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My GTD system based on Evernote

This weekend while at ACCN I was asked by Ingvald to write a blogpost about my GTD system. It is based on original GTD of David Allen just a bit simplified. I use Evernote as a single place that powers my life so here I will describe the setup and my routines.


I have following notebooks in Evernote where I store all the information:
Agendas – notes containing discussion topics with concrete people. It could be my wife, my business partner or any other human I should have a longer conversation with.
Inbox – a place for storing all the unprocessed items.
Next Actions – simple one-step tasks that need to be done.
Active projects – complex things that need to be done, and involve doing a series of tasks to be complete, often take many weeks to finish.
Delegated projects – self-explanatory
Inactive projects – self-explanatory
Read/review – materials to read or review later. Articles, TED talks, youtube videos, etc
Reference material – This notebook contains 18 other notebooks like agile, home, work, travel, etc which in turn hold all the reference information which does not require any action (receipts, articles, etc).
Someday/Maybe – self-explanatory
Tickler – any task that requires some action in the future and needs to be postponed to a certain date. All notes here have a reminder set to that date so that Evernote sends you an e-mail when the task is due.
Tickler folder
Waiting for – a simple task which is delegated to someone and require a follow up.
Done Actions2014 – self-explanatory
Trash – self-explanatory

This is how it looks:


focus – this is the most important tag. Every evening I choose 3 to 5 things to be done next working day and tag those with “focus”. I allocate 2 hours in the working day to work on the tasks tagged with “focus” and if the task is not finished (for example writing a longer blogpost) in that time it simply continues having this tag for yet another day.
.Who – tagging tasks with the names of the most important people around me (wife and kids, my biz partner, etc)

Self-explanatory context tags:

Not every activity should be done

I evaluate every activity using the algorithm below:
activity evaluation

My daily routine

Here is my daily routine that I try following if I work at the office (which I have at home).

  • I start my day with 10 minutes of meditating to clear my mind
  • 2 hours doing the hard important tasks scheduled for today (tag “focus”)
  • 30 minutes having a difficult conversation (if I don’t have one, this time can be added to any of other activities as I feel in the moment)
  • 30 minutes improving finances
  • 1 hour sports
  • 1 hour reading and answering mail

The rest of the day goes into skype/phone calls, web surfing, reading, etc.

This schedule applies only to “working days in the office” which I have 1 to 3 every week. I usually have 3-4 “working days at the client” every week when I am coaching organisations or doing trainings at the customer´s site and this routine of cause does not apply to those days.

This system works for me pretty well, and yes you can steal it if you like it. If you do, I would be glad if you share what modifications you have made for yourself in the comments.