Editing Marc Orchant’s Legacy: The GTD Times Goes Live


Getting Things Done was Marc Orchant’s passion.  Exceeded only by his love for his family and his sheer joy in teaching others.  Editing a blog focused on becoming the repository for all GTD knowledge and making it the defacto home for the GTD community on line was a dream come true for Marc.  Thus, it is with mixed emotions that I announce that the GTD Times is officially live.

Anyone that knew Marc Orchant knew of his passion for a productivity system developed by David Allen called GTD or Getting Things Done. This system which is becoming ever more popular among the stressed and overworked technocrats that our community is largely made of is simple but to deploy it to its fullest advantage takes years of practice and refining until your own personalized version has been fully baked.

Having worked with GTD for years, Marc was a go-to guy at events for people that were just starting out on their progression from GTD newbie to GTD “Black belt” – terminology left over from David Allen’s time as a karate instructor. It added further poignancy to his passing that Marc was just about to embark upon his dream job which was to be the technological evangelist and Chief Blog Editor for David’s company.

When Marc passed away so suddenly, it left David’s company in a tough spot – they’d already made major commitments to begin blogging and to do many other things to engage our community in a much more intensive and consistent way. All those plans were based upon Marc and many of them were in fact, Marc’s plans.

David reached out to me to see if I knew anything of what Marc had in mind and to see if I might be able to offer a hand given the situation. I told David that I was far from the GTD guru that Marc was – and in fact had stubbornly resisted Marc’s gentle efforts to get me going on the path to being supremely organized that is GTD. I did, I said, know a fair bit about what Marc had in mind and I could, I told David, help with getting a blog going and do some editing and write articles just so long as no one expected me to be able to fill Marc’s shoes.

So that’s how I ended up being one of the principal editors of the new GTD Times blog.

Marc and I had spent a lot of time talking about his vision for the blog and my goal is to see that I help fulfill as much of that vision as I possibly can. What he imagined was an open- community oriented portal. A site where no one person dominated, but rather where the information and the sharing of that information was the star. He wanted anyone with something to say to feel comfortable contributing and he wanted anyone that had a question to feel equally comfortable asking that question.

Expansive is a word that I think described Marc well. From his warm grin and long arms to his massive amount of knowledge and his insatiable desire for more. Expansive is a word that I heard Marc use when describing his vision for the GTD Times. He had planned on covering hardware (who would have guessed that he’d want to talk about gadgets?) and software, and even Moleskines. He wanted to interview people and show video and have podcasts. He wanted anyone in the community to be able to reach anyone else and he wanted the shared knowledge to accumulate until the site was the world’s foremost repository for GTD related information. The ultimate “how-to”, with the best “tips and tricks”, the deepest knowledge base, the answers to any and every question, and the beacon for all those lost in an inbox with a thousand unread messages, a center drawer that had batteries and paperclips, half a sandwich, a broken laser pointer, sixty three pens, a pack or matches, an empty butane bottle and this month’s bills mixed in with last month’s now overdue ones.

He wanted to fix what was broken – profoundly broken – as he used to put it, with our workplaces and he wanted to make sure that anyone with the interest in Getting Things Done and the desire to do more with their available time had the best possible resources all in one place.

This is a tall order and I know that as hard as I try, I won’t live up to the standards that Marc had set for himself without some help. So… I’m calling on you – yep – you reading this post – to help me fulfill Marc’s vision and help me create the most open, accessible, authoritative, informative, welcoming, supportive, enlightening, and yes, even challenging place anywhere in the world where people with an interest in GTD can come, congregate, learn, swap ideas and stories and of course Get Things Done.

The site is live but I’m hoping you’ll help me bring it TO LIFE with the treasure trove of ideas, experiences, stories, suggestions and links to other info – GTD and otherwise – that you think others will find interesting – that you think Marc would have found interesting. I hope to see you there.

About Oliver

Oliver Starr is a well known blogger, speaker and serial entrepreneur. His current blogging is focused on mobile technology and applications, green (eco-protective) technologies, and entrepreneurs and their companies. He is currently engaged as the Community Evangelist for Pearltrees.com, a new social curation tool. Oliver was also a professional cyclist and six time member of the US National Cycling Team.
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5 Responses to Editing Marc Orchant’s Legacy: The GTD Times Goes Live

  1. Steve Holden says:

    Thanks Oliver for a great post. See you over at the new blog. It sounds like a wonderful place to learn and grow like Marc Orchant would like us all to do.

  2. Rebecca Orchant says:

    Oliver, this is amazing. My dad would be so unbelievably proud of you. My geek factor is nowhere near that of my dad’s, my brother’s, or yours, but I seriously look forward to following your progress in this endeavor and future ones. I think you’ve totally hit the nail on the head as far as his vision for this project. I’m sure that somewhere, he’s enjoying your participation immensely, and chuckling to himself that GTD may force you to arrive somewhere on time.

    We miss you. Hope things are well.

  3. admin says:

    Rebecca, this is one of the nicest comments I have ever received. Thank you so much. I’m actually choked up right now and don’t really know what else to say. I miss Marc every day.

    I was just in San Francisco to attend a seminar that Ismael – a friend of your father’s and myself – put on today about extreme productivity and I can tell you that Marc’s name came up more than a few times.

    In fact I directed people to look for a number of his posts including the one about your mother and the iPhone and another one about how he got everything to sync up (which, by the way, he is still the only person on the planet to have actually figured out how to do this using the iPhone, Gmail, mac mail and I think also Outlook – for most of us, just getting two things to kind of sync is an accomplishment to put that into perspective…)


  4. Charlie Bermant says:

    I knew Mark briefly in 1980, when he first moved to Albuquerque. Had only seen him once since then, always meant to get in touch. Won’t have the chance now. I did write about him in my (now discontinued) column in the Seattle Times, although the message was oblique. FYI http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2004283810_ptinbo15.html

  5. Charlie Bermant says:

    of course, I meant Marc, Sorry.

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