Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

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

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

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

    Think about tools like google glass, evernote, smartphone... You can record anything and everything and then you can just organise and search and find whatever you want. I feel like the time is coming for an update to gtd system. What do you think?

  • #2
    There's a difference between being able to find whatever you look for, and being able to identify the most important thing to do right now. I think GTD is still current. GTD specifies principles and general methods, not a complete system; each user has to build their own. Electronic aids fit in nicely, for those who choose to use them. Paper is still excellent too, with advantages as well as disadvantages over electronic systems.

    A person can only think about a small number of things at a time. You might be able to remember everything, but not all at once. A method of sorting and organizing is needed.

    Comment


    • #3
      There's a difference between being able to find whatever you look for, and being able to identify the most important thing to do right now.
      Being able to identify the most important thing to do right now is a deep philosophical question. Gtd system itself doesn't answer it. You answer it yourself. Then you find whatever you look for if necessary.

      Comment


      • #4
        Search is great if you know what you're looking for. It's not much help if you're thinking, "hmm... What did I not want to forget?" That would be like looking at a filing cabinet filled with information and knowing your next action is in there somewhere. The ubiquitous availability of huge volumes of data, while wonderful, is even more reason that I need GTD.

        Just my .02 FWIW.

        Cheers!
        Laura

        Comment


        • #5
          I think you're confusing the process of GTD with its results, namely the results of designating certain things as reference.

          The increasing ability of technology to search large volumes of information means that perhaps I don't need as organized a reference system as I might have once had--for instance, as neat as those little business-card holder thingies look, I now just snap a photo of business cards and file them in Evernote, knowing I can search them whenever I need. But they get snapped into Evernote because in an instant I've received them (collect) decided they were reference (process) and put them into a trusted reference system (organize).

          If anything, that increasing amount of information means increasing input, and increasing input means needing an even more rock-solid system to make sense of it all. No computer, no matter how sophisticated its search function, is ever going to look at all the information of your given situation and spit back "You need to call Fred right now." (To paraphrase David.)

          GTD isn't about remembering things. In fact, it's about strategically forgetting things—getting things you don't need cluttering your mind right now out of your consciousness and into a system so that you can work with focus and intention on the things you need to handle right now.
          Last edited by jesig; 08-10-2013, 04:49 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            This is not a newbie question thread. And I'm not saying let's just collect data and just search without organising.

            I'm thinking would you even really need a gtd next action list all that much? Would you even often go "hmmm... What can I do... Let's see all possible next actions"
            It's not how people decide what to do. You usually already know what to do.
            I mean sometimes next actions are useful and you need to be reminded of what is due. But do you really need a next action for every possible project?

            Think about it

            For example you have a project "bought macbook". You need to collect information, do some research, maybe eventually order it online, etc. Do you even need to define next actions for this at all? I feel like it's a waste of time and effort.
            You just work on it as you go naturally, whenever you feel like it. Save and organise information as you go and that's it.

            Another example "write a book". Do you need next actions for this? All you really need is to organise reference, support material. You know you if you want to write, you know when you want to write.

            Sometimes next actions are still useful so you can still use them. More like a simple to do list. But the system could be simplified. Maybe a simplier system would work when you are already extremely well organised and can never forget anything anyway. Nothing ever falls through the cracks anyway.

            I'm not saying dump gtd. Gtd is common sense. To do lists, due dates, calendar, reference, etc. it's all common sense. I'm thinking about update for gtd system.
            Remember than when David Allen designed the system there was no Evernote, good smartphones, google glass, etc.
            All he had were his lists, his reference system was crap compared to what we have now so he had to organise much more. Now it's different.

            Instead of
            Collect. Process. Organize. Review. Do.
            You can
            Collect and Organize. Do.
            You always collect and organise. You always do. Those are natural processes anyway. Don't think in terms of standard gtd system by the book, think in terms of what is useful and what is helpful to you. Think about gtd but less effort and more payoff.

            Maybe simple to do lists and calendar (on top of being super organised) are not that bad after all... David Allen uses kind of straw man examples like "mum" as to do item to make them look bad. That's not a to do list I'm talking about.

            what do you think?
            Last edited by supergtdman; 08-10-2013, 11:01 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              minimalism

              Hi there Supergtdman I think you'll be very interested in this post, I think it's inline with your thinking and I've also simplified my own GTD implementation with insights and information from this post.

              I quote:
              "Christopher is a minimalist. He doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on the front-end doing the organization. His mantra is that he stays organized without organizing."

              http://www.degconsulting.net/2012/03...-notebook.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                But do you really need a next action for every possible project?
                ...
                For example you have a project "bought macbook". You need to collect information, do some research, maybe eventually order it online, etc. Do you even need to define next actions for this at all? I feel like it's a waste of time and effort.
                You just work on it as you go naturally, whenever you feel like it. Save and organise information as you go and that's it.

                Another example "write a book". Do you need next actions for this? All you really need is to organise reference, support material. You know you if you want to write, you know when you want to write.
                ...
                Instead of
                Collect. Process. Organize. Review. Do.
                You can
                Collect and Organize. Do.
                ...
                what do you think?
                Won't work for me. For example, Yes, I DO need a next action defined for every active project. Not necessarily for every possible project but for the ones I am currently working on I do. Because I do have so many choices I need the next actions lists to help winnow those down to what I can realistically do right now at this time given what I have available, where I am and the weather. Next actions lists are vital to that process.

                Also both of those projects, buy a mac and write a book are exactly the sort of project that cries out for the structured approach of GTD. For me those are not simple projects I can do without planning. I'm actually doing both of those projects right now!. Buy a Mac (not macbook but same idea) is on my project list. I used the GTD process to define my needs, do some research including estimating when Apple will do a refresh of the iMac line and am currently waiting for that to happen, probably in late fall.

                Write a book is even more critical to define. I have plots to track, timelines, characters and more. All of that fits neatly into a GTD system of next actions, for example right now I have a research task, an update the timeline task, a flesh out character description for character X task and a review sub-plot task for my book. Just an amorphous pile of reference material isn't sufficient to keep me moving forward on that project at all.

                Process is critical and review is critical and I think leaving out those steps makes the overwhelming tide of incoming data, tasks and reference material impossible to use.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                  You always collect and organise. You always do. Those are natural processes anyway. Don't think in terms of standard gtd system by the book, think in terms of what is useful and what is helpful to you. Think about gtd but less effort and more payoff.
                  You just answered your own question. Yes. You still use GTD even if you have a perfect memory, because GTD is based on the natural planning process.

                  What you're describing isn't not having a GTD system. It's having a very streamlined one. And I guarantee you that to get things into that system, you will still decide that they belong in the system (Process) and then later look at them to decide that they're the next relevant thing for you to do (review). Those steps might take so little time and mental energy that you don't even notice them happening, but they're always there.

                  The problem with memory is that even if you can trust it to remind you of every single thing you need to do to make the most of your time in context A, it will probably still bug you about context A when you're in context C. That's a waste of your energy and a source of undue stress. So why not externalize it, so that you can be fully present to the task at hand?

                  There's an apocryphal story that Einstein never memorized anything he could look up. I think that's a bit extreme, but it does illustrate the point--the mind is a great place for having ideas. Not a great place for storing them. Free up the storage, and you have more room to work.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Also both of those projects, buy a mac and write a book are exactly the sort of project that cries out for the structured approach of GTD. For me those are not simple projects I can do without planning. I'm actually doing both of those projects right now!. Buy a Mac (not macbook but same idea) is on my project list. I used the GTD process to define my needs, do some research including estimating when Apple will do a refresh of the iMac line and am currently waiting for that to happen, probably in late fall.

                    Write a book is even more critical to define. I have plots to track, timelines, characters and more. All of that fits neatly into a GTD system of next actions, for example right now I have a research task, an update the timeline task, a flesh out character description for character X task and a review sub-plot task for my book. Just an amorphous pile of reference material isn't sufficient to keep me moving forward on that project at all.
                    Those projects might need a lot planning but not necessarily next actions for me. What I would do is just collect information about a Mac and store it in evernote tagged as "bought a mac". Then if I need a more structured higher level planning I would make a mind map. Define my needs, all options, etc. etc. That's it.
                    I wouldn't define and write down next actions at all. 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. Yes, I do use my brain but it doesn't take much mental effort to realize that the next thing to do is to goole this or that, etc. I don't need it explicity spelled out for me in a list.

                    Same thing with the book, the project needs a lot of thinking and planning but it doesn't need next actions (for me).

                    Just an amorphous pile of reference material isn't sufficient to keep me moving forward on that project at all.
                    It'd be enough for me... It doesn't have to be amorphous though, it could be a very structured and very organised reference (mind map and notes)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For example, Yes, I DO need a next action defined for every active project. Not necessarily for every possible project but for the ones I am currently working on I do. Because I do have so many choices I need the next actions lists to help winnow those down to what I can realistically do right now at this time given what I have available, where I am and the weather. Next actions lists are vital to that process.
                      Also what you really do need in your example are contexts, i.e. time, weather, tools are all contexts. Contexts are just a way to organise information, not necessarily next actions (think outside the standard gtd box).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                        Being able to identify the most important thing to do right now is a deep philosophical question. Gtd system itself doesn't answer it. You answer it yourself. Then you find whatever you look for if necessary.
                        I didn't intend to get all philosophical. Also I think David Allen agrees that some things don't need to be written down: there's doing work as it comes up, and there are things like eating lunch that many people don't need a reminder for.

                        What I mean is: just having a reference system and nothing else wouldn't work for me. I could put into it "check smoke alarms once a month", and whenever I wanted to look up "how often do I need to check smoke alarms?" I could look it up; but then I'd just leave them for months without thinking about them.

                        Sure -- if you have a better system then GTD, tell us about it. See for example the thread I just started about ABC prioritization. Lots of people improve their systems after starting to use GTD. I don't think it really matters whether we say they're still using GTD (in modified form), or not using GTD but some other system, as long as they're getting things done.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Processing!

                          Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                          Think about tools like google glass, evernote, smartphone... You can record anything and everything and then you can just organise and search and find whatever you want. I feel like the time is coming for an update to gtd system. What do you think?
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                            Instead of
                            Collect. Process. Organize. Review. Do.
                            You can
                            Collect and Organize. Do.
                            You'd still be Processing and Reviewing. You'd just be doing it on the fly. Repeatedly.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Processing and organising is the same thing in my system. Yeah, I do reviewing on the fly, repeatedly, it's also called living a life. Everyone does this. lol

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X