Wired Profile of David Allen

Wired has a profile of Getting Things Done guru David Allen. It includes the weird story of Allen’s involvement with a cult-like New Age church. I don’t think I’m being brainwashed by my Weekly Reviews and my Next Action lists ;)

New Backpack

37signals have released a new version of Backpack and it’s pretty spiffy. Search is awesome and the increased draggability is nice. However, they seem to have screwed up the one feature that I’ve been waiting two years for: moving things between pages. They’ve added this feature but you can only move entire lists, not individual list items. This is particularly import to us GTDers who need to move items around between our Next Actions, Waiting For, and Someday/Maybe lists. I may be moving to Remember the Milk, which does this and has keyboard shortcuts and lets you move individual items.

A Method Out Of Madness

IEEE Spectrum interviews David Allen.

Why have techies embraced GTD?

It’s been fascinating to see the rise of my star in the geek world. One of the reasons geeks love GTD is because it’s a closed system. It tells you what to do with everything: it’s really a knowledge management model. And geeks are lazy, just like me, so they’re into how automated they can make the system. And geeks are early adopters. They’re willing to give up whatever they’re doing to find a better thing to do.

Money Makeover Show

A friend of mine is working on a reality TV show where people in financial straights receive a money makeover. They are looking for people to be on the show and are taking story submissions.

Currently we are conducting a nationwide search for unusual, extreme, entertaining, and heartfelt stories about real money messes from young, funny, outgoing and interesting people.

Are you up to your eyeballs in debt? Do you think you dream car is out of reach? Are you a college student longing to buy your first real estate investment property? Are you a shop-a-holic? Did you declare personal bankruptcy at age 25 and are now trying to get back on your feet but feel like you can%u2019t even stand up. Engaged to be married to someone with totally opposite views about money? Wishing to start your own business but have no idea where to start? About to start a new job in New York City and your projected rent is more than your annual salary?

Tell us about it we can help! If you or someone you know is in dire need of a financial makeover, or if you feel your financial predicament is unusual or dramatic enough to capture America’s hearts, we want to hear your story and we want to help. Contestants will receive personal financial coaching and some contestants will receive financial assistance. Peter also wrote the excellent personal finance book for young people, Getting Loaded.

Flow, Stuckness, and Interruptions

Edd Dumbill points to a great article on programmer productivity. These are issues that any manager of programmers should familiarize themselves with if they really want to understand how programmers work. Experiencing Stuckness first-hand changed the way I think about multitasking and priorities. I used to think that switching back and forth between tasks was pointless because it would just mean that all tasks, except for the lowest priority one, would be done later than if I worked on them serially. For this reason I always wanted my managers to assign absolute priorities to the tasks they wanted me to do, so I would know what order in which to work on them. Then I realized that I was wasting lots of time banging my head against tasks on which I was stuck. These days I set a time limit, if I’ve been struggling with a problem for more than half an hour with no progress I switch to something else and come back to it later with a fresh perspective and, hopefully, new insight. So now I prefer it when managers give me multiple tasks with vague priorities, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to work on a stuck problem.