WSJ takes a look at GTD – the "reigning gorilla"

Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 by GTD Times Staff

The Wall Street Journal took a closer look at the phenomenon of Getting Things Done.  They also reviewed some time management approaches like Covey and The Pomodoro Technique.   While there are quite a few differences in each of the 3 (GTD is actually not time management and much different than what the other 2 approaches are intended to do), it’s a good, quick read.  Here’s a link to the article.

3 Responses to “WSJ takes a look at GTD – the "reigning gorilla"”

  1. Mark Jantzen says:

    I’m sticking with GTD but the timer shaped like a tomato is compelling.

    Maybe a two-minute cherry tomato?

  2. Anne says:

    I agree it’s a good article, but it doesn’t really make clear that all three systems do different things. I’d say they are more mutually supportive than competitive. For example, Pomodoro may be a technique to use to “get your head down” and get on with a task you have decided to complete & scheduled using GTD. Or am I wrong?


  3. After reading the WSJ:

    I attended David’s GTD seminar in San Francisco this week (this was my third time), and as usual, it came close to functioning as a personal coaching session, something I try to get once a year. This may be one of Allen’s many pedagogical gifts –he makes each of us in the audience feel he is speaking right to us, personally. One golden moment was a tease –speaking of that cluttered desk drawer (yes, still cluttered, in fact untouched, after 3+ years of GTD) he said “you know, the drawer you will never touch unless we are right there with you.” Four drawers (no, to be honest it is 6 drawers, at different work stations in my home/home office) came to mind, and I thanked the Gods that the GTD gurus hadn’t yet descended on my terrain, only my mind. I would be mortified if a coach showed up at my front door. But that’s how it goes at these workshops, its very personal.

    I am a GTDer, I live it (albeit sloppily) and try to pass it on to the graduate psych students in my seminar. I have been using another version of the timer/time tracking method, in its latest iteration described (in the WSJ) as the “Pomodoro Technique.” I first read about a version of this a few years back, I think it was in 43 Folders, when it was called the “ten-minute dash.” When I’ve been procrastinating, I turn on a computer-desk top timer to 15 minutes, and using that with Dave Seah’s “Emergent Task Timer” (, a form that takes me through a whole day by 15 minute intervals, I go to work. For some reason it gets me going, and when I use it, I end up the day more productive, as well as having a precise record of where my day went, including each and every interruption.

    This past week I was heading into “lockdown” because I have a deadline coming up, and I was (and still am) in the early stages of a project that I should have started six months ago. I used David’s workshop to review GTD principles applied specifically to this project (the goal, a scholarly chapter for a scholarly book). I’m glad I took the day off, to listen to my coach review the basics, crack jokes, reminding me of how good it feels to get things done.

Leave a Reply