Even though the Getting Things Done book and audiobook have had an
immense impact on me, I think the book itself is a pile of shit, and
that only parts of the system makes sense. At least for me.
For me, the main things I have gotten out of GTD is the typical Capture,
Process, Review, Do workflow and how to think about tasks as in Projects
A GTD system is not something you buy, but rather how you use the ideas
from the book to get your stuff done. The combination of tools and how
you use them are your GTD system.
The way I do it is that I have a number of different Inboxes. My e-mail,
the Inbox in OmniFocus, a Field Notes notebook, a larger Leuchtturm1917
notebook and Drafts. Plus that I use my laptop bag as a physical Inbox.
Then I on given intervals process everything in those Inboxes. When you
process something you might do it right now if it is a very small task,
you may turn it into a project or throw it out because it is not
relevant anymore. What most people think about as a “task” is usually a
project in the GTD world, this is because you try to make tasks that are
small, so that you don’t need to think too much about anything except
the task to get it done.
The way I do it is that I think through everything I need to do, before
I start, then I add that as individual tasks and order them in the right
order. For example, let’s say I’m getting a new desk for my office, we
bought it, and it arrived. A non GTD person would probably just have
something like “Set up the new desk in Office”. For me it is more like:
- Find my toolbox, and bring it to my office.
- Move away all the stuff on top of my desk
- Move out all the stuff from the drawers in my desk.
- Move away all the boxes under my desk.
- Vacum clean under the desk.
- Disassemble it.
- Move it to the garage
- Move the new desk up
- Get rid of all the packaging
- Move back all the stuff I had on top of my old desk
- Move back the boxes that was under it
- Move stuff to the new drawers.
- Get rid of any remaining packaging, spare parts etc.
I personally process daily, and I also do a mini-review each morning.
During the mini review I schedule and tag stuff. This is used to figure
out when I am going to do stuff, and what I should do before anything
else. This have three levels for me
- Due dates, if it is due today, I’ll do it no matter what
- Flag, if I have time after doing everything that was due today I’ll
start working on the flagged stuff.
- Then I start working on the stuff that are marked with “Next”.
When something has a due date, it means that I’ll have a serious problem
if I do not do it before that date. Something with a flag means that it
has priority before everything else, and next are just the stuff that
are my focus today or the next few days.
A review is kind of the step after processing. This is when you go
through everything in your system and delete the stuff that is not
relevant anymore, flag, set due dates and organize stuff. I do a full
review once a week, and a super short one each day. The full review is
when I consider everything in my system and delete everything I can.
While the mini review I do each day is just to set due dates for the
next three days, flag stuff and add stuff to next.
Then I just do stuff according to the system outlined above.
I’m a huge fan a tags instead of Contexts. In a strict GTD system you
use contexts instead of tags. I personally prefer tags because they hare
how I think. I like to use a combination of them to add different views
into stuff. Contexts and Tags give you another dimension to look at your
tasks, than the projects do. One way to use it is to mark stuff with a
place you need to do them or a person you need to have access to in
order to do them etc.