Getting Things Done

I recently drank the GTD kool-aid.

I used to laugh at people who buy into stuff like this, but after approaching this with an open mind I can see how it could be really helpful. I haven’t yet implemented a complete GTD system, but have taken inspiration and a few bit and pieces and am moving toward a better process than I had up until now. I think that even the little bit I’m doing now is helping and I expect it will only get better as I refine it.

Honestly, it’s my boss that’s driving me to it. I may have mentioned it here before, but the company I work for is disorganized in the extreme. I mean seriously, you’ve never seen such a mess. We don’t even have a single database with contact info or service levels for all our customers (and there are only maybe 200 of them). Actually, looking back, I don’t think I have posted much about it here. I know I’ve started a few good rants on the topic but have given up once I saw it stretching to five or six good-sized paragraphs or beyond. I guess I usually just stick to venting to Sarai about it (as she can attest to). I tend to be a little on the, shall we say obsessive side, so this has been driving me crazy almost since I started working here.

Keeping track of the amount of “stuff” I get on the average day can be pretty overwhelming at times. Even though I haven’t yet taken all the suggestions in the book, it’s given me more of a framework for dealing with things than I had previously. I’m going to continue working on a complete system and I hope to help improve the rest of the office in the process. I can see some influence I’ve had so far — our billing/accounting person recently organized our filing cabinets after I pointed out how out of control they were — but there’s still a long way to go. I’m not going to rest until I’ve gotten this place into some semblance of organization.

This post is mainly intended for Rob’s benefit, but I’m posting it here instead of e-mailing it because it may be useful to others as well. This came up in conversation over drinks when he was in town the other night and I told him I’d send him some info. The book that started it all is Getting Things Done, by David Allen. I became aware of it after finding a few intersting posts on and their associated wiki.


molarade says:

much appreciated, kenn. i gave a cursory look at the 43folders link, and i think this will probably help me. the first step for me is always the hardest: that is, motivating myself to actually start.