The cult of productivity, and the obsession with 'getting things done' Some GTD fans can take it to extremes. Joe Buhlig, a 28-year-old coder for a marketing company in Buffalo, Minn., says he'd forget to take out the trash if it weren't for his to-do app reminding him every week. Following GTD has helped him reduce the anxiety we've all felt: What am I forgetting? Buhlig says he also keeps note cards in his back pocket to help him sketch ideas before putting them into his to-do list. That keeps him from relying too much on technology: If an apocalypse started tomorrow, he'd just switch to paper. What of the masters? GTD creator David Allen says he uses a specialized program created for IBM Notes, a popular set of productivity apps once called "Lotus Notes." He also says he has an idea for something better that he sketched out two decades ago. Alas, no one's made it yet. Tim Ferriss has a personal assistant but says he could survive on his own, even without an app to help. "Most techies would be disappointed by how few apps I have on my phone," he says. To him, using apps or tools is just a means to an end. "Technology is a great tool and a horrible master."