Build the Business of Your Dreams
By Brett Kelly, on Sunday, March 25th, 2007
As I’ve said in the past, I was an analog GTDer (but have since converted to a kick-ass digital solution). I used paper products for absolutely every aspect of GTD when I started and found the experience to be extremely valuable. So much so, that I’m going to tell you now why every single person who chooses to embark on the journey that is GTD should do so with a pen and a notebook instead of a stylus and a PDA.
Think about driving for a moment. Many people (myself included) learned to drive in a car with an automatic transmission. Move the little needle above ‘D’ and stand on the gas – you’re moving. But what if your buddy (who drives a car with a manual transmission) breaks his leg or – for whatever reason – suddenly needs you to drive him to the hospital in his car? Sure, you could clunk yourself down the road, stalling the car at every red light, but you’d eventually get there. But wouldn’t you rather spend 10 seconds getting to know how sensitive the clutch is, then driving it like you were born to?
I realize this is another one of those hyperbolic examples for which I’m known, but the basic principle applies. If you don’t know how to work with what are likely to be the most available tools, you’re overall effectiveness is in question. What happens if you drop your Palm Pilot in the toilet? Or if you leave it on the cross-town train? What then?
Well, aside from losing your precious lists (and you should really have a backup, anyway), you’re going to be temporarily relegated to the world of paper. When this happens (and notice I say ‘when’, not ‘if’), will you be the guy who can’t drive the stick-shift? Or will you be the guy who slips right into the completely different situation while remaining totally comfortable?
The bottom line is this: you need to be flexible. If you only know how to drive an automatic, you’re a liability to yourself and your stick-shift-driving friends. If you only know how to ‘do’ GTD using a computer or other digital medium, the same risks apply. Here are my 4 reasons why every GTD newcomer should do paper first:
As per usual, this is just one fellow’s opinion. Some folks go straight for the ready-baked online solution and others completely invent their own from scratch. And those people get things done just as effectively as the moleskine-toting purist. You just want to have as big a productivity toolbox as you can for the times when your smartphone lands business-end-first in the swimming pool.
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