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Would you still need a gtd system if you could never forget anything

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  • #16
    Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
    I think that you forgot to mention processing which is a crucial step in GTD. When you record and organize stuff you have just a meaningless organized stuff.
    Yeah, and if you add next actions like "boot up computer", "pick up a pen" - it all suddenly becomes super meaningful, right.
    Have you even read what I wrote? You're making a straw man argument.
    I'm thinking more about a way to streamline, optimize gtd for a modern digital work environment, not dump it. Obviously it's still useful to have your projects, goals, etc. defined. But you can trim the fat, remove extra steps, make it easier to maintain.

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    • #17
      Whatever gets it off your mind

      I don't really think there is a universal answer to this question since the level of granularity needed to flesh out projects is so different from person to person. I remember hearing someone ask David Allen on a podcast one time how detailed projects need to be fleshed out and his answer was "Until it's off your mind." For some folks, this may not take a high degree of granularity. For some, it may take "pick up the pen" for them to gain traction on a certain project. And really, if that is what it takes, then great, pick up that pen and get to work! It doesn't mean you have to stop at picking up the pen, but it gets you gaining momentum.

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      • #18
        Clear and intentional distinction between processing and organizing.

        Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
        Yeah, and if you add next actions like "boot up computer", "pick up a pen" - it all suddenly becomes super meaningful, right.
        Have you even read what I wrote? You're making a straw man argument.
        You wrote:
        Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
        Processing and organising is the same thing in my system.
        It may be possible in your system but not in GTD where there is a clear and intentional distinction between processing and organizing.

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        • #19
          TesTeq, you're just trolling lol
          In order to organize you need to process, basically it's a merged process.
          It's like in order to type you need to move fingers. But nobody says:"I'm going to move my fingers, then type" it's just:"I will type."

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          • #20
            Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
            I would just go naturally with the flow, collect the data and see where it takes me. Next actions are so obvious, it's something I generate on the go.
            That works for some people, with very few projects, with not very many interconnections, that don't last a long time. I'm dealing with on average about 200 active current projects with about another 100 or so waiting for some time or thing to finish. My projects can span months, years, decades and in a few cases even lifetimes. I need to document where I was when I stopped (many are seasonal), what my thoughts are, the after action of what worked and what didn't (especially important for the really long term projects) and where I plan to go next with that project. I tend to document more next actions than most because I enjoy the feeling of checking off tasks and that keeps me motivated to get more done. But I also use next actions as placeholders.

            I disagree strongly that next actions are so obvious that you can generate them on the go. Not for most of my projects. Next actions can take a lot of thought. For example, we're grazing the sheep in a very tight fast rotation. Sure the next action seems obvious, "move the sheep to fresh grass every 12-36 hours", but the location to move them to is not. That requires thought and planning, looking at the calendar to see when I need the flock down near the handling facility to give wormer, or vaccinate lambs, or sort out slaughter sheep and also the grass growth, which is not even over the whole farm and also depends on where the irrigation water is moving to. I don't do the irrigation, my husband does, so I have to coordinate with him for sheep moves. Plus I have to account for the weather over the next few days, cloudy cooler weather means I can graze the pastures with little or no shade, hot dry weather means I need to make the grazing breaks big enough to include enough shade trees for all the sheep in that grazing group and they need to be in places with shade all day. I can't just walk out and decide to move the sheep I have to have a plan with contingencies for the next month or so. That sort of stuff can't be done on the fly and needs dedicated processing and planning time. And I need to document my reasoning and choices so that in the event of an emergency, illness or injury to myself or my husband, someone else can come in and work my plan and sheep won't die.

            For long term projects, when I finish a task and move on to another project for a while it may be weeks, months or even years before I get back to the original project to move it forward again. I need to have it well documented as to where I am going. The next action I defined, and the reasoning behind that are necessary data points to capture. Sure, in a few cases the circumstances have changed and the next action is no longer the correct one but for me that is a very rare occurrence. It's not just the context that is important, Front Pear Orchard Pasture is a location and context but I need to know the next actions to be done there to be efficient: Mow willows on catch ditch, put up welded wire on county road gate, cut down dead rootstock tree, set traps to kill marmots digging holes in dam, spray thistles on dam face, burn brush pile and so on. Those are next actions for a bunch of different projects and it's more efficient to deal with them as next actions.

            Another issue is I never have liked tagging, I don't think that way. There is an interesting book I read about the difference in how different people organize their world. Some people do much better with tags and others do much better with hierarchical systems. There were some tests to determine which way you leaned and I was so clearly in the hierarchical side that I don't think I had even one question answered in the middle much less on the tagging side. I can't remember what the book was but I found it really helpful to use as a way to adapt my GTD system to fit how I think.
            Last edited by Oogiem; 08-12-2013, 08:18 AM. Reason: correct spelling errors sigh

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            • #21
              "SuperGTDMan"--What do you want from these forums? It seems like you have apathy for GTD and most of the communications you have with your fellow forum members here, so I'm having a hard time seeing what you get out of these forums?

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              • #22
                Obviously I'm interested in what you guys think, I just wish you were a little less dogmatic.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                  Yeah, and if you add next actions like "boot up computer", "pick up a pen" - it all suddenly becomes super meaningful, right.
                  Have you even read what I wrote? You're making a straw man argument.
                  I'm thinking more about a way to streamline, optimize gtd for a modern digital work environment, not dump it. Obviously it's still useful to have your projects, goals, etc. defined. But you can trim the fat, remove extra steps, make it easier to maintain.
                  You may be assuming that GTD sets the level of granularity for a project. But it doesn't. I'd say that if the next action for your project is so obvious that it's not worth writing down, then you may have defined your project in more detail than you need.

                  For example, an experienced baker might have an action "Bake chocolate cake" inside a project "organize Joan's birthday party". For her to break that down into, "buy chocolate" and "look up recipe" and "wash springform pans" is a waste of time; the tasks are instinct for her, and for things like the chocolate, she probably has some system to make sure that she always has supplies, elsewhere in her GTD system.

                  But a novice baker might need a separate project for baking the cake, one that includes actions like "ask Anne for an easy cake recipe" and "find a source for Callebaut chocolate online" and "find online video on how to separate eggs" and "find out what a springform pan is."

                  For your "bought Macbook", _you_ don't need intervening tasks. But someone who doesn't know much about computers, doesn't even know what he's going to do with the thing, probably does need intervening tasks, like "Ask Joe to lunch to talk about computers" and "Find out what all those system requirements lists mean" and "Ask Joe why he said to always get the extended warranty on laptops."

                  And someone who knows plenty about computers but whose days are very crowded may need tasks just to keep the "buy computer" project on his radar so that he doesn't suddenly find himself with a project that requires a faster computer and a six-week backlog on the computer he wants.

                  On writing the book, if the book requires that you do a lot of research about, say, family-owned farms in rural Tennessee, and you conclude that you need to do that research _in_ rural Tennessee, that's not something that you're going to wake up one day and spontaneously do. You'll need to choose dates for the trip, get plane tickets, get lodging, and take the trip. You might need to remember to bring your camera and your mini tape recorder for taking pictures and doing interviews.

                  You might need to make appointments with the people that you want to interview. Those people might be hard to reach; you might need to call around every week for six months before you can get a group of interviews set up for the same week.

                  And if you do all that and come home with your research, then realize that you also need to go see the Hermitage outside Nashville, and you need to get on a plane again when you could have just organized your trip to use the Nashville airport, you'll be rather annoyed with yourself.

                  To me, that involves actions and processing and prioritizing and planning. It's up to you whether your Next Action is a simple "touch base with interviewees" or a more complex "Check interviewee list." followed by "Create call list." followed by "Call Joe." But they're all Actions.

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                  • #24
                    Seems not, really

                    Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                    Obviously I'm interested in what you guys think, I just wish you were a little less dogmatic.
                    You know, I watched your posts over the weekend. Then I clicked on your name and read many of your previous posts. Seems to me you come here every so often with some statement about how David Allen should do this or David Allen's thinking is wrong in that way....so my own conclusion was that you come here to try and engage people in unwinable arguments, often about points of GTD that matter not one whit. And when you cannot keep that argument going, you insult the person (as you did TesTeq, Kelly, and will surely do it me).

                    Dear fellow Forum members: For your entertainment pleasure, click on his name at the listing of the threads and see some of his posts for yourselves. My personal decision will be not to engage you...and I hope others will do the same. In my opinion, you are the perfect example of an "internet troll."

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                    • #25
                      That dogmatic comment wasn't directed at Kelly. It's just whenever I start a discussion about some problems of gtd I usually get replies very similar to quotes from David Allen as if gtd is perfect end all be all. I think there are some things that can be improved/streamlined especially now that times and technology has changed quite a bit.
                      And some concepts I just disagree with, like for example, yeah, it's not possible to have an absolutely complete system and that mind like water should come first and not be the result of practicing gtd.
                      and yeah, I just looked at my threads and had a laugh, the titles are humorous but I make some good points too.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                        It's just whenever I start a discussion about some problems of gtd I usually get replies very similar to quotes from David Allen as if gtd is perfect end all be all.
                        Funnily enough, that's because you're on a forum run by the David Allen Company, full of people for whom GTD (as described by David) is working very well. If it was my forum, I'd have banned you as a troll by now.

                        If your understanding of GTD doesn't suit you well, show a teachable attitude and learn, or use something else. When you start throwing out the core principles, you're no longer doing GTD. At that point you're using your own system which shares some similar ideas.

                        It's like insisting a bicycle should have 3 wheels, because you're unable to ride one with 2 wheels. Just because it doesn't suit you, doesn't mean it doesn't work. Buy a tricycle and ride it happily, but don't criticise the design of bicycles and people who choose to ride them. Some of us are very happy with our bicycles.

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                        • #27
                          If it was my forum, I'd have banned you as a troll by now.
                          It's like insisting a bicycle should have 3 wheels, because you're unable to ride one with 2 wheels

                          The example of adding a redundant 3rd wheel to a bicycle because I can't ride a 2 wheel... could you be more biased?
                          I don't think my system is different enough to be non gtd. does everyone here just use exactly the same system or maybe you do personalize it to fit your personal needs and workflows?
                          After using the standard approach for several years wouldn't you want to optimize it to better fit your life and new technology workflow?
                          I won't post here anymore, I'm really not getting much out of it other than always the same group of people quoting David Allen instead of thinking for themselves. If I wanted quotes from David Allen I could just re-read his book.
                          Last edited by supergtdman; 08-13-2013, 01:27 AM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                            I don't think my system is different enough to be non gtd. does everyone here just use exactly the same system or maybe you do personalize it to fit your personal needs and workflows?
                            You cut out writing down next actions and the weekly review. That's about as central to GTD as it gets!

                            And at this point, I'm going to stop feeding.

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                            • #29
                              Kelly's question says it all. Or, to borrow from GTD...

                              What is my desired outcome? To dig into a concept until I "prove" it won't work in every single instance in the known universe.

                              What is my next action? Annoy the heck out of people who are sincerely interested in tailoring a simple thought process so that it works for them as individuals.

                              Or perhaps you're just looking for attention, in which case you've succeeded - I've even replied here against my better judgement. If you enjoy being a contrarian, then more power to you - but I'm not buying from here on out.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Well said, everyone..well said!

                                You know, most of his comments--here and on other threads--indicate he doesn't fully grasp GTD. It seems he thinks GTD requires you must do things a certain way in order to be successful with it.

                                After 10 years of success with this system, I can't tell you of the number of ways I have customized, re-customized, morphed and changed over the years. There is nothing dogmatic about it at all. For GTDSuperman or whatever the troll is named to think so, only shows how shallow is understanding is.

                                But I think he'll be back. He won't be able to control himself. And I won't be feeding.

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