Sunday, January 2, 2011

The chart of Getting Things Done

The image below is a very good illustration of the GTD process that I have been following for a long time to get things done. It's from the December 2008 issue of the Costco Connection:

If I am to improve upon the process, there are two modifications I would make:
  • Before eliminating a non-actionable item, you should find out how it goes to your "IN" in the first place. If possible, remove the source of such garbage so that you won't spend time on reviewing it in the future.
  • If it is a big project that involves multiple steps and not important enough that you have to get on it now, one should just defer it instead of breaking it down into actionable tasks immediately. The reason is that you need time to "dive" into a big project and it is kind of a waste if you just plan it out without working on it.
My personal preference is to use Google Calendar to keep track of time sensitive actions and ActiveInbox for tasks that I should work on as soon as I can.

Do you use GTD to manage your tasks? Leave a comment if you have any thought or suggestion :)


  1. catcat10:38 PM

    Thanks for sharing ~

    may i ask how do we define “IN” in the first place? and how to ensure there’s no omission of actionable items?

  2. catcat:

    "IN" are the sources of your tasks, such as the inbox of your email account, your boss, mails, phone calls, etc. If possible, you should try to limit "IN" to just a few places; otherwise, it's difficult to collect your tasks.

    To ensure that you don't omit any actionable item, you have to store them in a secure place that's easy for your to access and update.

    For me, I use Gmail for regular tasks and Google Calendar for time-sensitive tasks, but you can use whatever tools you're comfortable with.

    Not your brain though, because your brain should be used to work on the *current* task, not remembering what you've to do next :)


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