Getting Things Done - GTD

Keep it simple, let's not complicate our GTD

AUTHOR: David Torné
tags Capture List Management Organize Reflect Advice

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It is great to have powerful tools that give us confidence and enthusiasm, but let’s face it, all this functionality is sometimes translated into complex personal management systems. Either because we do not go beyond the basics in the learning phase, or because we do not perform a self-analysis, reflection process about how we are using it, software sometimes becomes an inert stuff in which we do not evolve.

For this not to happen with FacileThings I have gathered a collection of measures so you can use the application in a stress-free, open-minded and relaxed manner. The secret is to enjoy working and these measures can lighten your daily operations:

  • From Gmail to FacileThings. You can mark the emails you want to respond or manage in any way, using the “starred” feature or creating a specific tag to be sent to FacileThings. To do this you can create a connection with ifttt.
  • Restrict the use of the mobile app to only check the actions to do. You do not need to turn it into another account you have to watch repeatedly. Try to record and review your tasks only at a given time, eg lunchtime. Use the rest of your time to get things done.
  • Use B lists. Create a #Blist or #now tag to classify the actions you have to do immediately. Filter your actions by this tag so you can visualize only those that contain it and avoid the possible distractions generated by the rest.
  • Keep your FacileThings lists neat. If you can connect the application with Evernote, do it. Your projects support material will live much better on your virtual notebooks. A good integration allows you to open and view your notes without having to jump from one application to another, and you will have more free space on your account.
  • Review and purge your Reference Material regularly. The Reference Material list is a place to put relevant information related to your activity. I use it to store tweets that I favorite in Twitter, and I must confess that some times it has become a real mess.
  • Use a two-tags system to classify each action. The first is for the context and the second to indicate what type of activity you are performing. For example, I classify all actions about finding things on the internet as #online #search. The second tag allows me to reduce significantly my lists and work better with contexts, since I am able to start working with a batch of actions with just one click.
  • Play with in-progress and archived projects. One of the GTD goals is to let us know what we should do now, and you can bring it to the field of projects. Keep active only the projects with which you are going to work this week, do not lose your focus on non-priority actions. Balance your projects between the active and archived projects lists.
  • Identify the repetitive tasks that are in your day-to-day routines and program them through the Routines section. Having them programmed will avoid you to re-create them manually every time.
  • The Goals section can be very helpful. Define your goals here and create the necessary projects and areas of responsibility. They will draw a clear picture of your activity, from above your actions and projects and integrating both of them. You will get a better impression of the reality you are dealing with.
  • Periodically review your Calendar. It is just a click away. If you are using Google Calendar now you can integrate it and process both calendars together. GTD helps you not to miss anything, but you also have to help a bit :)
  • Clean your Next Actions list using the Tickler File. By using the command :start, you can place an action in the near future, so it will be activated at the right time. This way, you can see the landscape of your current activity with no obstacles.

This is a set of measures that should help you use FacileThings in the way it is: as a tool to simplify your life, not to further complicate it.

You, user of the application, and me, another user who wants to improve on its use; we both have access to the comments area below so we can expand our common knowledge in this field. How do you do to make your GTD even easier?

David Torné

David is a blogger who specializes in personal productivity and GTD. Professional software developer and vocational disseminator of everything related to productivity. Follow him in his blog.

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