Sharing My GTD Notes

Last week, I read the old book Get Things Done again, it did make me think. I read it first two years ago, at that time, I didn't feel the benefits since I could manage all stuff in my mind. But now, I can't, I do forget things, I do procrastinate things. During my reread, I kept asking me, why I just missed this treasure, so silly I was.

Below are my reading notes.

Stuff: anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn’t belong where it is, but for which you haven’t yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step.

We need to transform all the “stuff” we’re trying to organize into actionable stuff we need to do.

Five-stage methods:

  • Collect things that command our attention
  • Process what they mean and what to do about them
  • Organize the results
  • Review as options for what we choose to
  • Do


In Box requirements:

  • Every open loop must be in your collection system and out of your mind
  • You must have as few collection buckets as you can get by with
  • You must empty their regularly

Process - Organize

Process guidelines:

  • Process the top item first
  • Process one item at a time
  • Never put anything back into "In Box"


Review your lists as often as you need to, to get them off your mind.

Review Flow: Calendar - Next Actions - Projects - Waiting for - Someday/Maybe

Weekly Review:

  • Gather and process all your "stuff"
  • Review your system
  • Update your lists
  • Get clean, clear, current, and complete


Model for choosing actions:

  • Context (I prefer Context over Project)
  • Time available
  • Energy available
  • Priority

Model for evaluating daily work

  • Doing predefined work
  • Doing work as it shows up
  • Defining your work

Model for reviewing your own work

  • Life
  • Three-to five-year vision
  • One-to two-year goals
  • Areas of responsibility
  • Current projects
  • Current actions

Project Planning

Planning Steps:

  • Defining purpose and principles
  • Outcome visioning
  • Brainstorming
  • Organizing
  • Identifying next actions

If you’re waiting to have a good idea before you have any ideas, you won’t have many ideas.

Benefits of asking "why?":

  • It defines success
  • It creates decision-making criteria
  • It aligns resources
  • It motivates
  • It clarifies focus
  • It expands options

Developing a vision:

  • View the project from beyond the completion date
  • Envision "wild success"
  • Capture features, aspects, qualities you imagine in place

Brainstorming Keys:

  • Don't judge, challenge, evaluate, or criticize
  • Go for quantity, not quality
  • Put analysis and organization in the background

Organizing steps:

  • Identify the significance pieces
  • Sort by (one or more): components, sequences, priorities, details to the required degree