There’s been a decent bit of discussion on the internet recently regarding the place of GTD in modern workflow, starting with Dave Lee’s post on GTD’s applicability for creative projects and then morphing into an ongoing discussion on its suitability for the modern tertiary sector workflow at all, given the fact that it was designed about ten years ago1. Since I’ve recently revamped my GTD system to deal with so-called “creative workflows”, I thought now might be an interesting time to codify and publish something on the topic.
Unsurprisingly, my workflow got altered a considerable amount after reading Kourosh Dini’s excellent book, Creating Flow with Omnifocus, which you should go out and buy because it’s awesome2. The problem, as has been pointed out, with many creative projects is that they’re not really divisible into atomic, two-minute tasks. If I need to write a chapter of a book, I need to write a chapter of a book. At some point I’ll have to spend several sessions pounding out words, and that really doesn’t mesh with the GTD ideal of discrete next-actionable tasks. Plus, one of the most discouraging things I’ve found with GTD is picking a task, spending half an hour to an hour doing it, then coming back to your computer and being unable to check that off.