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My GTD set up

sunilgtder says:
I have been practicing GTD for the past few years. I have tried and used few GTD apps like many other GTDers. I realized RTM offers a lot of flexibility in customizing our own GTD set up. So, I started building up my own set up.

I would like to share my GTD set up with you all. It is inspired by productivity apps Things 3 and Asana; but with a few small tweaks to suit my requirements.

Following is my GTD set up:

Locations:
Home, Work, Errand

Tags:
“wait, someday, star” in addition to regular tags such as call, email, computer, mobile, review, contacts, etc
wait – for “waiting for” tasks
someday – for “someday” tasks
star – for “focus” tasks

Contacts:
I do not use RTM contacts since I operate my account in standalone mode, not in collaborative mode. RTM does not allow to add contacts without their email address. Hence, I use “Tags” for contacts.

Lists:

“Singleaction” – All my single step tasks go here.

For Projects – I have created individual lists for each project. For example, I have created a list “Set up GTD” for one of my projects “Set up GTD in RTM”. So I will have as many lists as number of projects. Is it not too many lists? Not at all. I will explain how I handle these lists in weekly review part.

Smart Lists:

I have created following smart lists for location “Home”. Similar set of smart lists for “Work” as well.

Today*:

Tasks falling under following categories will be listed here.
- Tasks due today (my tasks, waiting for tasks)
- Tasks Overdue
- Tasks with tag “star” (These are focus tasks chosen from smart list “Anytime”)
- Tasks start today (from smart list “Tickler” for review and further planning)

Filter Query:
(location:Home AND NOT listContains:xx) AND (tag:star OR dueBefore:tomorrow OR start:today)

Upcoming:

Tasks falling under following categories will be listed here.
- Tasks due within next 7 days

“waiting for” tasks are NOT listed here since follow up is required only on due date. If I cannot take any action on these tasks until due date, then why should I see these tasks in this list and clutter it. However, it will be listed in “Today*” list on due date.

Tasks with “start date” alone are not listed. However if a task has start date & due date, it will be listed if due date is within next 7 days.

Filter query:
location:Home and not tag:wait and not listContains:xx and dueWithin:"7 day of tomorrow"

Later:

Tasks falling under following categories will be listed here.
- Tasks due after 1 week

“waiting for” tasks are NOT listed here since follow up is required only on due date.

Tasks with “start date” alone are not listed. However, if a task has start date & due date, it will be listed.

Filter query:
location:Home and not tag:wait and not listContains:xx and dueAfter:"7 days"

Anytime:

Tasks falling under following category will be listed here.
- Tasks without start date and without due date

Filter query:
location:Home and not listContains:xx and not tag:someday and start:never and due:never

Tickler:

Tasks falling under following category will be listed here.
- Tasks with start date only (no due date)

On the day of start date, the task will be moved to smart list “Today*”. Based on my daily review either I postpone the task by changing the start date to a future date or I assign focus tag “star” to do the task or I remove the start date so that it goes to smart list “Anytime”.

Filter Query:
location:Home and startAfter:Today and due:never

Someday:

Tasks with tag “someday”

Filter Query:
location:Home and tag:someday

My daily review:

1. Look at events scheduled for today in my calendars. I use Outlook for Work & Google calendar for Home.

2. “Today*” list becomes by Next Action list (As soon as possible). I sort it by due date, then priority.

3. Look at “Upcoming” list and choose a task with due date approaching. Sorted by due date, then priority.

4. If I have time, I choose tasks from “Anytime” list and assign tag “star” to focus on select tasks. Sorted by priority. Starred tasks moved to “Today*” list.

I have kept only following frequently used lists in “Favorites” list to carry out daily review and get engaged.

Today*
Upcoming
Anytime


Weekly review:

I go through all tasks in each project. I choose only few projects to work on in the next week.

This is basically to reduce number of tasks in “Anytime” & “Later” lists and to have a better focus on tasks requiring my attention. More number of tasks in lists will be psychologically overwhelming.

So I keep few projects in “Inactive” mode by introducing a text string “xx” in the prefix of the Project name (list name). If you have noticed, I have excluded these projects in the search query by including command “not listContains:xx”.

Why this approach? Because this command in filter completely ignores all tasks listed under this inactive list/project. Why text “xx”? With text string “xx”, it is easy to show operator NOT visually and typing “xx” in computer or in mobile requires very less effort.

So name of an inactive project list will look like this.
“xx Project-1”

That’s all from me.

I understand It is a very long post.

Appreciate your time to go through it in detail.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome !

Thanks,
Sunil


Posted at 9:17am on June 20, 2018
ilq says:
Thank you for your post!
Posted 5 weeks ago
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