The Organize Stage of GTD, Explained

  1. The Calendar is used for the next actions you need to do at a particular time or day. Your calendar will contain three types of things:
    — Actions you need to do at a certain time (appointments).
    — Actions you need to do on a particular day, at any time of day.
    — Information related to a specific day. In this case it’s not about actions you need to do, but information that can be useful to you on a certain date (e.g. when something is overdue or when it should be started, given a deadline).
  2. Next Actions lists. Now, what about all those actions that you have to do, but do not have a fixed date? These actions usually make up a much larger group (approximately 90% of your total actions) and will therefore also require a series of criteria for their organization. The main criteria we will use in this case will be the contexts. In GTD we call contexts to the possibilities and constraints you have according to the environment in which you are physically located. Some actions can be done anywhere, but most of them require a specific place and/or tools available, that is, a specific context. You should group the Next Actions in different lists, one for each context you need to define. For example, the “home” list would contain all the actions you can do when you are at home, and the “computer” list would contain all the actions you can do when you are in the context defined by your work with the computer.
  3. Agendas. Agendas contain reminders of actions that require other people. Agendas are just other Next Actions lists in which the limiting context is a person or a group of people. They are a great tool to reliably keep track of all the things you need to discuss with people or teams you meet regularly, so that the next time you have the opportunity to talk to them you can keep track of all the pending issues, without forgetting anything.
  4. All your delegated actions, which are waiting for the appropriate person or institution to carry them out, will go to the Waiting For list.
  5. The Project List contains all the results you have committed to, but have not yet completed.
  6. In the Someday/Maybe list you will incubate all those things that you cannot or do not contemplate intervening on at the moment, either because you’re not sure if they are relevant at present or because they are events projected to an uncertain future for which you cannot commit yourself yet.
  • The Trash Bin, where you will discard catches that have no potential value to you.
  • The Archive, where you will deposit items that have intrinsic value as information that may be of use or interest. The archive is usually divided into two sections:
    -Reference material, for information of rare use that you do not need to have very close at hand.
    -Support material, for more frequently used information, related to your ongoing projects, that you need to have more at hand.

Your Calendar is not a to-do list

Items in the Someday/Maybe list

Organize, in a nutshell

Workflow diagram

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