Getting Things Done: Where Do I Start

I am a Getting Things Done kind of guy and for those who understand what that means, good. For others, Getting Things Done (GTD) is not just a mentality or attitude we possess, it is an efficiency system of task management and life management that was first pioneered by David Allen. His book is fantastic and can get you started re-thinking your life management, but he has a shorter, quick overview ebook as well.

In a nutshell, you get used to making lists in life that include the following:

  1. Inbox
  2. Next Actions
  3. Waiting For
  4. Projects
  5. Maybe or Someday

The idea is this, stop holding all those ideas, tasks, pictures and creativity in your head waiting for them to happen or for you to recall them when the time is right. The first rule, write down everything. Like a reporter carrying around a notepad, have an app on your phone, notebook, etc. and just write it down. Second, place it in one of these list headers I listed above. Third, do a mind sweep at the end of the day, every day and put these ideas into proper categories and lists. What this simple practice does is free your mind to be anxiety free, and not always functioning at near capacity. You can trust that the idea is where it needs to be.

Now that was the shortest GTD system lesson ever, but my real goal in this post is to recommend some digital and analog resources for a GTD system. If you are the type that needs the old pen and pad the GTD system may be a bit cumbersome at first, but once you get the hang of it, efficiency is around the corner. The problem is that I have not found one particular planner that works for the system entirely. So for my analog buddies I recommend the following:

Analog Only: Moleskin Classic Notebook and Self Journal

So I would write all my inbox, maybe and waiting for stuff in the Moleskin Notebook much like a chronological journal and then daily use the Self Journal for Someday, Next Actions, and Projects. The Self Journal forces you to work in 13-week increments with goal setting in mind so you can be aggressive about your Somedays and not put them off.

What I Do: Nozbe, Moleskin, Evernote, and Self Journal

That being said, I end up coming back to digital as my main avenue of task management and do a combo of digital and analog. So this is how I do it currently. I use Nozbe as my digital inbox, next actions, and Projects (tasks). I use a Moleskin Cahier Journal for analog inbox and notes when typing is not an option. I then use Evernote for everything else including a journal. Evernote syncs with all your devices as does Nozbe, so forgetting a pad somewhere is no longer debilitating.

The point is to get everything out of your brain, consuming time and energy, and freeing you up to focus on the moment. Now go ahead and

Get Things Done!


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Written by jmoran77

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