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My simple yet powerful GTD system

maxim.dilanian says:
Greetings, everyone!
I use RTM everyday for more than a year.
Tried A LOT of GTD implementations and came with this simple, yet powerful system.
Currently I have 128 tasks, 11 goals, 5 projects in RTM.

Main goals of this system:
+ simple. Less is better: few lists, few tags, few places. Before creating new list/tag think twice.
+ automation. Time needed to keep system in order is minimal.
+ action-based. No more thinking on what to do first, one action comes after another.

Let`s get started.
--- I. Create lists ---
- Tasks: actionable items. Example: Reading 30 minutes everyday
- Waiting: delegated task. Always starts with person`s name. Example: Mike\\Buy tickets
- Goals: our dreams and goals for week/month/year/life. Stay healthy, earn $1.000.000 this month, etc.
- Ideas: great ideas that needs incubation. Example: Write Titanic 2 scenario

(optional) I have these list: Reading, Movies, Groccery list. It`s up to you where to keep this kind of things, I just prefer RTM. This is not tasks!

--- II. Fill the lists ---
Rule 0. Don`t put everything into lists. Yes, you heard me right, don`t put every task into RTM. Think twice, shall you even bother doing this stuff? Learn to say "NO". I reduced my tasks list from 400+ task to just 128 by deleting things that doesn`t matter.

Rule 1. All actions goes into Tasks list. No more lists for every project.

Rule 2. No priorities. They don`t make sense. Highest priority task in one Smart list becomes lowest priority in another. You`ll end up having all tasks !1 priority, so just don`t use them.

Rule 3. Dates is very important.
Start date is the date when you should get task into action or to put task into the future.
Due date is the date when the task must be done. Or the world will collapse. Don`t use "fake due dates" - just because you _want_ that task to be done on that day doesn`t mean it should have due date.
Active task is the task that have start date before tommorow.

Rule 4. No more than 3 tags. I use tags to assign tasks to projects. Don`t create massive tag cloud. If tag contains less than 3 items, do you really need this tag?

Rule 5. Choose good task name: 3-4 words, actionable, starts with verb or person\\verb. Google S.M.A.R.T. model.

--- III. Create Smart lists ---
overdue tasks. If you see tasks in this list everyday maybe you should rethink your routine and time-management. 1-2 tasks occasionally is ok.
Query= dueBefore:Today

- Due 0d
active* tasks that must be done today or is overdue.
Query= due:Today OR dueBefore:Today

- Due 1d
active tasks that is due tommorow.
Query= due:Tommorow AND startBefore:Tommorow

- Due 3d
active tasks that has started and I have 4 days to complete them.
Query= startBefore:Tommorow AND dueAfter:Tommorow AND dueWithin:"4 day of Today"
You get my point. I use 0-1-3-6-10 days interval in "Due Xd" smart lists.

- Due 0m
active tasks that is due this month
Query= startBefore:Tommorow and dueBefore:"1 aug 2017".
Unfortunately I need to manually change next month first date.

- Due 999+
active tasks that has due dates. Collects all tasks that`s _in work_ and has deadline
Query= startBefore:Tommorow and not due:never

as soon as possible. From 99+ tasks without due date you choose 5-10 and assign them with "next" tag
Query= startBefore:Tommorow AND (tag:next OR priority:1) (yeah, i said don`t use priorities, but in case you did)

active tasks, doesn`t have due date
Query= startBefore:Tommorow AND due:never

tasks without start and due dates. Maybe will be done. Usually never done
Query= start:never

- Repeating
informational list. Just to know what tasks repeats.
Query= isRepeating:true

- Starts in 7d
informational list that I use to look at upcoming tasks
Query= startWithin:"7 day of tommorow"

--- IV. Process tasks in this strict order EVERYDAY ---
Do them NOW or reschedule! This list should contain 0 items before continuing.
2. Due 0-1-3-...
Deadlines won`t wait. We should work on tasks for today, when they get done - for tommorow and so on.
When all tasks with deadlines are done OR we can`t process anything from previous lists.
Choose items to work next. Maybe assign them "next" tag to move into ASAP list.

That`s all. Add new task, assign start/due date if needed, and it will popup in appropriate smart list. No tasks get`s lost, everything is in control.
Posted at 9:47am on July 27, 2017
aviskase says:
Am I right to assume that all smart lists are using just Tasks list? If yes, what is your process with non-Tasks lists? Do you have any special review process?
Posted 3 years ago
aviskase says:
>> Unfortunately I need to manually change next month first date.
Actually, this seems to work: dueBefore:"next month"
Posted 3 years ago
emily (Remember The Milk) says:
Hi dilanyan.maxim,

Awesome setup! You're this week's Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner, and we've added a free year of Pro to your Remember The Milk account. :)
Posted 3 years ago
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