Since Bob's already blogged with an overview of GTD Connect, I'd like to talk about it from a different perspective - that of someone who's been behind the curtain, met the man, and watched this information evolve over the years into GTD Connect - the first step in David's vision of being able to share information and connect with others who have a passion for getting things done. I want to share why I'm excited about GTD Connect.
[Disclaimer: I'm writing this on my own and not as a representative of The David Allen Company. The opinions I share are my own. Hopefully you will find them valuable. If so, let me know. If not, I'd like to hear that, too.]
I'm an independent eProductivity Specialist, and for 14 years, I've worked for David Allen, as his personal technologist. In that time, he's become a great mentor and friend. He's also been amazingly transparent about his work and life. I've had the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes at David's office, his home, and in his in-box. The guy practices what he preaches. He falls off the GTD system easily gets back on with the same ease. That's what I like about GTD. Even I can do it. David simply has a little more - OK a LOT more - experience than I do at getting things done. I've learned a lot from David. the education has been invaluable.
Let me share a quick story: I've stood at David's side on two separate unfortunate occasions, when his Palm and laptop each self-destructed as a result of errant software, taking with it all of his information, plans and projects. Do you now what David did? He got out a legal pad and wrote down the things that were most important to him so that he could focus on the situation at hand. That's it. Incredible! Calm and balanced. Mind like water. Me? I was ready to explode. I was ready to see if the ThinkPad could fly across the room. I wanted to cry. What I learned in that moment was a valuable lesson, one that has helped me in many situations since. I could fill up a forum with stories like that. Perhaps I will.
One of the reasons that I'm excited that David's finally launched GTD Connect is that serious students of the GTD methodology now have a place to call home - a quality venue to share information and rich stories like this that will teach us practical skills we can use everyday. I've had the privilege to watch GTD connect come to fruition over the past several years. It's taken a huge investment in time, money, and talent to bring it all about and I think the Connect team has done a great job. Since Connect is not free, it will attract a group of only the most serious and committed people and I look forward to learning from them, too.
One of the benefits I have, serving David Allen, is that I get to see the projects in the pipeline. Folks, there's some neat stuff coming. I'm particularly excited about the interviews and videos that David has done in preparation for the GTD Connect launch. I've already had the privilege to listen to some of the unedited interviews on a variety of topics. I can't wait to hear them again in their final form. Another aspect of GTD Connect that excites me is that David will step out from behind the curtain and get involved in a big way. Connect was built with David's participation in the forums in mind. So, if you want to engage with the GTD material at a higher level than what you are presently doing now, this is the place.
Connect is not all about David. I mean, David's a nice guy and all, but he does not know everything. In fact, he prefers to be a student than a teacher. For this reason, I'm excited to see the many diverse forums that comprise the GTD Connect offering. These represent not only an opportunity for us to connect with David, but for us to connect with one another. David's invited a group of key players in the field of personal productivity to participate in the forums. These people, and I'm thrilled to be included among them - will bring their richness of experiences to the forums. The greatest richness, however, will be you and your experiences. That's what excites me the most.
Several weeks ago, at the David Allen Company summer staff meeting, I had the opportunity to sit at a table with David and Caroline (one of the new GTD Coaches). We discussed GTD in education. Then, my daughter, Wendy, came over and joined us. For the next two hours, Caroline and I listened as David and Wendy talked about a variety of topics, including education, GTD, and mind mapping. It was a great discussion - I wish I could have recorded the conversation so that I could share it. (David's told me he'd like to have Amy & Wendy come over to do an interview in the future.) After dinner, David invited Wendy and Amy to join the new "GTD on Campus forum," where he intends to encourage discussions on GTD in education. Wow! I'm excited. Not only will it be an opportunity for my children and I to share our experiences with GTD, it will give us an opportunity to learn from others with similar interests. [Side note: We are getting ready to begin our next LEGO Robotics season. David's invited Amy & Wendy to share their experiences and their mind maps with the forum so show others how they map and plan their projects.]
As I've already mentioned, David's heavily committed, personally, and financially, to GTD Connect and he's assembled an amazing team to create GTD Connect. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the terrific team that has worked hard to design, build, and manage GTD Connect. Robert and his team have done a fantastic job of architecting and implementing the infrastructure necessary to facilitate communication and the sharing of information. Lisa, Rick, and their team have done a great job with the customer side of things. Richard and Liz and the product team are preparing to launch a number of new productivity offerings from cool folders, to processing and support tools, to software. These are just a few of the many talented people who have made this happen. Well done!
Folks, GTD Connect isn't just another forum and it's not a rehash of the same information you can currently find on the web for free. It's a well of information, wide in interests, and deep in knowledge. Its a group of people who are passionate about learning and sharing information and how they are applying GTD in their lives as parents, educators, pastors, managers, executives, and, most importantly, as individuals. I look forward to learning and playing in this arena.
Congratulations David! I wish you and the entire Connect team the best of success!
My GTD Connect login is Eric Mack, aka eProductivityGuy. I'd love to hear from you!