43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Drew McCormack on GTD for scientists

Getting Things Done (GTD) for Scientists - MacResearch

I enjoyed this post by Drew McCormack on how he discovered GTD and has started using it for his work as a scientist:

The thing to realize is that most people don’t get lessons in organizing themselves at school or college, and they certainly haven’t been prepared for the rapid pace of modern life. GTD is nothing more than a few lessons on how best to organize things. At the center of it all is what could be regarded as a multi-dimensional ToDo list. The idea is to get every project you have, however big or small, out of your head and into the list. That allows you to relax about things, and be more productive at the same time.

"Multi-dimensional ToDo list." I'm totally stealing that.

Also, I mention it here because this post provides that rarest of voyeuristic nerdthrill: getting to peek at how someone else is using Kinkless!

Any tips or stories from the science nerds out there on how GTD is and isn't working for you?

John's picture

I am a neuroscience PhD...

I am a neuroscience PhD student who is just starting to implement GTD. One problem I'm having is how to manage experiments using the software tools I have tried so far (Actiontastic, GhostAction).

I would consider a single experiment to be a project - there are many actions within each one, often spread over several days, some of which are time-critical and some of which are not. Also, I have to make sure I have ordered in the right chemicals and reagents and made up my solutions in time to use them. So there is a lot to get off my mind and I find myself worrying a great deal about whether I'm ready to do my experiment or not and exactly what I have to do on each day to be ready for tomorrow.

The protocols for the experiments don't change, however, so if I decide to do a particular experiment the action list is always more or less the same, except I might be using different tissues or antibodies. So I don't want to have to create all the actions every time I do an experiment.

What I would really like is some object-orientated behaviour - to create a project class for a protocol and then create an instance of that project every time I want to do that experiment, which contains all the actions I will need to do. At least, I would like to copy and paste the actions from previous experiments to make a new one.

Does this break the GTD system in some way? I imagine the general case of repeated projects is a fairly common issue but I don't remember reading anything about it in the book. If it's okay, is there software that will do this? (I haven't looked at kGTD too closely because I wasn't sure if I was going to carry on with GTD and so didn't want to pay for OOP.)




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »