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Posted: Sep 25, 2009

After about 2+ years of doing GTD, I've started to think more and more about the concept that David Allen is teaching us. Definitely it has its merits in helping us become more productive. But I keep hearing this nagging question in the back of my mind, is it making my mind less sharp?

One of GTD's main principles is to remove any "clutter" from your mind and place this into a trusted system that includes next actions, contexts, ticklers and energy levels. The reasoning for this is that we need to free our minds from these "mundane" tasks to allow us to think creatively. Is this really happening though? I've found that the more creative people are actually not the most organized or even the most productive. They just have really great ideas sometimes.

There are stories and movies about how some individual cannot function without their assistant, spouses or planners. They take it to the point where their next action is so dependent on their planner that they just freeze up like a deer in headlights. While it may seem funny in the movie, I feel that this is somehow happening to me as well. Before GTD, I could easily tell you what meetings I have coming up in the week as well as what I did in my last two weeks. Now I don't think I could answer that question without checking my calendar or task list.

Part of me also thinks that using GTD is similar to using a calculator for basic arithmetic as opposed to doing it mentally or on paper. A calculator is obviously going to be faster, but our minds become less sharp in the process. I found this out when I started reviewing for the GMAT. Oh how slow my mind has become.

So in closing, I just wanted to throw this out there to see what opinions others may have and maybe spark a new perspective.

Thanks for reading!

Posted: Sep 25, 2009
From Topic: Daily Processing


Great input. The only area where we differ is on checking email frequently. I believe that email should only be checked about 4-5 times a day at most. Anything more than that is counter-productive IMO. I'm not saying I don't do this at time, but I find that I get more important things done when I check email.

Question for you though, how do you implement the energy level in toodledo? Is it a context? Would you then need to use 2 contexts for @work, @high-energy?

Posted: Sep 25, 2009

Love this topic. Can't get enough of these productivity apps. Some comments and questions:

@joannacrews - The Journal is a desktop based diary. http://www.davidrm.com/ -- never used it though

My Apps

1. Google Calendar - Use this for future appointments, but also use it to track what I've done during the day (significant events mostly)
2. Gmail - email obviously
3. Blogger - I use this to store notes that I like to keep. I also use this to store an online recipe database. Not sure if this is the best app to use for this though. If I happen to come across a site that I like, I'll use the google toolbar Send To feature to highlight text and post this in my private blog. Again, I may need to reevaluate evernote or ubernote as they can do this as well.
4. Joesgoals - great for simple tracking of habits. But since they don't have an iPhone app, I'm starting to look at http://thedailytracker.com
5. Quicken 2009 - for tracking finances
6. Windows Live Photo Gallery - For managing my photos. I used to like Picasa, but I prefer the way Photo Gallery let's you easily move photos into folders and subfolders.
7. Aircheck iPhone - This app is really intended for use on airplanes, but although I don't fly planes, I found that this is good for creating reusable check lists. I have a checklist of stuff that I need to check whenever I leave with the baby (i.e. diapers, blanket, wipes, etc). I also plan to create a list for traveling (i.e. belts, socks, toothbrush, etc).
8. GroceryIQ iPhone - Great for creating shopping lists and even errand lists. Basically, each store is a location context for me. It also helps that it has a huge DB of items that will automatically populate.

Question for those using Gmail and Toodledo, are you diligent at keeping your inbox empty? Do you forward ever single email with an action into your toodledo account or do you sometimes get lazy and just use labels? For example, if I receive an email about a new bill being available for download, I'd like to put this in my @home-pc context so that I can do it when I get home. However, I sometimes just put this in a gmail label instead of moving it toodledo. This is probably bad though since I now have 2 lists I need to check.

Appreciate any other feedback.

Posted: Sep 23, 2009

Posted by Qrystal:
Posted by patrick:
You can make the main task recurring as well, and it will contain the recurring subtasks! This is what I do for my monthy bills:

* "pay bills - first batch" is due on the first friday of every month, and contains a bunch of bills that are usually due in the first half of the month.

* "pay bills - second batch" is due on the third friday of every month, and contains the rest.

The bill subtasks are due when the bills themselves is due, repeating monthly (but since the actual bill due dates shift around a bit, I'll tweak it once I see the bill).

Just another thing that makes Toodledo so awesome~!!!

Is this something that basic users can do or do I need to have a premium account to do this?