Open letter to David Allen

Dear Mr. Allen,

I am a  fan. I really am.

Your GTD model is brilliant yet practical. It works! And I like that you focus on helping people have a better life. That’s a much more compelling message than “time management”. Clearly you’re a bright guy with the best of intentions.

That’s why I can’t understand why you’ve allowed your website to be designed the way it is. The experience it offers is not at all what I expected after reading your book. It’s beyond frustrating.

Specifically, I’m referring to the Free Articles portion of your site. (The rest is fine.) Here’s the problem. It’s inconvenient and difficult for people to benefit from your free articles because they’re in a secure shopping cart:

Putting a BUY button next to a free product is confusing. But it gets worse. Your shopping cart is (at least in my experience) cumbersome. It took me several attempts to get it to work. It wasted my time.

Most free information on the Internet is easy and convenient to acquire. You just point and click. Some requires registration. But most is as frictionless as our current technology will allow.

When you put roadblocks between your visitors (also known as customers) and your product, you increase the odds they’ll leave and not come back. I understand free means they don’t pay. But free also means you’re building an audience. The benefit of free is you spread your ideas and goodwill to more people.

But putting your free articles behind a clumsy shopping cart changes things. Because when you charge a visitor the price of time and hassle you’ve just increased their cost of doing business with you. Your free products are no longer free.

If your intent is to share your ideas, spread the wealth of knowledge and build your community, then your current Free Articles page is not helping. It’s hurting.

The good news is, your fix is simple. Remove the barriers. Make it easy and convenient for people to acquire your articles. Then they can move on to others things, like getting better at Getting Things Done.


Kevin Stirtz
The Amazing Service Guy

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz