Talk:Getting Things Done

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Link to author's lecture[edit]

I've tried to add this link But the automatic bot did not allowed it. Should it be added ?

RfC: What happened to this article?[edit]

This article recently received heavy deletions. IMO it needs to be restored. It used to be solid reference material (a clear description and summary of the GTD system, measures of its influence and adoption rate, independent external research, etc.). Now it is confusing and lacks substance, making it fairly useless.

Imagine the same kind of changes being made to this SCRUM article, and I think you'll see the point.

See here for my discussion with the admin who deleted it. He declined to restore it himself, but his page indicated that he does not consider reverts to be wheel warring.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that "speedy deletion" editing was unwarranted in this situation (except for some external spam links at the bottom of the old article) and doesn't serve Wikipedia's purposes. The original article was sourced (authoritative, primary sources, not for other topics as asserted); it was not promotional; it was written by hundreds of independent authors over a period of years; it described a system that became influential over a decade. I'm not affiliated with David Allen, I'm an independent GTD SME and past contributor to this article and talk page.

However, I'm only one guy and may be missing the big picture, so I'm opening a discussion. What do you think? Kcren (talk) 14:21, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

I have been following the discussions, reverts related to this article. I am not aware of many of Wikipedia's policies, but I am losing much confidence in Wikipedia. I am quite stunned to see the fact the much of the methodology section is removed from this article. Such is life. - Hardduck (talk) 03:47, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I have restored the censored content. Please, help to fight censors. Wikipedia has the tools to block these vandals. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
The censorer (User:Tnxman307) says that the censored text is promotional material and removes the content. How can we block this user for deleting such useful content? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I fully agree with tnxman's actions. What he removed was promotional in nature and was not a neutral representation of the subject. ThemFromSpace 08:51, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
The neutrality question was already discussed at length in this archived NPOV dispute discussion. Conclusion: WP:NPOV concerns were not upheld; there were no notable sources of criticism, so the most neutral approach is to describe the system. Kcren (talk) 01:30, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
"Neutrality is often dependent upon context." (—Neutral point of view/Noticeboard) Kcren (talk) 01:52, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that there was some promotional content on the older versions, but the methodology that was listed was very useful. By deleting this content we all know less. We can get the basic summary of information from the online book sellers, people come to Wikipedia for the details, imho. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rumrooster (talkcontribs) 04:11, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Removing all the information from and article and replacing it with bits of information-free blah blah does not really help anyone. A detailed description of a books contents in the article about that book is not advertisement. If someone is concerned about the wording of an article, he should rephrase, not delete a text on which dozens have worked many hours. -- (talk) 08:44, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I totally agree. Restore the summary of methodology section.

We need to define "promotional" carefully in this context. Cui bono? Who benefits? To someone who doesn't understand GTD, those deletions seem to remove salesy content for David Allen. However, that conclusion stems from a limited understanding of the subject. Explaining what the GTD system is doesn't send people running to David Allen's store. GTD is an idea, a system, a philosophy, and it isn't patented, so the better people understand it, the less they may need to buy a book, not more. People need to understand what a subject really is, not just a bunch of things about it that fail to define it, which is all we're left with right now in this article. Otherwise, we'd need to delete all mentions and pictures of the latest car models in the Ford Motor Company listing as "promotional." Kcren (talk) 01:09, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

It's one thing to explain the system. It's quite another to have 11 kb of detail explaining every single facet of the system. If people wanted that, they would buy the book. Wikipedia is summary, not a supplementary reading guide. TNXMan 11:53, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I was asked by Kcren to comment, based on my previous work on the article. I consider the current version a good compromise. I thank Tnxman for his patient work with it, which was more careful than my own earlier work. DGG ( talk ) 20:35, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

All note: Important discussion with DGG about this here. His assessment was based on a mistaken classification (book instead of method). The article is about a methodology, not a book. See the disambiguation and first two paragraphs. Tnxman made the same mistake, follow the links above to see his original comments.

Therefore, I believe this methodology article should be restored. However, the book banner on the side is promotional and confusing and should be removed, or the article will be zapped again IMO. The book is only one source re: that method, notable third-party sources are more appropriate, we should all continue to add those.

The methodology is highly notable. The article should exist. Google it: tens of thousands of blogs, mainstream magazine articles, newspaper articles, and scientific publications discuss it.

Important comments from DGG (admin) re: your rights vs. admins who edit content:

"... the appropriate non-admin actions when an admin is making content changes is to treat them like just another editor of similar experience--to assume the comments or edits are in good faith, intended to improve the article--and that they might actually be doing that. But if you disagree, anything anybody says here can be challenged. If an admin or any other editor should try to be overbearing, the first step is to wait a day or so in order to decide calmly if the issue is worth the contention, and then continue the discussion. The response will be either conciliatory or defensive or aggressive. If it is defensive, ask for opinions at a suitable noticeboard--see the list of them at the top of WP:ANB. I would normally reserve AN/I for matters which can not be otherwise handled, and which are important enough to be worth wide attention, with the understanding that once something reaches there, it gets so much attention that it can very quickly escalate. If at all unsure whether it is worth proceeding that far , after asking for an opinion from another editor, on or off wiki. And before getting too involved in a dispute, it is wise to observe the dynamics of Wikipedia disputes. It is sometimes worthwhile to examine the course of prior disputes with the same editor.' — DGG (as you can read here until it is archived)

Your options as a regular editor: Therefore, if you're a non-admin and want to restore the article, any/all of the following are appropriate:

  • Discussing with people above who supported the deletion, including any admins,
  • Restoring the article (keeping in mind these guidelines),
  • Posting your reasons here,
  • Coming back often to see how the discussion is going, and even
  • Using Twinkle to closely monitor edits on the page (CAUTION: read the warning at the top of that page; learn the appropriate Wikipedia policies first).

I was willing to prosecute this but not willing to revert/restore alone. Kcren (talk) 21:22, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Timewarp a couple of years ago, this article was a beautiful and concise article on the complete methodology of GTD, from the processes to interesting facets like the tickler file. It even had a picture of the tickler file. What happened to it? It was what inspired me to learn more about GTD and an article I often showed others. I would dearly love to see that, one of my first and favorite wikipedia articles, retuned. A Friendly Nerd (talk) 00:27, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

A agree with what Kcren, A Friendly Nerd and others pro-restoration have said here. I also went to this arctile to get good information on GTD (the methodology, not the book) and also sent friends to it. I was sadened today when I went here during a telephone call and couldn't cite parts from the article and had to tell the person I was talking to that alot of the article had been deleted from wikipedia. Which feels bad, ofcourse. So I would also like to see restoration. Scrdcow (talk) 13:13, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
This article used to be good documentation of a common method, but now it is useless. This is misguided vandalism, and I intend to restore the article as soon as I have the time. I am really shocked that someone would rationalize hacking up a useful article this way because of fear that there is a profitable product related. Should we also wear dirty clothes because washing machines are for sale? Honestly, this makes no sense whatsoever. -- M0llusk (talk) 02:41, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Last Version containing useful information on the GTD method circa 04:32, 12 July 2009, all versions after that have all useful information removed. Perhaps current GTD article should be GTD(Book) and a new article GTD(Method) be added with all useful information on the GTD process/method be placed with minimal reference to the actual book. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I agree. The previous version of the article was far more useful, and it's a great loss to Wikipedia's users to have articles as severely censored like this. Is it possible that somebody working for the David Allen Company is responsible for the censorship?Deluno (talk) 02:14, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree. From reading this SCRUM article I expected this page to give enough detail on the methodology so that it could be implemented. The removed section was much more useful. Regards. JeanPhilippeD (talk) 19:02, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

I just saw this article for the first time, as an extensive user of the GTD methodology for several years. I have to say, this a pretty embarrassing article for such a popular subject, and just one more example to add to the list of "Why Wikipedia doesn't always work so good." This article is so short, and covers the material so poorly that I find it hard to believe anyone could find it satisfactory right now. Inadequate coverage of the subject is still only a minor problem in my view, though, and that can be fixed by expanding it. I find another issue to be much more problematic: The subject is inaccurately presented as being synonymous with David Allen's book. The infobox makes it seem like an overblown Amazon listing. Really? He certainly authored this methodology, but that is the kind of thing that belongs in a "History" section in the article text. The book cover and title certainly shouldn't take front and center. Now, a picture of David Allen might be appropriate. No one denies his deep connection to GTD. However, GTD is now a methodology that has been embraced by millions of people, with each person implementing and understanding it in a unique way. There are a huge number of tweaks, hacks, methods, tools, discussions, and expositions out there related to GTD. "GTD" has 113 million Google results. The only reason David Allen and his book have remained relevant to the system is because his book is still regarded as one of the best resources for GTD, whether you want an introduction to it or a guide to a full implementation. It is possible to implement GTD fully without reading a word of the book, and elements of it can be used independently. The system does not depend on buzzwords or flowcharts or a specific set of software. GTD is often viewed as a infomercial-esque "kit," but anyone familiar with it can tell you otherwise. That informed view is the one that should be on Wikipedia, provided that it's objective, and I would argue that it is.

GTD is directly comparable to Agile software development. It's a set of techniques to address a systematic problem that was originally expounded by a single person, but has gained large popularity and become relevant to the entire field (productivity vs. software development). The main difference is that agile software development can be summed up in one or two sentences, while GTD requires at least a small article to adequately cover (which this article does not), and as a direct consequence of this fact, David Allen's book remains useful. With this in mind, this article should be at least as thorough as Agile software development. (I know there are several important differences between the two; please understand I'm only using the comparison to make a point.)

One footnote: I think it's very important to present the subject objectively and neutrally. I do not think this contradicts my points at all. In fact, I am arguing for a more objective and neutral presentation of the material. It would be crossing the line to present the subject in such a way as to try to convince people it is more effective than other methods for productivity, or that it will change your life for the better, etc. This is a smaller matter, a matter to be considered when writing the specifics of the article content. I am arguing for the nature of the content as a whole.

I value open discussion highly, but I also want this article fixed. If no one responds in two weeks, I will rewrite the article, possibly including older revisions. Even if it's not perfect, it can be improved incrementally after the most important fixes. Please respond with your views on this! Jrajav (talk) 16:03, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Just a heads-up for anyone tracking this article who might have missed it at the bottom of my huge rant: I will rewrite this entire article soon if there are no serious, well-founded objections. This will, in spirit and effect, be a reversion to the older and more complete version of the article. I will also be changing the way David Allen and his book are presented re: my comments above. So far the only reply has been Tora's (in the Wikipedia Team section farther down). Like many others who have written here, he's discouraged and confused at the deletions, and I don't think anyone knowledgeable on the subject has offered a good reason for them. Again, if you want to defend them, speak now or make your case after the rewrite (before reverting it!). Jrajav (talk) 15:49, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Just an FYI -material that is not properly sourced (much like the previous version) will be removed, in keeping with Wikipedia guidelines. Unless you can provide independent third-party sources, any previously removed material should not be re-added. You should also carefully review our guidelines on advertising and writing with a neutral point of view. TNXMan 13:37, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I will be very careful in rewriting the article, including sourcing and NPOV. I never meant to imply that I would simply cut and paste old content. I am confident that I can find objective, third-party sources on the details and methodology of the system. That was, in part, my point! Thanks for your concern; at least it shows that someone else is concerned about the quality of this article. I hope I can trust that if I do indeed show due diligence, other editors will do the same in deciding whether or not to wantonly revert the changes. Jrajav (talk) 11:43, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Ok so what happened, the current version is still useless. This is a methodology page, it should have an outline of the method like it used to right? Rjljr2 (talk) 21:23, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

I want to add my voice to the disappointed-in-incompleteness side of this discussion. I have no conflict of interest. I don't even use GTD. I wanted to learn more about it. I was surprised that there was so little information about it on Wikipedia, given its popularity and given the multiplicity of available sources. Like another writer on this talk page, part of my interest came through the discussion of the GTD methedology in the Willpower book. So here I find myself going through the history of the page to recover (for myself, not to revert ... I don't want to be in the middle of a Wikipedia edit war) basic factual information about a widely-discussed approach to to-do-list management. I'm sure deletions were made in good faith, but I want to be clear that I'd rather a too much information than too little. I can recognize self-promotion and other Wikipedia sins and ignore them. Or maybe even edit some out myself. But not at the cost of deleting whole sections full of useful information. Frustrating. Bobagem (talk) 21:47, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Willpower book[edit]

Here's a good source to add as a reference to this article: the book "Willpower" by Baumeister and Tierney. It definitely meets Wikipedia's criteria for reliable sources (IMO) because the authors have published many scientific articles in the subject of self-control. Pages 75 to 87 of this book are all about GTD and David Allen. Coppertwig (talk) 19:47, 20 May 2012 (UTC) Here are some quotes and notes from the book that could be useful in this article: Baumeister, Roy F. (2011). Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-1-59420-307-7. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)

p. 76 "Allen doesn't offer seven simple rules of life or rouse crowds into frenzies of empowerment. He doesn't offer vague wisdom like "begin with the end in mind" or exhortations like "awaken the giant within." He focuses on the minutiae of to-do lists, folders, labels, in-boxes."

p. 76 "... GTD, the the acronym for Allen's book that has become the name for a system of working and living ..."

p. 76 (paraphrased) Re the inner nag: experiments in Baumeister's lab and Allen's experience arrived at the same conclusions/technique along different paths.

p. 77 "mind like water" is from Allen's karate lessons.

p. 78 "Allen remembered a tool from his travel-agent days, the tickler file. ... Allen's tickler file -- thirty-one folders for each day of the current month, twelve folders for each of the months -- would become so widely copied that his followers used it for the name of a popular lifehacker web site:"

p. 79 "Dean Acheson (not the former secretary of state)" had people write down everything in their head. (everything that had their attention. This was the origin of Allen's "mind dump" apparently.)

p. 80 The idea that an action has to be specific, specifying for example whether phone or email is to be used. The example given is "Consult Esther Dyson about self-control", described as "much too vague by GTD standards".

p. 83 The Ziegarnik effect: research shows that you're distracted until you make a plan. "So it turns out that the Ziegarnik effect is not, as was assumed for decades, a reminder that continues unabated until the task gets done. ... instead the unconscious is asking the conscious mind to make a plan." (italics in the original) Coppertwig (talk) 20:08, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Restrictions on types of links in Software Implementations section[edit]

Why the restriction to internal wiki links? I added a link to an implementation that does not have a Wikipedia article, but is reasonably well know and respected. Perhaps more importantly, it is designed specifically for GTD, while many others on the list are note (Remember the Milk, Evernote, etc). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jakeparis (talkcontribs) 17:55, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

If the software is notable I recommend you write the article first to establish that notability, then add it to the list after acceptance. The reason for the high bar is that this article is a honey pot for no end of GTD wannabes trying to promote their stuff. BTW, Evernote is specifically listed as "GTD enabled" by David Allen. hth. SageGreenRider (talk) 20:19, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
While I understand and don't disagree with SageGreenRider's concern (i.e., "this article is a honey pot for no end of GTD wannabes trying to promote their stuff"), I must point out that having a dedicated Wikipedia article is not a prerequisite for establishing that a GTD system is sufficiently notable to include in this article, as SageGreenRider suggests and wants to require (i.e., "If the software is notable I recommend you write the article first to establish that notability, then add it to the list after acceptance"). Rather, as per Wikipedia:Notability#Whether_to_create_standalone_pages and Wikipedia:Stand-alone_lists#Common_selection_criteria and Wikipedia:Notability#Notability_requires_verifiable_evidence and Wikipedia:Notability#Notability_is_not_temporary, a GTD system that lacks a dedicated Wikipedia article may nonetheless be sufficiently notable and appropriate for inclusion in this article. If that is the case, as established by the references provided, then reverting the inclusion of said system would constitute inappropriate and overzealous censorship, and - some might say - inadvertent vandalism, despite its having been enacted in good faith. Froid (talk) 23:06, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm... several points here... If you believe B-folders by JointLogic is notable then why not WP:WRITEITFIRST? I agree that a blue link isn't the only way of establishing B-folders by JointLogic as worthy. A reference relating it to GTD in an independent source would do it. Your comment about my contributions as "inadvertent vandalism, despite its having been enacted in good faith" is self-contradictory, see WP:NOT VANDALISM. Removing spam is not the same as censorship. As for your editing I'd says that masking an irrelevant blue link ("Password manager") with the name of commercial software ("B-folders by JointLogic") with [[Password manager|B-folders by JointLogic]] here is less than helpful to say the least. SageGreenRider talk 00:48, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Glancing at the list, it's not clear that each entry is even verified at this point. It might be better removing the section completely if there are no independent, reliable sources demonstrating that it's encyclopedic in some manner. Minimally, the inclusion criteria needs to clearer, every entry verified, and we need to be sure that the list remains maintainable. --Ronz (talk) 17:22, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

I agree. Maybe the simplest thing is to delete the list and to write "There is a list of tools on David Allen's "tools" page. There are many other claimants, too many to mention here." Thoughts? Talk to SageGreenRider 18:42, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
What's encyclopedic about that though? If there are secondary sources that mention there are a great number of tools, or something similar, we should follow those sources. (I haven't looked at the article and sources in detail yet). --Ronz (talk) 19:04, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
The more I think about it, the more I think the article needs a major re-write but it's not clear to me how to approach it. On the issue of secondary sources, I seem to recall there are a great many articles of the kind "Five Great Tools to Use in GTD" but I don't remember if they are just bloggers or more reliable sources. Talk to SageGreenRider 03:03, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
I looked around the listings of featured articles and good articles to try to find a model for this one. The closest I found was Requiem for a Species which has a simple Lede/Themes/Reception/end matter structure. Maybe that is a good model? Talk to SageGreenRider 03:35, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
An additional complication is that I just noticed there is a second edition, claimed to be a complete re-write. So we should cover the 2001 and 2015 editions somehow. Talk to SageGreenRider 03:55, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Following the examples of related GA articles is always good in my opinion. --Ronz (talk) 17:12, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
OK Boldly, I did complete rewrite. I still need to add some page numbers for each part of the "Themes" section but basically the source is the book itself. Feel free to edit or even completely revert if not worthy. Talk to SageGreenRider 16:03, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

Asterisk for software on GTD webpage[edit]

I added an asterisk for software that is both notable (i.e. having an article on Wikipedia) and mentioned on in the gtd webpage namely OmniFocus and Evernote (4th and 5th in the list manager list) and eProductivity for Lotus Notes and NetCentrics GTD Outlook Add-In and (#1 and #2 on the List Manager Add-ons list). Please discuss here what you think about this addition. SageGreenRider (talk) 00:31, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

SageGreenRider, it makes sense to add an asterisk to software tools that are both notable and mentioned on the GTD webpage; however, I think there ought to be an additional denotation for software tools designated on the GTD webpage as "GTD Enabled." This is a designation given by the David Allen Company to software solutions that Mr. Allen was personally involved in testing and approving (source: excerpt from an interview with David Allen). Nathan.Paul.ICA (talk) 19:25, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Maybe one asterisk for a mention and two for "GTD Enabled" designation? SageGreenRider (talk) 14:49, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Software section removed[edit]

I've removed it, given editors are ignoring the edit warning and apparently unconcerned with grammar. --Ronz (talk) 22:44, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

For the best, I think. — fox 01:12, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
I went back to the page history and the section looked ify (are those sites really tailored for GTD?). It would be nice if there was a section with software/apps, though. I came here via a link claiming the info was on this page. Danski14(talk) 20:18, 13 October 2018 (UTC)