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My Getting Things Done (GTD) with RTM

(closed account) says:
My GTD Setup in RTM

Hello RTM members, I want to share my GTD setup in RTM with you.

First I've created some List in RTM, this acts as the Area of Focus.
- Work : All task are Work related and are single actions
- Home : All task are Home related and are single actions
- Project : All task are Work related and have multi-step actions

Second I've created some smart lists (a really nice feature in RTM):
- Focus : List contains all task that needs your focus
- Next : List contains all the next actions (single actions) you can do when there is time
- Projects : List contains all the active projects (multi-step actions), not subtasks
- Waiting : List contains all the task where you wait on someone
- Someday : List with the someday/maybe tasks
- Tickler : List contains all the scheduled tasks.

The smart lists have an advanced sort by view:
- sort by : DUE DATE in ASCENDING order
- then by : DDED DATE in ASCENDING order
- group by: List

By sorting the list like this, all task are put together based on Area of Focus.
The smart list filters will make the system work and I will explain them later in detail.

First the processing of "stuff". All your stuff goes into the INBOX within RTM, like you used to do it.
The INBOX has an advanced sort by view:
This puts the oldest entries on top of the list.
When I process the INBOX I start at the top and give the actions the required/necessary field values:

Priority value:
- 1. gives task the focus
- 2. set task as an next action (single action)
- 3. set task in the waiting for mode
- 4. not used

tag value:
This is an personal option, I use it to give some context to the task like:
+person_a : this reminds me the contact name
-someday : this sets the task to the someday/maybe list
_low : is an low energy task (_med, _high for medium and high energy task)
.p_[project]: I use this tags for project context for all the subtask, so I see to which project a task is linked

due date:
This is set if an task has an due date

start date:
This is set for task in the future and will be used in the tickler list

Give all the task an estimate time, so you can pick short task if you have some spare time (let say 15 minute tasks)

If task has more than one step, make the task an project and define the subtask.
For subtask I do the same processing loop, so process them the same way

The last value I set is the list, or Area of Focus. Is it an Work, Home action or an Project? Choose the one for the task
Task with subtask are always projects, so send them to the Project list.

After processing the inbox we setup the smart list filters, this is the core of GTD system in RTM:

Smart list Filters
- NEXT :(priority:2 AND due:never) AND NOT (list:"Inbox" OR list:"Tickler" OR list:"Waiting" OR list:"Someday")

- PROJECTS: list:"Projects" AND NOT tag:-someday AND isSubtask:false

- WAITING: priority:3

- SOMEDAY: tag:-someday

- TICKLER: NOT start:never

- FOCUS: dueBefore:Tomorrow OR postponed:>3 OR priority:1 OR startBefore:Tomorrow OR startWithin:"3 day of Today" OR (priority:3 AND NOT updatedWithin:"7 day of Today" AND due:never)

The lists are now filled with the right tasks for processing and using in your GTD workflow.
The FOCUS list contains all the items that need your focus NOW.
Of course the filters can be adjusted, but this setup works for me.

Hope this setup helps you in making your own GTD system with RTM.
If you have questions about this setup or how to work with this setup, please let me know and I will try to explain my way working with this system.
Posted at 10:48am on November 21, 2015
allpizza says:
Looking good! Thanks for sharing!
Posted 3 years ago
andyhough says:
I like the way you use priorities to identify next actions. And how you use postponed:>3 to force something into focus. Nice work! Arjen.
Posted 3 years ago
maniormani says:
Im kind of new to RTM , but could it be assumed that under your smart list area.
One can create the same Smart List by naming for example:
Smart List name : FOCUS
/switching to the query editor, and pasting
Search Query: dueBefore:Tomorrow OR postponed:>3 OR priority:1 OR startBefore:Tomorrow OR startWithin:"3 day of Today" OR (priority:3 AND NOT updatedWithin:"7 day of Today" AND due:never)

and the Smart List is established like yours?

Posted 3 years ago
raymond.bergmark Power Poster says:
You can paste this seach into the search bar. You will see the tasks that are filtered out. There's a button Save as Smart List (or similar), give it a name and you're done. If necessary, you can edit the search in the query editor.
Posted 3 years ago
(closed account) says:
Posted 2 years ago
astrid.rottmann says:
Nice structure.. i give it a try for my issues.

But i found a minor Typing error in the smart list syntax

it schould by written like this :

Smart list Filters

- PROJECTS: list:"Project" AND NOT tag:-someday AND isSubtask:false

(-;, not
- PROJECTS: list:"Projects"....

hope this helps others to follow this guide
Posted 2 years ago
gordonrobb says:
Great post, and I'm trying to set it up. I'm confused by the tag part. You say .p_[project] but I can't get the programme to accept this as a tag. Also, are you saying it is this and the brackets pick up the project name, or should I put the project name in? What's the point of having the . in front of p?
Posted 2 years ago
gordonrobb says:
Also, what is the point of having this tag?
Posted 2 years ago
gordonrobb says:
Posted 2 years ago
(closed account) says:
gordonrobb The idea is to replace the [Project] with your project name e.g. .p_sales_presentation The . in front ensures that all the projects stay together in an alphabetical sort of the tags. Using this tag means that you can label any sub tasks as being part of the project as well.
In theory you caould designate one task as part of two projects if that became necessary.
Posted 2 years ago
gordonrobb says:
Ah. I see
Posted 2 years ago
gordonrobb says:
OK, when I try that, I get an error saying "this does not look like a valid tag name"
Posted 2 years ago
xtoq says:
@gordonrobb: If you're still having trouble saving tags with a period (.), then I would open a ticket with RTM. I have lots of tags with a period, and have no issues saving the tag. I'm not sure what other special characters (-, _, +, =, !, ?, etc) might be accepted in tags though.

Definitely use your pro support though! Good luck.
Posted 2 years ago
andrewski (Remember The Milk) says:
It could be the use of square brackets in the tag name, which would not be valid; the currently accepted characters are:

+ - . @ _

But yes, as xtoq mentioned, let us know if we can help with anything else! :)
Posted 2 years ago
gordonrobb says:
Sorry, didn't realise there were replies (anyway to set this forum to email you when there's a reply?)

I think it is becuase I was using spaces.
Posted 2 years ago
gabearom says:
Could you show a picture of your setup? I'm very confused. What is the difference between tasks that require "Focus" and those that need to be done "Next" (i.e Next action tasks)? What is the purpose of the .p_[project] tags if there's no smart lists for each project? Do you manually place each tag that belongs to a project into your "Project" Folder??
Posted 1 year ago
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