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« ... and I thought I was unique | Main | AF4 News »

"Do It Tomorrow" revision on its way

After all the lessons which I’ve learned through developing the various versions of Autofocus, I thought it was time to look again at Do It Tomorrow and see whether any of these lessons could be used to improve it. The answer is a resounding “Yes!”

I’m now testing out what I hope will be the final version of my revisions, and I hope to publish it fairly soon in the form of a supplement to DIT, which will be free of charge.

The revision keeps the basic structure of DIT, especially the concept of “one day’s work in one day” which was its most innovative feature. However the system is now more flexible and responsive to what goes on during the day. In particular it can now cope extremely well with tasks that need to be done more than once a day. The Current Initiative is streamlined and is better integrated into the system as a whole.

The biggest difference is in the “audit procedure”. Instead of being just a recommendation, it is now incorporated into the system in such a way that it happens automatically. No thought needed!

How does DIT now compare to AF? Well, it now seems to be as responsive as AF, is a universal capture system like AF, and forces one much quicker to either do something or discard it. I’m hoping that it will hold up well under the further testing that I will be giving it.

Reader Comments (22)

Great news Mark - I love Do It Tomorrow and still use it a lot.
January 26, 2010 at 14:02 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Lewis
Great news, indeed. I use my own "revised" version of DIT every day and still recommend the book to everyone who needs it. The only really inventive thing for me about AF is the more or less subconscious approach towards tasks. It would be fantastic if this idea would find its way into the new audit procedure.
January 26, 2010 at 14:58 | Unregistered CommenterM. Romer
Just re-reading Do It Tomorrow - lot's of good stuff, some of which I seem to have missed in the first reading. Bought the book after getting into Autofocus, so I have never implemented the pure DIT methodology, but of course there's lots of other excellent tools and practices in there, too. Especially the 'little and often' example (drafts for the book) struck a chord with me, since writing reports is always a daunting task for me. I might even give DIT2 a try when it comes out.
January 26, 2010 at 15:07 | Unregistered CommenterJMTee
I read Get Everything Done but have not read Do It Tomorrow. Not asking 'what have I missed?' but do I 'need' to read it. I struggled a bit with AF - the demo helped a lot though. Maybe DIT is the 'missing link' for me?
January 26, 2010 at 16:47 | Unregistered CommenterJane P
Jane P:

My supplement to DIT will assume knowledge of the system. So if you want to use DIT2 you will need to buy/borrow/steal the book, yes.
January 26, 2010 at 16:50 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I'm happy to hear there is coming a mix of AF and DIT! What I miss in AF, is the sense of accomplishment, but I like the dismissive function of AF too much to abandon it.

Thanks a lot, Mark for reappearing in Internet :-).
January 26, 2010 at 17:49 | Unregistered CommenterOleg Soloviev
Dusting off my copy of DIT... :-)
January 26, 2010 at 19:14 | Unregistered CommenterSeraphim
I love DIT's simple principles (my copy's well-thumbed), after getting somewhat bogged down by GTD (I still use GTD's weekly review ideas). I have been trying AF4 over the last couple of weeks, and have been experimenting myself with amalgamating the two - so this is manna from heaven - I hope! Looking forward to it greatly. I have also 'sold' quite a few colleagues on DIT.
January 26, 2010 at 22:21 | Unregistered CommenterPete A
Just a quick request, Mark.

Many of us are using something portable (pocket moleskine or iphone) to carry around with us. Our day is full of meetings, traveling, etc....

You mentioned that you are using an A4 notebook with two columns. Could you please include a small portable notebook in your experiment to see how that would fit in your system?
January 27, 2010 at 5:44 | Unregistered CommenterJonlat

<< Could you please include a small portable notebook in your experiment to see how that would fit in your system? >>

I need to get the basic system right first.
January 27, 2010 at 9:13 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Looking forward to it, but perhaps you should just release the draft of what you are doing so that the folks who follow you in the forum can test it out for you as well.

I guess you could call it a private beta (alpha). Perhaps others can discovered the "kinks" in the system that will help you to modify it before the public beta.

So, instead of putting it off till tomorrow, why not do it today (release it today).

January 27, 2010 at 12:09 | Unregistered CommenterKSRhee
Hi KSRhee
So, instead of putting it off till tomorrow, why not do it today (release it today).

Are you that presumptive to ask the author of Do It Tomorrow to break his own protocol? LOL!
learning as I go
January 27, 2010 at 13:22 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Actually it's working for me so well, I think I'll keep it to myself and use it to take over the world! <mad laughter>
January 27, 2010 at 14:12 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
(head respectfully bowed....)
Your excellency,
We've survived far worse dictatorships than living under the rule of your kind and genteel soul. I'll gladly make do with my humble weekly version of AF if it means that your exclusive use of DIT2 to harness and project your power will overtake the current numbskulls who are perverting our governments. I'll gladly make the sacrifice in the service of mankind!
A grateful DIT sheeple
January 27, 2010 at 16:40 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go

LOL. The dream of world domination has limited utility. Just ask those who tried it in the past (e.g., Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Hitler, etc.).

So, I would suggest that you try a more benevolent approach (e.g., Mother Theresa, Confucius, Siddhartha Gautama) and spread your teaching & benevolence to everyone in the world (ha, ha).

January 27, 2010 at 16:41 | Unregistered Commenterksrhee
oops DIT, not AF
January 27, 2010 at 16:42 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Hi ksrhee
You're preaching to the choir in Mark's case. His benevolence is one of the ruling characteristic of his persona, followed closely by his wonderfully eccentric humor!
learning as I go
January 27, 2010 at 16:45 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
ohhhhhhhhhhh yeah! thank you, thank you, thank you.

I like the idea of the "one day's work" for one day. It's highly teachable to employees and helps when determining if a new employee can be hired. . . .

Thanks for the email letting me know you were doing this. I haven't been here in months!

January 28, 2010 at 2:03 | Unregistered CommenterRobert
How about a sneak peek regarding the audit proceedure?
January 28, 2010 at 21:36 | Unregistered CommenterJim Dandy
Hi Mark

I hope you don't mind me asking, but I just wondered if your revision to DIT was ever published. It is a great system, and if you had fine tuned the principles in your book, that would be amazing. My apologies in advance if the revision is on your excellent site and I have just missed it.
March 10, 2013 at 22:52 | Unregistered CommenterDIT enthusiast
I second DIT enthusiast request. Regards Ian
April 9, 2013 at 11:40 | Unregistered CommenterIan Smeatham
DIT enthusiast:

<< I hope you don't mind me asking, but I just wondered if your revision to DIT was ever published. It is a great system, and if you had fine tuned the principles in your book, that would be amazing. >>

No, it wasn't. I actually have trouble now remembering what it consisted of. But I think it ran into problems and didn't work out as well as I'd hoped.
April 14, 2013 at 17:34 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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