GTD Buzzwords: Advanced Common Sense

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This is a guest post by GTD Wannabe of gtdwannabe.com.

The other day, I was listening to Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero presentation, which was essentially the audio track to a talk he gave to Google employees back in July. It was a great talk, focused on your email, but there were many other nuggets of GTD wisdom in there as well. If you haven’t seen it, or heard it, I recommend you checking it out.

The talk reminded me of the term “advanced common sense”. It’s a great way of describing the whole Getting Things Done philosophy. Of course the term is great – David Allen uses it himself to describe GTD.

Since I listened to that talk, I’ve been contemplating “advanced common sense”, and what parts of GTD really fit under that heading for me. When I first read the book, there were several places where I had “EUREKA!” moments. Places where I slapped my head and said, “Wow, now why didn’t I think of that, it’s just common sense!”. Advanced common sense, but common sense nonetheless.
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Are Your Lists Really Complete?

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This is a guest post by Jennifer George of Lifemuncher.

Sometimes the most important thing GTD gives you isn’t on your list.

When gtdfrk asked me to write a guest post, I happily obliged. I spend so much time thinking about GTD and reorganizing my system that I figured it would be easy to dash off a few lines about my latest set of lists or the nifty new software I’ve been playing around with. (In case you’re wondering, it’s ZuluPad, a personal note-taking wiki program. Very cool.) After some thought, I decided instead to write about an important insight I had recently.

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Getting GTD Done

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This is a guest post by Jeroen Sangers of El Canasto.

Getting Things Done isn’t easy. To implement the method described by David Allen, you’ll have to change your habits, and that is a very difficult thing to do. This becomes very clear when reading the forums at the David’s site. Almost on a daily basis someone mentions getting back to GTD after having fallen off the wagon.

In this article I present nine tips that in my experience as GTD-er and occasional coach helped in Getting GTD Done.

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Five Phases of Project Planning

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This is a guest post by Ian McKenzie of Ian’s Messy Desk

David Allen says, regardless of task size, the human brain goes through what he calls a Natural Planning Model. These are five phases our brain works through when accomplishing tasks. He goes on to say that we should use this natural model when planning projects.

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3 Tips for Embracing Analog Productivity

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This is a guest post by Geoff R. of Gearfire.net

A year ago, if someone asked me “paper or digital?” for just about anything, I would say digital. Today, I will probably still say digital in many situations, but I am trying to make an effort to embrace paper and pen productivity.

Paper offers distinct advantages over digital, such as better portability, no fatal system crashes, and ease of data transfer. However to me, these have always been overshadowed by the advantages of digital. While writing is linear, digital has no limits, as it can be copied, re-organized, or deleted with ease. It can also handle large amounts of data easier, offer more advanced features, and you can backup your data without spending time copying it out, or running to the photocopier. On top of that, I am a fast and accurate typer, but my writing is not so great.

Recently though, I have been craving some of paper’s advantages, such as portability, and ability to transfer to other people quickly and easily (rip it out and hand it to them). On top of that, I discovered Myndology notebooks, which allow you to add, remove, and re-organize sheets using a cool disc-bound system. Think
3-ring binder, but with 10-rings or any size you want it to be. It’s like paper 2.0.

I can now see the importance of embracing both analog and digital media. Even though the world is getting more and more technologically advanced, paper isn’t leaving any time soon. Here are my 3 tips for embracing analog productivity.

1. Find what you like about digital, then apply that to paper.
For me, the big problem with paper was that writing is linear, where as type is dynamic. However, using a disc-bound system such as Myndology allows me to add, remove and re-organize pages. It may not be as good as completely dynamic text, but it is an extra advantage that I enjoy. You can check out my review on Myndology here.

2. Spend money on your system, and make sure you like it.
If you can warrant dropping $400 for a cool new PDA gadget, then certainly you can invest $50 into notebooks, paper, or whatever else you need for your personal productivity system.

3. Try out new concepts and technologies with your paper productivity system.
As with computer software, paper will evolve, and you may be interested in trying new concepts. The saying goes “Evolve or die”, and I don’t think you want your productivity system to die!

Geoff R. is a student of productivity, organization, and GTD writer from Canada. He blogs at Gearfire.net, with a group of other high school and university GTD writers. You can subscribe to their RSS feed here.

Four Questions to Ask Yourself When Inspiration Strikes

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This is a guest post by Stephen Smith of HD BizBlog 1.2.

Being observant of the way that we Get Things Done is a skill that is often undeveloped. Put this on your Next Action list: Pay attention to the steps I take when inspiration strikes.

“Your brain’s pattern-recognition mechanism is triggered by the images you identify with and the focus you hold. You see the outcome first, and then you are unconsciously made conscious of information.”

~David Allen, Ready for Anything (aff)

What do you do when you get an idea for some new undertaking? What steps does you mind follow in order to create this vision? One thing that we can all do right now is take the time to look at our own thought patterns and analyze the pathways in our mind that take us from the beginning of an idea to its conclusion.

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