What makes a good GTD list manager?

Kelly Forrister recently posted her thoughts on what makes a good GTD list Manager. She proposes several requirements and key features to look for in a good GTD list manager:
 
  • Sorting lists by context
  • Ability to assign a due date
  • Portable for on the go access
  • Easily accessible
  • More attractive to you than repelling
  • Doesn't force priority codes
  • Place to capture additional notes
  • Ability to search and sort in various ways.
  • Robust enough to handle all of your stuff.

I think Kelly's list serves as a good foundation of the core features that any sound GTD implementation tool, whether low-tech (e.g. paper) or high tech (e.g. Lotus Notes) should offer.

If you have not read Kelly's excellent blog post, I encourage you to read it: What makes a good GTD List Manager?

The timing couldn't be better for me, as I'm in the process of doing a product analysis and writing copy for eProductivity for Lotus Notes, my own GTD implementation tool for Lotus Notes. In addition to my own criteria, I plan to run vanilla Notes and eProductivity for Lotus Notes through Kelly criteria and see how they fare. I'll post my thoughts here, in a future blog post.

eProductivity Equation: Connected & Creative

This is the final post from my e-mail that answers the question: "How to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes?"  We've touched on the productivity equation and we've looked at how methodology is the first component of the equation. We also explored the technology or tools that can be used to implement GTD in Lotus Notes.  Last week, I discussed Mobility: how to get things done on the run, and two days ago, I blogged about the value I've found in getting coached and coaching others.

As I wrap up this series, I want to share some of the resources I've used to get connected  to the information and people who help me sharpen my skills.

Here's what I shared in my e-mail about some of my current favorite ways to stay connected to all things GTD:
Continue Reading: "eProductivity Equation: Connected & Creative" »

eProductivity Equation: Coaching

Today, I'll share the next part of my e-mail that answers the question: "How to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes?"  We've touched on the productivity equation and we've looked at how methodology is the first component of the equation. We also explored the technology or tools that can be used to implement GTD in Lotus Notes.  Last week, I discussed Mobility: how to get things done on the run. Now, as I begin to wrap up this series, I want to discuss the value I've found in getting coaching in how to make all of this work together.

There's a lot to be learned from reading books and attending seminars. I routinely do both. But when I really want to improve my skills or performance in a given area I turn to a coach, a mentor, or an expert that can help me accomplish my objectives. I think it's important to understand that hiring a productivity coach is not a magic bullet for getting things done. YOU have to do the work, but a good coach can help you see what may not be readily apparent to you and encourage you to build sustainable habits. (I'll talk more about sustainable habits at the end of this post.)

Here's what I wrote to the person who asked me about getting things done on the run...

Continue Reading: "eProductivity Equation: Coaching" »

eProductivity Equation: Mobility

Today, I'll share the next part of my e-mail that answers the question: "How to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes?"  We've touched on the productivity equation and we've looked at how methodology is the first component of the equation. We also explored the technology or tools that can be used to implement GTD in Lotus Notes.   Now, let's look at mobility...

As you learn more about GTD, you'll come to appreciate the value of getting everything out of your head and into a system you can trust no matter wherever you are and find a tool to support you. To do this, it's important that you equip yourself with tools that support you wherever you are; at home, the office, or on-the-go. I recommend at least one analog tool and often at least one digital tool, depending on your mobile information management needs. If you are someone that always has a computer available to you 24x7, then this section may not be useful. Lotus Notes does a great job of keeping information synchronized across distributed computers. On the other hand, if you are like me, you spend at least some part of your work day "out and about" and you need a way to keep your GTD lists and related information with you so that you can work from your lists, and manage your work.

Let's discuss the mobility aspect of getting things done while on the run...

Continue Reading: "eProductivity Equation: Mobility" »

eProductivity Equation: Technology

Today, I'll share the next part of my e-mail that answers the question: "How to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes?"

We've touched on the productivity equation and we've looked at how methodology is the first component of the equation. Now, we'll look at the technology or tools that you use.  Since you've already selected GTD as your methodology (a decision I wholeheartedly agree with) you now need to find a GTD implementation tool that will support you in the way that you work. From my email:
II. Choose your GTD implementation tool and master it
From 3x5 card to paper planner to MAC/PC to BlackBerry -- there are a range of solutions. The brilliance of GTD, I think, is that it's platform agnostic so you can manage using the GTD methodology just as well on a napkin or using custom software.  What you need to find is a very good list manager, something that is easy to use, is easy to integrate with your existing workflow, and is fast. Most important, it must be something you can trust.

We discussed your use of Lotus Notes at your company. I think Lotus Notes is a powerful tool for personal knowledge and action management. It also happens to be the tool of choice for me and for the The David Allen Company. (Disclosure, The David Allen Company is an ICA client and David is a good geek friend - I designed and deployed their Notes collaboration infrastructure and have supported David and his team for the past 15 years, so I'm a little biased as to the power of Lotus Notes.) Many people are successfully using GTD with Lotus Notes in a variety of ways.

Continue Reading: "eProductivity Equation: Technology" »

The eProductivity Equation: KWP = M x T x K

(This is the first installment in my series talking about how to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes.)

In my eProductivity Seminars I always begin by introducing my eProductivity equation for knowledge worker productivity:


KWP = M x T x K


Put another way:


Knowledge Worker Productivity [or results]  =
Methodology x Technology x Knowledge


That is, the outcome of any project will be influenced (one way or the other) by how well you use and apply (your methodology) your knowledge and tools to the problem at hand.  

I believe GTD provides an outstanding framework for managing work productively - the methodology; I think that Lotus Notes can be a powerful tool for information, action, and knowledge management -- the technology. As far as what your knowledge... only you know that.  

Think about how this equation applies to your knowledge work. What are your methodologies (defined or undefined)? What tools do you use?  

How does what you know influence the work that you do?

Links to related posts in this discussion:
Introduction
I. The eProductivity equation
II. Methodology

eProductivity Equation: Methodology

Today, I'd like to talk about methodology as a key component in my productivity equation and specifically how it relates to ramping up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes.

Whether you are conscious of it or not, you have a methodology, a system, a habit for how you get your work done. Some methodologies, systems, and habits will be more productive than others; some can even be counter productive. I began this series by writing an email to help someone get started using Lotus Notes as his implementation tool for David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology.

Over the years, I've learned several approaches to knowledge work but to date I have found none that made more sense and was more sustainable for me than GTD. It wasn't always this way. I used to find Stephen Covey's  7-Habits approach to be ideal and while I think it is an excellent approach for planning, I was unable to sustain it on a day to day basis and I often felt bad that my day to day actions were not getting me closer to my goals and vision. That's not to say that Covey's approach doesn't work - it does, but it was a great deal for me to maintain. Covey takes a top-down approach to productivity, starting with the desired outcome ("Begin with the end in mind") and then working down to daily actions that line up to support those goals. On paper that makes sense to me as the best way to go. In real life, however, it was hard to do, because, well, life happens. David Allen's approach starts at the bottom - clearing the decks -- so that you can think freely about the bigger picture stuff. I've been working with GTD since long before the GTD moniker and I can tell you that it is sustainable. What do I use today? A little of both. The foundation of my work style is built on the GTD methodology, while Covey has certainly influenced the values and planning aspects of my work and life.

OK, let's get practical: My advice for getting started with the GTD Methodology:

Continue Reading: "eProductivity Equation: Methodology" » Last week, an executive at a large global consulting firm with over 100K Lotus Notes users called me to ask for help getting up to speed with GTD and Notes. He told me that he was feeling overwhelmed at work with a growing number of projects and responsibilities and in his pursuit of a solution he had found and read David Allen's book, Getting Things Done. He was also aware that while Lotus Notes is an excellent tool for messaging, collaboration, and information management, it wasn't supporting him in the way that he needed. He was calling to get eProductivity for Lotus Notes and some coaching to help him set up Notes to be more productive. After a fruitful conversation, and my promise to help him, he asked me, "How can I ramp up quickly with GTD & Lotus Notes?"  
Continue Reading: ""How can I ramp up quickly with GTD & Notes?"" »

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