Let's Push Things Forward

Maximizing social utility for fun and (modest) profit

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Can you elaborate more on this?

Which gtd software do you use? Or do you just do pen and paper? How do you process your tasks? When do you make projects out of tasks? How do you make priorities? How often do you process your gtd file?

Inbox zero works fine for me. GTD not that fine.

Re: Can you elaborate more on this?

I use Remember the Milk. It's got about the right level of features and has clients on the major mobile OSes.

Based on my context (whether I'm doing work or personal tasks), I just go through my "Work" or "Personal" list in (priority, due date) order.

I'm still improving my prioritizing. It's really obvious which things are highest priority and what's lowest priority. The hard parts are not over-prioritizing things in the middle and figuring out what shouldn't be added in the first place. Most of my unprioritized tasks should probably be dropped because I'll never get to them. Ideally, by the end of the day, there shouldn't be anything left that's due before tomorrow.

I scrub my pending tasks about once a week or any time I'm otherwise completely idle and stuck (like in a grocery store line). Luckily, that doesn't happen too often.

Re: Can you elaborate more on this?

Thanks for the reply.

I started reading 4HWW, but I found the advice in the opening chapters impractical at best, and downright dangerous at worst. I ended up not finishing the book. I can't get behind his approach, which is not about increasing productivity so much as increasing one's sense of entitlement.

On the other hand, I found GTD down-to-earth and practical. I discovered it college, and it really helped me get organized and get through it. I'm working a normal job these days, so I don't have as much need for the project / time management system, but I do still follow his system for organizing my files and papers. I spent a weekend setting it up 4 years ago, and since then it has saved countless hours of searching compared to the "pile system" I used to use, especially during tax season. During the week I let papers accumulate in an "in basket", and then once every week or two I spend about 30 minutes going through it, taking care of the actionable stuff and filing or discarding the rest.


Some GTD advice I can offer is to make sure all your file folders have tabs in the same place. It's too complicated and confusing to deal with non-aligned tabs. Also, I find label makers to be frustrating, wasteful, and expensive, but still preferable to my illegible hand-written labels. If you write neatly, you can probably skip the label maker. But if you have chicken scratches like mine, you're better off with it.

The one area of overlap between 4HWW and GTD is the way they treat distractions such as email. You want to periodically devote time to triage of a large number of items at once, rather than allowing instantaneous communication to continuously interrupt your current task. The trouble is that we find things like email rewarding, so it takes a fair mount of discipline to ignore all the various methods of communication that we have.

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