Getting Things Done — Reintroducing my basic productivity system

In my previous post, I shared the circumstances how I got back into using GTD. This post explains the basic steps and my tools I started to use.

GTD Workflow

The basic GTD Workflow can be summarized in three definite steps:

The big value of this workflow is to put the question “What to do with this item?” into your consciousness and to decide immediately what to do with it. This helps you to quickly process your inbox.

GTD Tools

GTD only works if you have clear defined boundaries between the various tools. It does not matter whether you go for a paper based solution, use documents on your computer, apps on your phone, whether you sync your data across all your devices etc. GTD is not strict on tools, but on the information you put into it.

My recommendation about choosing the right tools are related to the way you want to handle the information:

Based on these questions, my system looks like this:

Using GTD

Once you have defined your tools, be sure to really make the boundaries between them very specific. Insert all input in your inbox first (preferably just one inbox, see below). Put all actions in the next action list, not in your project reference material. Access your information as frequently as you need to. And lastly, give GTD some time. I’m using it for 8 weeks now, changing process, tools and reviews frequently. Find your GTD.

GTD Traps

Using GTD for a couple of weeks now, I stumbled into several pitfalls:

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