top of page

Getting Things Done Part 2

“The essence of Getting Things Done is knowing what “done” means, and what “doing” looks like and where it happens; and this data almost never shows up by itself. It requires thinking—not a lot, but more than you think.” - David Allen After my last post (, you should now have processed your Brain Dump and you now have a list of actionable tasks and also miscellaneous thoughts/ideas. Looking through, you will probably notice some patterns and groupings. But where should you keep track of your head junk? Some people use a word document on their computer, or google drive, or their phone’s notes, or other app. I prefer a paper based system and use a notebook. To keep track on paper, I have adapted the bullet journal system to suit my purposes. In a black notebook, I start off with an index, where I log page titles and their numbers. That way, I can easily find what I’m looking for. Then I have several pages of monthly calendars, where I log scheduled events. I also have a page to list that month’s reminders, tasks, and goals. This space to log reminders is especially useful so I can follow through on future commitments without worrying that I’ll forget about them between now and then. For instance, I recently reached out to a friend to schedule a hike but they are out of town until October, so I flipped to October and added a reminder to reach out to them then. Now, we come to your lists. Each list gets its own page and some of them might take two. I have the following lists: Next Actions, Waiting For, Someday/Maybe, Projects, Relationships, To Read/To Watch, Incubating Ideas. After my lists, I have a Weekly spread where I list appointments and objectives for the coming week. Then I use the next available blank page for my daily spread. I start off with the date, write a quote, and then list three things I am grateful for. Then I list the events I have scheduled for that day and below it, the tasks I need to accomplish. Having all of your head junk organized onto paper and a plan for the day feels good, but it doesn’t help you if you don’t revisit the stuff you logged. This brings us to the weekly review. Each Sunday, I process the things that have accumulated over the week, plan for the coming week, and review my lists to make sure nothing is falling through the cracks. My weekly review looks like this:

  • Process inboxes

    • Paper pile (mail, post it notes, receipts, loose sheet music, etc)

    • Email

    • Text messages

    • Voicemails

  • Process Downloads folder

  • Process Desktop documents

  • Process sticky notes on Mac

  • Process notes on phone

  • Process phone internet browser windows

  • Close/process open computer browser windows and open documents

    • Transfer open loops to project list/brain dump list/next actions list

  • Create a new weekly layout, add upcoming events and objectives

  • Review next actions list

    • If the list is too cluttered with cross outs, transfer to a new list

  • Process past daily and weekly pages and migrate unfinished tasks to new homes

  • Review past calendar and transfer follow ups/next actions/waiting for to active system

  • Review upcoming calendar (short AND long term) and capture triggered actions

  • Review Waiting For List

  • Review Project List

  • Review Sometime/Maybe List

  • Review Life Audit

At first glance, it looks intimidating, but on Sunday when I have reorganized and reintroduced myself with everything that’s going on, my brain feels clear. Even if there is an overwhelming amount of things on my lists, I take comfort in the fact that I have clarified my next actions and am keeping track of what I’m waiting for. The most important thing I have learned from climbing mountains is that you reach the summit by putting one foot in front of the other. If I am moving forward, I am making progress, and eventually, I’ll enjoy a spectacular view from the top. I am so happy to answer questions, and if you’d like to learn more, I recommend you check out the following: “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity” by David Allen How to Bullet Journal: GTD vs Bullet Journal: Bullet Journal and GTD:

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page