I recently revisited Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen and realised that I’d not really understood it at all and that it was far more than just another way of creating a todo list. So over the last few weeks I’ve been adopting GTD as a way of working. At the same time, I discovered toodledo so I keep myself update both at my desk and on the move through my iPhone. It wasn’t that I wasn’t organised before, but GTD just seems to take it to another more complete level. I’m having to unlearn poor working practices and learn new ways of doing things. One thing that David Allen does really well is provide an online toolkit to support people as they come to grips with GTD. For me this has been very useful and also fascinating, because David’s site clearly demonstrates what makes a toolkit work. Over the last ten years we’ve identified that when implementing a toolkit or portal the four significant failure points are:

  1. Users don’t know that it’s there (or have forgotten)
  2. Users can’t find it easily
  3. Users can’t find something relevant to their task, challenge or problem easily
  4. The content doesn’t help the users with their task, challenge or problem.

If the toolkit doesn’t provide what the user needs at each of these key points then it loses their engagement and attention. The user will simply decide to adopt a different and, from their perception, easier means of solving the problem. David Allen get’s it right by providing strong early communication, so that I know what the toolkit will do for me. He provides regular updates about useful content and makes it easy to access, so it keeps the toolkit to the front of mind and makes it easy to access. The web site is simple and easy to use and most importantly I find great content to help me move my issue forward. Working on these four areas will always ensure a successful toolkit. And now I can go and tick off write a weekly blog item from my toodledo list!