I assume that you were taught something like A=must, B=should, C=could, perhaps with rankings like A1, A2, et cetera to indicate order. In the Franklin method, this was done daily, but I gather you may use it in running lists rather than daily lists. Of course, you are right: it does work, for some people, some of the time. When David Allen says it doesn't work, he means it doesn't work for everybody, all the time. I can testify to this, as I tried to make the Franklin (later Franklin-Covey) system work for me for several years before I stumbled on David Allen. I think a lot of people have had similar experiences with rigid planning methods.
Originally Posted by cwoodgold
There are several problems with ABC systems:
- context, time available and energy are not taken into account
- shifting priorities undermine the ordering
- a sense of failure with daily lists when things don't get done
GTD addresses all of these. Perhaps you aren't bothered by them, but I know I was when I was using the Franklin method. I think ABC probably works best for people who have only a few contexts and are fairly disciplined; neither is the case for me.
There are a lot of people who like to use priority coding of some sort. I don't think there is any reason you can't use what works for you with the principles of GTD. I know I have a tendency to over-complicate my system, but I also really appreciate a simple, fast-moving system. I use due dates and flags/stars to make a daily list, but that's as far as I go. You should do what works best for you, and if ABC works, fine. GTD practices are wide-ranging, and anyone who thinks it is a rigid system hasn't been paying attention.