Tim Braheem Interview



Thanks Tim and David for the interview. It was certainly "not taxing" to listen to as I worked on my income taxes.

Tim's conversation about being faithful to the process, especially the weekly review, was very insightful. I listened to it a couple of times because it was such a nice way to frame the GTD process. It reminded me of what Mother Teresa said "God doesn't call us to be successful - just faithful." Learning to be faithful to the right things has been one of my biggest challenges - whether it has been faith, family, health, work, education or my planner.

I also enjoyed learning about Tim's goal to live in Italy with his family for one year. His upcoming travels and preparations also reminded me of a one year "RV Road Trip" that my husband Marty and I took in 1999 - 2000. It was certainly an adventure through the US, Canada, Alaska, Florida Keys (a country by itself) and parts of Mexico.

We decided to move from California to Wisconsin and realized it was an opportunity to "travel slow" since we had no jobs, businesses or mortgages waiting for us. It took a lot of planning, but we did hit the road for a year with our two young children, who were 4 years old and 2 years old at the time. The kids also had no sports, social or school obligations, so we set the agenda to "arrive in Wisconsin in time for Kindergarten." About eights months into the journey, we knew that we had really "arrived" when we realized that the daylight saving time had changed four days earlier and we weren't even aware of the new time. The road trip experience was awesome and we learned so much, enough to write a book one day.

However, I don't think Marty or I have ever recovered from the experience, which really put a ding into our "Type A" energy and finances since neither or us were able to recapture the work-work-work ethic that use to dominate our lifestyle. What was so important at one time completely changed for both of us as we rearranged our focus. What probably would of helped both of us was to create a stronger "re-entry" plan with new goals to achieve.

Tim, it wouldn't surprise me if you develop some alternative plans for the "re-entry" while you are in Italy. "Getting away" can take on a whole new life, in ways that surprise us all. I look forward to hearing about your adventures.



value of being active on the forum

I enjoyed the whole interview, but the one thing I've walked away with (so far) is Tim's admonition to be really active on the forum--this forum.

I've been much more active since listening, and Tim was right! I'm getting a lot of value out of it.

Thanks, Tim.


Hitting the ground running on Monday morning

I found this interview extremely inspirational. I especially liked Tim's description of how doing the weekly review and updating his inventory lists, enables him to "hit the ground running" on Monday morning. The mental image conjured up by this phrase really motivates me to get my own lists in order.

I'm intrigued by Tim's use of Excel spreadsheets for keeping long-range lists of actions, both for himself and for large projects with his partners. I want to try this with one or two of my projects.


Sharing Knowledge

I completely agree with Chad. Tim's call to sharing knowledge in this forum really drives home the fact that if we are all willing to participate and express the ways in which GTD helps makes us successful/happy/relaxed/etc we all gain something. It's an unfortunate fact that 80 percent of the activity in these forums will be generated by 20 percent of the users...but imagine what could happen if each of us decided to share one thing that really made a difference in our lives. We may never know it, but I know it would matter to someone.

Chad;47905 said:
I enjoyed the whole interview, but the one thing I've walked away with (so far) is Tim's admonition to be really active on the forum--this forum.

I've been much more active since listening, and Tim was right! I'm getting a lot of value out of it.

Thanks, Tim.


Tim's filtering of Someday/Maybes

I'm fascinated that Tim is so productive, yet has "only" 26 Projects and 12-13 Someday/Maybes. I'd like to ask if others apply a strong filter to their Someday lists? Do you park questionable Somedays in another list that isn't reviewed weekly?

For example, right now I have 27 Somedays and 58 Projects yet I don't feel very productive. Unlike Tim, I am a packrat and I see now that is reflected in my lists.

I agree with Chad and gwelch about participating more in the forum. Being a "white belt", I have more questions than answers to contribute right now.


Tim is on auto pilot with GTD - that is my dream

I had so many AHA moments listening to this interview this morning. I am going to list just three:

1. Tim has GTD subconsciously automated. That is my goal. If I can get to where I automatically do weekly reviews, Next Actions, and have one IN BOX (not my entire house), I will be as mellow as he is. It reminded me of when I taught CPR for the Red Cross. You instinctively drop to your knees and check the airway. With GTD you need to automatically do your Weekly Review or you cannot execute the rest of the process with any success. I think most people see the Weekly Review as a painful homework assignment. Do it somewhere that is pleasant and relaxing to you. I promise when you make it pleasurable and you see how your life changes you will look forward to doing it.

2. I love the GTD Forum and the exchange of ideas. I check it every day for new posts and enjoy the banter and learning about new tools and software. I am a scribbler - very visual tactile, so I do not buy a lot of gadgets, gizmos and software. But I love knowing I can come here and read reviews on how people have electronically implemented GTD.

3. The thing I really loved was hearing about Tim’s upcoming sabbatical in Italy. I did something similar a decade ago. I decided I wanted to take a sabbatical. I had never taken off more than a week at a time, and still answered my work cell/pager. One day I decided I wanted to take a real sabbatical - maybe the summer off and then come back to work. As I started to plan, I realized I could take a year off and travel and spend time traveling the country visiting friends and family and going to soul nourishing seminars and retreats.

I lived off one pay check and banked the other for almost two years. Suze Orman said we usually spend $1500 more a month than we think when we retire. I figured if I was on vacation, traveling first class and going to retreats, seminars and all over the country, I would be overspending the same.

I planned to travel 15 days a month, and stay home and do things the other 15 days. I managed to see all my friends and relatives all over the country; take the full week 7 Habits course; a writing course with Madeleine L'Engle; go to Disney World with my four year old nephew, spend two weeks at a spiritual retreat at Chartres Cathedral in France and so much more. I also designated one day a week as “Mommy Day” and spent it with my 75 year old mother. Anything she wanted to do that day – and it could be any day of the week I was home – we did. We went to a lot of senior events, she taught me a lot of recipes; and I know where every casino and nickel slot machine is on the East Coast. My greatest achievement that year was spending two months planning my mother's 75th birthday. I found every friend and relative still alive and brought them to DC to celebrate. I paid for relatives and friends to fly into town and stay for two weeks at houses and hotels. We had an all day event for her at the community center on her birthday (she has lived in the same neighborhood for fifty years), and it turned out great. It was also the first time most of the people had gathered for a happy occasion and not a funeral!

I went back to work a year later in a different job and industry. I was so refreshed and mellow that it took another decade for me to realize I need to do it again. This interview has inspired me. “Take a sabbatical” is off the Someday/Maybe list and onto my Project list.


Great insight on organizing and mind like water

I really enjoyed Tim's interview with David. The first point that caught my attention was when David and Tim were hitting balls on the driving range and Tim laughed. David asked what about, and Tim mentioned that he "couldn't think of anything." It is great to hear about people's experience - often a new one for them - of having it all out of their head (mind like water.)

I also found value in Tim's use of the Excel spreadsheet as an organizing tool, and having it linked to his project. Great reinforcement of the GTD methodology that you may organize something in the way that fits your thinking. This is often a great value identified by participants when delivering GTD seminars. It also supports the vital component of GTD that regardless of how/where you organize, make certain that you have a complete and current list of all of your projects - at all the Horizons of Focus. Without this, I have seen many people struggle with GTD. I say let your Project list lead you to your organizational tool, not the other way around.

Great interview Tim and David, thanks.


dannybader;48249 said:
I also found value in Tim's use of the Excel spreadsheet as an organizing tool, and having it linked to his project.

I wonder if Tim could share what one of those looks like since he kinda encouraged us to do the same :mrgreen:


Linking docs to a Task in Outlook...

Linking documents / spreadsheets to / into my Tasks (Projects) is not as easy as I thought it would be... matter of fact I can't figure out how to do it.

Does anyone have any suggestions as how to create a hyperlink from a Task in Outlook to a document on my laptop hard-drive? As Tim discussed - I would simply like to click on the hyperlink to open the project spreadsheet.




Still looking for a true Hyperlink from a Task...

Thank you for responding...

Using this method allows me to insert (attach) a document to the Task. But... here is what I envisioned this process to be...

1. Create a Spreadsheet for Project X. This spreadsheet would contain all the action items ( initially and on-going as the project matures). I would save the spreadsheet in My Documents in the Clients A-F folder I have set up to organize all the client documents, quotes, etc.

1a. Initially I'm thinking that I would want to / need to access this "live" Project document "freeform" via Excel (when I'm there and thinking about the Project) and "in form" when I'm in Outlook doing a Weekly Review (for instance).

2. Given 1a above, I did #1 and inserted the spreadsheet into the Task. Then I updated the spreadsheet after opening it up via Outlook / Task. In order to determine if my update was made to the "original" spreadsheet in the My Documents / Clients A-F folder - I opened said spreadsheet via Excel. No update. So that tells me that there can be two live documents in my file system. I'm only wanting one - hence my wanting to be able to HyperLink from the Task to the spreadsheet versus "inserting" the spreadsheet into the Task.

So... I guess I'm still looking to determine if Tim was able to hyperlink a spreadsheet into a Task (which is what he said did) or whether he inserted the spreadsheet into Task.

Still looking for a true hyperlink...



Kelly Forrister | GTD expert
Here's how to do what you are asking

Go to the place you want to insert the hyperlink, such as the note field of the Task.

Select Insert>File. Find the file you want to create a hyperlink for. Windows will want to default to inserting the file attachment. Go down to the bottom right hand corner of that insert screen and select the drop down arrow. Select "Insert as Hyperlink" instead.

That should do the trick to make sure what you are seeing in Outlook is a link to the original and not an older copy.


Attached files


Now That's Incredible!!!!!

Thanks Kelly!

That is Awesome!!!!! And it works just like I thought it should, and would work!!

This handy tool should be applicable to many!!!