David Allen

There are tons of apps out there designed to work in conjunction with principles of the “Getting Things Done” methods, better known as GTD, but for the most part they’re basic list managers, and none of them has the official stamp of approval of the man behind the movement, David Allen. As Allen explains in a way that GTD followers will understand, an official GTD app “was on my someday-maybe list for a long time.”

As of today, it’s officially on the “to-do” list.

Allen has struck a partnership with Intentional Software, the Bellevue-based company founded by Charles Simonyi, the former chief architect of Microsoft’s flagship productivity software, Word and Excel. Intentional and Allen announced plans today to develop a mobile “meta application” that will help people practice the methods of GTD in conjunction with their existing apps and devices.

It turns out that Eric Anderson, the CEO of Intentional Software, and the co-founder of Space Adventures and Planetary Resources, is a longtime GTD practitioner — as you might suspect, given everything going on in his life. After joining Simonyi at Intentional Software, Anderson approached Allen with the idea of creating a Getting Things Done app.

In an interview, Anderson explained that the principles of GTD dovetail with Intentional’s goal of “turning knowledge into software.”

Charles Simonyi (GeekWire File Photo)

Getting Things Done is  “a set of rules, it’s a set of visualizations, it is a set of maps that allow people to prioritize, to understand, to make decisions — to do all the things they need to do to stay efficient, to stay productive and to free up their minds so they can do the things than human minds are much better than computers at, which is to be creative,” Anderson said.

The companies aren’t giving a specific timeline for release of the app, but Allen described the philosophy.

“My vision always was, I just want to walk to my computer, hit F12, and empty my head. … It’s going to walk me through everything that I have to get myself to walk myself through now,” said Allen. “There’s a much bigger gain here in terms of people being appropriately engaged and freeing up their cognitive processes. You should be free to have your systems manage all of that, and free to think about what you need to think about.”

He added, “I think it will be a great catalyst to open the funnel for a lot more people to be engaged in this much larger game that GTD is.”

Here are Allen and Anderson discussing the partnership in a video …

Comments

  • Max Graham

    Will variables in the GTD app source code be declared in Hungarian notation?

    • guest

      Will any user care?

  • Bob

    I’ve been impressed by interviews Simonyi has given where he talks about how software should be a lot smarter. That’s more interesting to me than the current iOS-inspired trend we’ve seen, which has focused on simplification and even dumbing down the overall experience. So I look forward to seeing what he comes up with.

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