GTD Nuggets – Fancy Features You Don’t Need

Date: Friday, January 14, 2011 by GTD Times Staff

Most of the fancy features of most organizing software go unused, as do most forms and lines and boxes in most paper-based planners. Most of what’s out there to help is grossly overbuilt. Once you realize that you only need to define your projects with the next actions on them and keep track of all that in a complete but simple set of lists, you won’t need to bother yourself with much else. – David Allen



7 Responses to “GTD Nuggets – Fancy Features You Don’t Need”

  1. Brodie says:

    But if it has all the fancy features you can use the ones that will help YOU.

    Most of the software I found when I started looking did not have enough. Then I found one that I liked, it had too much. Although, that means that it has the features I need.

  2. Per says:

    I can agree to that…

    Is there to many options to fill in in the electronic fancy stuff, it will take a lot of time to make the input.

    Same with the papers….

    I´m an paperbased GTD:er and #1 for me is that I can jot down things in my Filofax, QUICKLY. Just flip up to the right sektion and scribble down my idea, thought or what ever it is.

    SO I´m thinking… Less is More, actually. You should have it simple.

    Anyway.. This is how I like to work, but there are surely other ways people “want to walk”.

  3. Brodie says:

    Exactly! It has to be quick and easy.

    I am usually paper based myself, as my job has me spending time in a room where I cannot bring any electronics. Therefore, whatever I use electronically must able to print. That is actually a function that comes surprising few of the GTD applications. Especially with a good way to write more on the printed page.

    I also want to be able to input everything into one spot. I don’t want to put an action into one application only to have to re-input it on my calendar. Therefore it must sync with my calendar.

    All I am saying is that an application that has as many options as possible is by default going to make it easier to use by a wider audience. Especially if those options are actually OPTIONAL and you don’t have to fill in every field.

  4. Beirne says:

    In order for the program to tell me the next actions for my projects I need it to be able to structure my project with dependencies and ordered tasks. Most to-do programs don’t do that well, so I’m willing to pay extra for a program with more features.

  5. Luke says:

    @Beirne: The software you describe is more for detailed project management. That’s outside the scope of your GTD lists.

    Project plans are considered support material that you use during regular reviews to get your mind centered on where things are vs where they need to be and determining the next action to move things forward.

    Your GTD lists, which can be simple sheets of paper, hold those simple reminders. I once heard DA refer to those simple lists as your “cockpit dials”. The project plan is more like a detailed flight plan (like the binders that astronauts take with them).

  6. Pam says:

    I would say I tend to be paper based and when I get bored I play around with different software.
    I guess in a sense I am choosing to regroup with the new software then immediately move back to my old friend paper ( index cards) which usually help me get more done in a day than any program I have every used.

  7. Anita says:

    Boy, do I agree totally with this!
    I’ve tried using online list managers (Remember the Milk, Vitalist & others) & apps on my iPod before turning to a filofax.
    I used to spend so much time fiddling & sorting, rather than actually processing or doing.

    I just use lined paper & pull out the sheets with the context I want to work on.
    I can pop the filofax in my bag, doodle, no waiting for it to boot up, no battery issues & the planner is a thing of beauty too 🙂

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