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  • Pre GTD Systems

    I began implementing GTD about 15 months ago after being buried by a new job. After having too many things falling through the cracks and instructing staff that they should expect to tell me something more than once to make it stick or make it happen, something had to give. Like a lot of us I've thought of myself as pretty organized even before GTD, but I still couldn't keep up or get ahead, let alone getting enough space to thinks.So I read (actually listened to) the book, then spent two weeks gathering and defining everything in my office. And now I've got the capturing, process, and defining, and tracking down cold, but it got me to thinking about my previous system.

    I used to do weekly to-do lists (Omni Outliner). Most of items on there were pretty discreet next actions some were steps that might not have had a fully defined action step. (I used to train MR people to drive, operate machinery etc. So task analysis hasn't ever been a problem). And most of the actions were separated into projects or areas of focus. At the end of the week what didn't get done would get carried over or dropped. I was surprised that my own tracking system had so much in common with GTD. Of course there was no way to track contexts, and no thought given to capture, define, or set up of my workspace. As we know a tracking system, or list management tool without the structure to capture, define and store, is less than optimal. So what were others doing prior to joining the GTD monastery to try to manage their work?
    Last edited by cashdollar; 06-02-2009, 07:55 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by cashdollar View Post
    I began implementing GTD about 15 months ago after being buried by a new job. After having too many things falling through the cracks and instructing staff that they should expect to tell me something more than once to make it stick or make it happen, something had to give. Like a lot of us I've thought of myself as pretty organized even before GTD, but I still couldn't keep up or get ahead, let alone getting enough space to thinks.So I read (actually listened to) the book, then spent two weeks gathering and defining everything in my office. And now I've got the capturing, process, and defining, and tracking down cold, but it got me to thinking about my previous system.

    I used to do weekly to-do lists (Omni Outliner). Most of items on there were pretty discreet next actions some were steps that might not have had a fully defined action step. (I used to train MR people to drive, operate machinery etc. So task analysis hasn't ever been a problem). And most of the actions were separated into projects or areas of focus. At the end of the week what didn't get done would get carried over or dropped. I was surprised that my own tracking system had so much in common with GTD. Of course there was no way to track contexts, and no thought given to capture, define, or set up of my workspace. As we know a tracking system, or list management tool without the structure to capture, define and store, is less than optimal. So what were others doing prior to joining the GTD monastery to try to manage their work?
    I used the Tasks list on a Palm and daily prioritising of tasks that needed doing on the next day.

    By the way have you tried OmniFocus?

    Michael

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    • #3
      I used the task list of the Palm prioritised by the Eisenhower quadrants.

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      • #4
        Palm tasks, huge word file of projects, several files of projects by month, calendar of things critical for each month.

        Biggest problem was losing track of projects. Discovering I could have moved something forward but didn't because it was lost in a text file on my computer not with me.

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        • #5
          Pre GTD for me was a variety of different systems for different things. Calendar, palm, Life balance, project lists, a profusion of bits of paper lists and notes, a planner for housework, a planner for gardening, a planner for writing....etc.
          Pathological list maker

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          • #6
            OmniFocus

            Originally posted by mmurray View Post
            By the way have you tried OmniFocus?

            Michael
            Yes, it's what I use for task management. It's been rock solid. I've not lost any data since it was in beta. I sync it between my phone, my laptop and my desktop. Sync at this stage v. 1.6.1 (desktop) and 1.2.3 (iphone) works with mobile me. It's fast, responsive and seems a good fit with GTD. For a v. 1.x product it's amazing. For my purposes some tweaking on the weekly review perspective (which are saved or pre-configured settings for different purposes) and it will be there for me.

            First few weeks I would make things disappear (not lost just filtered out), but I've figured that out. There are good screencasts, the omni community provides a lot of support through the forums and the staff up to the CEO are very responsive if you need help. I actually bought the iphone because of omnifocus and now it's solid enough that it's a great capture tool, both text and audio. I definitely think it's worth looking at. And no I'm not affiliated with Omni and I've never been anywhere near Seattle. Hope that helps

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Linada View Post
              Pre GTD for me was a variety of different systems for different things. Calendar, palm, Life balance, project lists, a profusion of bits of paper lists and notes, a planner for housework, a planner for gardening, a planner for writing....etc.
              Pathological list maker
              And yellow stickies -- don't forget yellow stickies

              One of the best things I had back in the 80's was Smart Alarms on the Mac. It was an alarm system which brought up a window with the text of the alarm. It had really good variable snooze features so at the beginning of the day I would turn on the mac and be presented with a stack of windows. I would review them and dismiss them for varying amounts of time and begin work on them.

              Mind you life was easier back then as I was younger and had a less complicated set of things to do and there were no forums and email was nearly non-existent. Ah when I were a lad ...

              Michael

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              • #8
                Franklin Covey software

                tried to stick with it for 3 years , when I found GTD , I didn't look back .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ext555 View Post
                  tried to stick with it for 3 years , when I found GTD , I didn't look back .
                  Same story here.

                  Not only was the software shoddy and full of bugs, the system for managing runway and 10,000 ft actions was still the old daily and weekly to-do lists and the ABC priority codes. Few have tried as hard as I have to make them work; I can tell you from my own experience that David Allen is right. They DON'T work!

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