David Allen’s Google Tech Talk

I’m  a Getting Things Done (GTD) fan and from time I like to expose myself to GTD-material again. I had a great time watching David Allen’s talk he gave at Google and so – whether you’ve never heard of GTD or bought all the books and seminars – I suggest you watch it.

Things I wanted to remember

Apparently GTD is a form of distributed cognition – a theory/framework that’s worth looking into, especially if you’re in interaction design.

Information Overload

If information overload was the real issue, you’d walk into a library and die. Or would blow up the first time you walked through nature. The fundamental problem seems to be potential meaning overload. And the emails sitting in our inboxes, our unfinished todos, our open projects are all full of potential meaning. I.e. potential landmines.


Are outside distractions the problem? If we were saving a baby from under a car, we wouldn’t let a loud noise distract us. Most distractions com from worries about (mismanaged) commitments we made.

If you have to work on two things and you work on one, you get distracted because the other one keeps popping up in your head.

Your mind has no mind

If your brain had a brain, it would remind you about the right stuff only at the exact moment you could do something about it. It would remind you about those dead batteries in the flashlight when you’re at the store and not in the darkness when you try to switch on the flashlight.

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