Basic GTD: How to manage your projects

Alternatively, if you work with a team, try a work management platform to not only capture and track your own work, but to organize and manage your team’s work as well. Before you can organize your work, you first need to capture it—in a place outside of your brain. David Allen calls this your Inbox—regardless of what tool you’re using. That’s because any task, piece of information, or reminder (or, as Allen likes to call it, “stuff”) goes directly into your Inbox.

The project management methodology introduced by David Allen in his book "Getting Things Done" is well known and can bring calm to even the busiest workload. Also known as GTD, the getting things done system can help keep staff organized and productive to ensure that they’re able to focus on their critical tasks. On the other hand, if you see that there’s not enough movement on the project, move down; flesh out and organize ideas so that you can determine next actions and actually start doing them.

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She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life. David Allen created his cult-like following for GTD with his "next action" idea. Effective project names motivate you toward the outcome you wish to achieve, and give you clear direction about what you are trying to accomplish. Projects are listed by the outcome you will achieve when you can mark it as done (what will be true?). Think of your Projects list as a current table of contents of the current outcomes on your plate.

gtd project planning

In case new elements to be planned will emerge, the next step needs to be drafting new ideas and clarifying who is responsible for the next action. An outcome can consist of simple statements or of a complete depicted future scene of the project. On the other hand, the Weekly Review is the glue that puts together your big commitments with your day-to-day. When you do your Weekly Review, it’s enough with reviewing each of the projects in the list and defining the next action in case it doesn’t exist. Obviously, critical situations and projects with a close deadline will require more frequent reviews.

Free Getting Things Done (GTD) Templates for Productivity

To keep things simple, finish setting up your GTD system first to get a sense of your workflow. If needed, come back and organize your projects into broader categories later. Now, you can keep your project list clean by collapsing your sub-projects underneath the parent project. For example, while you're at work, you can keep your work projects in view while your personal projects are hidden and vice versa.

  • This system holds all of my digital files and reference materials not just for my projects but for all areas of my life.
  • We'll be focusing on how to GTD with Todoist, but the same principles apply no matter what app you use.
  • See your Todoist tasks in your Google Calendar and your Google Calendar events in Todoist.
  • GTD is for you, individual, so you can manage both your life and your work.

The priorities might be to find out if the birthday girl even wants to go to dinner. The sequences are deciding that first you need to call the restaurant to see if it’s open, then invite the guests, then get yourself dressed and ready to go. This template is available with sample text or as a blank Excel spreadsheet template that is ready to use. The template displays multiple lists on a single sheet to allow for high-level visibility and efficiency. The sheet includes next actions, deferred items, pending tasks that you’ve delegated, and “someday” tasks that you may complete in the future. Organize each of your GTD to-do lists by assigning a context for each item, such as home, office, computer, and calls.

The main principle of GTD is that recording your tasks in a reliable way - using a system that you trust - will free your mind from trying to remember and prioritize stuff. This recaptured mental energy can be put towards being more productive and efficient. With the help of GTD templates, you can better organize your tasks and develop a stronger focus on your objectives.

gtd project planning

Think of this less as an email inbox and more as a task list of data to be processed later. The five steps of the Getting Things Done method set you up for success. These steps help you catalogue and organize your upcoming work in an external tool like Asana, so you’re no longer mentally keeping track of upcoming to-dos. Then, once your work is organized in the GTD method, you can start executing on tasks. Instead of storing that information in different places, the GTD method helps you input and organize it into one tool such as a work management tool.

gtd project planning

In Todoist, your inbox will be the default place to hold all your inputs until you can organize them. GTD templates and tools help you manage your work and get things done. Below, you’ll what does gtd mean find step-by-step instructions for using a GTD template. If you prefer this sort of structure, pair the GTD method with other time management techniques, like the Pomodoro method.

You can also view your tasks on Toodledo's built in calendar or by synchronizing your tasks with Google's calendar or any other iCal capable organizer. This is where you put items that you are not sure you ever want to do, but maybe someday you'll think about them again. For example, you may want to climb Mt Everest, but not anytime soon.

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