Google Productivity Pad: Todo List Quest: Technology and GTD

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Todo List Quest: Technology and GTD

So I said yesterday that we could actually use anything that allowed for the basic structure of lists and folders as a todo list for GTD. That is true, but I also said that technology has morphed some of the application of GTD.

Here is what I mean:

  • Technology has made it possible for an inbox(like email) and a todo list to be integrated together.
  • Technology has made it possible for items on a list to have reminders, thus blurring the lines between Calendar, actions list, and tickler. 
  • Technology has made it easier to use the concepts of context because of multi tagging. In a tag where I can multi-tag I don't have to choose to put an item in the @home or the @high energy contexts, I can tag it as either and search on one or both of the criteria. 
  • Technology has changed the way in which we keep reference material, how much of it we keep, and made it possible to attach reference material to a particular task or project.
The list could go on, but you get the idea. Essentially the buckets of GTD, some of which David Allen specifically wanted to have hard lines, aren't so much buckets anymore. They are more like sections on a cafeteria tray.

The question then becomes how distinct do you want those buckets to be? Do you want the clarity of distinct buckets and therefore will use a different app for each one. Or, do you want the convenience of one integrated system where things might get a little blurry?

Clearly looking at the todo list quest criteria it seems I want an integrated system. I still like the idea of distinct lines, but the ease of moving a piece of information from one bucket to another appeals to me. That being said I am now at the point where I don't think there is anything wrong with pursing using a simple system that is lists and folders if that suits you. What I hope is that both you and I find a way to live better.

In the comments below let me know what changes you think have come to GTD from electronics and technology.

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