Nano-GTD – for beginners or people in a hurry

Recently I heard a complaint: GTD has a terribly high barrier to entry, you need to READ a BOOK! Inconciiiievable! (Audio books were also not welcome.) “Can’t I just watch some videos?” Well, you can, but it might not be as good as doing the seminar and then read the book – or the other way round.

Then again I remember how hard it was to start off with GTD, so I put together this little guide that -when followed- will give you a first taste of GTD and hopefully will make you want more.

– Do not do daily to-do-lists. 

– Just make a note of every task…

– … in one big list…

– …in small steps…

– …with a VERB (preferably at the start of the line and in BOLD letters or in color)



WRITE keywords for semester paper

PICK UP order book store

CALL Joe re: appointment briefing

NOT as a daily list but simply everything that is to be done in the near future (or even today).

Cross out what you finished.


– Now first DO the things that can or need to be done ONLY today (If it helps you put a “!” in front of it or mark them in red … meaning: „If I do not do this today, I will not have to do it at all and can cross it off.“)

– Then DO the things, that can ONLY be done where you are right now (downton, your office, at home)

– Afterwards DO the things where you’d get a positive feeling AFTER they are accomplished and you have rid yourself from them (not the ones where you feel bad BEFORE you do them).

– of you like put the tasks on separate lists like

— at home

— errands

— office

— anywhere


— I’ll do this at some point / not now (these are “good ideas” but stuff you neither want or have to do right now or soon.)

…and then work only on the list(s) that correlate to the place or situation you are in.

– Do this for one week.

– Tell us how it was in the comments.

– If it worked well, read “Getting Things Done” by David allen (2015 edition) and expand the above system sccording to his suggestions.

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