13 beta but also build it om my iPhone running iOS 12.
- Using the widget on home screen to see my calendar commitments.
- I hyperschedule my today tasks on my calendar, inspired by MacSparky, where Keyboard Master script from Rosemary Orchard is updating my calendar with the task commitments every hour.
- Using Omnifocus perspectives for creating the views Projects/ Today next actions/ Waiting for/ Meeting preps/ Communications/ Focus areas and Goals, close to the design of DA drawings.
- Using Shortcuts for creating icons, displaying the Omnifocus perspectives.
- Using Drafts 5 for meetings, where with the help of shortcuts I create meetings form the calendar (with notes displaying the OF task and “waiting for” lists, with templates from Textexpander and “automatically” process the “next actions” and “waiting for” to the Omnifocus Inbox.
- Using Devonthink (togo) for my reference and tickler file. I have used Rob Trew adjusted scripts to link projects to reference folder/ projects in OmniFocus with links.
- I use Curt Clifton script for project templates on OSx and Rosemary shortcuts Project templates on iOS.

The main building block to create and maintain “a trusted” system is the use of 2 daily routines, in Omnifocus
  1. Reveille to start the day with the daily trigger list of David Allen
  2. Daily closure routine.
I also build in the weekly review based on Omnifocus and Rosemary Orchards weekly Triggerlist shortcuts.

I am now working for a week with this setup. The great thing about “this project” is that it has simplified my workflows, bringing it back to the basic principles of David Allen’s methodology.

Please share your setups for further inspiration.
 

Attachments

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Bert Kruisdijk

Registered
I have made a document showing the following:
  • The screens of David Allen and how there are been build in my system
  • A quick view how I did accomplish this
  • The setup explained more detailed
  • The links to the used Shortcuts, Keyboard Maestro macro's and Apple scripts

I have published it on my blog which can be found here: https://bertkruisdijk.wordpress.com...-killer-gtd-app-system-brought-into-practice/

Happy reading!

Bert
 
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David Parker

GTD Connect
Bert

This is an incredible achievement in such a short space of time - less than a month since the Summit - so well done and many thanks for sharing what you've done.

It demonstrates that a GTD system can be built from an integrated set of tools, rather than waiting for a single app that could do all this. It also demostrates the point others have made that your GTD system is a very personal implementation of David's system, which of course is his personal approach to GTD. Witness, for example, on his initial view, that his calendar says where he is on each day (Saturday and Sunday on Ojai, others days elsewhere or travelling), as he was (and maybe still is) a perepatetic GTD person.
 
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Bert Kruisdijk

Registered
Bert

This is an incredible achievement in such a short space of time - less than a month since the Summit - so well done and many thanks for sharing what you've done.

It demonstrates that a GTD system can be built from an integrated set of tools, rather than waiting for a single app that could do all this. It also demostrates the point others have made that your GTD system is a very personal implementation of David's system, which of course is his personal approach to GTD. Witness, for example, on his initial view, that his calendar says where he is on each day (Saturday and Sunday on Ojai, others days elsewhere or travelling), as he was (and maybe still is) a perepatetic GTD person.
I completely agree! Any GTD system needs to be adapted to your own "style of working" and needs, perhaps that is why "one app" strategy is not working. However setting up such a system is complex. The folks at OmniFocus could help with this, they make wonderful products but could enhance their Business Model with adding more "building blocks" and functionality into Omnifocus so you do not need the use of Apple scripts or Shortcuts. Which is making it more complex for end users to build their own system.
 
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Sergey

Registered
I have made a document showing the following:
  • The screens of David Allen and how there are been build in my system
  • A quick view how I did accomplish this
  • The setup explained more detailed
  • The links to the used Shortcuts, Keyboard Maestro macro's and Apple scripts

I have published it on my blog which can be found here: https://bertkruisdijk.wordpress.com...-killer-gtd-app-system-brought-into-practice/

Happy reading!

Bert
Hi, I'm just amazed and I'm in shock (I accidentally went to this forum when I was looking for an application that really works on the GTD system)

Where can I read more about what David Allen described?

This is what I’ve been thinking about for several years, and even when I started writing code to implement it as you described (but I don’t have much time since I am developing other products).


Sorry for my emotions and my English
 

Bert Kruisdijk

Registered
Hi, I'm just amazed and I'm in shock (I accidentally went to this forum when I was looking for an application that really works on the GTD system)

Where can I read more about what David Allen described?

This is what I’ve been thinking about for several years, and even when I started writing code to implement it as you described (but I don’t have much time since I am developing other products).


Sorry for my emotions and my English
I only have the pdf as David Allen distributed and there is this podcast explaining in more depth what was intended: https://overcast.fm/+ErnXpVoJ0 or this link: https://gettingthingsdone.com/category/podcast-2/ .The pdf is used in my blog.
 
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