Getting Things Done by David Allen is a popular book on personal productivity, and I personally have benefited much from reading and applying the system and principles in this book. We are in the process of packing up and moving to another apartment this week, so my organizational system is not particularly evident in my home office these days. Nevertheless, despite external evidence to the contrary, the system is working and has made preparing for this move significantly less worrisome. Although I have not followed Allen’s GTD system as thoroughly as I should have or could have, my life and work have become easier to manage and I am not nearly as stressed about the possibility that I may have forgotten an important assignment or meeting. Believe it or not, my e-mail inbox is empty, and it gets to empty most days.
Others in SEND have also profited from studying and applying the GTD system. In fact, we had planned on putting a training session on “Getting Things Done” into the last Directors’ Council, but we ran out of time (a little ironic, don’t you think?)
Recently, I downloaded and watched an excellent webinar (seminar on the Internet) by Ted Esler (Executive Vice-President for Pioneers) on “Overcoming Death by Email”. I receive close to 1,000 emails a month, and I am sure some of you receive even more. How do we escape being totaling snowed under by this avalanche (excuse the Canadian figure of speech) of email and ending up with thousands of emails in our inbox, waiting to be answered or filed? Esler, by his own admission, borrows heavily from David Allen’s GTD system and spends most of the webinar explaining the basic principles and how he uses it in his life and work. At the end of the webinar, he applies the system to handling email, with some helpful principles and practices.
In this blog, I have talked about one free online program that I use to schedule meetings, something I find myself doing several times each week. Today, I would like to draw attention to another free online program I use every day to handle my to-do list. Toodledo (http://www.toodledo.com/) keeps track of tasks, sub-tasks, deadlines, and priorities, and if you want it to, it will hide tasks that you can’t do anything about today (either because you are waiting on someone else, you are not in the right location to work on it, or it is just too early to think about it now). Toodledo is also very GTD friendly, so the organizational system plugs right into the program.