Outlook customization: David Allen Vs. Bill Kratz?
Just curious, how does DA's Outlook workflow manual compare to Bill Kratz's Outlook website? Does Kratz suggest basically the same stuff as what's in DA's manual, or does Kratz's site build off the DA's fundamentals?
They are very different , Kratz's method is based mostly on making each project a contact in outlook and linking all related tasks etc. to the project. Definitely worth a look --it's powerful stuff.
David Allen's outlook method was developed to help their clients that use outlook to be more productive in that enviroment. --Kind of a "best practices" effort at "dumbing down" outlook to make it fast and simple to use. (and it does just that) --so the comparison is almost "power or simplicity which is most important to you? " The David Allen company uses Lotus Notes and not outlook for their communications as mentioned on this forum and others like it .
If I remember correctly from earlier posts on Bill's work, his method is for people using Outlook rather than relying on both Outlook and a PDA. When you enter info on the PDA, you have no way of assigning a contact, hence no way to link the next item to the project. He is pretty up-front about this limitation.
"Simple things should be simple and complex things should be possible."
"There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies."
I have not tried the add-in (I won't buy software unless there's a trial period) but I am very happy with Bill's set-up. I sync to my Palm using Pocketmirror Professional and it saves all my project information in the address book under the project category. Works well for me.
Well, I have worked with both for a little bit of time, and this is my opinion.
If your environment is "project centered" and you need to track activities and assign a variety of Outlook features to a project (E-mail, task, appointment, journal note, etc.) Then Kratz's method is more powerful, and can be used without any "modifications" to Outlook. I used it with Agendus and could also quickly create a project history on my Palm.
However, if your work environment is E-mail centered, and your tasks, delegations and appointments are generated by E-mail and communicated to others via E-mail, then the GTD Add-in is easier and quicker. At least, at this point this is the case, in my view. NetCentrics is working on improvements to the Add-in that will make it more project friendly, as I understand it.
I just bought KeySuite by Chapura and I love it. It is especially good for Bob Krantz' system because projects are considered contacts and you can have multiple contact folders. KeySuite synchs Outlook to the Palm. It is on sale for $50 because it is a new product.
I have my regular contact folder for people I call weekly.
I have a WEBSITE contact folder for my sites I visit often with my passwords and user ID's.
I have a GOALS contact folder for my 12 MAJOR AREAS OF FOCUS [I call them goals]
I have a PROJECTS contact folder for the GTD-STYLE projects that I link to my appointments and tasks.
I am still tweeking my system but this past week has seen a great surge in my project productivity using Outlook, Keysuite and Bob Krantz's "Project as contact" system.
PS key suites allows you to link multiple contacts to tasks and appointments. It is perfect for what Bob is trying to do.
PPSS Thanks Bob for creating your GTD for Outlook system, it has allowed me to really start implementing GTD into my seriously busy life.