I began implementing GTD about 15 months ago after being buried by a new job. After having too many things falling through the cracks and instructing staff that they should expect to tell me something more than once to make it stick or make it happen, something had to give. Like a lot of us I've thought of myself as pretty organized even before GTD, but I still couldn't keep up or get ahead, let alone getting enough space to thinks.So I read (actually listened to) the book, then spent two weeks gathering and defining everything in my office. And now I've got the capturing, process, and defining, and tracking down cold, but it got me to thinking about my previous system.
I used to do weekly to-do lists (Omni Outliner). Most of items on there were pretty discreet next actions some were steps that might not have had a fully defined action step. (I used to train MR people to drive, operate machinery etc. So task analysis hasn't ever been a problem). And most of the actions were separated into projects or areas of focus. At the end of the week what didn't get done would get carried over or dropped. I was surprised that my own tracking system had so much in common with GTD. Of course there was no way to track contexts, and no thought given to capture, define, or set up of my workspace. As we know a tracking system, or list management tool without the structure to capture, define and store, is less than optimal. So what were others doing prior to joining the GTD monastery to try to manage their work?