Yes, you most certainly can have control over dates by using Gantt diagrams within a GTD system.
GTD is about the process and not about the tools you use.
The process being is as follows...
- Collecting things and ideas that have your attention.
- Clarifying what each of those things and ideas mean to you by
deciding on outcomes and next actions to achieve those outcomes.
- Organizing by putting away the results of your thinking as reminders
at places where you will see them when you need them.
- Periodically reviewing everything in your systems to clarify
and organize anything that is new or has changed.
- Engaging by simply getting out there and achieving that which you
have decided is important.
This will be familiar to many but I wanted it to restate it in order to understand where the Gantt diagrams belong in a GTD framework.
Gantt diagrams fall within the realm of organizing.
You have collected what needs to get done; you have clarified the outcome and determined foreseeable next actions that appear to have a time sequence and an expected duration. This is your critical path.
A key benefit GTD introduces is to give you an opportunity to review periodically and determine whether or not your Gantt diagram still accurately reflects your project in the real world. You will want to keep track of whether the tasks are actually being achieved within the projected timeframes.
You can decide whether the sequencing of the critical path is still accurate and whether or not tasks need to be added or removed as steps toward accomplishing your goal.
Gantt diagrams are one aspect of your project view. You can also use a Kanban board where groups gather in order to understand progress. You can distribute task lists to individuals so they can focus on their particular responsibilities. These need to be kept in sync with each other. The Gantt diagram is an important tool to make sure you are managing your resources in a timely manner in order to accomplish your project goals successfully.
- PS - Often in GTD context based action lists have been favored as places to store reminders about next actions. In day to day life, trying to peg things that can get done on a calendar can be counterproductive. The situation you are in at the time the calendar appointment time falls may not match the situation necessary to complete the task. It cam be more effective to peg the reminder to a context than a hard date.