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Special User Sections > The Getting Organized Experiment of 2009

Summarizer: The Difference between GTD and Lite versions of GTD in 3/3/3


Paul Keith:
3 words:

Unblock vs. Know

3 sentences:

SpoilerProblem GTD addresses - What's blocking you from doing this? (This is not talking about making next actions, weekly reviews or processing stage)

Core of Lite versions (ZTD/softwares based on GTD/other simple systems mimicking GTD) - What, why, when, how do I know what to do with my list?

3 paragraphs: (Long, skippable)

SpoilerReason for making this: That other thread may be too long and it goes deeper into the theories which may further the myth that GTD is somehow complex plus many might not still realize why other copies based on GTD may seem more appealing, explainable and attainable to the productivity crowd.

GTD is easier to explain. It's a lot redundant to explain it in easier words because then it just sounds like an average productivity blog article telling you to ask the same question. However that's the core of why fans keep saying it just works if you follow it/it just works if you follow it/it just works if you follow it.

The less things that are blocking you, i.e. the less fear you have of touching your to-do list, the less the system works and the more it seems like the system is working but in reality users just switched what format they want their outline or to-do list to be shown. This doesn't mean the opposite is the same. The more things are blocking you, the more GTD won't seem to work on it's own unless a consultant forces you to follow it's process through. This doesn't mean "you don't get it". It just means it's a system based around a consultation service as it's made by a consultant. There's no way of over-simplifying this concept alone further other than this without going back to the separate concepts and making this sound like the other threads I made about GTD. (although there's obviously a better way to present this but I don't know how). One good way to figure this out though is to look at any of your bookmarks. This must assume you have tons of browser bookmarks. How do you expect to organize those bookmarks and read them all? Answer, most of you probably don't but you think you're becoming more organized anyways by setting it with tags and folders. That's what the lite copies of GTD are claiming to simplify GTD as. Bookmarks where the lite copies would pretend to be ReadItLater Single Folder bookmarks. If you plan to read those bookmarks anyway and are already organized and disciplined, it works, since the next action is just a click but that's it. GTD on the other hand aims for you to read all those bookmarks whether you like it or not. I'm not saying the system doesn't try to play around with you but bottomline - it forces you to take action on them all whether it be the delete button or the read button, no exceptions including no Someday/Maybe folders or Next Item folder. It doesn't mean it has to be at that exact moment but think of it like someone having replied to your post in the forums. You either ignore it forever or you reply as if you have an internal timer even though there's no consequence. (Other than the other stranger thinking you ran away if both of you are having an argument.)


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