Wednesday, September 27, 2006

GTD - The Five Steps

Okay, here is my version of the most common way to explain GTD -- the five steps.

1. Collect. This is the phase where you gather all stuff into inboxes of various kinds. "Stuff" is any item there is yet to make a decision about. Things that aren't yet neatly organized into your system and life, like mails in your inbox or papers lying around. Internal things also goes into this category, stuff on your mind. Just write it on a paper and put it into the inbox.

2. Process. Everything in your inbox should be put through a certain series of questions in order to decide where it belongs. There is a useful flowchart to aid this process. Where does an item belong? Well, it can go into a filing system if it's reference material, or a calendar if it's an appointment. (There are more categories.)

3. Organize. Actually, a big chunk of the organizing was done in step two when you decided where every item belongs. But I guess some organizing can still be done within each category.

4. Review. For the system to work, you need to review it regularly. All your projects and "to do"s are in the system, and you need to be reminded of them often enough. So, some part of the system should be review daily, and some part weekly.

5. Act. It's not enough to keep track of your projects, you need to work on them too. D. Allen has some useful advice on how to choose what to do, which I won't go into here.

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