You want me to get a file cabinet? Really?
December 20, 2010 1:49 PM Subscribe
Interested in finding a personal organization system like Getting Things Done
, only NOT geared towards middle managers from the late-1990s.
posted by Afroblanco to religion & philosophy (18 answers total) 80 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a software developer with a lot of important goals, especially in my personal life. These range from the project-oriented (write some of those web apps I've been talking about for years) to personal-growth-oriented (start working out more, start taking drum lessons, keep a blog regularly) to life-goal-oriented (start a family, travel around the world, make and maintain lasting friendships).
I got about halfway through Getting Things Done. In general, I like David Allen's philosophy, and feel like it has the potential to help me end my out-of-control procrastination. However, whenever he gets into specifics, I start to feel like the book really isn't aimed towards me.
For one, it seems strongly geared towards managers, officeworkers, and businesspeople; all of whom deal with a different set of problems than me. I'm a software engineer. My workday consists of fixing bugs, writing features, checking email, and avoiding meetings. My work involves basically no paperwork, no managing, no delegation, and relatively little collaboration. I really don't relate to any of the examples in the book.
Second, I feel like GTD doesn't take the current state of technology into account. Practically none of my life is "on paper." Every bit of information that's important to me exists in digital form. Nearly all of my communication happens over email, text, or IM, and any sort of "knowledge" chore (paying bills, scheduling meetings, buying things) happens over some kind of website. Thus, Allen's obsession with little bits of paper and ways of organizing them means absolutely nothing to me. Only occasionally does he talk about digital technology, and when he does, it's in passing. He even mentions PDAs occasionally -- which is kinda hilarious, like anyone carries around a Palm anymore.
As I said, I generally like his philosophy. I like the idea of organizing everything in my life -- from immediate work goals to long term personal projects -- into an all-encompassing holistic system. I know his system has worked for a lot of people, which is inspiring. I've even tried reading GTD and substituting in terms I'm familiar with for his archetypal briefcase-toting protagonist; it just seems like I'd be better off with something that was written expressly for people like me.
Do you know of any books like GTD that could help me? Any websites or blogs that couldbe instructive? Any modern organization tools -- iphone apps, websites, that kind of thing -- you'd recommend? Any personal "tricks" that have helped you get from Point A (out-of-control procrastination) to Point B (Allen's proposed Zen-like state of worry-free productivity)?
I'd appreciate any and all advice you have to offer.