View Full Version : GTD Fast
02-19-2005, 08:27 AM
We are just starting with GTD and we want to know how effective GTD Fast CDs? Do you listen to those CDs often?
Also, my wife is ER physician, so cannot really plan daily activities. Is there anyone with similar work situation using GTD? How do you do that?
02-19-2005, 02:10 PM
The GTD Fast CD's were very helpful to me in conveying attitudes about GTD. I bought them after reading the book, so I thought I was familiar with the mechanics. The CD's are helpful in really starting to implement GTD habits. I listen to them regularly in my car.
I claim that GTD works better for an ER doc, or anyone else with a demanding job, than any comparable system. GTD says you have 3 kinds of work:
1) work that shows up (e.g. patients in an ER)
2) predefined work (e.g. paperwork)
3) defining what your work is (e.g. what's next)
The key is to NOT DROP THE BALL on the stuff you are committed to doing. Project lists keep you from dropping the ball on stuff that requires more than one next action. Next action lists keep you moving to what's next, and what's next after that. If a ball gets dropped, you put it back on the appropriate list, and keep going. GTD is not really about daily planning.
02-23-2005, 07:44 PM
The GTD Fast CDs are essential. I personally consider GTD Fast the definitive publication on the method, although the book is a prerequisite for orientation. The CDs are more detailed in describing not only the best practices, but the internal logic of the system.
The CD contains lots of information that I don't remember being in the book. For instance, if a next action is done at your computer, but must be done at home instead of at any computer, it goes on the @home list, not the @computer list. Or if a next action needs to be done today because it will be too late tomorrow, it gets entered on the calendar, not the action lists; and the calendar is what gets reviewed before the action lists. In the discussion on capture tools, David talks about the Ubiquitous Capture Tool (UCT), aka the Notetaker Wallet, which is by far the best capturing tool I've come across. The discussion on focus and vision is far more fleshed out than the book. And the need to organize action lists by context instead of using a flat to-do list is elaborated more articulately ("If you want to make something complex simple, you need to have a system to have a system equally complex as what you're trying to manage in order to simplify it.") I could go on with other examples, but suffice it to say there's plenty of extra information on the CDs. I've probably listened to them a dozen times, so for me they were worth every penny.
For physicians, or any professionals dealing with a huge influx of impromptu work, the biggest challenge is looking beyond the runway level. The Weekly Review becomes the cornerstone to keeping your sanity by taking a topographical view of your next actions from the project level. I think GTD Fast does a better job of emphasizing the importance of the weekly review and the project list than the book.
02-23-2005, 08:47 PM
You're absolutely right. The GTD Fast CDs are the best vehicle for learning the nuances and subtleties of GTD - the next best thing to attending a seminar (sadly, not an option right now).
I have the entire set ripped to my hard drive and I listen to different sections when I'm doing the mechanical portions of my daily and weekly reviews. Better than baroque music or jazz IMO.
02-24-2005, 06:52 AM
For some reason, I find that the GTD book seems to dwell more on the system end of GTD. I know it goes on to explore the implications and psychological benefits of full implementation, but there is something about the CDs that really brings home the wide open vistas of mental freedom and clarity that results from fully applying GTD, especially at the projects end.
I have posted at
about the insights I am getting from the GTD Fast CDs, but in reality I could type here all day about them.
At the end of the presentation David says to the audience that he has delivered the seminar about a 1000 times, and yet he himself still gets some new insight each time. Listen to the CDs and listen to them again. The earlier part about setting up your system will be quite familiar, but even in the one line remarks, and especially throughout the third and fourth CDs you will get a wealth of thinking tools and strategies. It is money well spent.
02-24-2005, 10:02 AM
The CD set is real good but, personally the last 2-3 CD's on mind-mapping and stuff was a little too ethereal and touchy-feely for me. The first 4 or 5 CD's I thought were terrific and then it switches gears to stuff that I have a harder time getting hold of. A good buy, though and useful for listening to again and again and again....
"Mind mapping" is just another word for making a bubble chart. You write down a basic idea in the middle of a piece of paper or white board (chalk board?) and branch out from there, usually in a non-linear form.
When I had a 7th-grade English class (all boys), they grabbed onto this idea like a swimmer going down for the third time. All their previous English teachers had taught them to make an outline FIRST, when writing a paper.
I don't know about you-all, but outline have never worked as a start-off point for me. I make notes about what the paper/idea/project should include and then write associated ideas, etc. The whole thing ends up looking like a mutant spider, but my ideas are written down! At this point, I *might* write down an outline to put the ideas into some coherent order, but I might not.
Not ethereal or touchy-feely at all...sorry if that's the image "mind-mapping" brings up for you. I called it "bubble charts" before I knew there was another word for it, and I still like to call them bubble charts. (It's better than "mutant spiders"--to me, at least! :D)
P.S. I've just ordered the GTD Fast on cassettes (yep: I'm retro AND low tech) based on all the "Yeah, go for it!" comments here. My in-process brain dump (just can't get my--ah--brain wrapped around "mindsweep") is several pages long in Word, and still growing. ACK! Some of my tension is dissipating, but some of it is increasing, as I realize just exactly WHAT I'VE COMMITTED MYSELF TO UNAWARES. Ye gods! :shock:
02-25-2005, 10:07 AM
Thank you for all the forum members who responded to my original post. I have ordered GTD Fast a few minutes ago.
My wife has read the discussion and now more enthusiastic about GTD.
Thank you, again.
I received my set of CDs this week as well. Like CosmoGTD, I have a CD with the workbook in PDF format. I have listened to 5+ CDs and I am also impressed with David Allen's upbeat presentation style. I will probably listen to them a second time and post my thoughts.
02-25-2005, 06:33 PM
I have to agree with most of the posters here. Read the books first for the basics and then get the cd's to get in tune with the nuances of the system. I've burned mine to mp3 and listen to them whenever I've been slacking off and feel the need for a dose of GTD.