In case this is useful for others out there, wondering where to start with GTD, here is a letter we received from a new GTD’er in Australia today.
Sean writes, “I have just been recommended to use Omni [Focus] project management software to assist me in managing my ever complex working and private life. I have looked at the software and I have found that they follow your principles. My question is How do I start? Do I buy the book, or buy the software or begin on some your other programs. Please advise me.”
This is probably one of the most common questions we get at the David Allen Company. A good way to think of GTD is that it is a systematic approach, not a system. If you understand the approach first, then applying that to the system tools (like OmniFocus, the Outlook Add-in by Netcentrics, or any of the nearly 150+ GTD-centric software programs out there), will make more a whole lot more sense.
Here are 10 ways to learn the GTD approach:
1. Read or listen to the Getting Things Done book. It is THE ultimate manual for GTD. Part One gives a great overview. Part Two walks you through coaching yourself through the process.
2. Go through the Getting Started Series on GTD Connect. If you’re not a member, try the free 2-week trial. You can access everything as a trial-member except download content. There is also a great video in the Connect GTD Cafe called, “I read the book, now what?”
3. Go to a public GTD seminar.
4. Get coached in person or by phone.
5. Find a friend or coworker who already does GTD and have them show you their setup and how they work it.
6. Read the What is GTD? overview from David Allen.
7. Listen to David do a full two-day GTD seminar on CD.
8. Grab this free article to learn the 5 phases of Mastering Workflow. Then apply that consistently to one area of your workflow, such as your email inbox. When that’s mastered, move on to the next area.
9. Read the DavidCo staff blogs on getting started, like this series from Kelly.
10. Listen to some of the free podcasts with the DavidCo coaches on the GTD best practices.
Obviously, these approaches range widely in time commitment, content and budget, but hopefully there’s something in there to kick start things for you!