Quickie overview of the GTD system

GTD is a system for managing your life: what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve that, and how you deal with all the stuff life throws at you. You decide goals, the system helps you reach them.

A condensed summary of GTD:

  • stuff enters your life, and you either deal with it immediately, or put it in one or more inboxes
  • you empty your inboxes regularly from stuff
  • stuff is dealt with by one of the following:
    • do it at once (if it’s quick, or you have to, or really want to);
    • defer it for later;
    • delegate it to someone else;
    • file it somewhere (if you may need it later);
    • discard it (ignore it, throw it in a trash bin, whatever)
  • keep several lists:
    • next actions: deferred stuff;
    • projects: anything that needs more than one next action to be finished;
    • waiting for: delegated stuff;
    • someday/maybe: what you may want to do someday, but isn’t an active concern right now
  • at least once a week, process all inboxes, and review all lists
  • have an archiving system for documents and such
  • have a system for keeping handy files and other things relevant to current projects and next actions

You may now skip the rest of the book.