GTD Recipes

GTD Recipes: Organizing an Online Course

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez

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When you don’t have too much spare time, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are a great way to learn and catch up on subjects that interest you.

You can attend a course from your computer, your iPad or your smartphone, devoting just a few hours per week—how great is the internet!—. Also, they are usually free unless you want a certificate stating you have accomplished that course.

A few weeks ago I started a Gamification course in Coursera, and I think it might be useful to show how I have organized this course in my GTD system.

The course structure is pretty simple: Every week a series of lectures in video format and a small quiz are published. You must watch the lectures and complete the quiz before Sunday ends. This sequence is repeated the 10 weeks the course lasts. In addition, from time to time you have to do some kind of written assignment. Both quizzes and written assignments (and usually a final exam) are required if you need accreditation. In any case, they are fully recommended, if only to know you are understanding the concepts.

The GTD organization is also simple. Of course, you need a project that encompasses all the actions needed to complete the course.

Every week you have to add both watching the videos and doing the quiz as the Next Actions of the project. If you indicate the duration of each video, it will be easier for you to find the right time to watch them:

next actions in project

You must also add the quiz deadline to your Calendar. Can’t I use this reminder as an action? No, they are different things in this case. You can do the quiz any day (asap), but you need you know there is a deadline.

project calendar

It is also helpful to keep the links you will use often during the course as Reference Material: 1

project support material

In your Weekly Review, you must update the project with the new lectures and quizzes published. If at the time of the review they’re still not published (you may do the review on Sundays and they may be published on Mondays), you can create a routine or repetitive task to remember updating the project:

routine to update the project

Do you use any special trick, within GTD, to manage some sort of tasks or projects and you think it may be useful to others? Whatever the tools you use, tell us about your recipe and we will post it here.

1 If you are using FacileThings, you can even take the course notes in an Evernote notebook and attach it to the project so you can always have them handy, in your project Reference Material section.

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