I read therefore i am leads to having too many books. About 5000 too many to be exact. So I consulted my engineering teacher friends and asked the best way to cut bindings off books to scan them to PDF. And the answer was a band saw.
This is the Ryobi 9″ US$130 band saw which I am using to saw-then-scan my book-library.
All the books that are out of copyright are available in PDF to download, just Bing/Google for the title + pdf.
The default band saw blade on the Ryobi works just fine on books.
Sawing off bindings makes sawdust the size and consistency of face powder.
My ScanSnap iX 500 has now scanned 23,522 pieces of paper on both sides for a total of 47044 pages! So I’m 11.7% of the way to needing a new set of pick rollers for the ScanSnap.
I have been forced to clean the face-powder-sawdust from the pick rollers twice. But the iX500 rocks as always. Run, do not walk to Amazon.com and buy one!
I’m using an iMac with macOS Sierra and Apple broke Preview (mac PDF viewer) in this version. You can open a PDF and highlight text in the PDF, but not save to the original file name. So if you are on a Mac and you want to do the band-saw-to-pdf book thing, you’ll need a new PDF app.
For the Mac, the best PDF program to read and highlight in many colors that I’ve found, is PDF Expert 2. It is available for Windows apparently. But I’ve been delighted with PDF Expert 2 as a replacement for Apple’s preview.
I like my desk better empty, than with Bose Companion 5 speakers on it. Clutter is the STRATEGIC ENEMY. However, I do miss having the subwoofer from the Bose speakers to rest my feet on.
This is my first post on RestartGTD in 2016. Leaving the land of start up companies for hopefully greener pastures, and more posts in 2017.
After office picture with PDF’d books:
With the books in PDF form, they all fit into the computer. So here is an update on my GTD Desk with my entire library in it.
Not really, I’ve scanned 200 books so far, 4,800 left to go. If you are in the market for stacking book shelves in Seattle, I’ve got a bunch you can have! :-)
*Note* Evernote, the company, has begun pruning the non-filing system aspects of itself after having quality and other “spreading itself too thin” problems.
OneNote is THE PROCESSING PLACE for the rest of us. When you have an *explosive* next action (i.e., that project that just landed on you by instant message), put it into OneNote and then use the outlining and image pasting to turn a multi-step next action, into a project plan, all on one page.
Microsoft *appears* to remain behind OneNote. Microsoft does not “get” what Evernote does (reference filing) and so OneNote continues to miss one key component of a dominant design (reference filing) to replace Evernote. So use them together, you’ll be happier than with either alone.
The twain never meet.
Capture to Evernote if the answer to “Will there ever be a next action?” is maybe or yes.
Process next action into a project plan in OneNote.
Simple really. (#ThankYouRaleighMuns)
That Evernote’s defects in losing notes, are more than overcome by Evernote’s utility as a document manager for reference files.
*Sigh* as I say this Evernote has lost our family’s recipe for Shepherd’s Pie for Christmas 2015. Fortunately, I have emailed this recipe so I, this once, have recovered the data and put it back into Evernote. Twice.
Defect: Customer Service
And I too, have been misunderstood by Evernote’s support “geniuses” who like car sales people can’t hear the loud “creek” in your new car after you are off the lot. Customer service people at Evernote do not even have brain resptors for:
The user I’m talking to is knowledgeable about Evernote.
There is a real problem.
But despite this, after beating my head on the Evernote customer service wall (Andy), Evernote the product *miraculously* started recognizing the 2,000 previously unindexed notes. Perhaps reflecting on conversations after the email gets pissy, does take place at Evernote.
***With customer service, you can only tie or lose.*** This was a tie, which means victory!!!
I would strongly prefer that Evernote run on my air-gapped Synology NAS at home. And the NAS has a note app. But, with 16,986 notes in Evernote, I’m a bit past being able to migrate. If only because I’m somehow certain that I’ll lose notes in the process.
AmIwrong? Suggest alternatives in the comments below!!!
Just for fun, I would like to *note* that I had a job interview with Evernote 2 years ago. And I’m sure that a TWILIGHT ZONE episode could be made out of being interviewed by someone who understood their product vastly less than a thunder-lizard fanboi product fanatic with a low-rated blog.
are a step backwards from having a REFERENCE FILING SYSTEM in the GTD sense. And WORSE they (a) either mix reference filing with processing next actions, or (b) they baffle your brains by focusing on outlines, and simultaneously leave you without a real reference filing system, assuming you have everything you need.
That Evernote dumping Evernote Clearly (which has been displaced by Evernote Web Clipper) is bad.
I find that I have to have BOTH Web Clipper and Clearly, to reliably be able to capture web pages. Clipper/Clearly don’t do the same thing. The should, but they don’t. So I’m going to have to capture HTML in 2016 to get all the data I need. Ug.
Evernote by allowing parallel competitive products (web clipper and clearly), and then killing the “losers” off, is shaking the jello of customer confidence. I recently listened to an end user berate Microsoft for doing the same thing. Evernote may want to be the Microsoft of notes. But it is a “unicorn” and desperately needs to be the Southwest Airlines of notes. Focus. Focus. Focus.
I like Evernote Clearly. I used it first. We are Borg.
And Evernote dumping Skitch for Windows (same link as Clearly above) is bad.
Highlighting the “afterthought product management” which in Latin is spelled “E-v-e-r-n-o-t-e”
I taught GTD to 200+ MBAs and even a fanboi unemployed person can’t implement chapters 4-13 of the first edition in one go.
I’ve heard that only 17% of attendees to GTD seminars can implement the system. Getting GTD going is a volatile mix of ambition and disappointment. If you get too ambitious, you will be disappointed. And that can add up.
If you don’t swing for the fences, and “take the walk” of getting reference filing going (Evernote, have I mentioned Evernote yet?), clearing your desk (mind=desk like water), and implementing 1-idea-1-piece of paper, next actions, and call it good. Your GTD survival rate will be 100%.
Uneeda 27″ > 1080p monitor. C’mon, you work at a computer for a living. Why not invest in 2x the productivity? Cost = $300. That’s what, like a 1 hr/day payback?
But … I’ve seen the el-cheapo monitors for as little as $100. My boss got me 2 for work, $150 for the first one, and $100 for the second. Stalk and save.
*Note* your status-oriented computing colleagues will accuse you of being happy with “crap” monitors if you follow this path. I find however, that “crap” gets my things done just as fast as $600 monitors would. :-)
Uneeda 2nd 27″ monitor. Don’t argue. Just implement. Thank me later.
Purpose of this post is to share a *find* … of the 3×5 kind. I have started carrying an Oxford hand-note-card case. And, it is FANTASTIC!!!
I keep the case with 10 or so blank 3×5 cards (stored in the middle pouch so the cards do not get beat up) in my right front pocket. Even the pen holder is useful. I keep a skinny red pen in the case, so I can drag the case out and be ready to capture. Ideas, projects, action items, … whatever. There are also front and back slots to keep cards that have been written. So the case allows me to keep next actions with me, separate from blank cards.
Take card case out, and capture the GTD open loop.
Slide the open loop into the front or back slot
Front slot is for general GTD open loops that can be closed without capture in my digital system. Probably about 50% of the open-loop-cards I capture will be completed without being entered electronically.
Back slot is for project related cards that for the most part end up in OneNote or Evernote.
I lost the first hand note case I purchased, but because it had become indispensable for me, I’ve re-ordered another from Amazon.com
How can someone who uses both Evernote and OneNote need 3×5 cards?
Because my brain loves 3×5 cards. The most powerful organizing that I do is to lay out 3×5 cards on a giant table, and then re-organize them by sliding them into columns of related ideas.
When I put my entire trusted system into the MOST EXCELLENT OmniFocus, my brain refused to use the system. I could not bring myself to sit down at my desk. I *think* in Ready for Anything David Allen actually says “If you get too organized, your brain will refuse to use your system.” Certainly the case for me. So as I’ve documented in the evolution of my trusted system, I use 3×5 cards as my default “one idea, one piece of paper” capture system.
Get Evernote app connected to your Evernote account.
Install Clearly and Web Clipper in your browsers on all platforms.
In each web browser, Immediately clip a (any)pagetoEvernote
From web clipper
You have to authenticate via Clearly and Web Clipper separately. Stupid but necessary.
This on-ramps all your net-found materials to Evernote.
Force yourself to use Clearly and Web Clipper religiously for 1 day, capturing notes that “might be useful … ever.”
Then useClearly and Web Clipper when you get a *twinge* that you might want to find the web article again.
Default to using Clearly and Web Clipper too much. Or …
When you catch yourselflookinginEvernote for something, and you figure out that the document isnotinEvernote. Put a copy of thedocumentinEvernote so your reality is consistent with your expectations.
Example: Somewhere I read that “Nipper” the RCA dog was listening to a recording of his (deceased) master’s voice in the famous painting.
I said to someone “I can give you a link to the page from my Evernote account.” And then I went into Evernote just to check myself. The article was not there, so, I found the information on the web, and snipped the information into Evernote with Web Clipper, and now I can share it on demand.
The more I use Evernote, the more “stuff” that goes into Evernote. I use Evernote as the ultimate single A to Z reference file ala David Allen GTD
But after you have your data into Evernote, you won’t regret the money spent on the scansnap. My scanning backlog is perpetually zero as I can scan anything in a minute.
Buy the best, only cry once.
Triage all your paper into:
To scan. Then scan and put in …
Precious can’t throw out, scan and file for posterity
Don’t worry about Evernote tags
I useEvernote tags only on documents that are hard to find using my default “what two words will only be on the document I’m looking for” query.
After I eventually find the article I set the tag to whatever concept I was trying to find. And then I also add the concept name into the note (belts+suspenders strategy).
Play with Evernote’s notebooks (I think of these as folders). For the most part notebooks hold two species of documents for me:
I gather all the reference materials for a big project into a notebook that I can share with people working on the projects. I out-read pretty much everyone on a project, so I’m a natural keeper of the reference materials.
I have a general “Articles” notebook (folder) for PDFs of articles and captured via Clearly/Web Clipper HTML articles. Motto: “I read therefore I am” so I’ve got approximately 15,900 documents in Evernote.
I also have a “Data Science” notebook where I put technical documents on R, ggplot2, Azure Machine Learning, etc. that I work with.
I also have a “family” notebook with sub notebooks for reference documents for each family member.
Sub idea: I use notesharinginEvernote quite a bit. This is particularly valuable to me as I can edit the note and not have to notify people of the changes.
Right click on the note to “copy shared link” and then email the person the link.
But I also add notebooks for hot projects to my shortcuts, and that saves a lot of steps in finding and filing
Use OneNote to process a project into tasks.
OneNote allows you to re-arrange scanned 3×5 cards in a note. Evernote does not allow re-arranging of graphics within a note. *Note* readers, correct me if I’m missing something about Evernote here.
OneNote and Evernote are complements, not substitutes. I work a lot with Microsoft people, and they just don’t “get” OneNote vs. Evernote. Competitive instincts rear up instantly, and die hard in the face of data.
Even my “Articles” and “Project” folders are just reference filing.
I use Evernote on both Mac and Windows 10 on my Macbook Pro and iMac. I find it easiest to have my Evernote archives kept separately … even though it sucks to have redundant data. It sucks but works flawlessly.
There is an analogy between “rough carpentry” and the topic of this post “rough organizing.” Rough carpentry is also called “framing” and that is not a bad description of the result of a rough organizing session.
Rough Organizing: What is it?
Rough organizing involves the following tools:
GTD’s one idea, one piece of paper
GTD’s “mind sweep”
A clear desk
I start rough organizing with blank 3×5 cards. One idea, one 3×5 card. I fill in cards and then lay them neatly on the table in front of me in a grid. I fill in cards about the subject I’m working on until my mind is empty. Usually a dozen cards will do it. But, I carry 3×5 cards at all times, so I can capture open loop ideas whenever they make themselves available. So I often will have two dozen cards to rough organize.
The rough organizing starts after a mind sweep has captured all ideas, one to a 3×5 card. Then I lay the cards out on the table so that I can see them all, and then start moving related cards toward one another.
As related ideas come together, I organize them in a column, not-overlapping. After I have arranged all related cards into columns, and separated the not-related cards. I can look at the cards and “see” the structure of what I need to do.
If I am writing a complex document,
I will see the document organization, and I can proceed to writing an outline. But usually, I’m in a hurry and I just write the document. Once it is off via email, I throw the cards into recycling.
If I am organizing a project,
I can distill next actions for the project and who to delegate what actions to. This goes into OneNote and then the cards into recycling.
Rough Organizing: How does it save time?
I find that rough organizing makes writing happen faster. Instead of free writing, then editing, the refactoring the writing. I can see the big elements that need to be covered, organize them in a sensible sequence, and then proceed to writing.
Time is saved because:
Ideas jump from 3×5 cards into a computer, in a much more organized fashion than using other writing tools (mind maps, outlines, detailed note cards, Scrivener, etc.).
Rewriting is dramatically cut down. The 3×5 card/ideas … are the floors, walls, and ceilings of my writing. It has always been hard for me to go from a writing project idea, to an outline. But with a mind sweep of 3×5 card ideas, to framing in an argument, is … easy. Perhaps I am just writing an outline, by writing the individual ideas without organization, and then organizing them after they are all out. Whatever … works.
It is much easier to make writing flow, when one arranges the stepping stones thoughts travel across. And my personal writing nemesis, the creative “leap” (leaving readers behind), has all but vanished since I’ve employed rough organizing.
I save time because I write modularly. I’ll make a first pass at a document. Get the ideas framed in, use the document. Then, I find later I’m building out the document and repurposing it for other tasks. Getting feedback from colleagues, to put up drywall, paint, and sometimes, even decorate rooms.
I save time because I no longer experience writer’s block.
I recently started a new job. A dream job. But all dreams come with some crazy, and some weird (C&W). The C&W in the new job was extreme time pressure. This post is my observations on what extreme time pressure and the ensuing fear did to my use of GTD. Or better, what my use of GTD did to my productivity under extreme time pressure + fear.
The biggest positive of this experience was that GTD put me in a focussed frame of mind. There was no possibility of having a mind-like-water when I was desperately behind. Ready for anything? I was barely able to keep up with meetings tomorrow.
But, … GTD did allow me to develop an attitude towards worry = that worry was a complete waste of time. Being afraid, and resolving to not worry about it. I focused on doing good work, and living or dying based on the good work. This turned out to be an ace that I can keep. I’ve been able to re-use the “We are data scientists, all we can do is good work. And we will live or die based on doing good work.” and so far, good work has produced nothing but breakthroughs. And, …
I don’t miss the time spent worrying. :-)
I’ve heard about trotting horses that you train them to swing right and left legs together, and then very gradually, you train them to speed up with the trotting gait. If you push them to faster than their training can support, the stop trotting and gallop. This slows the horses down.
Fear at work pushes my use of my trusted system, to the point where I stop using it. And like trotter horses, I begin to gallop with stream of consciousness organization. And I slow down.
When I go from trotting with my trusted system, to galloping without it. I’m off the GTD wagon. :-(
I find that I have to budget time to focus on organizing all the information pouring in. Budget time to refactor and build-out my trusted system towards new challenges. But because of the time pressure, I have to sneak trusted system building into time cracks of the day.
This is the sentence we GTD users bring upon ourselves. Raising productivity, taking on more, getting to the point of galloping. Then, refactoring and refining. Over time, responsibilities increase, and the refactoring of the trusted system never gets easy. It just works. No guarantee trusted system refinement will be easy.
Looking back on the past 3.5 months, I wonder if the focus GTD has brought, or the ability to put aside fear and worry, has made me more sensitive to patterns. Patterns have been leaping to mind. For example:
(a) A common pattern of our customer sales cycle.
(b) The repeated pattern of co-workers under pressure.
(c) The validation of my “radar” that sees future problems … far in advance
Perhaps there is a self-induced “Hawthorne effect” for GTD people in struggling to keep work life functioning smoothly from a trusted system. Whatever the source, GTD has stood me through.
Evernote had their fourth annual conference this week. A recap of Day 1, was posted by Evernote, but Day 2, and Day 3, did not make the blog. I watched from afar, underwhelmed at what the technology press were able to wring out of the conference as news. but there are a few big benefits for GETTING THINGS DONE users:
The biggest benefit I’ve identified is that Evernote’s monthly upload quota has been raised from 1 gigabyte per month, to 4. I saw this in my account this week. But it was not mentioned at the Evernote conference. Looking around the web it appears that you can opt in to Evernote’s new web template, and that is what causes the bump. There is confusion about this on Evernote’s forums. It looks like trying the new web form explains the increased upload.
So, Evernote has a new web form. And if you opt in, you get 4 GB of upload per month! To see the form and get the upload quota bump:
Step 1: Log in to Evernote.com via a web browser
Step 2: When you see a dialog box that says “Try the new Evernote Web?” click yes.
The new web form is nice, and uncluttered. But, is not as fluid as 3×5 cards. :-(
“Work chat” client built into the base Evernote application. It must suck to be the product manager for Office 2013. EVERYONE on the planet is trying to kill email. Evernote, Slack, Asana (see post) and one would have to remember Google WAVE, are all attacking email. This is not likely to have a big GTD impact soon. But, it may be a big deal to GTDers before long. We tend to over predict impacts of new technology in the short run, and under predict them in the long run. I can imagine David Allen smiling at this news. He has chosen to focus on the logic of work, and fastidiously avoided entangling alliances with electronic technologies. I wonder if Work Chat will be exclusively focused on Evernote Business users, or if we individual GTDers will gain workflow advantages as well.
Evernote API. I’ve been waiting for Evernote’s API to build momentum for Evernote, in the way that Twitter’s and Facebook’s APIs launched them past competitors. But, the results have been slow and … goofy. But, API results are starting to happen. Go to Postach.io, and you can see how you can blog from inside Evernote, by creating a note, and then tagging it with “published” Imagine a project story board that is organized as a blog. Every day, the post is updated and refined, so everyone can see where the project is. Hmmmm. Evernote API is getting warmer this year. But, when you check the Evernote App Center, no killer apps … yet.
And finally, the last big lesson from Evernote’s conference this year, is that … getting things done is still in our hands. The conference was a blizzard of individual people, showing how they use Evernote to get things done. Using your mind efficiently and effectively is still THE GAME. Thinking drives work to completion. And while electronic tools help thinking, especially, collaborative thinking, they are not yet impressing anyone generative thought. Evernote also announced an effort to build AI into Evernote. AI by the way means “Augmented Intelligence” not artificial intelligence.
I wish GTD had a tool that aided project thinking the way that spreadsheets and databases aid analytical thinking. But .. not. Getting Things Done for the foreseeable future remains an act of will, to think.
I want your word that you will read the book … I won’t get off your chest until you promise. This was the GTD start for me. “Yes, I give you my word :-(” … hey, they have GETING THINGS DONE on Audible!
Project file folders need to be kept separate from reference file folders.
“Go to David Allen’s seminar. Do not bitch at me about the cost. No, never mind, I’ll pay the cost for you!”
Check ins with an experienced GTDer help A LOT.
GTD Novice Lessons Learned
I’m not the only one who gets overwhelmed.
When I get overwhelmed, the best thing to do is to go back to chapters 1 through 3 of GTD, and review.
We CAN do this!
When writing down a next action, nothing less than a complete sentence. Cryptic next actions on cards take time to remember. And, can cause your subconscious to loose trust in your system.
When creating project names, make them short, memorable, and funny. Short, memorable, funny project names are easier to remember.
How a GTD buddy helps
GTD buddies help you by:
Giving tips that build early GTD implementation momentum.
Checking in, which forces you to reflect and realize that GTD is working, even though new GTD users obsess exclusively about how GTD seems not to be working
Encouraging you to keep on. A month or so into my GTD implementation Ian Watson (Experienced GTD buddy) said “Wow. Having a meeting with you, is like … having a meeting with me!” HUGE!
How to find GTD buddies
Novice GTD buddies are found by reading chapters 1-3 of GTD, then evangelizing the idea of GTD to your friends. See who takes up the challenge, and wants to talk to you about it.
*Note* do not be discouraged if your spouse is not your GTD buddy. Spouses are too close to be good GTD buddies. And often, spouses read GTD and being the more organized member of your union, say “But, … I already do all of this!” Not building on your momentum.
Experienced GTD buddies have probably, already found you. In my rich fantasy life, I like to think that this blog is an experienced GTD buddy finding people. But, … not. RestartGTD readers have already been found, evangelized, and have taken a shot at implementing GTD before they find this blog.
If you don’t have an Experienced GTD buddy, try Appendix B: Talk to an experience GTD Buddy below to send questions to me. I hereby volunteer (for now) to being an experienced GTD buddy to RestartGTD readers.
Tell them …
That you are trying to implement GTD again. Send them an email. Point them to your recipe. Ask them for their recipe. I benefitted enormously from Ian Watson’s being at my elbow, eager to answer questions.
Ask them to help …
specifically, if you can once a week, for one month, talk to them about their use of GTD, and get them to review your use. After a month, check in occasionally on a timed basis (8 weeks) or whenever one buddy feels overwhelmed. Read Appendix A: Using Skype to implement your GTD buddy system below. And then do your weekly show and tell, sharing screens. Just for a month.
Follow up …
when a week passes and it is time to check in with your GTD buddy. Just Do It! This may be mentally tough, the universe (you may have noticed) resists us becoming organized.
Try GTD Before you Give UP
If I can implement GTD, … anyone can implement GTD. I was the worst organizational sinner on Earth. Here, … see if you can guess which desk is before GTD, and which is after GTD.
Appendix A: Using Skype to implement your GTD buddy system
Using Skype to share screens is easy!
1. Get your Skype session going. If you need to set up Skype, click here for a YouTube tutorial.
2. Click on the plus thought bubble at the bottom of the screen 3. Click share screen in the pop up: 4. One buddy goes first, showing how s/he has implemented GTD. Questions go back and forth.
5. Then whoever went first, clicks the + thought bubble, stops screen sharing, and it is the turn of the other buddy to give a walk through of their system. Questions go back and forth.
6. MOST IMPORTANT after you sign off, each buddy writes four “lessons learned” bullet points, and emails them to the other buddy.
who runs a small, extremely high-touch graphics business: PixelLight.com. By extremely high-touch I mean: gigapixel pictures with digital scan backs, heavily customized web sites, and seemingly impossible pictures without parallax (i.e., the entire width of the picture is taken at a perfect 90 degree angle to the subject) and …
The picture at the top of this post is an un-retouched image taken of objects spinning. It was taken with a BetterLight.com digital scan back in a standard 4×5 industrial bellows camera, Mark gave a tutorial at BetterLight where he showed step by step how the picture was taken. Click here for the magic pixie dust demo via an .mov file that shows the process.
Mark and I have been implementing Getting Things Done together for several years. Mark uses a customer requirements planning program, Asana.com, to organize, share, and track his work. Mark and I just spent two hours looking over his implementation of Asana, and reflecting on how GTD lives in very complicated, very powerful systems like Asana.
Using Skype to share screens is easy!
1. Get your Skype session going.
2. Click on the plus thought bubble at the bottom of the screen 3. Click share screen in the pop up: 4. Continue your conversation while sharing your screen!
Complexity of the tool, Asana, Omni-Focus, whatever, expands like a gas to fill your energy and memory, leading to feelings of being overwhelmed. And,
… complexity crowds GTD logic out of your mind.
When GTD gets crowded out by a tool, we naturally stop managing self-expectations. You are now standing at the top of the GTD off-ramp.
Get to know the system, really try to make it work. But, relax. Rome was not built in day.
When you get frustrated, talk to your GTD buddy. Getting started with GTD is much easier when you have a buddy. Mark VanderSys is my GTD buddy.
What your GTD buddy will tell you:
Slow down. Rome was not built in a day.
Go back to basics. Now that you know a bit about Asana (or OmniFocus, or whatever) it is time to re-read the first three chapters of Getting Things Done. As you go through the chapters s-l-o-w-l-y, write ideas on 3×5 cards, page by page through chapters 1 through 3.
Focus on how the program allows each of GTD’s tools to be implemented. Make notes of next actions for doing GTD more fully.
Organizing Work with Hierarchy … and in an Intertwingled World
Organizing tools allow different kinds of organization. In particular, different kinds of project-next action relationships.
… with a next action focus, manila folders, creates an implicit one-to-many work hierarchy. One project, one manila folder, and inside many next actions. All the next actions relate only to the project indicated by the folder’s name.
… like OmniFocus (built around OmniOutliner), Evernote, and OneNote use an implicit one-to-many work hierarchy. That is, you start with a project, and then create N next actions to complete the project. But advanced tools like OmniFocus go a bit further. Next actions can relate not only to projects in a hierarchical way. Next actions can also relate to contexts. So the simple one-to-many hierarchy of project and actions, begins to fray. GTDers are coached to think of projects and contexts as a kind of matrix organization structure, and then next actions live at the intersection of project and context.
CRM (Customer Requirements Management)
… systems like ASANA however, are not limited to one-to-many work hierarchy. Yes, you can create a project and then a task underneath the project. But in addition, Asana tasks can be related explicitly to multiple projects.
This is a many-to-many link which CRM systems have evolved so that a next action can be tracked in relation to many projects. With many-to-many relationships, CRM allow GTDers to use “more colors of the rainbow” by tracking multiple projects that a next action relates to, but CRM systems shatter top-down one-to-many work hierarchy that a GTD person is used to seeing, and substitute an extra step of running queries, to see the full status of a next action against its projects. Very disorienting … at first.
Ugh, I’m feeling scared. Overwhelmed, dizzy. What can I do if I need to use a CRM system to implement GTD in my intertwingled life?
Go back up to what your GTD buddy told you above:
Just be aware of what the electronic system can do. And use GTD within that electronic system, as fully as you can. Don’t force yourself to use too much complexity.
Wait. Over time, as you keep your eye on GTD inside the system, you’ll have ideas. For example, you might have the idea in Asana, of doing a query that shows you the next actions in the system, that will move the most projects forward. Might be useful to try!
Experiment. Let these ideas come, and then experiment with them.
Thanks Mark VanderSys for a fun afternoon of GTD buddy check in!