Getting Things Written - Modifying GTD for writing

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antony
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Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:33 pm Post

[Reposted from my work journal, owing to a couple of requests].

Getting Things Written

Image

Recently, some people who've heard me mention GTD (Getting Things Done) have begun asking how I make it work as a writer. After all, it's not really designed for arty, creative types. GTD is for managers, salespeople, marketers and the like.

So I was going to write my system up as a blog post. But the more I wrote, the more I realised that why I'd changed and adapted GTD to my own ends was almost as important as how I did it. And before I knew it, I had an essay-length piece on my hands, which didn't really belong here in the work journal.

So instead, I've given it a page to itself. If you want to see how I make GTD work, click here and settle in for a long one:

http://www.antonyjohnston.com/gtw/

[NB; no comments on the site, so if you want to ask me something, or discuss it, please do so here.]
Antony Johnston
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jk
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Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:11 pm Post

Thanks, antony, this is really, really amazing! Now I don't have to figure it out on my own - very nifty system, this is really well implemented!

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kewms
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Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:02 pm Post

Do you have an editable version of that job sheet, by any chance? I love the idea, but the version on your site doesn't quite match my work.

Thanks!

Katherine

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antony
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Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:16 pm Post

I don't, sorry. I think I created it in Pages - it's hardly a work of art, so it shouldn't take long for you to put together a modified version ;)
Antony Johnston
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Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:24 pm Post

Thanks Antony. Potentially very useful thoughts. Nice website too. You don't do paintings of the future in your spare time, do you? :wink: No? Never mind.

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Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:27 pm Post

It looks great, Antony. Thank you so much for posting this. I shall now return to the copy of GTD which is lying in the corner of the room with a muddy bootprint on its cover.

cw
Some quiet night when you've shirked your work because of fatigue or distraction, open a window of your house and listen. Do you hear that distant clicking sound? That's one of your competitors, pecking away at his keyboard in Paris or London or Erie, PA

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Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:24 pm Post

Wow!

Thanks for this Antony. Ãœbercool. We may have to raise you on the pedestal right up
there alongside Keith!

I haven't had time to explore it in detail yet, but it makes a lot of sense, and I have a
feeling it will fit very well with the way I work (and often don't!).

Thanks for your generosity in sharing it.

Tim
In theory, there's no difference
between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.

Yogi Berra

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antony
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:00 am Post

Hugh wrote:You don't do paintings of the future in your spare time, do you? :wink: No? Never mind.


Erm... Sorry, you've lost me. Do I share a name with a painter, or something?
Antony Johnston
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antony
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:05 am Post

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. If just one person finds a better system for themselves after reading the piece, then I feel I've paid back the debt I myself owe Merlin for turning me onto GTD.
Antony Johnston
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Hu
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:35 am Post

antony wrote:
Hugh wrote:You don't do paintings of the future in your spare time, do you? :wink: No? Never mind.


Erm... Sorry, you've lost me. Do I share a name with a painter, or something?


"Heroes" Wednesday BBC2/3. Cultish trash TV du jour, with a writer/illustrator of comics character who also paints and creates comics about the future (but only when completely smacked).*

As an OT postscript for the writing-minded: an interesting attempt by American TV (NBC) to maintain multiple super-hero story-lines with multiple protagonists, one of whom is a Japanese office-worker nerd who up to now in the story speaks mainly Japanese, but with comic-book-like English sub-titles. Thus far (Episode 5 or 6), against the odds, it seems to me it works. (And so must it have seemed to US audiences, because it's been re-commissioned for a second series.)

*Dunno where he stands on GTD, though. :wink:
Last edited by Hugh on Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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antony
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:08 am Post

Duh, I am watching HEROES and I didn't make the connection. Probably because I don't draw comics, I only write them.

only speaks Japanese with comic-book-like sub-titles.


Erm, not really. The convention in comics is to either have an asterisked caption box with the English translation, or to simply print the English dialogue in the word balloon with angle brackets around it to signify it's being translated.
Antony Johnston
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:27 am Post

Ooops Antony, sorry I got your occupation wrong.

I think I caught some interview where one of the series' creators said they'd intentionally tried to adopt elements of a comic-book style with the sub-titles. (I wasn't deliberately following it - no, really!) Probably referring to the placing more than any other aspect.

In any case the treatment of sub-titles in Heroes is relatively unusual IME: in two ways - in the way they're sprinkled round the screen, and in their sustained use. It used to be accepted that mainstream US TV audiences wouldn't accept sustained use of sub-titles (although I guess that must have changed somewhat over recent years).

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Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:33 am Post

Erm, not really. The convention in comics is to either have an asterisked caption box with the English translation, or to simply print the English dialogue in the word balloon with angle brackets around it to signify it's being translated.

True, although in Asterix comics some of the foreign characters speak in approprate fonts: the Germans in a sort of gothic, Greeks in a roman alphabet that looks like Greek letters and so on. But that might be representing accent more than language.

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antony
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:47 am Post

Hugh wrote:In any case the treatment of sub-titles in Heroes is relatively unusual IME: in two ways - in the way they're sprinkled round the screen, and in their sustained use. It used to be accepted that mainstream US TV audiences wouldn't accept sustained use of sub-titles (although I guess that must have changed somewhat over recent years).


Very true. I think the recent rise in 'smart' TV, especially in concentration-heavy shows like LOST and THE WIRE, has helped to explode that myth. (Come to think of it, subtitles are a common fixture in LOST, too.)
Antony Johnston
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antony
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:50 am Post

nicka wrote:in Asterix comics some of the foreign characters speak in approprate fonts: the Germans in a sort of gothic, Greeks in a roman alphabet that looks like Greek letters and so on. But that might be representing accent more than language.


I think that's exactly right, yeah. I always loved that part of the lettering in ASTERIX books, especially the way even the 'swearing symbols' would change with the typeface (the German skull and crossbones wore a Kaiser helmet, the Egyptians would swear in heiroglyphics, and so on).
Antony Johnston
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