Build a Trusted GTD System that Works: The 2013 Guide

An alternative GTD workflow guide 2013
wrote this on December 31, 2012
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* GTD® is a registered trademark of the David Allen Company. IQTELL is not affiliated with the David Allen Company.

How to build a trusted GTD® system? That’s easy!

Collect, Process, Organize, Do, Review…swallow and repeat

There! Now you know everything there’s to know about GTD  and you don’t need to read the rest of the post.

…Well expect the how to make it work part.

Perfecting my GTD system (my method + tool) was a long battle wrought with ups and downs.  I gave up on it at times.  I blamed it on unrealistic expectations, procrastination and disorganization.  Of course, I also remember the adrenaline-filled moments of being in control and in charge of my destiny (well, maybe destiny is a strong word, but it’s the last day of the year…cut me some slack).

Taking a magnifying glass and a bit of investigating, I was able to discern what kept me on the productivity wagon and what led me, at times, to take those long non-productive GTD-free holidays.  Let me share with you my three nuggets of wisdom.  Savor them as you’ll have to wait until next year for additional moments of Zen from yours truly.

# Be Sensitive… of the Time

Working in a time sensitive environment means that your system needs to include criteria that will help you focus.  It has to be part of your workflow.  Failing to create a dedicated process that handles time sensitive items will result in dropped balls.  Ultimately, your productivity wagon will lose a wheel, and you will walk aimlessly through the desert (with or without a horse with no name).

Prioritizing is a key hurdle that must be overcome to achieve productivity Zen.  Our lists fill up quickly; so be sure to be sensitive of the time:

– Make sure your system syncs to your calendars (work, personal, community, etc.)

– Assess and label the estimated time needed for each action.

– Use reminders to help elevate visibility of tasks at the right time.

2# Innovation is the Spice Life

Another factor that is sometimes underestimated is the shiny-toy factor.  I used to train quite intensively.  Each time I upgraded my gear whether it was new running shows or the latest Dry-Fit shirt, it always boosted my drive.

“Making your GTD application” your own will keep you motivated.  As part of your weekly review, you may tweak your system implementation; whether it’s tweaking the app or trying new features to help you improve.  Trying something new keeps your system alive!   Remember, your system must be fluid; I’ve spoken to countless GTD followers and have never met two people that practice it the same exact way.  The folks that continuously adapt are the ones you can’t push off the wagon.

Innovation serves as glue to our habits because it creates new patterns.  Our brain always looks for new patterns to satisfy its action and reward mechanism.  If you keep your brain stimulated by innovating, your brain won’t get tired or bored of your system.

3# GTD System Sync is better than a Sinking System

Working on several apps that did not “talk” to each other was a nightmare.  How are you expected to work effectively when you need to jump between services, constantly managing apps rather than your work, least of all worry where everything is and if it’s updated.  When I want to get things done, I want to go to one place, regardless if its emails, work calendar, personal tasks or community projects.  I have one life, not several disconnected lives.

Your GTD System on IQTELL's Productivity Apps

If you fall off the wagon, consider as a corrective action not only how you can improve your understanding of the method but also re-evaluate your tool(s).  IQTELL will give you a refreshing approach of syncing everything in one place and flexibility to stimulate your innovation through customizing workflows on its interface.

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I live and breath productivity. I'd like to invite you to check our Productivity App! In addition to the app, you'll join our productivity community and receive support from a team of productivity experts who love what they do! You can contact us on Google+ or on Twitter if you have any questions. As an FYI, we recently released an amazing feature that helps to process your emails quickly and effectively - we call it EZ Email processing.

13 responses to “Build a Trusted GTD System that Works: The 2013 Guide”

  1. Tim says:

    Following the 3rd point here, I find that is something of a problem now with IQtell as the features offered on the app are (still) not fully matching the ones of the web app.
    If my project is dependent on emails and evernote (as suggested so many times on posts here) I actually have no access to them on the ios app…
    Sure I can copy paste stuff and create actions, but the idea is to Connect those native services (the way it is done quite nicely on the web app) and therefor I very much expect to see the full IQTELL experience implemented on the mobile app as well.

    • TerryGauchat says:

      The extremely juvenile Android app for IQTell caused me to immediately cease any serious consideration to use their system. Ironically, many alternative products are in the reverse (better mobile than desktop / web version.

      The only correct answer is full feature parity, with just slight user interface variations for touchscreen phones and tablets.

      • Team IQTELL says:

        Hi Terry,

        What features would you like to see added to the Android app?

        Also, the app offers quite a bit of flexibility in terms of personalizing it

        Email integration will also be added soon to the Android app.


        • TerryGauchat says:

          Thank-you for asking; I am but one of thousands of users (however, I am certain there are a lot of people unsatisfied with the Android App).

          Generally I need to very easily created AND edit tasks along with all their common attributes (folder, project, priority, context, dates, repeat, …), notes and activity record, and even add attachments (photographs from my phone camera or a document upload).

          Ideally there are some “multi-select” batch mode even in the Android App so that I can select multiple items and apply changes in bulk, like move from one Project to another, or change the Context, or Priority, or due date…

          1. Please handle INCOMING (receive) share from other Apps
          ( ).

          Every single other to-do list application I have ever installed adds itself to the “share” menu so that I can do things like send a URL or photo directly to my list (without going through Email).

          2. Have your user experience experts review the top several Android Apps for to-do lists. Most of them are 10x better than IQTell (on Android) — and they provide the share receive as far as I am aware. For consideration I list several names that are attractive. They do not have as strong functionality in their PC or Web versions (or sometimes no web version) as IQTell, but then, some are much less expensive as well. Some sync with Toodledo via their OPEN API.

          – Astrid (web version closed down by Yahoo, but the App was very good, and still available).
          – TickTick
          – EveryTask
          – DGT GTD
          – Pro
          – Todoist
          – (my least favorite among this list, though it does “look” nice).

          I encourage you to solicit feedback from people that have used other tools, since they will know what features they miss the most. But it would be just as easy for your User Experience team to use each of the listed Apps for a couple of days and they will see what the experience *should* be for IQTell on Android.

          • Team IQTELL says:

            Terry – thank you for your feedback and efforts to help improve IQTELL. IQTELL development is driven by our users who naturally have used other apps. As you noted, we do have batch edits on several fields which you can designate, e.g,. Due Date, Context, Priority, etc.. As we come out of Beta more features will be added such as file attachments and share to IQTELL. Feel free to check back with the app in the future, perhaps to check out the Email Integration feature.

          • TerryGauchat says:

            I agree — In many ways the IQTell Android App has features that exceed the capabilities of everything else that I know. This is certainly due to the strength of the underlying server platform (i.e., web IQTell…).

            Closely following Google’s development and User Interface Design guidelines for Android, as well as adding the “share to IQTell” functionality would highly distinguish IQTell; even with the subscription cost.

            I will consider testing create task via email as an interim (short-term!) solution to the share-to-task function.

            Thanks for listening!

  2. Cheryl says:

    is there a written manual anywhere for IQTell? I would like to be able to see the info all laid out instead of having videos be the only source of info.

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