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Getting Started with GTD - Tips?

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  • Getting Started with GTD - Tips?

    I am embarking on the GTD adventure and am asking for a few tips. My goal is to succeed with this system and any tools / techiniques I use should help this process.

    I am working on the computer a lot of the day, connected to the internet. Commute is by mass transit, with a Palm Pilot. Various tools interest me: Ecco, the E-Dashboard, Palm Desktop, Datebk4, Eudora, even Outlook, despite my anti-MSFT bias. Some of these are tools I use already, some (e.g. Ecco) I have never even touched.

    But like many techno-fans, I tend to get bogged down in investigating fun, interesting software and devices, a trap that has lead to failure with other systems in the past.

    Any suggestions for the GTD beginner would be most welcomed - what tools would you recommend for starting out and keeping things simple, yet building towards a full implementation of the GTD methodology?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Welcome to the club

    Ditch the Palm Pilot if you can. Get a PocketPC (you don't need PocketPC 2002 unless you want ability to connect to a network, internet connection, etc). With you PocketPC purchase either Agenda Fusion or PocketInformant. An optional program is ListPro. That's all you'll need , next to your folders and files.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Welcome to the club

      Thanks for the suggestion - both those products look interesting, but on first glance, neither seem to be far removed from the things like DateBk4 / DayNotez etc. on the Palm platform.

      But it sounds like the more important part of your suggestion is that you see the PocketPC as being inherently a better tool for implementing GTD than the Palm?


      Originally posted by DayneB
      Ditch the Palm Pilot if you can. Get a PocketPC (you don't need PocketPC 2002 unless you want ability to connect to a network, internet connection, etc). With you PocketPC purchase either Agenda Fusion or PocketInformant. An optional program is ListPro. That's all you'll need , next to your folders and files.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Welcome to the club

        Originally posted by Anonymous
        Thanks for the suggestion - both those products look interesting, but on first glance, neither seem to be far removed from the things like DateBk4 / DayNotez etc. on the Palm platform.

        But it sounds like the more important part of your suggestion is that you see the PocketPC as being inherently a better tool for implementing GTD than the Palm?


        Originally posted by DayneB
        Ditch the Palm Pilot if you can. Get a PocketPC (you don't need PocketPC 2002 unless you want ability to connect to a network, internet connection, etc). With you PocketPC purchase either Agenda Fusion or PocketInformant. An optional program is ListPro. That's all you'll need , next to your folders and files.
        Whoa, not so fast. I don't agree with the recommendation to ditch the Palm, especially if you already have one. I have a Palm Vx, and really wouldn't consider using anything other than a Palm OS device. It's largely a matter of personal preference, and ties into what you plan to do with the Palm. If all you want to do is handle GTD, the Palm is a perfect solution. Although I have been using Ecco for years, and have implemented GTD using Ecco and my Palm Vx, after seeing at a recent seminar the way David has set up his system using his Palm and the Palm Desktop software, that's the way I'd recommend going. I have so much time and effort invested in Ecco that I probably won't switch to Palm Desktop, but I'm tempted sometime.

        I'd recommend you go to the Tips & Tools section on the website and look for the note on the way David uses his Palm.

        Good luck.

        Randy

        Comment


        • #5
          form will follow function with GTD

          Hi there,

          Many people ask us about the "better tool." Personally, I hesitate before recommending some hardware/software package over another. What I will do, though, is talk about what I use.

          It's critical that the first step be made to "clean up" the lists. Go through two days of "Workflow Coaching" (you can do this by blocking your calendar and walking through, step-by-step, chapters 5-9 of David's book). Collect everything, the papers, ideas, folders, not-yet-read magazines and put it in IN. Process it all; decide what's actionable and what's not. Identify those next actions, and any larger outcomes as projects. Start making a "pile," "inventory," "bucket," whatever you call it of Next Actions.

          THEN, after you have the inventory of Next Actions, think about how you want to SEE those. Honestly, some clients I work with wind up making a Manila tab-folder and they write @Calls on the tab. When they have a phone call to make, they write it on a blank piece of paper, a post-it, a bar napkin, WHATEVER, and put it in that bucket. THEN, at the phone, that's their Next Action list.

          If you're a techie, obviously you may go that route. But, I would encourage everyone to start with the collecting and processing. THEN organize into a Palm, PocketPC, or whatever.

          Lots of great ideas on our Tips and Tools page...

          Comment


          • #6
            Let's not go there ...

            The original poster ask for a recommendation (essentially an opinion)and that's what I gave. I'm not going to get into the Palm vs PocketPC debate because, as already been stated that's a matter of personal tastes.

            I've used both Palm and PocketPC and based on my experience, PocketPC works for me.

            Zootski can choose to ignore or use this recommendation at his or her own descretion.

            Please let's not start the which is better debate again. It's like saying apples are better than oranges.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: form will follow function with GTD

              Thanks to everyone who replied to this request for info. As I said, I was looking for a little direction as far as how to get started and keep it simple. So I am likely to follow the suggestions on using the Palm (which I already own) and Jason's suggestions for critical first steps are helpful.

              I'll try not to get sidelined playing with fun new software! :P

              Originally posted by Jason Womack
              Hi there,

              Many people ask us about the "better tool." Personally, I hesitate before recommending some hardware/software package over another. What I will do, though, is talk about what I use.

              It's critical that the first step be made to "clean up" the lists. Go through two days of "Workflow Coaching" (you can do this by blocking your calendar and walking through, step-by-step, chapters 5-9 of David's book). Collect everything, the papers, ideas, folders, not-yet-read magazines and put it in IN. Process it all; decide what's actionable and what's not. Identify those next actions, and any larger outcomes as projects. Start making a "pile," "inventory," "bucket," whatever you call it of Next Actions.

              THEN, after you have the inventory of Next Actions, think about how you want to SEE those. Honestly, some clients I work with wind up making a Manila tab-folder and they write @Calls on the tab. When they have a phone call to make, they write it on a blank piece of paper, a post-it, a bar napkin, WHATEVER, and put it in that bucket. THEN, at the phone, that's their Next Action list.

              If you're a techie, obviously you may go that route. But, I would encourage everyone to start with the collecting and processing. THEN organize into a Palm, PocketPC, or whatever.

              Lots of great ideas on our Tips and Tools page...

              Comment


              • #8
                You're on the right track, and Jason is right...it's not the tool that will get you where you're going, it's the processes you use. Mastering GTD is not dependent on hi-tech tools...if you do the right things, you'll get results regardless of the 'tool' in question. Once you have the basics down, it's then just a matter of what accessories you want to use to get to where you want to go.[size=18][/size]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tallmarvin
                  You're on the right track, and Jason is right...it's not the tool that will get you where you're going, it's the processes you use. Mastering GTD is not dependent on hi-tech tools...if you do the right things, you'll get results regardless of the 'tool' in question. Once you have the basics down, it's then just a matter of what accessories you want to use to get to where you want to go.[size=18][/size]
                  I'm not sure that it's quite this clear cut. To use a woodworking analogy -- If I need to trim a door frame with some custom moulding, I can shape the raw material with hand tools, slowly, and knowing the right methods, I can achieve beautiful results. However, from the same stock of wood, using sharp, precision cutters on my power shaper, I can quickly produce the needed moulding, and likely with finer detail. Both approaches get the job done, but at different speeds, and the experienced hand and eye will readily distinguish the difference between the results.

                  Just something to think about.

                  Regards.....Bill Kratz http://home.attbi.com/~whkratz

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The difference in tools

                    I think I agree and disagree with Bill. I have used them all, a Palm Vx, a Pocket PC, a Day Timer, and a Franklin. Yes, you can tell a difference. If you spend most of your day in front of a PC slamming through things, then a Palm or a Pocket PC might be appropriate. If you spend a lot of time not on a PC or just enjoy the tactile feel of pen on paper, then a planner might be more appropriate.

                    If I can take Bill's anaology a step farther (with a bit of humor), Bill is correct. Almost anyone can produce custom molding with modern convience tools. However, it takes a master to produce the same molding with the older hand tools at the same level of detail. And Bill, maybe you would agree, there are somethings that modern technology can not duplicate. The difference is one is simply a piece of molding prodcued much quicker, the other is a work of art.

                    The question of tool comes down to what is it you are most comfortable with and what kind of lifestyle you have. What does not change is the process.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Even the latest and greatest 'tool', in the hands of an oaf, is a useless tool. Knowing what the right process is that gets things done (for you) is far more important than having the latest snazzy tools.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I find the discussion of what tools are needed for GTD to be very interesting.

                        From my experience, the advice I would give is to start off using as few tools as possible and see what works for you. You want to pay full attention to the GTD methodology, and having to stop and think "What program/tool" do I use to put down this next action," or "Where else to I have to look to see my next actions" makes the learning process even more difficult. If after a while, you realize you need more tools, then you can add, but start off with as few as you think you need.

                        For me, I have alsways used a Palm and have tried tons of software, I am now using Datebk5 to manage calendar, next actions, projects, someday/maybe and @waiting, and memo for project reference. I will also copy and paste E-mails using Outlook into their respective place.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Tips on starting GTD



                          This discussion is quite interesting, yeah I agree with some of the writers that either Palm OS handhelds or PPC handhelds will help in setting up your GTD setup. I personally have had both types of pda's and in my humble opinion Palm OS handhelds are simply more user friendly, key word being "user friendly." For Palm OS handhelds all you need are the basic applications and a couple of others once you attain a certain level of feeling comfortable with the apps and you'll be all set to begin a nice quick method to process, action, and retrieve your information see my other post relating to "keeping projects in the memo application"

                          but again its a matter of personal choice I just choose Sony Clie's instead of something like an Ipaq, " not that there's anything wrong with them though" ...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have to agree that you should learn the methodology and not worry about the tools (at first).

                            Over the past year, I have implemented GTD with Outlook, Ecco, Zoot, Info Select, Pocket PC, etc. Each tool can work fine if you understand the GTD methodology.

                            In my view, the ideal tools available for this kind of work haven't been developed yet. I find something lacking in almost every tool I've tried. That said, you can implement a solid, working GTD process with any of the tools. As you work with the system more, you will become familiar with the nuances of what each tool lacks.

                            The key, however, is the methodology. Using GTD even with paper and pen is better than not using it with all the software in the world at your disposal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Murt
                              The key, however, is the methodology. Using GTD even with paper and pen is better than not using it with all the software in the world at your disposal.
                              I couldn't agree more. After attending David's seminar in Dallas recently, I've been concentrating on getting my own implementation "clean, clear, current and complete," and I'm also trying to get my wife into GTD -- but she's more "paper-oriented," so I've downloaded the Tip from the website about setting up a paper planner. It's far more important to use tools you will actully USE, than what anyone else thinks is cool, etc.

                              Randy

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