David Allen Company Announces the New GTD Implementation Guide

Image Courtesy GTDTimes.comYesterday the GTD Staff at David Allen Company announced the availability of the new GTD Implementation Guide.  If you’re like us, you’re thinking “I wish this would have come out about 14 months ago…” since you’ve been on a journey of implementation since then.  We feel your pain.  In fact, that’s the main reason this site exists, as a resource to help you find the best way to implement Getting Things Done into your lifestyle.  Better late than never?  Without a doubt.

Upon review of the free sample of the guide, you find the table of contents, and the first two pages of the guide itself.  In classic David Allen fashion, the guide gets right to the point.  The first section lists everything you’ll need for a complete capture of all of the “stuff” in your life, from typical office supplies, to capture tools, to chunks of time that you need to allocate to the process.

While the majority of the information can be found in the book, the $20.00 USD pricetag is inarguably worth the convenience of an abbreviated guide specifically for this purpose.  Walk through the entire guide as a new GTDer, or use the table of contents to jump right to the area that’s currently causing the most friction in your current implementation.  The table of contents is as follows:

Introduction – pg. 1
GettingStarted:  Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools – pg. 2
Collecting:  Corralling Your “Stuff” – pg. 7
Processing:  Getting “In” to Empty – pg. 11
Organizing:  Setting Up the Right Buckets – pg. 16
Reviewing:  KeepingYourSystemFunctional – pg. 24
Doing:  Making the Best Action Choices – pg. 28
Articles by David Allen – pg. 32
- Getting Email Under Control – pg. 32
- General Reference Filing – pg. 36
Frequently Asked Questions – pg. 38
Additional Resources and Contact Information – pg. 43

To take a look at the sample, or to purchase the guide for yourself, hit the link below:

“The new GTD Implementation Guide” at GTDTimes.com

When you’re overwhelmed with the options available to you today, from the Hipster PDA to the task tracking software of tomorrow, a simple guide such as this is a great way to get back on track.  I will personally be using it immediately, and will be reporting back on my success in the coming weeks.  We would love to

Give Up Control to Maintain Control

ControlCan you relate to this?

“This GTD thing is pretty awesome. I really enjoy getting all my thoughts out, being able to visualize them, and seeing where my priorities are. But dang, I still have a lot going on… and when I get off track for a couple of days it’s really hard to get back into the swing of things. Maybe I don’t need to implement all of what the book teaches…”

If you can relate, then I feel your pain. When introduced to the GTD methodology about seven months ago, I was really excited about the prospect of getting my brain feeling a bit less cluttered with the barrage of information that was constantly flowing (speeding really) through it. Seriously. It was like I had an eight-lane interstate going through my head.

I still have an active mind, but the rush hour has calmed to a smooth flowing traffic – and I do a decent job of making sense of most of it. I attribute that to 1) understanding goal setting based on priorities (see pg. 51 of the book for details), and 2) an understanding of how to capture my thoughts and get them out of my head. One of my recent struggles with the whole thing is that I no longer have an iPhone (I’m using a Motorola Droid). That has caused some necessary adjusting, because OmniFocus isn’t available for the Android platform.

Now let’s not get into the debate of why an OmniFocus user on a MacBook Pro is using an Android handset now (if you really must know DM on Twitter). All-in-all, as someone that has done his best to immerse himself in the methodology, here is what I have found so far:

Capturing is key. Be it on a notebook, notepad app, scratch paper, sticky note, your hand, or whatever, make sure you get the stuff out of your head – all of it – and into your system for future processing. If you don’t, things will slip through the cracks.

Trust your system. I used to really like to know how everything in my life is working. While you can’t control everything (that job belongs to someone much higher up than you), you can have total control of your thoughts by developing a system that works for you (based on the book), and trusting that if you follow it your going to be okay. Try it out. See if I’m wrong.

Get high. Allow yourself to dream a little bit. Get up to that higher elevation of thinking – that 50,000 foot point of view – and make sure your basing your actions of today on where you want your dreams to take you. You’re still allowed to dream in this world, and act on those dreams – don’t let anyone tell you differently.

There is always a lot to learn when you’re completely revamping how you stay productive with the important things in life. Start with the basics and build up.

Question: What have you found to be the biggest part of adopting GTD into your way of life?

Let’s Get Focused on Quality Over Quantity, Shall We?

Quality over QuantityInformation overload is a common problem in this high-tech, high-touch world.  In fact, the GTD methodology addresses that very issue quite effectively, allowing us to free up our minds to think creatively and learn new things while making sure important things don’t fall through the cracks.  When you visit a blog about GTD tools and implementation, the last thing you want is more information overload, correct?

That’s why we’ve decided to modify our approach here at GTD Reviews.  Rather than committing to one post a day, and loading viewers up with an excess of information, we’re going to post only twice every week outside of app update reports.  In making this adjustment, we will have more time to make sure the information we provide is supremely relevant to helping you achieve “mind like water” as quickly as possible.

There is only one catch. With fewer posts, it’s even more vital that we hear from you.  We need to know what information you’d like to find on this site.  Ask, and you shall receive.  It’s tough to beat that.

Choosing Your Perfect GTD System

“I want to use GTD in my workflow.  How do I decide what system is right for me?”  Our hope is that this site will make that as simple as possible.  However, before you can determine what tools will best support your system, it is important to understand the thought process behind setting up a system that will work best for you.

When it comes to proper thought process in implementing GTD, you have a few options regarding who to turn to.  First of all, there’s David Allen himself.  While he may be a difficult man to get 1 on 1 council with short of paying for his coaching services, he is accessible in a sense through his three books, Getting Things Done, Ready For Anything, and Making It All Work.  Secondly, there are the elite few whom David Allen has dubbed the official “GTD Coaches,” on staff at David Allen Company.  They too are accessible through their coaching program, or through the GTD Times blog.  Thirdly, there are other GTDers in the world, all with varying styles and levels of experience.  This includes us here at GTD Reviews, as well as a majority of the viewers of this site.

Fortunately, we have at our disposal a very relevant article over on GTD Times written by GTD Coach Kelly Forrester covering the questions GTDers should ask themselves when choosing their GTD system.  Head over to give it a read via the link below.  Take special note of the following, though, as I believe this is the most valuable nugget of wisdom new GTDers can come to understand in order to avoid a very long and inefficient process of finding their system:

Is there a perfect GTD system out there? Sure, it’s the one you trust and use so your mind is free.

How to choose a GTD system” by Kelly Forrester at GTD Times

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, and as always, we would love to hear your feedback on how we can provide you the most value in your implementation of Getting Things Done.

GTD Over The Years – What Changed?

The Passing of TimeI’ve been Getting Things Done since reading David Allen’s book a little bit over a year ago.  Already I’ve seen technology change the way people implement the methodology.  More apps have been released for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android, as the tech world moves its focus to mobile handsets.  Now with the release of the iPad we have a whole new platform onto which people are moving their list managers and productivity software.  The question I have is: What have you seen change over the years since you implemented GTD?

This may be the first time you’ve read a post on GTD Reviews, and we sincerely appreciate that you’ve taken the time to check us out.  This is a fairly new resource on the GTD scene, but we’ll become a one-stop resource for GTDers everywhere as we prepare for the release of the new GTD Reviews redesign coming in the following weeks.  This is a call to action, though.  There are other GTDers out there that need to hear from you, because nothing is as helpful as hearing from another real human being about what they’ve seen, experienced, and learned from their time using the methodology.

“Okay, how can I help?”  For starters, we’ve included a simple poll below.  Let us know how long you’ve been using GTD in your workflow.  Secondly, post in the comments, sharing what you’ve seen change since you first started implementing it.  How has technology changed things?  What has remained the same?  What has time taught you?

We’re excited to learn from you, and the GTD community needs to hear from you!  Share your thoughts, and don’t forget to vote in the poll below!

How longs have you been using GTD?

View Results

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Keeping Content Fresh and Relevant

Multiple PlatformsReviewing a specific category of software is not as easy as it sounds.  This is especially true when it comes to software that supports implementation of a methodology as flexible as GTD.  What qualifies as a “GTD” application?  What applications are worth reviewing?

While this topic of discussion is ongoing here at GTD Reviews, we have made a few decisions that we would like to discuss here.

One very important element of any application is how engaged the developer of that application is with the ongoing development of the application, and in the community.  As such, one decision we’ve made is that any application that has not been updated in 2 years will not be indexed on this site.  Those apps will be considered “stale,” and while any reviews we have done in the past for them will be accessible in the archives, they will not be an active part of our new dynamic grids.

Secondly, with the new version of  GTD Reviews that will be released in the coming weeks, we will be including all of the most commonly used platforms for list managers.  This includes platforms such as the iPad, Blackberry, Palm (or HP?), Paper/Analog, iPhone, Windows Phone, Linux, etc.  Again, this will allow GTD Reviews to be the most comprehensive source of information and guidance for new GTDers and veteran GTDers alike, in finding the right implementation to fit their lifestyle.

While we press on in the development of the official GTD Reviews redesign, we are consistently receiving feedback on what viewers want to see, and what would make this site useful for you.  It doesn’t matter if you have a suggestion resulting in a minor tweak, or a major overhaul – we want to hear it !

You can use the comments below, or head over to our simple Feedback page.  We’re excited to hear your feedback and suggestions!

A Day of Rest

The Sleeping TigerAfter committing to a daily post on the GTD Reviews blog, the topic of whether or not to post on Sunday has been highly debated.  While the productive world never sleeps, and my own GTD imlementation never takes a day off, we’ve decided that Sunday will be the only day that GTD Reveiws will not show up in your RSS reader of choice.

We will, however, continue to monitor for any GTD app updates or releases throughout the day, so that Monday morning you have a comprehensive update on what’s new, and what’s available.

Stay tuned tomorrow for an original and exciting post of what’s to come in the following weeks!

Before Going Digital – “The Hipster PDA”

Merlin Mann's "The Hipster PDA"David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology is said to be “tool agnostic,” meaning that no single tool or software is the universally effective tool.  In fact, all to often new GTDers get caught up in finding a fancy software setup that automates their life.  If this describes you, why not try a simple, paper-based solution.  Behold, the infamous Hipster PDA.

This system is absolutely analog, perfectly portable, and supremely simple.  Merlin Mann of 43folders developed the Hipster PDA (Parietal Disgorgement Aid) after tiring of his Palm V device.  With nothing more than a decent pen, a pile of 3″x5″ file cards of various colors, and a binder clip, you can have a comprehensive system that you can quickly and easily customize to your lifestyle.

When you get back to the office or home (wherever your physical inbox resides), you can toss all your new notes into the pile and process them like you would any other incoming items. Alternatively, you can base a whole GTD system around index cards, sorting them into piles for “Next Actions,” “Waiting,” “Sometime,” and so on. Whatever works for you.

I highly recommend giving this a try for at least 1 month before going digital.  This will allow you to get used to the little things that work for your, and help you filter out the apps that don’t meet those specific needs.  Hit the link below to head over to Merlin’s original post back from 2004, in which he’s included several links to different variations and modifications to this system people have used.

“Introducing the Hipster PDA” by Merlin Mann at 43 Folders

Have you tried the Hipster PDA?  Tell us about your experiences, modifications, and success with it in the comments below!

GTD Meets iPad

In a guest post on the GTDTimes blog, GTDer Brian Isikoff contributes his experience and implementation of his GTD system using the ever-popular Apple iPad.
The Apple iPad

“I’m a four+ year adoptee of GTD, an IT Procurement professional since 1992, podcast producer, writer, and all around nice guy. Lastly, I’m the owner of a sparkly new iPad. That iPad has quickly become the center of my GTD system…”

Keep in mind, no one implementation will work for everyone, but I know many of you new iPad owners are searching to find what will work for you. Head over to the GTDTimes blog for a good read, and comment below with your thoughts!

“GTD & iPad” by Brian Isikoff @ GTDTimes.com

Are you an iPad owner?  Share your implementation in the comments below, or send us a potential guest post via our Feedback page, entitled “My iPad Implementation.”

And We’re Back!

Arriving At DestinationWe have returned!  Actually, we’ve been right here all along, planning and developing the future GTDReviews.com.  While the major redesign is just a little ways out yet, we’re back in the game bringing you valuable GTD and productivity related content on a daily basis, starting…. now.

Subscribe to our RSS feed, and come back and visit us to learn about the latest GTD software updates, new releases, and more.  Help us provide a better resource by leaving us feedback on what you’d like to see here.

Thank you for your patience, allowing us to make sure GTDReviews.com is the most accurate and comprehensive informational resource of GTD and productivity tools on the web.  Stay tuned for more!