GTD Insight #19: The Power of Freshening

BbiphonePhoto by Dan H.

When I was first introduced to GTD some five years ago, I was immediately drawn to David Allen's appreciation of "the right tool"
It was as if someone out there was as quirky as me, caring about such
little things as the kind of pencil you used or the way in which you
organized your PDA.  Amazing!

Since then, I've been mindful of a number of good articles on GTD-related tools.  These include:

recently discovered a phenomenon called "tool boredom" and you'll
probably know what I'm talking about.  Your cell phone was so cool and
then you saw the new iPhone 3G ad on TV.  As a result, your tool looks
tired and so ordinary.  Yet, you can't just jump ship and go out and
sign up for another cellular carrier's two year contract.  What to do?

I use a Blackberry 8830 which I find to be very utilitarian.  No camera, no fancy ads on TV.  It just works but occasionally, I admit that it feels ordinary and un-iPhony
I'm not in a position where I can just pay an early termination fee to
drop Verizon and head over to AT&T. Instead, I do the following:

  1. Discover new things that the tool is capable of.  I recently learned how to watch TV shows on my Blackberry- very cool!

  2. Dress it up.  A silicone skin costs less than two cups of coffee at Dunkin Donuts so head over to Ebay and make a purchase.

  3. Entertain the fantasy of trading.  On CraigsList
    there are countless people in your area who are looking to trade
    productivity tools.  People want planners.  They are interested in
    gadgets.  Joe from the next town over is looking for an audio recorder,
    etc.  Check it out and find out who is willing to trade what.  If
    nothing else, it will jog your creativity about tech tools and who
    knows?  Your unsexy gadget just might look new after all.

Today's post also appears on Productivity in Context, by Stephen Smith.

GTDMike StPierre