To get started, import Todoist’s GTD Weekly Review template into your projects list. This template includes all of the steps you’ll need to complete your review each week. Customize the template by adding sub-tasks or task comments to hold the lists of all your inboxes and your current areas of gtd system focus or to track reflections on your week. The someday/maybe list or tickler files are for ideas or actionable tasks you would like to work on in the future but can’t devote time to immediately. These could include personal goals, creative projects, or business ventures you want to explore.

  • You can either read the following to learn about the system or you can sign up for our free GTD course that will take you through each of the steps.
  • Go through all your things, to-dos, ideas, thoughts, documents, plans and materials and transfer them into your collection tools.
  • This category may include informative articles, inspiring quotes, or valuable resources you’d like to revisit later.
  • We will take you through each of the steps and provide all the free printables you will need to get there.

For example, discussing the budget during a project stakeholder meeting is the next action to help move the project forward. Though the basis of GTD are these five simple steps, they’re not always easy to execute. Allen doesn’t even make a case for digital over analog systems. Rather, the key to any lasting productivity system is to keep it as simple as possible and to use it as often as possible. Your tool should be versatile enough to handle your most complex projects yet simple enough to maintain when you’re low on energy.

Reference materials

It must be a place with access to all the things you need and where you feel comfortable working. Ideally, you will want identical workspaces at home and in the office so you can be equally effective in both. Store the “next action” in the Next Actions List or in your Calendar.

gtd system

Use a calendar (or next action list) to manage your daily list of tasks (instead of the traditional daily to-do list). In this step, you deal with actionable items that cannot be completed in 2 minutes or less. Once you have collected all the physical things in your environment that need processing, you’ll want to collect anything else that may be in your “psychic RAM”. These are things that have your attention and are not already in your in-basket. He argues that as individuals, when we try to keep in our heads (such as our “to do” lists) , we are tying up valuable RAM.

How to Time Block Effectively (Top Tips Included)

Attach reference materials – photos, documents, links, notes, or even audio files – to the relevant tasks. Todoist makes is easy to capture and organize all your “open loops”. If you’re in the car and you’re 15 minutes away from your destination, you shouldn’t start a phone call that you know will take an hour of your time. A better choice might be to stop at the supermarket to cross some things off your shopping list. If you can complete a task in two minutes or less, do it right away and don’t add it to the Getting Things Done system. That way the next time you look at your to-do list, there should be no confusion over what you have time to tackle, or what’s most important.

Todoist syncs across platforms — computer, phone, web browser, email client, smartwatch, or smart home assistant — so you can enter tasks anytime, from anywhere. Your inbox is only used to collect the chaos of your thoughts in order to get them off your mind. The rest of this article will cover the specifics of each of the five GTD practices above and walk you through how to implement them with Todoist.

Capture — Write It All Down

For example, instead of writing Call Mel, you’d need to write Schedule call with Mel on Thursday to discuss project budget. The Getting Things Done method revolves around five simple steps to help you manage tasks effectively. In Todoist, your inbox will be the default place to hold all your inputs until you can organize them. This guide will introduce you to GTD principles and workflows and what we think is the most intuitive way to implement them.

gtd system

That defeats the purpose of GTD which is to free your mind of these thoughts. This includes things that need to be done, are incomplete, broken, or things that have some decision about potential action tied to them. Move all these items into your “in-basket” to process at a later stage. The author stresses the importance of using your brain for the things it does well.

Some FAQs about the GTD method

You then define next actions for your project and enter specific deadlines for it in your calendar. Also, keep a reminder list for all the tasks that you’ve delegated to others. This allows you to keep track of the tasks others are doing for you. First, you need some tool to capture and organize all of your ideas, to-dos, responsibilities—everything you need to remember. You likely already have a favorite to-do list app, journal, and planner that you use to stay organized. When the boss surprises you with a new task while you’re working on something else, you want a tool that lets you get that task out of your head and into your system as quickly as possible.

When you start, stick to the fundamentals and add supporting tools only when you’ve got the hang of the basics. Digital tools such as Asana or Trello, or a calendar app can be used as inboxes to capture tasks as they come in. This model helps individuals decide which action to take next by considering factors such as the appropriate context, priority level, energy required, and available time. While reviewing your list, you will notice some tasks that you don’t want to devote time or effort to now or in the future.

All three are great for GTD, even if they’re a bit heavy and feature-rich. You might think that David Allen himself uses some expensive planner, or a plethora of to-do apps to do what he does. In fact, his workspace always has notepads nearby, so he can jot down ideas and to-dos quickly and get them out of his head. Getting Things Done, or GTD, is a system for getting organized and staying productive. It may seem complicated on the outside, but the end goal is to spend less time doing the things you have to do so you have more time for the things you want to do. Let’s break it down and see how you can apply a simplified version to your life.

If so, decide the next action and project (if more than one action is required). If not, decide if it is trash, reference, or something to put on hold. You can also view all the tasks tagged with a specific label by clicking on the label’s name in the label list to the left of your Todoist. To view a full list of next actions across all your projects, type “@next” into the Quick Find bar at the top of your Todoist. It’s tempting to go overboard and start creating labels for everything — resist the temptation. For your GTD system to work, you need to build a habit of adding the correct labels to each and every task.

It may be helpful to group your projects based on your “Areas of Focus” — the GTD term for the various areas of responsibility you have in your life. These areas are a tool to draw attention to your broader life goals while deciding what to work on next. If a task does not fit within the scope of any of your areas of focus, it may be time to reassess if it’s something you want to spend your time on. Or you may just want to separate your projects between “Work” and “Personal.”

gtd system

Categories: IT Education