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Getting Things Done? 87

Posted by Cliff
from the implementing-David-Allen dept.
machinder asks: "In reading Cory Doctorow's notes for the Life Hacks presentation at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, I saw reference to David Allen's book Getting Things Done. Casting about for it a bit, I see a lot of developers have touted the thing in their blogs. I'm sold, and am starting to implement this system, but I'm wondering if any other Slashdot readers have used the system, and if they have any advice?"
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Getting Things Done?

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  • PlannerMode (Score:5, Informative)

    by sachachua (246293) <sacha@free[ ]t.ph ['.ne' in gap]> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @11:59PM (#9638972) Homepage Journal
    I maintain planner.el [free.net.ph], an organizer for Emacs. Although it was originally written to support the Franklin-Covey method and other ways of planning, some of my users have looked into using Planner to support the Getting Things Done method. Because planner.el stores all of its information in plain text files with a little markup, it's been easy to adapt to people's particular styles.

    Our mailing list has around 80 people from around the world. I love trying to get planner.el to fit people's working styles instead of forcing a particular method on them. =)
  • by angryLNX (679691) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:22AM (#9639087) Homepage
    ermm... if i'm not mistaken, you should mod parent down. this is an amazon affiliate link. this is like karma whoring except with money instead of karma points :)
  • Getting Things Done (Score:5, Informative)

    by sachachua (246293) <sacha@free[ ]t.ph ['.ne' in gap]> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:24AM (#9639108) Homepage Journal
    Getting Things Done is a way of planning your life. You think of the major projects you want to do and write down the desired outcomes. Then you think of the very next thing you need to do in order to achieve that outcome: small steps toward your goal! When you accomplish that, you think of the next step, and the next step, and so on.

    Some tasks have to be accomplished by a certain date, so you write those down in a special area. Some tasks can only be done in a certain location or context, so you note those as well.

    Keeping your goals in front of you and thinking of the next step you need to accomplish makes even intimidating projects seem much easier. =)

  • by AndyElf (23331) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:45AM (#9639226) Homepage
    Good summary, to add just a few notes:

    - You don't assign priorities to tasks (at least not explicit ones): what needs to be done is determined by context, energy, available time.

    - Forget about "doing a project" -- you never do. All you do is a bunch of little steps, one at a time, that bring you to sum-total that you call "done". Project is justa "finishing line", not the course.

    GTD also has a nice workflow concept. You need to get *all* of the things (i.e. not only work-related, but *all* the things you do) organized into lists which you review, organize by contexts, push forward, little by little.

    BTW, Sacha -- it is a post on your site that made me very interested in the system. Went to David's site and got me GTD Outlook plugin (trial). Liked it. Got me a book, still reading it. I do recomend it to others.

    I think that one of the things that is probably very appealing to geeks in GTD is clear workflow: it is (relatively) easy to implement it algorithmically, and there is a lot less subjectivity of prioritising in it. Its empahisis of total and airtight coverage is also very good: gives you a Swiss Army knife for life management :)
  • by Will Sargent (2751) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @03:28AM (#9639862) Homepage
    There's a mailing list, GtD_Palm [yahoo.com]. It looks at different ways to implement GTD.

    There's also an Outlook plugin available [davidco.com].

    I like using Ecco Pro and Shadow Plan. Details here [tersesystems.com] and here [tersesystems.com].

  • Basecamp (Score:3, Informative)

    by phildog (650210) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:18PM (#9644198) Homepage
    I have no idea if basecamp has anything to do with the Getting Things Done method, but basecamp [basecamphq.com] is an amazing productivity tool for a team or an individual. It is basically a web-based project management tool that creates an intranet.

    I have used it to organize my plans and set milestones for some of the websites I work on and have been very pleased with the results. Free trails are available, so there is no reason not to try this if you want to be more productive.

    I'd be curious if any users here have tried both GTD and basecamp and do they prefer one over the other, or are they complementary, etc.

    People get very emotional about tools that help them get things done. Read some of the posts here or the feedback on the basecamp website and you'll see what I mean :-)

"Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberrys!" -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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