Listening to: Getting Things Done (GTD)

Maybe I’m the last person on the planet to read/listen to David Allen’s Getting Things Done, but it’s about time!

So…here’s the cheat sheet (my distillation of the Wikipedia article) :

2 Minute Rule

New task comes in…if it can be done in less than 2 minutes, just DO IT!

Core Principles


  • Capture everything you need to remember
  • Store it in your bucket (PDA, day timer, boxes, file cabinet)
  • Process buckets at least once a week


  • Start at top
  • 1 item at a time
  • Don’t put anything back in the bucket
  • For items that require action, do one of:
    • do it (2 minutes or less)
    • delegate it
    • defer it
  • For items requiring no action, do one of:
    • file for reference
    • trash it
    • incubate for possible future action


  • Next actions
    • Every item must be assigned a next action
  • Projects
    • Periodically review to be sure it’s moving
    • Must have a next action assigned
  • Waiting for
    • Must have list of “waiting fors”
    • Review list
    • Check action due or reminders needed
  • Someday/Maybe
    • list of items that you may want to do someday


  • Next actions – review daily
  • Projects, waiting for, and someday…at least weekly


Make it simple and fun to do the actions…if you can!

Organization and Filing System

Calendars – should only be used for appointments and deadlines

Filing system – whatever you like…suggests alphabetically ordered folders. If something doesn’t fit an existing folder add a new one

Tickler file (43 folders) – suggests using 12 folders for the months…31 folders for days of the current month

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