One of the biggest trends to hit the tech world in 2007 is the new religion of “Getting Things Done”. The concept is really a time-honored subject and not new at all, just a bit stale for the times.
I was a heavy Franklin Covey user back in the 90′s and really loved it, but a change eventually happened- the more my life became my “Digital Life”…the Franklin process became old. Writing down, by hand, your daily to-dos became bothersome and time consuming. Email programs like Outlook came into the picture, giving users the ability to create a task directly from an email. And we thought, “Cool”. We started using software applications to manage our daily to-dos, but that process was also broken because it wasn’t as easy to carry around like a planner was. Then companies like Franklin Covey started producing software for your email program, based around their GTD methodologies. We now have a mix of software and printing our lists out…argh! oh yah, the PDA, oh the PDA!
We now have three different areas where our daily info lives. The PDA, Desktop machine, and the printed out pages for our planner, because we really like the feel of having that book in our hands. The main problem is syncing the data so that whatever you look at remains current. That never happens so there are issues with keeping our lists straight….hmmm. I don’t think that is what GTD should be about.
Fast forward about 6-7 years, to a vast array of GTD web applications, desktop applications, and mobile applications. They all have their own philosophies of how we should organize our day-to-day lives. They all have learning curves. These new apps also have the “Is this really current?” question that surrounds them. The solutions are webservices that allow users to sync their data to a master database and have all their applications work with the master. I think we are getting closer to having a true digital workflow without roadblocks. If we still need a planner, then grab a Moleskin and jot down observations from time to time. Or you could transpose from Moleskin to digital if that keeps things a little more solid for you. I am interest in what others have to say, Please Comment!
2007 GTD Applications:
Sidenote: Some of these new applications go to the extreme and are really MORE then GTD apps. They are more like “Thought Buckets” and collect everything from to-dos, notes, pictures, projects, to the information about the warranty for your kitchen sink. Hey users! Throw it all in here and forget about it. If you just need a place to throw everything so your bipolar or OCD stays in check then the EXTREME GTD apps will work. I don’t know if a person could actually get anything done except give their minds some relief…kind of like a data dump.