Getting Things Done

Sometime around a week ago, I was sitting at my desk at home shuffling papers and trash and lamenting that it seemed like that's all I ever accomplished. My dad said, "Pip! You need to read Getting Things Done!" So I borrowed his copy and read it cover-to-cover with great zest and enthusiasm.

Let me first say, this is a great book. It guides the reader to being at the top of his potential productivity. Some of the points that stood out to me are:

  • Your mind is horrible at short-term storage.
  • Unfulfilled obligations (even to yourself) cripple your productivity, creativity, and genius.
  • The next action is a very important concept.
  • Don't overcomplicate things.

Since I finished the book Wednesday afternoon, I have been working on implementing GTD (the fitting acronym for David Allen's "system") both at work and at home. I have started cleaning out and off both desks (not a modest task at either place), gotten my email inboxes to zero, given myself permission to let go of some projects that had realistically been long-dead anyway, and done a personal brain-dump (I'll do one for work this week).

I certainly have a ways to go. The biggest task is going to be getting a digital system set up that is cohesive and transparent. We use Lotus Notes at work, I carry a Windows Mobile smartphone, my primary personal email is through gmail. The biggie will be getting Notes to cooperate. I'm looking into it but any ideas are welcome.

As the days/weeks/months go by, I'll be posting on my experiences under the tag GTD.


  1. No suggestions on the Notes issue, but Windows Mobile syncs with Microsoft Outlook which checks gmail accounts.

    I'm interested in this book though. I'm going through a series that sounds similar and is teaching cleaning, decluttering, and organizing... altho surprisingly enough, not because of my own habits!

  2. Actually, the calendar and to-do lists are much more important to me than email - I actually like the work/personal email discrete from one another. We're upgrading to Notes 8.5 within the next couple months so hopefully some functionality has been added.