Posted by: Opey | June 25, 2007

Getting Things Done: A System for Everyone

In the course of my infinite boredom over the past few weeks, I traveled throughout the alleged blogosphere in search of interesting stories and information. I basically chose a direction and then continued to go from link to link, blogroll to blogroll, and visited more sites than most people do in a week. Anyways, all that quest for knowledge brought me to a corner of the web where the acronym GTD was plastered all over the virtual “walls”. I had no idea what it was, but I dug deeper, and managed to find out that it was short for Getting Things Done, a reference to a book by productivity/organization expert, David Allen ( Link). I had been passively looking for tips and tricks to help keep productive in law school and also help me with organization for a while, so this was a great find. I was able to just coast by during my undergrad years, but I now know that I will have to maintain focus and bear down in law school to accomplish the goals that I have set out for myself. With that all in mind, I borrowed Allen’s book from a local library and dedicated this past weekend to reading it. After the read, I sat back and thought over the book for a while. I came away with a real sense of what can only be described as “Duh” (ah the language of elementary school). Allen himself says that his “system” is no more than a re-emphasis of common sense techniques, and I have to agree. However, many of us need the reminder of what we already know. Recording thoughts and keeping everything organized in some sort of fashion that it is easily accessible are two key steps that I think most people could come up with if the thought long enough. Perhaps the most redeeming part of Allen’s system is that it is more theory and ideology then brick and mortar. You can mold you own habits and actions according to his guidelines to tailor “GTD” to work for you. I was already using some of his tenants, such as making lists of thoughts and projects when they occur, in my studies up until know, and the reading has given me some ideas on how to better implement my version of the system while I’m in law school. The book is a good read for anyone who is looking to create order in their lives, but just don’t expect some sort of panacea for your productivity/organizational/study skills. If your interested in how others have used this system while in law school (or in general) check out these links:



  1. Nice post! I had a similar experience, where I sort-of stumbled into GTD, read the book, had the “duh” moment, etc.

    Thanks for the link!

  2. Those are probably the best aspects of GTD. 1) It’s easy to stumble upon and use and 2) It is not some sort of major realignment of your life and actions. It is instead just a primer to tweak what your already doing.

  3. For implementing GTD you might try out this web-based application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.

    On the first page there’s an article of how it can be used by students.

    As with the last update, now Gtdagenda has full Someday/Maybe functionality, you can easily move your tasks and projects between “Active”, “Someday/Maybe” and “Archive”. This will clear your mind, and will boost your productivity.

    Hope you like it.

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