Getting Things Done

I just listened to Mimi Yin and Merlin Mann’s talks on Getting Things Done at Mimi Yin is working on interaction designs for the OSAF’s Chandler project. Merlin Mann is father of and the Hipster PDA among other things.

Both of the talks are wonderful and well worth listening too. Mimi’s talk aligns with (no surprise, I’ve heard her talk before and I swallowed the cool-aid) my writings on Collaboration Channels – I don’t want to think about protocols Merlin’s talk got me thinking about a framework for getting stuff done.

One interesting aspect that Merlin mentioned is sorting tasks by where they can be done. Here is a map of tasks against locale. Right click and open image in a new window for a bigger view. The way to think of this is that you map your tasks against where you can accomplish them then use time in those places to tackle the appropriate tasks.

GTD - Where I can accomplish various tasks

There are a couple of interesting corollaries that come from this map:

(1) If you can’t do a particular tasks where you are (say email while in the car), then don’t waste time worrying about it.

(2) If you spend a lot time in a given place (like your car), then try to move your tasks into things that you can do in your car. If a paper is available as a PDF or a podcast, pick the podcast because you can listen to that in your car.

I thought this was rather an interesting and different way to approach segregating the pile-o-stuff that needs to get done.