Ovi's Blog on technology and the web

What you should know about the GTD method

The GTD method is basically a method for increasing personal organization. To me it meant somewhat more than that as it taught me about how just by changing my thinking about something could lead to really powerful results. If you’re not familiar with the book “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity“, or its author David Allen, I recommend you first watch this video of a talk he gave at Google a while ago.

I originally heard about the GTD method a couple of years ago and spent almost a year and a half to finish reading the book. The reason it took so long was because I kept stopping to try and implement what I read in the book. It probably would’ve been a better idea to just read it and then refer back to it, but I eventually did finish it, at which point I already had my system working for me.

The system could be as basic as working with simple lists of things that need to get done daily, weekly, monthly or “someday.” It could also be done using just pencil and paper. In my case, I started with an online Wiki tool called PBWiki. I later switched to using PBWiki just for my ideas and “someday” projects and moved on to Ta-da Lists for my daily, weekly and monthly tasks. I recently replaced Ta-da Lists with voo2do which is based on the GTD technique and is designed specifically for working in that way.

Like I mentioned, an aspect of the book that was important to me was how it talked a lot about paying attention to your own thinking process. This ultimately leads not only to being able to organize your thoughts, but to also being able to follow through with them and analyze their results for better further planning. At least this is the way it worked for me. I found that as I was getting my thoughts out of my head and into my system, I was able to accomplish things in a logical way that lead to better focus of my upcoming goals.

And as I focused more on my thinking, I was able to better handle information consumption. Until reading the book, I didn’t realize how much of an issue it was for me working online all day with information on everything available at my fingertips. I was always good at finding the information I needed, but now I’m also able to control it in a way that works for me.

Originally published May 19th, 2008