Banish the term, “Time Management” from your vocabulary. That was the point of the post, “When You Don’t Have Time To Take A Time Management Course,” I wrote on October 8.
A day or so later I received an e-mail from someone at gtdagenda.com. It’s a Web site designed to help you be more productive and modeled after the principles espoused by David Allen in his book, Getting Things Done. I was invited to try it and to write a review.
Rather than wait thirty days, I thought I’d write a post on my first impressions and follow it up with a review after I’ve used the site for 30 days.
Based on my first day’s use, I have two suggestions—one for the designers of gtdagenda.com and one for anyone trying something new for the first time.
As someone who believes in GTD, I’ve set up an Excel spreadsheet with my various lists and next actions. I plan for the month and for the week. I am not a pure GTD’er since I do use a daily “next actions” list. Only about 2% of my next actions involve projects outside of my career. I think a hipster PDA is unhip.
I logged into the Web site and wandered around. Because it’s been several years since I’d read GTD, it took awhile for me to understand the way the site worked. In fact, there were several times when I was so frustrated that I almost gave up.
Most of my frustration could have been eliminated if gtdagenda.com had included short screen casts explaining how to do different things such as the difference between a project or a goal, or what the difference between a next action and a task is.
Several years ago, I started using Basecamp, a project management software app, and thanks to two-minute tutorials, I was up and running in less than twenty minutes with no frustrations.
Having several 2-3 minute screen casts would certainly improve the user experience and, I believe, would keep more customers from dropping out. Screen casts might also eliminate the necessity of reading GTD, which would mean that more people could use the software without first reading the book.
My second suggestion is for anyone trying something new. As someone who prides himself on being an innovator, I found myself so frustrated that I almost quit the application. But then I realized I was mentally whining and I wasn’t giving the application a fair shake. I decided to spend 20 minutes or so each morning fleshing out my projects, tasks, and next actions so that I could genuinely give the site a fair shake. When you’re trying something new, hang in there and give it a fair shake. Just because you can’t immediately master it, doesn’t mean you can’t learn it. How many times did you fall down learning to walk? How many times did you fail before learning to ride a bicycle.
I’ll be writing more on gtdagenda over the course of the next month.