Getting Things Done (GTD) is a remarkable productivity system when used properly, but I haven’t been using it properly. Three times in the past few years, I’d start using it properly, but then I’d get deeply into a project and skip my reviews for a few weeks, and the next thing I know I’ve fallen back to relying on my Palm’s calendar alarms and to-do lists to keep up with important things like taxes and bills, and my computer’s desktop is covered with disorganized little electronic sticky-notes for things I want to remember. The GTD stuff is left by the wayside.
The Touch’s audible alarms are extremely quiet. Far too quiet to hear them when I’m out and about, in fact. It was obvious after a couple days of using it that my old method of relying on calendar alarms and to-do lists wasn’t going to suffice. It was time to try GTD again, and to keep it up this time.
After reviewing the system, the first thing I did was look at the most recent incarnation of MonkeyGTD (a TiddlyWiki-based GTD system that I’ve mentioned before). It was good when I looked at it a year ago, but it has really improved now! A few hours with it and all of my to-do list items were transferred, properly set up as projects, next actions, future actions, future-dated “tickler” reminders, or reference items. My electronic sticky-notes were reduced to four, all actual notes relating to things I’m working on at present. My calendar items were trimmed down to only appointments and things that have to be done on a particular day or at a particular time.
It’s quite a weight off my shoulders, as it has been the last three times I’ve done this. But since I can’t rely on my Palm’s alarms anymore, I think I’ll be forced to keep the daily and weekly reviews going this time. Things shouldn’t be able to accumulate and hang around for ages (like fixing a piece of exercise equipment — that has been on my to-do list for over a year). And if I can keep the reviews going, I should be able to keep the entire system going.
Wish me luck! 🙂