Office 2.0 Getting Things Done panel with David Allen

September 4, 2008

The Getting Things Done panel discussion at Office 2.0 is now online. Watch David Allen, Neil Mendelson of MindJet, Kevin Merrit of blist and our very own Doreen Hartzell discuss how Office 2.0 tools can support Getting Things Done.

Video here:


Office 2.0 Google Keynote – Matthew Glotzbach

September 4, 2008

Badge.png10 things I can do in the cloud I couldn’t a year ago.

10. Everything on the go. iPhone. It has opened up mobile computing. Can do pretty much everything from the mobile phone now. Email. Document access. Review presentation on way to talk on train. Hopefully soon give cloud hosted slides from phone too. Can get normal work done from phone at airport without hauling out the computer. Impact about what is coming and what to expect.

9. Search all my mail. Google’s move to cloud computing really started with GMail. Has 14 GB of mail. Can save everything. “Do you know Bob?” Search email and find old communication from years ago. (externalize nonessential memory?) But can still access the actual content in the traditional ways if desired through preferred clients. Important for enterprise clients who are attached to their desktop applications because they already know how to use them, even if they have complaints about the shortcomings of a given tool. Hit sync when boarding is called at airport, process it all in the air, sync upon land to send.

8. Chat with customers and partners in any language. Real time translation on chat. Collaboration can cross boundaries – not just within a company, but internationally. Invite a chat bot natively within GChat. Invite a foreign language speaker. Start chatting as normal and get live translation sent with your messages. Very useful for international chatting, can also teach the translator by sending feedback if the translation is not very good.

7. Collaborate simply and securely on projects with sites and documents. Shared document space creates single repository. Can then grant journalists and others access when launch documents are ready, they can track changes and revisions until time to announce. Makes a lot of version tracking obsolete.

6. Organize all business travel by email.

Accepts confirmation messages and it parses your itinerary components and aggregates them into a single itinerary. Adds them to you calendar too via iCal feed you can subscribe to. Has iphone optimized mobile interface as well. Makes confirmation numbers easier to find, when at a check in desk. Built on existing, widely adopted technology: email. Also allows sharing to track and notify others about where people are if on the road.

5. collect data in forms and dump to spreadsheet. (Google Spreadsheets – “Create new form” menu option) Drag and drop to reorder questions. gives embed code. Live tracking as results come in as well has spreadsheet copy for later use. Dynamically updates spreadsheet in the background.

4. Build any scalable business application on the cloud platform. Google app engine,, AWS. Not just small applications. On demand large processing without major infrastructure costs.

3. Online templates for documents, spreadsheets, presentations.

2. Run fast, secure, stable web applications. Broswer is the gateway to the cloud. Chrome is a speed, usability leap forward. Geared for next generation web applications. Sergey asks the developers daily when the Mac version will be ready, so it will be okay for us Apple people soon. Run browser as application window that interacts with OS like desktop software. Can kill individual plugins and tabs without closing whole browser application. Order of magnitude faster javascript engine over IE.

1. Video sharing in Google apps. Mac, Phone and flip cam mean 3 videocameras being carried around all the time. Lots of opportunities for sharing and communicating. 3000 sign ups a day at Google, huge growth in usage and adoption.

David Allen Keynote at Office 2.0

September 4, 2008

Updated: Video of David Allen’s keynote is now online.

Why read GTD?

surf on top of stuff, not in it. Get things out of your head, and feel happy to relax because you know what’s

Not inherently organized, how much easier to make things happen. Consult – flake or consultant are what you do then.

Gadget freak – anything small black and expensive: want it. Try it, see if it works later. Had come from small companies, figured the big companies had all this productivity worked out. In reality, the busier and more responsibility, the more they felt overwhelmed

Externalize your commitments. Clarify what it means – outcomes and Park results in a system with hard clean edges. Add in a reflective review process. Put everything in perspective and align it with your goals.

Offload brain’s core processor so remind and remember aren’t required to work in your head: avoid multitasking and let yourself focus. Brain is very good at analysis and pattern recognition – very powerful. But isn’t threaded. Needs to focus on one thing powerfully. Mind has to know there are placeholders for everything (decisions already made) somewhere, or it will keep spinning them back into your thoughts and interrupt your conversation.

You’re in the zone when you are focused on one thing clearly.

Not about just written things, about extended your mind and externalizing.

1. Capture what is rattling around your head. Identify what is pulling at your psyche. Don’t force decision making when you’re capturing those thoughts.

why getting organized often doesn’t work – can’t capture and evaluate and make decisions and prioritize all at the same time.

Jott is great.
David Allen notetaker wallet (office 0.5: paper and pen)
Write it anywhere, even your arm, just so you can get to it and process it later.

Having lists in and of itself doesn’t help: you have to empty that list every 24 hours or so.

Paper or electronic – don’t just collect lists.

2. Clarify meaning.

3. Organize what you’ve clarified.

How to collaborate with a team: what tools to interact.

You can’t legislate system. He doesn’t know what other people have a system. Judge on results. Set standard of “don’t let stuff slip”

Lotus notes, email. Lots of Lotus databases at the office. The interesting part is who’s responsible.

Common language is powerful – “I have 6 waiting items with you – can we review and/or renegotiate our agreements”

Don’t meet without desired outcome, don’t leave unassigned next actions

Personal preference for electronic and paper will still matter, people will just double their efforts to also use their own system in addition to the mandated one.

Uses discussion databases, have distributed systems to find out where the discussion and decisions last ended. Don’t want to click more than 2-3 times to categorize something. Internally has template for Lotus notes for their internal data along GTD model. “Will hear more about this soon”. Downside is requires someone fairly savvy to operate, hard to establish protocols and standards for what data to have input and legislate that as a team.

Must have common standards and agreements. Each database has a specific owner. Must have ownership, or stuff just lingers. And becomes a waste of time. It’s about your best practices, not the specific tool you’ve chosen.

Have tracked allergies, even, in home database, to schedule trips to avoid it. Has “quotes” database too.

Growing company with 6 divisions, moving CRM to something bigger than ACT as company grows is a new challenge. Scheduling employees around the world, etc.

Online may not be the next big thing. Interested in connection between form and function. When word processors were new, (and spreadsheets) were a paradigm shift and dramatically changed how you worked in an office and what was possible due to resource allocation.

Computer became thinkstation because of speed of Apple UI when came out

Mindmapping – another one. That is something new, but in early stages. Not sure where it will go – causes him to have new ideas he didn’t have before.

Speed of slicing and dicing information isn’t as revolutionary as being able to remix that way anyway.

Wants: “Computer: Fun, Ballet, New York” should generate a schedule of ballets in New York when a trip to NYC

Have to use and push a system hard to know if it will really work. Has to get physically engaged to know whether it is a geek toy or something for real life on a bad Monday morning. Can’t read the potential until you push the limits.

Ismael. Example: point of this conference. using new Web 2.0 tools in ways that they weren’t entirely designed for, see what happens.

End of day: is this about taking back the pace of your life. DA: point of new book. What GTD hit such a nerve was that it is a tool to give you back control and perspective.

Control: cooperation with intention. Accept what is, but guide and leave. Can’t fully control and predict. So yes, about regaining control of your life. About not being overwhelmed by the commitments you’ve made to self and others.

Information overload can’t be dealt with passively, you need to make executive decisions about what to do with info.

Getting in control isn’t about finishing everything, it’s about making decisions and finding an external way to

Start with control. If your ship is sinking you don’t care where you’re headed. Once you’re afloat, figure out which way to go. That returns your focus (6 horizons)

How to stay on the wagon? Do you need GTD to track everything you need to GTD?

It is about changing habits. Get yourself so habituated to the result is that you can’t bear to avoid it, like showering and brushing your teeth.

Addiction to stress. Your comfort zone with how many unread emails you can tolerate before you have to take action and make decisions about them. Don’t feel like you have to feel guilty about not working hard enough.

have you made a list and felt better? If you reverse engineer why that works, you won’t keep stuff in your head anymore. Would you throw away your calendar? No, then don’t keep other stuff in you head either. You do or don’t keep it in your head.

Crisis: then people are highly focused and productive. Because it drives everything else out of your head and there’s no decision-making. Lots of energy. Forebrain shuts down, you get both clever and stupid.

High performer: how do I get that focus BEFORE getting to the crisis point that forces focus. Remove distractions.

Multitasking is just rapid refocusing. You can do that if there is no residue from the things you just looking at. Like martial artist with 4 opponents.

Rapid switching is fine if you have the right placeholders and the unfinished pieces don’t nag at you.

Would be cool if you could see all your connections projected on a wall, to resort them.

If you make tasks for everything, do you still have time to complete them? Well yes, because when you can see the inventory of your commitments, you get better at saying no and not taking on more than you can do.

In the cloud, there is so much stuff, it can be hard to avoid leaving stuff lingering around. Why many people like paper – load is clear. Tools that scatter make it hard to manage. The system is only as good as what you will maintain when you feel miserable with a flu and fever. It has to work when you don’t feel like maintaining a system.

Captures in mindmanager and mindmaps – does a lot of double entry just to see things in the right places and contexts.

Mind Meister and Mind Jet are both here.

GTD Summit coming up in March 11-13. People who get into this really like to get together – create a place where they aren’t weird and everyone speaks the same language. Should be a good chance to compile best practices.

Getting into GTD 2.0

August 26, 2008

Ramping up to the Office 2.0 conference in San Francisco next week, I’ll be blogging over on their conference site as well. Over the next few days, I’ll be writing a >series of posts outlined how I’ve got my personal system set up. I’ll turn that into an article over here as well.

If you’ll be there, or a user in San Francisco, let me know, I’d love to meet up for coffee and say hello.

Why I get things done with GTD:

In building personal relationships, the discipline of keeping all mundane communications electronic has refocused my conversations. At home I don’t need to waste time with loved ones talking about who’s picking up the groceries, or whether the bills got paid. At work I don’t need to run through which requests that have come in are my responsibility and which ones aren’t. The time that used to take is freed up to talk about shared experiences and dreams and the things that really matter to the people around me. At work, we can to focus our meetings on where we want our products to go and evaluating ideas, rather than on the mechanics of keeping the company going.

Read the rest.

Office 2.0 – September 3-5, San Francisco

August 24, 2008

Badge.png The Office 2.0 conference is coming up fast, and we’re thrilled to announce we’ll be there. I’ll be participating the GTD panel, along with GTD guru David Allen, Neil Mendelson from Mindjet, and Kevin Merritt from blist.

The conference will include new tools, best practices, and case studies on using Web 2.0 applications to move to a productive, paperless workplace. The focus of the event this year is on enterprise adoption of Web 2.0 services.

Registration for the conference is still open, if you’d like to attend. It will be held at the St. Regis Hotel in downtown San Francisco. Attendees will also receive an HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, so the conference can run paper-free. Conference attendance also gets you into the Unconference.

At the conference we’ll also be doing two launches we’re very excited about. The Pro version of Enleiten’s GTD-based project management app will come out of beta. This version allows groups to share project space, while still maintaining the privacy of personal to-do lists in a single trusted single. We owe a thousand thanks to the beta testers who have given us patient feedback and suggestions on how to improve the interface and suggestions to get the workflow right.

We’ll also be releasing the beta of our community checklists library. You can contribute your favorite shopping lists, business trip packing lists, weekly review checklists, wedding planning lists, and more. Users and non-users will be able to search for useful lists, and users will be able to convert them directly to projects in their Enleiten account.

Ad free for everyone for a week

June 13, 2008

A big welcome to GTD Times readers.

We’ve had some comments about the ads interfering with trying out our application, so we’ve turned off ads on all free accounts for the week. Ad-free accounts are $5 a month, and we’ll work on bringing back less obtrusive ones when we turn them back on.

If you’ve got comments or suggestions for us, please feel free to leave us a comment or drop us an email at We value your comments, and user requests weigh heavily in deciding what changes and improvements we make.

If you’re looking for some quick ways to get started, we’ve got screenshots outlining the feature sets in our help documentation, and some short screencasts to let you see how things work.

A quick note for users of other apps: Checking off the box next to a task entry marks it as complete. To edit task details, you can double click on the item you want to change, or click the “i” on the right to get into extended details.

Review: Enleiten by MInnov8

June 12, 2008

I had the pleasure of chatting with Steve Borsch earlier this week. He’s a GTD fan, longtime tech advisor and expert, and contributor to Minnov8, a community blog covering emerging tech in MN. In addition to giving us some excellent feedback, he’s reviewed Enleiten’s GTD and project management application.

…Enleiten has nailed the workflow and functionality (Projects/People/Contexts) in much the same way that Google nailed search vs. cluttering up the page with lots of ads, upsells and cross selling. They’ve hit the sweet spot of GTD and lightweight project management and coupled it with a group approach — one I’d term a “social GTD” application.

As more of us seek ways to coordinate and orchestrate our activities with an ever widening number of other always-on, always-connected, and willingly participative people (many of whom have already embraced GTD), Enleiten has significant opportunity to become a preferred and social way to get things done.

Read the rest:
Enleiten: A Social GTD