[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Orgmode] Re: my GTD setup

From: Adam Spiers
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] Re: my GTD setup
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 00:50:23 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.14 (2007-02-12)

On Sun, Dec 23, 2007 at 10:38:50PM +0000, Pete Phillips wrote:
> >>>>> "Rustom" == Rustom Mody <address@hidden> writes:
>     Rustom> Well... This saw cuts both ways.  My own position is the
>     Rustom> opposite of David's.  Ive read the book (and the next one:
>     Rustom> Ready for Anything) and I keep reading this list in the hope
>     Rustom> that GTD will magically happen to me.
> Hmmm.  I can *almost* guarantee it won't happen magically.  :-)
> Let's make one thing clear - GTD is not difficult to understand.  GTD is
> really a combination of techniques and habits to make sure you write
> everything down, review it regularly, and make sure you have the
> appropriate lists with you when you can actually do something on them,
> and then DO THEM.


Really fantastic advice Pete, thanks for sharing.

> In my experience, implementing GTD is an initially rapid change in the
> way you work (implementing your main lists, sorting out a capture
> system, buying a labeller, setting up your 48 folders, trying to
> remember to do a weekly review) followed by much slower incremental
> improvements to the system as you 'get' GTD.

That's exactly what I found too.  I've "got" the habit of processing
and organising; my next step is internalising the habit of regular
reviews, and this was my main motivation for getting a Nokia N810 with
emacs running on it - because I frequently find myself away from the
computer with a few minutes of dead time here or there (travelling
etc.) which I could use for reviewing.  Once I get this step, I am
pretty sure I'll experience a quantum leap forwards in productivity,
since currently I've done all the hard work required to have my tasks
mapped pretty well with all the right metadata, but I'm not reaping
the rewards by regularly reviewing and scheduling based on different
views of the data.

> And I certainly think that
> you won't do it without reading the book. Everything you need to
> understand the principles are in the book.  Yes, some of the mailing
> lists are interesting (the GTD one on yahoo is pretty good), but frankly
> the book is all you need. Very difficult to implement GTD by looking at
> websites IMHO.

The book was enough for me, although there are some fantastic sites
which complement it well, e.g. http://zenhabits.net

> (One reason people try out GTD is because they want to get more work
> done, because they feel they are drowning in a sea of information,
> emails, projects etc, and want to get it all under control.  It is
> therefore an exquisite irony that some of these people then spend half
> their time surfing the net to try to find out how to do GTD better!)

So true.  I justify org.el hacking on the grounds that it's a
life-long investment (emacs will be here forever, right? :-) and it's
also fun.  Plus being involved in a community which has discussions
like this one is really worthwhile in terms of raising my
self-awareness and understanding of how I run my life.

> Now, implementing GTD in your tool of choice (mine is org-mode) is a
> different matter - there is more than one way to skin a cat, and
> org-mode gives you a huge choice in how you de-fur your particular
> feline.  
> So, don't confuse *understanding* what GTD is all about with the
> specifics of *implementing* it in org-mode, Outlook, HPDA or whatever.
> The mailing lists are great for the implementation phase, but until you
> grasp GTD it probably won't happen for you.

Absolutely.  That's one of the great things about GTD, that it's so
relaxed about the specifics, encouraging everyone to find the solution
which is best for them.  The flip side of this of course is that there
is no silver bullet, but as I think Kafka said, "paths are made by

> The book is very readable. You can read it over a few days. In my
> opinion, it also bears re-reading.  I also bought the set of CD's (which
> is a recording of David Allen giving his GTD seminar over 2 days) and I
> listen to those once a year or so just to refresh things in my mind
> whilst travelling on the train. I pick up new insights and tricks
> every time I read the book or listen to the CDs.

Sounds good, I might buy the CDs.

>     Rustom> In addition to setting up my emacs for org usage Ive even
>     Rustom> made made myself a hipster pda. Whats not quite clear is how
>     Rustom> to sync it with my stuff under org.
> I use a HPDA - I tend to sit down every Sunday and add stuff from the
> HPDA to my org-mode file, then chuck the cards away. I also have 14
> 'diary' cards - 1 card per day for the next 2 weeks, with my
> appointments on them, and anything I *have* to do that day (eg: deadline
> for sending off a report) on them.   I use this Sunday morning time over
> a cup of coffee to add such deadlines to the cards, and then review the
> next 2-4 weeks to see what projects I need to make progress on.
> I then use org-mode to 'schedule' some of these NEXT actions which are,
> at the time, important.
> I used to print out HPDA cards with my different contexts on them
> (Shopping, Phone, Home, etc) but I found i rarely read them - I am more
> likely to scan my lists under org-mode as I have a laptop available all
> the time at home and in work, with emacs open. 
> My advice would be to keep trying new ways to manage your lists. If you
> find syncing between HPDA and org-mode is too much hassle, you just
> won't bother, and you will eventually get cheesed off with it as it
> becomes unmaintainable. If it's not working for you, try another method.
> For me, HPDA is great as a capture tool and diary tool. plenty of people
> on GTD-Analog on yahoo use HPDA as their only tool.  Horses for courses.
> Overall, I find I use the HPDA less and less, and rely on having
> org-mode available on my laptop most of the time. Org-mode is what has
> really enabled me to get GTD working for me better than any other tool.

Being so electronically oriented, I gave up on the idea of
implementing GTD using paper even before I'd tried it (this is
probably going directly against Allen's advice, but I just knew paper
would infuriate me), so I'm somewhat encouraged to hear how well
org-mode is working for you.  Clearly this is another great reason for
having org.el working on a portable device.  (Just spent 3 hours on
the train struggling with the maemo 4.x SDK - will hopefully make some
significant progress with this soon!)

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]