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The key is Simplicity

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  • The key is Simplicity

    I have attended the class twice, once about 12 years ago, in the days of Time Design and once more recently when David was up on the Palm Tungsten. David was asked a lot of specific questions about how he implemented something in GTD on his palm. His answer was always “with just the native apps”. Project management was done externally, but all his actions and lists were implemented with just the native Palm apps. I’ve gone the route of expanded apps only to realize that the overhead they add outweighs the benefit they provide. GTD is a process, not a product, the simpler a process the easier it should be to follow it. So why do I continue to struggle with GTD using my Palm?

    David repeatedly states in “Ready for Anything” that you must have everything in your system and have complete trust in it. That sounds great, but it presents a chicken and egg scenario for me. I need to experience the success of trusting the system, in order to trust the system. I don't have everything in my system, and I don’t fully rely on it. GTD on my Palm is just so many more “to do” lists.

    I can see two reasons for this:

    I’m not self employed so my time is divided between home and work. I struggle with list contexts. For example, there are several articles on the web that I need to read; some are technical but some are personal interests and I can’t spend work hours reading those. Where to I list those NAs? It's counter productive to maintain and review duplicate lists: "@Computer Work”, @Computer Home” and @Computer Anywhere”. I have started to maintain mixed context tasks on a single “@Work” list such as “Read Oracle book review”, “Call HR re: parking” and “Schedule CD meeting” on that same list, since I spend 80% of my day at my desk with a phone and computer. The “@Computer” NA list becomes my personal list.

    Another issue is security \ privacy. One of the biggest benefits of using a hand held is leveraging your PC(s) as an input and communication device, and being able to sync my primary workstations (home and work). Unfortunately, the work PC is not my domain, and I don’t like uploading my life to the corporate Exchange server. Business is becoming increasingly invasive, adding new policies, enforced by snooping software, weekly. I appreciate that when I’m at work I’m on their time and resources, but if I can’t maintain all my lists and actions in GTD, it’s a waste of time to try.

    Today I deleted Palm Desktop from my work PC; I’m going to try to dump more into the system, at the cost of complicating updating my Palm using graffiti during the work day. At the very least, I can trust that the data in my system will remain personal.

    In conclusion, I fail with GTD because I can not simplify.

    Any insight you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Work PC

    I, too, had a hard time fitting GTD into my work PC. We have Outlook, but no synching to PDAs & no installation of your own software. It's basically a dumb terminal.

    As a result, I bought my own laptop and do all my GTDing and PDA synching there. I still have to maintain a separate GTD-email process on the work PC, but it simply comes down to adding @Action and @Waiting-For folders to Outlook. Then I have to diligently make sure email-generated activities and calendar items get over to my laptop. A hassle, yes, but it works. Plus my corporate overlords never have to worry about my dog grooming schedule, as it now resides on my PC, not theirs.


    • #3
      I had that problem in the Past, and install things in Yahoo Calendar, since I can send all the things in the PC (work) only in that direction, and do all the home in that too, so I did not share my personal at work but have everything in one place.


      • #4
        Yahoo Calendar

        Thanks, I'll take a look at Yahoo Calendar. Our IT group has blocked web-email sites, but I'm still able to access Yahoo Calendar. I just have to get IT to install Intellisync for me, since our desktops are locked down too.

        I sometimes feel like I'm back in 1990 when the IT manager was just the guy who used to carry 3270's around and snake the cables under the floor.


        • #5
          Work for Work

          I use the work for work items but then take a back up of my calendar and tasks via a memory stick and update my home pc and pda. So they have have everything except emails (which I can access on the web anyway) and only personal items that impact on the work day get onto the work pc.