GTD? Nalu it!

A year ago this past June, I jumped up on the GTD bandwagon.

Read the book – 6 times! to effectively milk it, listened to the tapes, studied the website and read blog after blog after blog after blog.
Tested myself using Ready for Anything, Allen’s second book.

I can be somewhat of an organizational freak, and GTD appealed to me a lot. A whole lot. I had been doing my own version of the Weekly Review for seems-like-forever.

What happened?

GTD was a gift; it was golden for me in a couple of different ways…

Habits and Principles

GTD brought me back to a self-discipline of re-learning Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and tying principle-centered leadership into MWA more comprehensively. I had been certified by the Covey Leadership Center back in 1995 (their pre-Franklin merger days), and my new world re-do was long overdue for me.

Coach and Learn

I invited the Ho‘ohana Community to study GTD along with me in a free email coach-and-learn program. 42 people signed up, and we did a self-learning via books and bloggers from June through October of 2005. It was a great experience in not only GTD, but in learning how virtual community, blogging, and email coaching can work. My lessons-learned in that program ended up being an early pilot for my MWA Jumpstart earlier this year.

Outlook and Calendar

I’m a longtime Outlook devotee, and I’ve always been aware that Outlook has more bells and whistles than even the most superhuman Microsoft groupie will ever use; I suspect that Microsoft programmers use Outlook like their own licensed open-source playground. I bought David Allen’s GTD Add-in for Outlook (which essentially teaches you how to reconfigure your Outlook views to look GTD-ish so you learn to use Task in better context, and honor the hard landscape of your calendar) and voila! Another mind-bended on re-framing old habits in great new ways. 

Clutter be gone!

‘ÅŒpala ‘ole has always been one of my favorite productivity concepts (an SLC client favorite too); it’s the Hawaiian nickname for clearing clutter. ‘ÅŒpala means rubbish, and ‘ole means without. Just as with Covey, my GTD study somewhat reframed ‘ÅŒpala ‘ole in my own habits and for my MWA curriculum. Huge personal improvements for me in clearing the way for being able to Nalu it with whatever my next learning-obsession would end up to be.

My Office, My Kingdom

I wholeheartedly agree with David Allen when he explains that you should set up an office at home and at your workplace. Thanks to GTD my office was reconfigured, purged and cleaned, and designed for work that rocks and rolls. Read more, at Office perfection; ”“ ah! bliss.

Eventual bonus? I started another study on how form follows function. It was our Ho‘ohana just this past August.

MWA3P – Productivity for Managing with Aloha

Therefore, MWA3P took better shape because of both my GTD lessons-learned and Covey principles re-learned. MWA3P is the productivity module within my MWA coaching curriculum, for long before MWA was written and my business was born, I understood that no matter how cool and sexy a training program is, it’ll be flavor-of-the-month unless you successfully integrate it into an organization’s productivity, and into the Action Cycle.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

An indirect bonus was that I ended up getting to know Tom Ehrenfeld, author of the Startup Garden. My new Covey meets GTD, meets MWA consciousness, all wrapped back into the fascination I have with the entrepreneurial mindset and the great manager’s responsibilities in teaching financial literacy to their employees. Tom became my accomplice in my first anniversary celebration of blogging here at Talking Story.

You know what? There’s probably more.

As I’ve written this, I realize again that yes, GTD was a great learning episode for me. Essentially, it was a trigger; it was the first falling domino that set up a chain reaction of sequential and consequential learning for me at the end of last year. And I nalu’d it: I wholeheartedly went with the flow, allowing it to filter into my own personal productivity with wonderful results.

I’ll work on a part 2 on this next, and share what my “trusted system” has evolved to today, sixteen months since I first discovered David Allen and GTD. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I notice that Dwayne Melancon is posting an update on his GTD Odyssey too; visit with him at Genuine Curiosity. Dwayne really helped me in my own grasp of GTD in the early days of it.

Post Script: Just clicking in and need context?
Nalu it is our Ho‘ohana  this month.

In total, most of my GTD journey is captured in this index. Remember it will get listed from newest to oldest, so start at the bottom of the page if you want a chronological view.

Related Articles (versus wading through the Talking Story index): These are listed in chronological order.
Why GTD reminds me of the 7 Habits

‘ÅŒpala ‘ole: De-cluttering Work Processes – not in the index, on  MWA online.

Don’t Just Add, Replace: Own the 100% – not in the index, on

Introducing the Managing With Aloha Jumpstart
– the post you start with for my MWA self-paced, online coaching program
MWA3P: There’s no escaping better productivity


  1. says

    I love your story, Rosa, esp. how you’ve integrated GTD into your other passions and expertise. Thank you for the narrative, and also for reading my blog. Cheers!

  2. says

    Mahalo nui Matthew, thank you for stopping by. If someone wants to get infected with a passion for GTD-ish applications, your idea blog is certainly a good place to check in with regularly!
    As you know, reaching for “a better way” gets to be a continuous effort when it comes to improving one’s personal productivity, and hopefully we can help others in blogging our progress.