The Freelancers’ Show 073 – Book Club: Getting Things Done with David Allen

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Panel David Allen (twitter David Allen Company) Reuven Lerner (twitter github blog) Curtis McHale (twitter github blog) Eric Davis (twitter github blog) Charles Max Wood (twitter github Teach Me To Code Rails Ramp Up) Discussion 01:06 - David Allen Introduction David Allen Company Getting Things Done by David Allen 01:27 - GTD’s Conception The Strategic Value of Clear Space 05:37 - Organization 08:24 - What GTD Does Orientation Maps Weekly Reviews The Lost Horizon 10:58 - Getting Things Done Writing Things Down Habits To-Do Lists 14:42 - Using Lists Context 23:17 - Outcome & Action Thinking 25:48 - The Power of NO Being Appropriately Engaged Multi-Tasking Who Multi-Tasks and Why? Multi-Tasking Ability, Perceived Multi-Tasking Ability, Impulsivity, and Sensation Seeking Placeholders 31:12 - Managing Your Inbox 35:54 - Dealing with Overwhelm 39:40 - Implementing GTD 44:03 - What Has Changed Since GTD’s First Edition Lifelong Mastership Technology 46:36 - David’s System Lotus Notes Evernote iOS Snagit Skype Dropbox eProductivity GTD Software Setup Guides Picks Readkit for Mac (Curtis) Brennan Dunn: The Definitive Guide To Project Billing (Eric) Merlin Mann: Kick procrastination's ass: Run a dash (Eric) GTD for org-mode (Reuven) Plugable 10-port USB Hub (Reuven) Dominion (Reuven) Dominion Online (Reuven) Omnifocus (Chuck) Evernote (Chuck) OpenTable (David) Uber (David) Flipboard (David) The Week (David) The Atlantic (David) Paper | FiftyThree (David) Adonit (David) Scrivener (David) 23andMe (David) Next Week Email Lists Transcript DAVID: This is David Allen, and you're listening to The Freelancers' Show! [Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at bluebox.net.][you're fantastic at code, but do you have an action plan to take it to the next level? the upcoming book, next level freelance, will help you optimize your freelance business for happiness. the book is packed with actionable steps to make more money, case studies, tips to find more clients, and exercises for you to establish your desired lifestyle. extras include: 9 interviews with freelancers who make great money while enjoying great work-life balance, videos on strategies to find quality subcontractors, and videos on making more free time by outsourcing your daily tasks. check it out today at nextlevelfreelance.com!] CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to Episode 73 of The Freelancers' Show! This week on our panel, we have Reuven Lerner. REUVEN: Hello there! CHUCK: Curtis McHale. CURTIS: Good day! CHUCK: Eric Davis. ERIC: Hi! CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from DevChat.tv. This week we have a special guest and that is, David Allen! DAVID: Hi folks! CHUCK: Since you're new to the show, do you want to introduce yourself really quickly? DAVID: I guess so! Sure! I'm David Allen, I'm the inventor/engineer of GTD Getting Things Done, wrote the book, do all kinds of stuff around the world, coaching, training, teaching, helping people clear their head and get more space to do meaningful things! CHUCK: And that's what the book's all about, which is pretty awesome! I have to ask, how do you come up with a system like this? DAVID: It was a string of 30 years of epiphanettes; there was no big wake up in the morning, "Tah-dah!" suddenly, the clouds part and the chair has come down, there wasn't none of that. It was really just kind of peace meal, there were some fairly significant events. I had a mentor who taught me the next action concept and doing record on bout of your head and how powerful those things were. Being [inaudible] a tribute that, I talked about them in the book, at least briefly. I had several people and things along the way. And then at a certain point, these things started to be kind of bigger than some of the parts. As I say,

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DAVID: This is David Allen, and you're listening to The Freelancers' Show! [Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at bluebox.net.] [You're fantastic at code, but do you have an action plan to take it to the next level? The upcoming book, Next Level Freelance, will help you optimize your freelance business for happiness. The book is packed with actionable steps to make more money, case studies, tips to find more clients, and exercises for you to establish your desired lifestyle. Extras include: 9 interviews with freelancers who make great money while enjoying great work-life balance, videos on strategies to find quality subcontractors, and videos on making more free time by outsourcing your daily tasks. Check it out today at nextlevelfreelance.com!] CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to Episode 73 of The Freelancers' Show! This week on our panel, we have Reuven Lerner. REUVEN: Hello there! CHUCK: Curtis McHale. CURTIS: Good day! CHUCK: Eric Davis. ERIC: Hi! CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from DevChat.tv. This week we have a special guest and that is, David Allen! DAVID: Hi folks! CHUCK: Since you're new to the show, do you want to introduce yourself really quickly? DAVID: I guess so! Sure! I'm David Allen, I'm the inventor/engineer of GTD Getting Things Done, wrote the book, do all kinds of stuff around the world, coaching, training, teaching, helping people clear their head and get more space to do meaningful things! CHUCK: And that's what the book's all about, which is pretty awesome! I have to ask, how do you come up with a system like this? DAVID: It was a string of 30 years of epiphanettes; there was no big wake up in the morning, "Tah-dah!" suddenly, the clouds part and the chair has come down, there wasn't none of that. It was really just kind of peace meal, there were some fairly significant events. I had a mentor who taught me the next action concept and doing record on bout of your head and how powerful those things were. Being [inaudible] a tribute that, I talked about them in the book, at least briefly. I had several people and things along the way. And then at a certain point, these things started to be kind of bigger than some of the parts. As I say, it took me 25 years to actually figure out what I figured out. I kind of thought I was the last guy in the world to figure this stuff out, and maybe because I didn't have any kind of a background either technically or any traditional kind of training or whatever either in business or time management or any of that, so I just started this tabula rasa. And then after all my different careers and jobs and so forth, I said, "Oh, I guess I'm not going to stick around anywhere very long so I have to call myself a consultant." REUVEN: [Laughs] DAVID: So I hang out on shingle and then started -- of course, as soon as you do that, it was like, "Well, I have to somehow show up and prove some value." [Laughs] So I was hungry to find what models really work, and especially, what models work for anybody because I'm always been fascinated by models and what are universal principles; that if you understand the principle, you don't have to go change yourself or transform into somebody different. But if you actually apply a principle, you'd produce a different result. So I always been fascinated by that kind of stuff, and of course, it's really how you manage yourself especially as we got in more and more complex sophisticated kind of world especially professionally - how to manage all that really well. I think I talked about this in the book, I've discovered what I now call the 'Strategic Value of Clear Space'. In the martial arts and spiritual practices and other kinds of things, meditation contemplative work, and reflective kind of things, that I like to do. But as you got more and more involved in the professional world, the static have just increased exponentially and the distraction. I guess I had a mutual hunger into how do I stay involved in the world that's more and more complicated than sophisticated that I wanted to; it produce more value, it produce more results, make more money, do more good, all that kind of stuff. But that doesn't come free. So along with it comes all the blowback from creativity and productivity, which is an older stuff that can very easily wrap you around the axle. So I'm trying to figure out how to stay clear while I was involved, and all about was, I'm kind of a subliminal driver that I had, and still do! I thought everybody wakes up in the morning so it's how much easier can they do whatever they're doing. But -- [Laughter] DAVID: People always said, "Have I always done this?" No. I'm not even that organized a guy if you think about it in general terms like that because a lot of people think of me as the organization guy and GTD is your organization, but it's as much a disorganization as it is an organization. Most people need to disorganize themselves from whatever structure they've been trying to manage things with. REUVEN: There's some point in the book where you say, I think it's during the collection phase, and you say, "Some people are going to be very resistant to taking all these piles because they know exactly where everything is." I thought to myself, "Uh-oh! He's seen my desk!" [Laughter] REUVEN: And constantly, for years and years and years, I've had piles, I know where everything is! And then you point out, "Yeah, but this hasn't worked very well, has it?" And I had to admit, "Yeah, it's absolutely true." CHUCK: [Laughs] REUVEN: My wife often says that in the physical world, I'm completely unorganized, although of course I counter, "No, no. I know where everything is." But you said, on the computer, I know where everything is, it's been very organized. So this sort of, like GTD seems very attractive to someone like me. DAVID: Well, an organization, I think I'm the only guy who's actually come up with the real definition. Being organized just means we're something as not just what it means to you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a pile on your desk as long you just say, "Well, you sell the crap, I don't want to deal with them. All the crap that I don't want to deal with, I'd put it in this pile," you actually work free when you do that. But that's not what you did [laughs]. The thing is you got stopped and says, "That's meaningful to me." But you have to keep rethinking, what exactly does it mean to you? Is it something you need to do? Something you need to hold as reference? Is it something that...whatever! Because of that confusion, say, "I only get organized so that I don't have to rethink what something means. I'll just go lazy." REUVEN: Right. Because I definitely go to these piles. I go to these piles every 3-6 months and I say, "I do need this, I don't need that," so that means I'm thinking about it at least twice. DAVID: It's yelling at you; you just go numb to it because you don't like being yelled at. [Laughter] DAVID: What GTD does, it's like the noise in the room that you don't hear until it turns off. That's my problem from marketing; I solve a problem most people don't know they're in [chuckles]. I think they sense they're in it, but they can't identify it so they don't know what it's like that when in silence, it's just would be too noisy to them. CHUCK: It kind of takes back to one of the things that you said in the book where you basically pointed out that -- I'm trying to remember exactly how you said it, but it really struck on to me -- basically, the reason that I feel so disorganized and that I've got all this stuff going on and I feel overwhelmed is basically because I have betrayed the trust with myself why I'm not living up to the agreements that I've made with myself. DAVID: Yeah, and you also don't trust that you know and will process it. So the weird paradox that are kind of zen in other version of the zen of all of this is that once you really get this game and you understand how to shut the noise off, the noise doesn't bother you [laughs]. It's like, "Hey, it's noisy! That's cool! No big deal because I know I will clean up." If you don't trust that, at some point, you will zero out all your backlog, then the backlog is constantly yelling at you. So you don't have to get rid of all your backlog to have a clear head, you have to trust that you will. If you catch that -- a lot of times, people walk away suddenly going, "Oh my god! David just defined the game! I don't know if I'll play the game, but it really feels good to know it's there in case you need it [laughs]." REUVEN: I guess GTD is not trying to say, "Stop doing all the things you're doing," all of that might be an outcome of it saying, "Let's take all the inputs and try to organize them so you can have some sense of when you're going to do what." Because I definitely feel like, "Oh my god! I've got so many things to do; I've got my clients, I've got my family, I've got my dissertation," and so my reaction is basically been triage. DAVID: Well, the way I describe it these days, what GTD does is it gives you sort of the instruction and direction about how to create the right orientation maps for yourself. You just need maps. You all looked at a map to know what time you needed to be on this call or on this Skype thing. You look at a map when you step back and say, "Okay, what's your map for the afternoon? What's your map for the next 6 months? What's your map for the next 100 years? What's the map when you talk to your life partner? What's your map when you wake up in the morning?" and it's all orient; it's all about being oriented. So what you just expressed was, "Gee! I don't trust that I have the right orienting maps for myself." So, GTD is nothing more than a focus tool; it's really about setting up the right -- it's like having a map room, and all the maps are right! It's just, which map do you need to look at before you start taking off for the day. Which map do you need to see when you're down and, "Oops! We're about to hit a rock, give me that map! Let me see where that is," "Oh! Hey, wait a minute. Where are we really headed this next two weeks?" and you need that map. That's why the weekly review is the prime orientation tool that's most missing out there, and it's the one that you guys don't do as regular as you opt to. Otherwise, you wouldn't ever have any questions about GTD. CURTIS: [Chuckles] CHUCK: Yeah, I finally sat down and made an appointment with myself, and it's appointment with myself and my system. DAVID: Yeah! Good! [Crosstalk] ERIC: The first entry I have in my blog is I started using GTD in 2005. I've stopped doing some parts of it, but the part that I still do every week is the weekly review, and then I have a monthly one I do after the first. That alone has helped me with 60%-80% of my productivity stuff; it's just going back and looking at what I'm going to do and figuring out what's next. DAVID: Sure! Some of these are just master keys, and you're named one. So you're just reflecting, "Okay, I need that weekly orientation." A lot of people have hour-by-hour orientation. Most people are proud of their GTD systems, we'll talk about their next action was. And there's the key component. But there's a higher horizon, I call it 'The Lost Horizon', it's the horizon of your projects which is really the next horizon up that you need to take a look at on that week-to-week basis. So even after you're in control day-to-day, you then need to get in control week-to-week. That's where you need a different horizon; you need a different orientation map. CHUCK: I have a question about GTD, I'm not sure if I saw the answer on the book or not. I have a theory about where it falls, but I'm curious to see what you say. There are certain things that I need to do everyday like brush my teeth and have a shower, that kind of stuff; go workout is kind of a big one. Sometimes, I blow some of those things off. I don't have time, I wake up late so I don't really feel like I have time to go workout. Or, I don't really feel like going into the bathroom so I don't brush my teeth. How do you fit that into this system? Because that's more of a routine thing than it is something you put into your To-Do list and just check it off because it's done, because it's never really done, right? DAVID: I don't write a lot of stuff down because I let life just tell me. Probably 80% of my life or 90% of my life is not in my system. I just do what I feel like doing. The way you describe is, that's kind of my life! Sometimes I feel like brushing my teeth, sometimes I don't! Sometimes I feel like [inaudible], sometimes I don't! So I'm just letting myself -- you see, you don't need to overkill this thing. My wife and I hardly ever make a grocery list because we go to the whole food store and we go to the salad bar of the Farmer's Market, that's where we get 90% of our food, and all we have to do is walk down the aisle and that's sufficient trigger. So why make a list? You can just walk down the aisle and see [laughs]. You don't need to write-down 'Do laundry', no underwear is a sufficient trigger. CHUCK: [Laughs] ERIC: Well, for some people. [Laughter] DAVID: Okay. I guess so! So, you don't need to write 'Walk dog' because the dog is there and it's obvious, when she gets [unaudible], you need to take a walk. So there's no need to write. The only thing you need to write down is when some part of you says, "Oh, I need to remember and remind myself about something that I can't do this very moment." If you don't trust that life will let you know that, then in a backup computer, your computer does not look different on backed up. CURTIS: [Laughs] DAVID: If it started to stink or turn yellow or something, if it's not backed up then you don't need to write that down. On toilet, it becomes a habit. Now, what's things become a habit? Your own habit would be a sufficient trigger. So I don't write anything down unless I have to. Believe me, I'm lazier than anybody; I just don't want to have to think it something twice. CHUCK: I guess my issue though is that, if I don't put it in the system, I will forget to go workout. DAVID: So give it up! Relax! CHUCK: [Laughs] CURTIS: Yeah, I would say it's not enough of a priority then, right? I will miss my bike rides except for the odd week when I feel terrible or something else has to come out because I'm sitting there at the office and go, "Man! I want to go for that bike ride tonight." DAVID: Yeah! And if you think just putting things on the list is going to change your habit, think again. CHUCK: That's true. ERIC: As someone who hadn't wrote thousand of items on his To-Do list, I agree. CURTIS: And just last week, well, a while ago, I kind of given up on Getting Things Done. But I think, now, after getting back into the last 2 weeks, I said, I wasn't really reviewing almost at all. When I came back, I actually just deleted all my tasks and started from scratch because I have [inaudible] anyway so they were not relevant. DAVID: Did that feel great? Just like, "Hey! Tabula rasa start again." CURTIS: It did feel great; and then doing a review on Friday, and I hadn't blocked that sometime in my calendar,too; 15 minutes to do review of all the projects and getting other thing I need to done everyday, I just felt great for last 2 weeks. REUVEN: It seems to me, and I realized I'm trying to boil a whole set of ideas down to a sentence or two, but seems like the whole idea of GTD is keep everything you need to do under To-Do list, or multiple list I guess in categories, and then just go through them. And as you do them, get rid of them. So, everything should be on this lists. I just want to check if I've sort of cut to the essence correctly because then I have a question based on that. DAVID: Well, here's an even more essential statement: Your head is for having ideas, not for holding them. REUVEN: Okay. Okay. So here's the thing, in my consulting work, I'd have numerous clients at any given time; I'm going to use all these ticketing systems. Each client of mine,  basically, has their own ticketing system as there's these 2 ends I need to do for each client in separate places. Try then be, if I'm going to adapt GTD, putting each of these things on my own to do list in addition to having them on their websites, so I'll see it and it'll stick out. DAVID: You would need to do that unless some part of you says, "I only need to see those when I'm surfing their site," and you have some trigger to do that or some input has to do that. ERIC: What I do to deal with that is I'll already make a note that, "I need to work on this client site tomorrow," and I know there's To-Dos there and so then I go over to that, less than actually look at the list and interact with that list for the client. That's on the project management side. It gets one note saying, "I have to clean up a few things on a site today for a client," and that's all it says. And then I will go to Trello to actually look up what they are and their specific notes. DAVID: That's why I sort of uncovered and formulated the 'organized by context' because you don't need to see something if you couldn't do it anyway, so why bother. Yes, on some regular basis, you'll probably on-look for your whole inventory so you don't miss anything, and some part of you feels more comfortable seeing the whole gestalt, so you know how to allocate your resources. So yes, you do need, at some point, step back and make sure -- it's kind of like every so often, you need to purge all your files. You need to step back and be able to say, "Whoa, wait a minute. Let me bring up the rear guard now." So the weekly review or any longer horizon reviews to sort of bring up the rear guard, and that you would need probably access to look around and see where things are. The very simple example of this would be people who still might be doing paper-based bill paying, and they just collect all their bills during the week. And on Friday afternoon or Friday night or Saturday morning, they sit down and pull all the bills out that they kept it in a basket or in a file, and they pay all the bills. They don't need to schlep all those bills around them all week long and be reminded "I have those bills to pay," because they see them when they need to see them, where they need to see them so they don't need to bother their system with stuff like that. That is part of their system; that's where it is and that's when I look at it. They would have no attention on it assuming they trusted they were going to be there and do that at that time. ERIC: That's exactly how I do my bills. I've mentioned a couple of times, everyweek, I do bookkeeping. What I do is I have a script that puts in like all my weekly review task into my To-Do list. One of those is the "Bounce Finances", which is business, personal, pay bills, and all that. So I've got one To-Do item that kind of covers all that to remind me that I've done it or I haven't done this weekend. And there I go and do all the bills and bounce the checkbooks and all that stuff. DAVID: Yeah, pretty good idea. CHUCK: One thing that I'm wondering a little bit about with the context is, when I read the book, it talked about like when you're on your computer or when you're out and about, and stuff like that, when you have the resources with you to do it. But it seems like more and more things are going to the point where I can put all of my notes into Evernote, I can put all my To-Dos in the Omnifocus and then I can sync it all to my phone, and I can do 90% of what I need to do from wherever I'm at. DAVID: Sure! CHUCK: Do the context hold as much value there? Or, do the context just changed to, "I'm in a position to be working on this kind of stuff?" DAVID: Yeah, if it changes to 'anywhere' as a context. I have an 'anywhere' list; not much on it because not a lot of things I can do anywhere. But you're right, it's becoming more and more virtual in terms of where you could do any and all of that. The context can also take on psychological context. "What are the creative things I've got on my list that I need sort of creative psychic space to do them?" or "What are the things that are kind of dummy things to do that don't take a lot of mental horsepower?" let me sort those that way. By the way, one list of 150 things is fine if you don't blow a few who's looking at 150 things [laughs] fine with me. CHUCK: My brain melts down at like 20. DAVID: Well then, that's why it's nice to find, "Okay, what sort would then take that pressure off you?" CHUCK: Yeah, that makes sense. ERIC: When I first that GTD as working with a player, I actually broke a computer to a 'computer at work' and a 'computer at home' because I kept track of work To-Dos on the same list. That way, like at during lunch, I actually brought my home computer to work, I could do some of the 'at computer home' things because I have my laptop, but it was a nice way to separate and I didn't have this thousand long list for 'out computer' and it kind of separate it out and kind of structured my work a little bit better because I was at work or I was at home. DAVID: Yeah! I have 3: I have a computer that don't require being connected to the web and I have that computer that require a hot web connection, and then I have Surf, which is kind of a version of Someday Maybe; all the cool videos to go look at and the games I might want to try to check out or whatever. The Surf is sort of like the read or view stack; you throw it away when it falls over. So I don't by barely look at it, but every once in a while, if I've got half an hour to kill and my brain was kind of toast then I've got a good internet connection, then I may go pick off that Surf list and just play. So I've got 3 different computer context. REUVEN: I haven't really thought about that, but for years, I've had 20-30 tabs open in my browser; a good 2/3 of which are, "Oh yeah, one day I should really take a look at these." So it's not enough that I have stuff on my desk and then I have different To-Do list for clients and then I have my own To-Do list, but I've also got these tabs and things in my inbox. I'm a classic basket case for you. [Laughter] CURTIS: I think even that 'someday maybe' less so easily becomes set of promises you make to yourself, "And I'll get to this someday!" when you're never really going to. On my own task, I was never actually going to get to so many of them, so I have been trying to be way more ruthless with that 'I'll do this in the future' list and just saying, "I'm really going to do it. If I'm not going to do it today or tomorrow, when I can't find the time this week, I'm just not going to look at it." DAVID: Yeah! I'm just easy with that. 'Someday maybe' is no commitment that I'm going to do it at all; it's a commitment to review it at some point or at least to have it accessible to me. There are 50 shades of gray between a reference and a 'someday maybe'. I've kept every restaurant that I ever might want to eat in again being the foodie that I am for the last 25 years, so I have all those. It's kind of a version of 'someday maybe'. I also keep a list of 'Next time in'. "Next time I'm in the New York area, here's the people I might want to see, cool blues hymns I might want to see," anything I run across. It is not complete, but it's a version of kind of when and if; when then, options, things To-Do. So do you call that reference or do you call that someday maybe? I don't care. Call it whatever you want. CHUCK: I think you just bloated my 'Somewhere Maybe' to be unreasoanable. DAVID: [Laughs] You might want to consider subdividing your Someday Maybes; there's sort of the bucket list to have call guide. I might want to take a balloon ride with champagne breakfast, or I might, at some point, want to climb Mt. Everest, or whatever so you could keep the bucket list. A lot of people, actually, in live and they're someday maybes by creating separated kind of categories like 'Places I might want to go' might be a separate list, or 'Cool vacations I might want to take', or 'Food I might want to cook', or whatever. Whatever you're kind of fun and interest are. That's really where the open-ended is. And the fun of the GTD is just start to build kind of a total life system. What are all the cool fun things you like to do? Wouldn't that be nice to be able to keep those kinds of list as options and things available to you so that you're not just banging around driven by latest and loudest; you have a lot of creative options that would allow you to take advantage of things that you might forget about if you didn't keep track of them. CHUCK: One other thing I want to jump in, I'm going to change topic a little bit, Reuven keeps saying To-Do list and category, but for me, what really drove home -- this is my second time reading it, by the way. I swear, somebody switched copies on my Kindle because it was a different book. REUVEN: [Laughs] DAVID: [Laughs] Wait until the fifth time. Wait until the fifth time you read it. I've had people read it 5 or 6 times. CHUCK: Oh, wow! ERIC: I felt the same way. I read it a couple of years ago, when I read it this time, I was like, "This is...No way...I know so much more...This is..." it's so much better now. CHUCK: But the big thing that hit me was that, when you were talking about defining projects, you kind of have that 10,000 foot level that you deal with the projects on, but you talk a lot about the outcomes for the project. What outcomes are you working for? What outcomes do you want from this project? That's not a project unless it has outcomes. And then you have the actions to get you there. That was really the thing like, "I've had to do this before. I've used the whole bunch of different systems before GTD." I have to say that, just having those outcomes there -- because for example, I initially had a category for this podcast, for stuff that I need to get done, and what it becomes since this podcast happens every week is stuff because it's just a general bucket for this podcast. But instead, if I break it down and I look at it and go, "Okay, well, I eventually want to have this outcome related to the show," and then I can start breaking down the actions for that and find the next action and do that," that's what really gets me going. So it's not just the categorization for my To-Do list, it's actually, "This is what I want. This is what I can envision. This is what gets me excited. This is what the payoff's going to be." so now, I can start working for it. DAVID: Fabulous! Outcome thinking is really one of the zero's and wants - it's outcome and action thinking. Where am I going? How do I allocate resources to make that happen instead of something else? In a way, it's really that simple, but that's elegant when you start to actually have that real experience that you're describing. CHUCK: Yup. Yeah, big payoff. I had ton of epiphanies while reading the book. I'm glad you did all the hard work and know this stuff out. [Laughter] DAVID: Well, it's funny writing a book about stress; reproductivity almost put me away. [Laughter] CHUCK: If anyone didn't get through the book, I know a good system for managing your life to get it in. REUVEN: Part of my problem, I think, is that I'm so interested in doing so many things that I sort of take too much upon myself. So I'm worried to some degree that even if I go ho hug with GTD that I'm going to end up with just longer and longer and longer To-Do lists. So it's part of the system also, as Curtis even said, the power of 'NO' which we talked about in last week's show, it's part of the system trying to be almost a forcing function showing me that if I have all these things to do, then I really need to evaluate carefully before I take on new things? DAVID: Yes. CURTIS: And that wraps it! [Laughter] DAVID: No, it's really true. When I first started practicing this stuff years ago, I'm a 'Yes' man, I love approval, I hate telling people 'No', I hate not giving people what they want. That's kind of how I'm wired! But once I started to realized, "Wait a minute. If I say I'm going to do it, I'm going to have to write it down, I'm just too damn lazy! [Laughs]" So, it's like I would say 'No' simply because I didn't want to have to keep track of it. It's interesting, I sort of backed into it that way. I just start to really catch this and really realized, "Wait a minute. Most people, one limbs are filtered to put on what GTD is about, it's really about managing your agreements with yourself." A lot of which, include other people in those agreements, but they're all agreements with yourself. And when you don't keep, like what we mentioned earlier, when you don't keep an agreement with yourself, you're going to deflate your energy - automatically. And your self-esteem, self-image and self-esteem is really your biggest limitation about where you're going in life anyway. Mine, too! So anything that undermines that, you wouldn't want to stop doing if you don't want to do that anymore. Just start to get a grip on what your agreements are with yourself. In a way, the real way to think about GTD and the real why of it is it allows you to be present with whatever it is you're doing. It'll going lead to one thing at a time in terms of consciously focused attention. So it's either half-empty or half-full. That's either the thing to put your conscious focused attention on or it's not. If it is, then you feel good about, "That's the thing I need to focus on right now and everything else needs to wait." But as you heard me say, probably many times, you're going to really feel good about what you're not doing when you know what it is. So if you haven't kept track of what you're not doing so that you're constantly renegotiating those agreements with yourself, "I am not doing all of that", if your mind while we've been talking, if your minds have gone anywhere else other than what we've been talking about, then it's because you're not appropriately engaged with wherever your mind went so that you could let it go. It's not banging you on the head, "Hey, decide something about me," or "Hey, you've got something you needed to do or decide or think about me," if you haven't done that, then you're not really appropriately engaged, not really keeping your agreement with yourself about it. But if you've been totally present here, it just means, "Hey, you're appropriately engaged with the rest of your life. And by the way, you're not doing it!" Getting Things Done is not about getting things done; it's about being appropriately engaged with all of your life so that it can be fully pressed with whatever you're doing. REUVEN: I've heard recently, I think there was some study or some write ups about how everyone is multitasking nowadays, and it turns out the people are just hardly bad at it. I'm sure, I'm no exception to that rule, even though I do it all the time like so many other people, so it sounds like you were saying, "Yeah! Don't try to do lots of things at once. Focus on one thing. Get it done, get it done well," and don't feel bad about that because then you'll move on to the next thing that needs to be done. DAVID: Sure! And the truth is, too, that martial artists, when they fight 4 people at once, don't fight 4 people at once; it's one a time, just real quick refocusing. But they leave everyone fully completely when they go to the next one. The problem is, when people try to multitask, they actually don't have a systemic process that can actually keep placeholders for what they're involved in. If I'm working on something and you walk in to my room and say, "Hey, David, could you blah, blah, blah," if I haven't got a placeholder for the work that I was doing, then a part of me then, if I feel like I now need to handle you or to engage with what you're bringing to me, first of all, I'm going to get pissed off with you for disturbing my world. And then because you're asking me to do something and I don't trust I can take what you're asking me to do and put it into my system that I would see that the right time, now, I'm going to get up and go do it and get really mad at you. [Laughter] DAVID: Seemed to what you didn't do. And that's simply because most people just don't have a trusted system and trusted placeholders. But if you have trusted placeholders, I can work on that. That's why oftentimes, I'll be working on something on the computer and I'll literally print it out and throw it in my own in basket because I haven't finished it and something else showed up that I needed to go do. But, I got a placeholder now in my in basket. So when I come back in, I'd go, "Oh! That's right," and I could pick that up and then go right back at the computer and pick it up where I left off. If you catch that idea -- no, you can't multitask in terms of consciously focused attention and people that are trying to do that then get really distracted because they've got an internal thing that's trying to keep track of something while they're still trying to do something else, and that's awful. Of course, that's going to deintegrate your performance. Did that make sense? CHUCK: Yeah! One other thing that you said, and it wasn't a major point in the book but it was something that struck me mainly because I have been doing GTD for a while and then I started putting a bunch of stuff back into my inbox and working on things. You mentioned that living things in your inbox is not a good idea, that you should actually be processing it pretty regularly. And if you're ignoring your inbox, you're probably ignoring other things, too. So I'm a little curious as to what the correlation is between the two? Is it just because you're not in your system often enough? DAVID: Yeah, very probably. Here's the thing: if you really don't trust your system -- your system includes your behavior and engaging with it -- if you really don't trust that, you're going to be driven by latest and loudest in your head. The problem is that, most people, because they don't really completely do this or still trusting, their head is still their major system. And then it becomes too much work to clean up your in basket or to deal with it and this other stuff because you're not getting the payoff. Trust me, once you really taste what it's like to walk around with nothing on your mind, as not an exceptional state, but as normal, then anything that disturbs that, you will do the behaviors you need to do like, "Hey, I got to clean this up." If you got stuff lurking in your in basket that you've already looked at, you know it's just in there as a placeholder to remind you to do something, and at the same time, you've got stuff in there you haven't decided what it is, your brains just short circuits when you look at it. That's why -- CURTIS: I started scheduling my inbox time at the end of everyday in my last 30-minutes or so. I deal with any emails that have come in during the day and then I get my GTD inbox down to zero so that everything else started in catalog even if I was taking those emails and saying, "Oh, in my email time tomorrow, I'll get to those." DAVID: Yeah. And if you don't do that by the way, what happens is, and most of the world especially the high-tech world you guys know very well, is that people are just living in emergency scan modality, and there's no light at the end of that tunnel. If you're not zeroing out in, then you're constantly worried or thinking or interested in what's in in and what's being in, in, in, and sort of you're not doing anything you're checking in. But you're not just checking it, you're reminding yourself of stuff you haven't decided about. So it's okay. The reason for categories, i.e. getting organized, the reason for sorting things by what they mean is so that you don't have to constantly keep rethinking that (that's my point earlier). So anything if in means there's some decisions about it, but haven't made enough but that's absolutely fine. That's what the in basket is for. But it's nowhere else. As soon as you break that code and leave actionable things in in, then you'll be leaving in stuff around your actionable space, and then you go numb to the whole thing. So it's like breaking that code as soon as you let one thing, one receipt, one business card you haven't processed yet, one piece of paper, one email lie somewhere besides in, then some part of you starts throwing that stuff all over the place. You break the code. It's like where are you going to throw the emptry gum wrappers? Where there are already empty gum wrappers; you don't throw them on clean lawns... CHUCK: [Laughs] DAVID: No, it's true! CHUCK: Yeah. DAVID: So you will tend to attract junk, too, by the way. I don't get a lot of emails. CHUCK: Oh, wow! That would be nice. DAVID: But I respond to everyone of them, and pretty quickly. So people think not just twice, they think 20 times before they write me. CURTIS: I always found, like when I work for someone, I stopped getting lots of emails because I talked I only check it after lunch. That was it. So that was not the best way to get a hold of me. I even tell clients that I check it at 1 o'clock, and then I clean it out at the end of the day, and that's it. DAVID: That's great! A good friend of mine, Ben Hammersley who writes for WIRED UK, and Ben's a great guy, Ben did something, he said, "It's really surprising how well it worked." He said on the weekend, he lets everybody know that he will not look at email over the weekend until Monday morning; from Friday afternoon to Monday morning, he won't even look. He said, he thought it would be pissing people off, and he said the real surprise was how many people said, "Oh, thank you! Thank you very much!" [Laughs] Because if I send you one, you'd send it to me back and that like the beginning wrapped around the axle for the weekend! But they said thank you! [Laughter] DAVID: That was really funny, but it's great! Like, well, people stopped the ping pong. CHUCK: My next question is, I'm going to stop saying...I am going to say, a friend of mine... REUVEN: [Laughs] CHUCK: [Chuckles] That has been living in this emergency mode for quite a while. Kind of he looks like me, he smells like me, he lives in my house...Anyway, he has a lot of things going on that he's kind of taking on and he's getting back into the system, but it still feels overwhelming because there is so much to get done. I know that there are some level of prioritization that's going to happen because eventually, you're on at the time. How do you deal with that? How do you handle everything that's still an emergency while you're getting a handle on all this stuff? DAVID: I don't know. ERIC: I think it's saying 'No'. I was kind of in that place a couple of weeks back and I was looking at my project and said, "These two, I don't want to do them," and they're super emergencies so I call at the client and said, "Hey, this is what's up, I can't do it. My wife's been in and out of the hospital a bit and I can't do it. Here's your money back and here's a good spot to find a good developer." I just cleared the deck, about 2 or 3 projects, which cost me something, but has paid off and not being stressed. DAVID: Cool! Well, at some point, you really do need to invest on yourself in terms of your own process. So block a weekend and clean up. It will be a lot easier to make those kinds of triage decisions once you get your arms wrapped around it again, and you clean up the backlog, and really take a look. CHUCK: Alright, I'll tell my friend. DAVID: Yeah! And hey, give yourself a treat - give him a treat for doing it, by the way. Say, "Hey, here's your reward." Or, you can just go do the fun stuff! Now, there's two -- I'm of 2 minds and of 2 different counsels here -- one is, just one step at time; just pick one thing to go clean up. Very likely, once you do that, you've got all inspired and keep going. But just pick one thing like a corner or one file cabinet or, "Hey, let me just clean up some part of my computer," or "Let me just reorganize my..." pick something that sort of in alignment with the GTD model itself, and just kind of just keep going if you will. The weekly review, by the way, if you start doing that, don't wait until everything is cleaned up to do weekly reviews because one of you made the point that even though you don't do certainly all of this, if you start to doing weekly reviews, that actually won't give you the motivation to clean up a lot of other stuff simply because you'll get a higher perspective on it; you'll see a lot more reason to get clean and clear, and you'll be more inspired and, "Hey, I want to get the distractions out of my life." That's one way to do it. The other way to do it is just block out and say, "Hey, I'm just going to take 2 days and get this done!" CURTIS: The thing to remember is not every project needs a weekly review, right? DAVID: Oh, no! Not at all. CURTIS: Some projects don't need to be reviewed for 2 or 3 months so you can just let them sit because it doens't start until then, or because lots of other is. DAVID: Well, that's part of the weekly review. The weekly review is not just rehashing old stuff, believe me. You're going to come up with lots of, "Oh! This week! That reminds me..." or "That will wait," or whatever. Once you do a good  3 or 4 in a row, all you have to do is glance this list, fill that'll wait, that'll wait, that'll wait, oh! That will won't. ERIC: Yeah. Another I found with the weekly review if the worked is, every week, this is when I had a big To-Do list, I would have to kill 10% of my list, just completely a flat out decline and cancel commitments I made. 10% out of time every week really starts having enough. DAVID: Uh-hmm, indeed. CHUCK: I'm a little curious now, when you work with people, when you go and consult with people, have they usually read your book? DAVID: Usually. Or, they've got it on their shelf and safe. [Crosstalk] CURTIS: It's best to have another chance to do it. REUVEN: [Laughs] CHUCK: Yeah, they should had it to their system. Put it to their inbox. I guess my question is, what parts of the process have you usually broken down for this people when they're calling you up if they read the book? DAVID: Oh, they don't completely do it. They don't completely do at minesweep and get it all out of their head, so they don't trust the system. Or even if they do that, they're really not making next action decisions that dicretely or that granually. And, very few people create a project list and have anything near a complete project list. That's a strange phenomena out there that somehow, people are allergic to that, they don't get it. And if they don't do that, then there's a part of them that's still prioritizing out of their head as opposed to really being able to have a good orientation map about that. It's very easy to fall off this wagon. If your list are not complete, it's very easy for you to go, got it just stay in work, there's too much trouble and you're not getting any payoff and you'll just fall off exponentially fast because the more out of date or incomplete your list or your system is, the more you're not going to be keeping it complete and up to date so you'll fall off exponentially fast. The good news is, you can get back on that fast. All you got to do is sit down, just, "Hey, let me get my head clear again. Let me decide out comes an actions. Let me park those in some appropriate place so I just step back and see the whole gestalt. So it's easy to fall off, it's easy to get back on. So any one of those could be where somebody falls off. It's either not consistently bringing up the rear guard and they fall off  to the whole system. The good and bad news is you can implement any of this stuff and it'll improve your life. Just keep a pen and paper by your bed, you'll sleep better. If all you did was implement the 2-minute rule, it'll change your life [laughs], that's all you do. CURTIS: I found and I said, my biggest ones were the review and then I'd commit to way too many things on one day. I'd look at my list and be like, "I have 42 things that I'm supposed to do today, and I think 3  of these wont' even take half a day, why will I even do that? DAVID: Actually, a lot of that, it's just once you even set up your system, it will change and morph. A lot of you maturity along this path of mastery, and it did really a path of mastery, as we've become to really understand it and all I experience is with the people who really been in it for a long time. Your business is a life-long process. Just like tennis or playing chess or go or the tango or anything, or mathematics, or learning Italian, there's no in to how good you can get at it. I think most people think, "Oh, GTD should just be a simple transaction and then I've got it." No! That's like saying, "Let me go play tennis once and now I've got the game," no, you don't. You've just discovered there is a game to play then you can constantly keep getting better and better at it. One of the homeworks of your maturity is first of all, at some point, you'll say I've got a whole intact productivity ecosystem. I know what edges of my ecosystem are, I know how to deal with inputs that come from any one of these, I know where all of the results of my thinking about this go and get parked. That's a pretty big place to get through to just in love yourself so that you really have externalized systemically your commitments and what you need and want to use as decision support an orientation maps for your life and you get that complete. But then, that will change. As you go through the episodes of your life, "Hey, we're having a kid," "Oops! Sorry, kids just left for college!" "Oh, I've just got a life-threatening illness." "Oh my gosh! I just moved," or "I just got fired." "I just got hired," "I just got promoted," all of those are the times where you will probably need to rethink and shake up whatever as then what your system they have been to begin with; you really have to undo them. And that's when most people tend to take the GTD or prove to themselves, "Thank God I know GTD and they got me through this transition time." REUVEN: I'm curious then, I just checked and the book says it's copyright 2001, what if anything has changed in GTD in the last 12 years since you wrote it? DAVID: Well, nothing about the principles. There is all those dirt and they're eternal. They keep something  in their head, you're going to give it inappropriate psychic energy. Nothing is going to change. By the way, I'm now just working and negotiating with my editor to do a revised edition. So what has really changed, I think is a lot of what we've been talking about, which is really understanding there's a whole sort of life-long path of mastership of this game called sort of total life management and how well one does that in the kind of world we're in these days. A lot of that and a lot of how long it takes people to uptake these stuff and change some of this habits. But also, how transformational it is and a lot more about the why. This is about creating space and about being present. It's about being able to increase your capacity to do and be focused on meaningful things. And I think, understanding more of the why and the subtleties of this as well as what a life-long sort of craft it is. That's some of the span I think little be in the revise version. REUVEN: Okay. DAVID: And obviously, the big question is, how much is technology because of all the changes in technology since I wrote that, a lot of stuff has shown up out there. The principles haven't changed at all; it's just forced to the issue perhaps a lot more than it was before because everybody so open the firehose in terms of how much stuff they're coming at them. They're having to make a lot of these kinds of triage decisions and we're going to have to get more of sort of GTDesk about how do you navigate that. Everybody is getting more feeling and talking about being more and more overwhelmed in more and more stuff and more and more trouble setting priorities and more and more and more. At some point, you're going to go, it's not getting any worst [laughs] because I've got a handle of it. It's like I'm driving the car now. Doesn't mean you're going to get rid of challenge isn't great opportunities and so forth. GTD doesn't get rid of the challenges or stress. You'd never grow if you didn't have those things. But getting at be in the driver's seat about it so that you're appropriately engaged with the storm you see you're in as oppose to throwing up your hands and go, "Oh my god! Help me [inaudible]." REUVEN: [Laughs] CHUCK: So I want to ask about your system. You kind of leave it open-ended and I understand why you've done that. It's so that people can figure out what works for them. And everybody's systems going to be a little bit different because everybody's different. But I'm a little curious, do you use software to manage a lot of this stuff? Or do you still get a lot of tf with paper? Kind of what history your process a little bit with the terms of use. DAVID: I've used Lotus Notes for 18 years, which is a fabulous tool. Very underappreciated in the world out there so we're still in Noteshop in our company. I use the task within Lotus Notes for most of my list in terms of action list and my projects. A friend of mine, Eric Mack who built an add-in to Lotus Notes called eProductivity based upon the GTD model, makes it very sleek. So I can drag an email and automatically make it a waiting for. There's a lot of cool things I can do with it. So Lotus Notes with eProductivity is my prime driver of action reminders. Then just in the last 6 months or 3-6 months, I've gotten into Evernote and starting to move a lot of things because I've been in the cloud for 18 years. Lotus Notes was the cloud. So everybody go, "Move over cloud; everything's cloud," [laughs] I've been there for 20 years almost. REUVEN: I must say, I've consistently heard from people who use Lotus Notes that, what you said, it is underappreciated and that it's done all these amazing things for a long, long time. I have zero experience with it, but this is the common complaint I've heard. DAVID: Well, they have to have a server, but everything is distributed. It's even better than the cloud because it's totally distributed. So I've got more working database as in Lotus Notes than I actually have staff. But they're all populated whenever I replicate, whenever I sync up and then at any changes I make offline, it automatically go back and replicate and sync up in the master. And then everybody else around the world can access the same stuff, replicate the same things, add to it, and so forth. So I scratch my head with people going Sharepoint and the Cloud, and I don't catch up. CHUCK: [Laughs] DAVID: Anyway, those are primary. Evernote is great. Also, about a year ago, I migrated to the iOS platform, maybe 1 1/2 years or so ago. I've been PC for all those years and finally I said I got to jump in and see how much difference the iOS platform might make in terms of productivity, just for my own verification. So I hopped in and great, lovely, obviously, the UI and the reliability of the OS are great in that world. Also, all the sync up and now iPad and iPhone and Mac, which are I'm on all 3. I used to have all those syncing up together. Evernote was really great. I have a lot of, all my restaurants and everything else, my wife and I share database of all kinds of information and so forth, that's on Lotus Notes. But again, there are ways to do what our tech people haven't actually set that up yet where I could actually be using my iPhone and iPad to access Lotus Notes databases, which shoud be nice. I can't do that yet. So that give me the excuse to just go see, "Okay, how much I'm going to put in Evernote in terms of all that? In terms of just reference material?" which is really great. The feel has a good GTD year, all the Evernote guys. Anyway, though it's obviously a much bigger thing, you could actualy use -- we just created a whitepaper on how to use Evernote for the GTD process if you're interested in doing that. That's great because of it's reliabitly in terms of syncing with all of this stuff back and forth. But even then, it's almost like it's so simple. It's kind of like GTD, it's so simple, it's totally overwhelming like, "Gee! How do I even start to structure my notebooks and my stacks and so forth, how do you do that?" Careful! If anybody hasn't stepped into Evernote yet, it is dauntingly cool! CHUCK: Yeah, it's pretty amazing. Like you said, you can get Evernote stuff anywhere; on your phone, on your machine. It's super nice. DAVID: Yeah. [Crosstalk] DAVID: Oh, go ahead. You were asking me about my system. I've got stuff all over the place in terms of reference material, and lots of different places and lots of different things that I do. And I have a typical Office Suite with Excel and Word, that's just for all those regular kinds of things. And typical, all the good stuff like Snagit and Skype and Dropbox, all those good things and I use it regularly for things like OpenTable and Uber, all those cool sort of tech-driven apps, things like that. CHUCK: I remember what my question was, can we get a link to that whitepaper on Evernote and GTD? DAVID: Well, you can buy it. You just go to our store. CHUCK: Oh, okay. DAVID: It's in our store on the website, and they're like $9 or something to download. CHUCK: Alright, cool! We'll let people know where to go to get it. DAVID: Sure! Well, davidco.com, just go to our davidco.com and look under Products, and you'll see I think isn't just products or is it...I got to know, my website... ERIC: Yeah, it's right there on the first page of your products. DAVID: Yeah, probably 'Educational Products' I would think our GTD resources software. Oh, Software Setup Guides! Yeah, it's under 'Products'. So GTD and Evernote for Windows Setup Guide, and GTD and Evernote for Windows setup, GTD and Evernote for Mac Setup Guide, letter size so forth. CHUCK: Cool! I have to look at this. It looks like there's some stuff here about how to setup your different software and things like that. DAVID: Yeah, when we got Outlook, I think I've got maybe '03, '07, and '10 Outlook if you want to reconfigure Outlook for GTD, we've got that setup guide, we've got Lotus Notes setup guide, we've got Omnifocus setup guide, and just sort of Vanilla-Apple setup guide, if you're just using your pointal Apple lists. CHUCK: Nice. Yeah, I might have to get the Omnifocus one and see what the recommendations are. Is there anything else that you want to talk to us about GTD? Or do any of the rest of you have any more questions? DAVID: Nothing on my mind, and you guys have asked good questions. CHUCK: I wanted to say nothing on your mind because you've got it all in your system. [Laughter] REUVEN: I don't have a question, I'll just say that after reviewing the book and talking to you now, I'm going to go into another world. It can't possibly be worst than my current system were lack thereof. DAVID: [Laughs] Yeah, it doesn't hurt. CHUCK: What's funny with what's going on, because I did GTD for probably 6 months and then I sort of let it slide and then come back around to it for a while, and then I started doing it again when I was reading the book. What's interesting is, over the last 2 or 3 weeks, the system has slowly been absorbing more and more of this stuff. I sat down and I did a huge purge and I did a huge organization. I put everything in my inbox, I've gotten most of that stuff out, but I ran out of time. But the thing that's really crazy is that as time goes on, it's like I keep putting more and more stuff in there, and it keeps getting better; I keep feeling good about it. And then I check something off and I'm like, "Oh, yeah!" DAVID: [Laughs] CHUCK: Just things like that. It really has been paying off. It's not fully integrated into the way I do things yet, but it's getting there and it's interesting when I see the payoffs. DAVID: Yeah! It is kind of the easier -- the more you do it, the easier it gets. CHUCK: Yup. Alright, well, let's go ahead and start whining the show down so we'll let Curtis start this off with the picks. CURTIS: I'm going to pick "Readkit for Mac", which does your RSS feeds for a bunch of different services, all the new paid ones, and also does Instapaper. That's what I've been using. It's nice, it has a decent set of keyboard commands, but not as much as this been user would like but it's a good one. CHUCK: Nice. Eric, what are your picks? ERIC: I got 2. The first one is blog post by Brennan Dunn, it's "The Definitive Guide to Project Billing". It's a pretty good post; it talks about different ways you can bill like hourly, daily, weekly, kind of the fixed bid, and all that. But he goes into the pros and cons about it, which is pretty good. Second pick is an old one from Merlin Mann on 43 Folders, it's his "Procrastination Dash". Basically, the idea is if you have stuff on your To-Do list that you have been procrastinating on, you don't ever start, it's kind of a quick thing where you take 20 or 30 minutes and do like 5 minutes on each one, or just enough to kind of get you unblocked and hopefully make as other and you're not going to procrastinate in the future on them. I've done this in the past many, many times and it's pretty good especially for the kind of big task that you don't know kind of what the next action is or it's like a vague one and this can kind of help free up your mind and forgot like, "Okay, what are we really to do on this next?" So, that's it! CHUCK: Awesome. Reuven, what are your picks? REUVEN: I dont know if this counts as a pick, but I'm going to mention, it is an article or set of articles about GTD and Emacs for all the Emacs buffs out there. Now you can use org-mode to use that. But my actual picks, I just got a "10-port USB Hub" from Plugable and I've never had a plugged in hub before, I've always had non-plugged in ones, and it's really great. It's really improved things. It allows me to attach and detach everything with just one cable when I take my laptop out. And for a fun pick or pair of picks, I don't know if you guys are familiar with the game "Dominion", I got it about 6 months ago, brought it home from one of my trips in the US, and my kids and I have been enjoying it tremendously. It's a super easy card game to get into and it's somewhat addictive, but it's nothing compared to Dominion Online, which was incredibly broken for a long time until they just fixed it a few days ago. I'm sorry to say that I've been, I've been especially sorry to say this on the show about productivity and priorities, but I've been spending way too much time playing Dominion Online and not nearly enough working on my dissertation. So if you have nothing to do, or if you have something to do that you want to ignore, then you should definitely give it a shot. CHUCK: Awesome. Yeah, I love Dominion; it's a fun one. Alright, I'll go ahead and give my picks. My picks, we already talked about them, "Omnifocus". It's a little bit expensive, but the thing that I really like about Omnifocus is that it syncs across all of my Mac and iOS devices. And then the other thing is, they've got a hook into the reminder system for iOS, so all I have to do is tell Siri to remind to do whatever, and Siri will put it in to the reminder system and then Omnifocus just slurps it up and puts it into my inbox. So then when I go and process my inbox, it's already there. Even if I'm driving or something, I can just tap my headset and record it that way. The other pick is "Evernote". Evernote is just a terrific way to store documents. It does more than just notes, you can store images, you can store pretty much any semi-standard type of document in it. I think you can import Word files and open Office and pages and whatever. If you have some kind of mind-mapping software, which is talked about in the book, but we didn't really talked about on this episode, a lot of those will export to an image that you can drop in to Evernote. You can also, I have a little scan-snap scanner that scans things directly into Evernote, so if I ever have documents or things that are in paper that I want to put into my online resources, then I do that. It's just a really awesome way of getting that stuff up there and then there's an Evernote App for most of the mobile devices out there, the smarphones, so you can then access your reference material from where you're at. So I really, really love those. David, what are your picks? DAVID: I got a bunch and arranged all over the place. I've mentioned "OpenTable" and "Uber" because I like to eat a lot and I also need a limo a lot. People don't know OpenTable and Uber, they are absolutely -- I can't imagine people in the tech world don't know those already -- but those are great. "Flipboard.com". I love Flipboard especially on my iPhone. It's a great way you can customize it and some just very cool things. If I'm waiting in the security line or waiting in a restaurant for somebody or whatever, it's a great way just to be -- especially if you've got nice graphics to be able to see their design areas, their creative areas, there's all kinds of great sort of articles you can just trace down, and also the UI on that is very cool; very easy to flip through so the things you might want to read, open it up, and so forth. I enjoy that. I do a lot of my reading on the iPad because I travel a lot and you can see the iPad, it's great, it's backlit and there are the lighting on it as well. And I love "The Week", TheWeek.com, if you're not subscribing to The Week, it's just the best, fastest, easiest way to get an overview of the world's press and all the cool stuff around as well as a lot of different things. So it gets a big vote. The other favorite magazine of mine, I don't read a whole lot, but The Week is one and "The Atlantic". They just did, The Atlantic, just created a mash up in The Atlantic weekly for the iPad, which actually mashes the best stuff they've seen in the web as well as their print edition and so forth. I'm a huge fan of The Atlantic and I just think they hold the flag of certainly the US culture, but even globally in a way that no other magazine I know does in terms of intelligent stuff. So I love that; I love to be able to do that through the iPad in its a terrific, terrific reading. And the graphics on there are really nice, too, and the links you can get there all works really great. I love "Paper", by the way, fiftythree.com spelled out F-I-F-T-Y-T-H-R-E-E. Those of you who like to draw, it is just really cool. If you haven't gotten that yet and "The Best Stylus" that I found that's made by Adonit, A-D-O-N-I-T. net. Adonit. It's expensive, it's about $30, but it's a stylus that's almost like a pen working to be able to draw with it. And it's very classy so there's several versions of that there. And the last one I'll end with is...No, no, I have two more I'll give you. If you don't mind, I'll take up the space here. "Scrivener", I've just started to learn. Scrivener, that's S-C-R-I-V-E-N-E-R, for those of you writing dissertations, or a book, or whatever, it's now the software of choice for people doing a long kind of manuscript development. Its very, very cool; it's very simple. It's kind of one of those things that it's power is its simplicity and the availability that you'll be able to use it right away. It's from a company literatureandlatte.com, if you spell that out, Literature and Latte, L-A-T-T-E, all one lower case, they're literatureandlatte.com, Scrivener is it. Jim Fallows, Senior Writer at The Atlantic turned me on to Scrivener; he uses it a lot. I'm starting to use it for my revise edition of the book! Last but not the least, "23andMe", that's 2-3 and Me, spelled out, the numbers 2-3 and Me .com. If any of you are curious about your DNA, if you don't know that yet, you pay it...Gee! Is it $30? I don't know if it's $30 or $40, but they basically send you a kit, you swab your inner cheek, and you send it off to them and they actually come back and they'd map your DNA. They have all kinds of really cool things that you could compare it with. They're mashing up all the different studies and research relative to DNA patterns, and sort of your chances of getting or what you'll likely have -- I was amazed how accurate it was. It said, "You're blond headed, you're AB blood type, here's where your ancestors come from," they could show you a map of the world where might own your mother side or your father side. It's so fascinating stuff. So, those are mine. CHUCK: That's really interesting. Yeah, I've been using Scrivener for some other projects and I know that Eric and a few other folks have been trying to do. Thanks for all the tips and advice, we really, really appreciate it. And the book, it's just awesome! One other question I have really quick for you is, I found the David Allen Podcast, but it doens't look like it's been updated recently, are you still doing that? DAVID: Kelly who puts this together for GTD Connect, what does she do there? Basically, she sends out stuff either out of LA, out of GTD Times, or it's done through, we do them inside of GTD Connect, which is I remember shipped online, and then every once in a while, she'll take one of those and make them public. So that's probably what you ran across. CHUCK: Okay. Some of them are really good. Anyway, I'll just put a shout out to that as well. DAVID: Cool! CHUCK: Well, thanks again for coming! It's been fun to talk and again, I'm going to have to go back and revisit some of my process. DAVID: [Laughs] Yeah. Well, it's been fun to hang out with you guys! Nice to hear, and hopefully, I didn't create any more guilt you don't need anymore. [Laughter] DAVID: Have fun! Lighten up! Relax! Take it easy! It ain't that big of deal. REUVEN: I'll put that in my To-Do list. [Laughter][crosstalk] DAVID: What I'm fond of saying these days is: Look, you are not your work, and you are not even your life. You do work and you have a life. It's the 'Who' who works and the 'Who' who has a life, but this is all what really about. So, all the rest is just a game. CHUCK: Awesome. REUVEN: Well said. CHUCK: Alright, well, we'll wrap up the show then, and we'll catch everyone next week!

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