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Hope springs eternal, and I never cease to pour the water of my workload into the leaky bucket of productivity systems that never quite work.

Several months of failing hideously at implementing Getting Things Done, for about the fifth time in as many years, and I'm realizing that a system that has a binary failure pattern isn't going to work for me.

The issue with GTD is that if you don't get your weekly review in, then it all falls apart. And I never can get my weekly review in. There's no halfway house with GTD.

I'd be willing to sacrifice a little peace of mind-like-river for a system that worked without make me block out a couple of hours each week.

There are a couple of GTD-lite schemes I've heard of, Zen to Done (ZTD) and the very minimalist Monk to Done, which I link below. I'm going to try "Monk" and see how it goes, but I'm open to hearing about other schemes.

They just need to fail gracefully for personality types that seem unable to carve out a couple hours each week.
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Belinda Darcey's profile photoAaron Franklin's profile photoEdd Dumbill's profile photoKyle Mathews's profile photo
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Personally I've switched to Kanban. Since I travel too much to turn my white board into a massive sticker chart, I'm using http://kanbantool.com/ at the moment. Seems to be working for me. 
 
i've kind of half implemented GTD and it works brilliantly for me.

The bit you have trouble with though, the task list review, is kind of critical though really I think, and I can only recommend actually making the time to do it!

Not the most useful answer you will get I suspect ;)
 
My GTD has been flailing as well. I'm trying to take the weekly review more seriously than ever, as I agree that's where the weakness lies. It's hard, takes at least couple of hours, and isn't boast-worthy to most people. Still, I'm going to try to treat it like a meeting with the most important person in my life that can't be skipped...oh wait, it is :)

Hat tip to Alasdair for Kanban, considering that now.
 
Kanban got the focus right, i think. Visualization and interaction with real objects helps. Just keep adapting the system to your needs. Everything that ships with a "master plan" that you have to follow through will fail (at least for me). That Monk Thing sounds right, because i could implement it with a text editor, one file and a few reasonably simple search functions. More complicated stuff always failed for me. Like file, pipe, redirect are something you can keep in mind, the reduced ^,@,#,*, tuple to tripple style of "Monk" might fit my brain.
 
I've gotten good results using a GTD-ish system (next actions and contexts, using a pocket-sized notebook for capture), but I've never really done a real, formal review. I do ad-hoc reviews of each of my lists when the page they're on gets too messy to read, which can range for every few days (for my Notes list) to once a week (Errands) to every few months (Calls) -- I squint at each uncompleted item before I transfer it to a new page in the notebook, and the ones that are no longer needed or don't fit in to my current plan simply don't get transferred. While it's possible that I'd be more productive if I did a formal weekly review, I've found that I leave very few things undone this way.

This is actually one of the main reasons I use a notebook instead of a digital tool -- the continual copying of uncompleted items means that I'm constantly re-evaluating my tasks. IME, with a digital tool, it's too easy for things to fall off the bottom and get buried by more important tasks, though that probably says more about me and my habits than the tools I've used.
 
Have you tried Lazy Meter? (lazymeter.com). Looks like an iPod interface with play/pause/stop buttons. Best part is the meter: every time you check something off, the meter reflects it. Much more fun than crossing something off a list.
 
Thanks +Belinda Darcey for recommending LazyMeter! LazyMeter was built by two former Microsoft employees who kept going back to pen and paper for their to-do lists. It's faster than pen and paper, and even more rewarding. We've created an alternative to GTD that doesn't require a book or a consultant to learn. +Edd Dumbill contact me if you'd like a beta invite. www.lazymeter.com
 
+Edd Dumbill I'm starting a open-source project that I think has a lot of potential. I'm calling it SimpleGTD. My two big insights so far is that a GTD app most be instantly accessible everywhere + we frail humans need help garbage collecting low-priority projects and tasks. I'd love to hear your feedback - http://kyle.mathews2000.com/blog/2011/10/07/simplegtd
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