Productivity and GTD
Is it the time to make the leap and pay for a GTD application?
Start by doing the following reflection: What is the role of Getting Things Done in my workflow? Is it the centerpiece to manage my work and commitments or is it just a support system by now? Depending on the weight the method has on your personal management system, you may search for a tool that serves as a foundation for implementing your lists system that raises your level of perspective.
For those who have started to implement GTD recently and are still assimilating the concepts, I would recommend to wait. It is important to know well its basis for developing the method effectively and for choosing the right tools to use. For the newbies it is best to use a low-tech system. The experience of managing your lists and projects with a Moleskine can be something really pleasant. From there, you can make the leap to an application that allows you to manage your lists by creating your own structure. At the beginning I made it with Evernote, which gave me a great user experience and allowed me to continue my learning process.
If you have found a tool to manage your GTD for free in a more or less efficient way, then why make the leap? Well, if the method has become paramount to manage your day-to-day, personal and professional activity stream, you are surely on a higher level in which planning and doing are the important things. You’d prefer not to spend your time on details about the implementation. Setting up the framework and defining lists and data structure (energy, time, context…) become a waste of time and energy that you cannot afford. That was fine in the concepts assimilation phase, but now it is the time to focus on your workflow, your projects and your goals.
Going for a paid app, either for GTD or other purposes, should be considered an investment. You pay in exchange of gaining efficiency. In my case, I subscribed to FacileThings in order to set aside monotonous or complex actions like dragging items from one list to another, managing projects by creating and deleting lists, scheduling recurring tasks with Google Calendar… Now add the possibility of implementing other parts of the method you could not cover before, like managing goals and areas of focus, and you’ll have a good reason to try this new option.
When you know better the application, you can decide whether you stick to it or you go away, so you should check it out to see what it provides. If I had not made the leap, I would not have noticed several defects in my previous system. If you are running GTD, an average application to manage lists or tasks cannot compete with an application explicitly oriented to GTD.
My final point of is about the price. Weigh up if subscribing for a service (recurring payments) compensates or you would rather find an application that allows you to purchase a license (only one payment). If you feel that the price does not persuade you, maybe just it is not the time to make the leap. As always, it is your choice.