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Interesting Critique of GTD

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  • Interesting Critique of GTD

    Ran across this and thought it was interesting...

    http://www.yottaflow.com/insights-op...et-things-done

  • #2
    Really? Interesting?

    Originally posted by stevejackson View Post
    Ran across this and thought it was interesting...
    Really? Interesting?

    For example the author wrote:
    Even with all the so-called “GTD compliant” software available, GTD remains primarily a manual method of work prioritization and management.
    (...)
    We simply can’t understand why someone would choose to do manually what can so easily be automated. Why opt for the slide-rule when you can use a calculator?
    I would pay any amount of money for a system that would successfully automate my work prioritization. But - would this system take into account a tomorrow's weather report (you know - windsurfing is important for me )?

    Comment


    • #3
      Too simple

      This is either only useful for simple work or for high level actions, not the detailed actions that GTD keeps track of. I think they're just criticising GTD because their system doesn't match GTD

      Comment


      • #4
        I found it very shallow as a critique. The title says "Why David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” Fails to Get Things Done" but there aren't any examples of how the system fails.

        1) To criticize the list of materials is rather silly. When I read GTD I realized right away that these materials are important to GTD but the actual items could be anything. The list makes it easy for anyone to gather these items and they are familliar with them from the get-go, but obviously subsitutions can be made.

        For example for a lot of my mindsweeps I use mini legal pads that I cut in half. When I finish with the notes I strike the copy through and pile them face down in a small basket so I can use the blank side for my next session. (It saves on supply costs and reduces waste.) I don't think the GTD Stormtroopers are going to kick down my door and force me to use Post-Its. If you have a cool gadget/device/whatever that fills that role and it works for you consistantly, use it!

        2) This is a total strawman argument. Why attack the system based on criteria it doesn't claim to meet?

        If this was a serious article I'd like to see more in-depth review, comparisons, real life experiences, etc. In the meantime, I'll be going into hiding before David Allen's goons track me down for using the wrong kind of paper clips!

        Comment


        • #5
          It's an appeal to managers who have only heard of GTD to buy in to a system that supports a rigid group workflow model. Their product is for the manager who wants the One Ring to rule them all, surely a futile quest.

          Comment


          • #6
            A Response from the Author

            I noticed an up-tick in traffic on our site coming from this forum, so I thought I'd see what was causing it. I work for Yottaflow and wrote the article about GTD.

            A couple of responses:
            1) @mcogilvie - Yottaflow is not a "rigid group workflow" tool. Actually, it's quite flexible and thoroughly customizable. Nor is it simply a tool for managers. Anyone can create and manage assignments in Yottaflow. And, yes, while it works well with teams, it works equally well when you create and manage assignments for yourself.

            2) @BRSaxon - I understand that the item on David Allen's list were suggestions. The issue I raise isn't which type of paper you're using, but rather that I think there are better (read automated) options than the manual tools he suggests.

            3) @Suelin23 - your instincts are right! Yottaflow is useful for "simple work" AND "for high level actions" -- as well as everything in between.

            4) Finally, I've posted another article today that helps to flesh out more of the reasoning behind my position. If you're interested can read it here: http://www.yottaflow.com/insights-op...zation-systems

            In any event, I appreciate the conversation.

            Comment


            • #7
              One can't blame the presence of individual organizing systems for individuals' lack of fulfillment of their own responsibilities. One can assign someone tasks every five minutes, and make it easy for everyone to see what's assigned, but it doesn't mean the assignee will *do* them, it just means everyone will know if they don't.

              We use a system like Yottaflow at the retail store where I work part-time. It's a great way to manage tasks across multiple people who work different shifts and different number of hours. There are links to all the pertinent information, the contact info everyone needs, the diagrams from corporate that explain how the displays are to be set up. But in the end, it still boils down to something like, "@cordlessdrill dismantle puzzle display" which the individual person needs some sort of individual way to cope with.

              From all the podcasts I've listened to and blog articles I've read, it sounds like the Davidco offices function very well, even with all those people using their very individual GTD systems. I think the idea the GTD doesn't work well for teams would come as news to them.
              Last edited by jesig; 06-02-2011, 11:29 AM. Reason: typos. :(

              Comment


              • #8
                Sabre Rattling

                It strikes me as odd that someone would write an article bashing another productivity methodology and post it on that methodology's site. This just seems like it is just an attempt at publicity. If it works for you--great--use it. If not, don't. We could all go on forever which is better.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RMS View Post

                  2) @BRSaxon - I understand that the item on David Allen's list were suggestions. The issue I raise isn't which type of paper you're using, but rather that I think there are better (read automated) options than the manual tools he suggests.
                  Perhaps my I clouded my point because my imagination was taken with the image of David Allen having an army of highly-organized thugs marking their next action as "Clubbing the wiseguy about the head with a pipe." Let me clairify.

                  Your article claims that GTD fails because it isn't automated enough. I disagree. I have taught some of my IT clients the basics of GTD and I always use the basics in the books. If I tried to drop the Applescripts and Omnifocus workflows I use daily on these newbies as well they would give up because it would be way too complicated for them. The breakdown of necessary tools into everyday office supply store items that people are used to dealing with every day makes it easier for them to focus on learning the basics of the system without being overwhelmed with multiple new things to learn.

                  If GTD doesn't appeal to you because it isn't packaged with a widget that slices, dices and tones your abs, then it isn't for you. But don't claim something is a failue based on your limited experience.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another Response from the Author

                    Originally posted by elguapo42 View Post
                    It strikes me as odd that someone would write an article bashing another productivity methodology and post it on that methodology's site. This just seems like it is just an attempt at publicity. If it works for you--great--use it. If not, don't. We could all go on forever which is better.
                    Dear elguapo42,
                    This forum found me, not the other way around. I am simply offering a response to the critiques expressed here. I also enjoy conversing about the different methods and tools available to control work. I'm glad GTD works for you. It doesn't work for everyone, however, and so I am trying to posit an explanation as to why that is.
                    Cheers!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Comparing apples to oranges is not the best marketing strategy.

                      Originally posted by RMS View Post
                      I noticed an up-tick in traffic on our site coming from this forum, so I thought I'd see what was causing it. I work for Yottaflow and wrote the article about GTD.
                      I appreciate that you are open for discussion but I think that comparing apples to oranges is not the best marketing strategy. I would rather try to find a way to convince GTDers that your product will extend their abilities in the teamwork productivity area.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Software clarification

                        Originally posted by BRSaxon View Post
                        Your article claims that GTD fails because it isn't automated enough. I disagree. ... don't claim something is a failue based on your limited experience.
                        Dear BRSaxon,
                        Thanks for the clarification.
                        I'm not familiar with all the softwares available for GTD, however, the ones I do know seem more designed to manage tasks than to automate tasks/processes. Could you say more on that?

                        (e.g. https://secure.davidco.com/store/other.php, http://www.priacta.com/Articles/Comp...D_Software.php, http://www.clearcontext.com/pro, http://www.effexis.com/achieve/planner.htm,
                        http://www.priacta.com/gtd/software/tidy/)

                        I'd be interested to hear more about your own system, but it sounds too complex for this venue I guess that goes with some of the thinking behind my original post: a method/software should be easy enough to use without the big learning curve, nor the need for manual tools in the interim.

                        Again, thanks for the conversation.

                        Cheers!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RMS View Post
                          Dear BRSaxon,
                          I guess that goes with some of the thinking behind my original post: a method/software should be easy enough to use without the big learning curve, nor the need for manual tools in the interim.

                          Again, thanks for the conversation.

                          Cheers!
                          And perhaps that's the issue, RMS. Because you're selling software, you're viewing GTD as gear.

                          It's not gear. It's a way of thinking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Go back to what you were doing. There's nothing to see here.

                            Aside from a rather limited trial, the minimum Yottaflow plan is $99/month for up to 10 users. It really has limited overlap with GTD, so I suggest we all drop this discussion.

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                            • #15
                              The "critique" is just trying to draw attention to their software product.

                              Ignore that article - not worth the time.

                              Jan

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