Tools to try out GTD

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Recently I started reading a book called Getting things done to increase productivity by organizing information that I come in contact on daily basis. I still haven’t finished the book so I won’t be able to cover everything that it goes through in this post. But if you want to know more about GTD than search online and you will get lots of interesting posts such as this one.

Primer on GTD

GTD is a methodology to help you manage information consumed on daily basis. In computer terms our brain is not a storage device but a Processor. It is good at deriving conclusions from inputs you provide than to store large amounts of information in it. David Allen describes human brain in the first chapter of the book as having two primary abilities:

  • Scan your surrounding for new information
  • Store this information in your Short term memory (Let’s call this RAM)

Now when you wake up and go out to have a wonderful day your brain is always on a lookout for new information that can help us fulfil our personal/professional responsibilities. And once you come across something that is not important at that point in time it gets shoved onto your RAM. Now all of us know from our phones and computers that RAM is not a place with infinite storage capacity. And once it reaches its peak it starts affecting performance.

GTD helps you create a system. Where you can offload all your ideas or thoughts that you have picked up from outside world(Physical/Internet). But just offloading information somewhere you won’t look at for very long periods of time does not help anyone (Ask my Bookmarks). So, we need to process this information in timely manner and decide actions or upcoming steps to take respective tasks forward.

Real world items are not that simple. You will have things with different set of difficulties, Like “Buy milk”, “Call Dad” or “Prepare pitch deck for your start-up”. So, the tools that we use to create this system should help us think Horizontally as well as Vertically.

  • Horizontal thinking is when you are taking care of a small think like “Send Email to Accounting” and need to jump to different thing such as “Call Janice”.
  • Vertical thinking is when you want to spend some time on an idea and create next steps on what you want to do next. Like “Prepare speech for annual meet”

Search for a right Tool

Current tools that we have to log information is not enough for such task. So, I scoured through internet to find some resources which can help me out in this quest. Following are some of the products in market/ tools under active development which I wanted to share with you:

I hope this helps fellow GTDers trying to find a right tool.

Do you have any tools that helped you implement a process to increase your productivity?

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