Organising My Life via GTD Getting Things Done Week 2 - Here Comes Trello

September 30, 2018    GTD Productivity Life-Learning

This is my weekly write-up series on implementing GTD- Week 1

So last week we talked about how I was groking the concepts of GTD by going through initial chapters of book.

I also did a retrospection on how I have been trying to manage my life and why I was failing till now. We will quickly go through my earlier practices which were not so fruitful in effectively managing my time —

  1. **Writing ToDos — **I think this is the most common piece of advice that you receive when you are thinking about managing your time. Problem with writing ToDos is their unstructured nature and lack of context. Meaning you know you have written something down but it is not in front of you when it should be to effectively use your time.
  2. **Using Calendar — **I also tried using calendar for over a month or two without any success. The reason for this is I realised is calendar should be treated as a sacred territory what goes into the calendar has to be done at that time. Whereas if you are trying to manage your life things are bound to change hence updating calendar gets daunting and cumbersome. You also really don’t manage priorities in calendar.
  3. **Using Wunderlist — **Wunderlist was working out well for me, as I got into the mode of creating separate list and writing everything down as soon as something crossed my mind. But it still felt the dots were not connected. I was not scheduling my task properly, I had no definite place to store reference materials, managing projects was pain in the ass and much more.

Sweeping the entire mind

So I spend my last week with a diary with me all the time to note down every task that ever crossed my mind. It was so extreme that I had to make sure that no thought ever crossed my mind twice. I was writing down all the task/project which I was working on currently, left undone in past, future projects I had in my mind.

Finally I had list of around 100 small/big tasks. I knew this was not my exhaustive list for all my pending stuff. So I went through my mails, folders, my current todos setup, evernote, notes app, reminder app, calendar etc. This also included my reading list, movies to watch list, travelling plans etc.

Idea here is everything that might take your mental space or which might spark the fear of slipping out of mind should be entered in the system. Everything has to be tracked.

Weapon of choice

I also spent my last week to figure out which tool I will be using to implement GTD, there are many tools out there which I wont go much in detail.

I settled on Trello after my research due to following reasons —

a. I am very comfortable with this tool and I know it’s capability and flexibility.

b. Trello also has immense support of plugins to automate your board like moving your due date to google calendar or saving your links to evernote are few examples.

c. Trello is platform agnostic.(unlike reminders app of Apple)

d. I know it is in active development phase as it is under safe hands of Altassian unlike Wunderlist which I afraid will be shutdown by Microsoft anytime.

Bringing GTD to life

After settling on tool, it was now time to put it to actions.

I went through few references to understand how people are using Trello to implement GTD, here are they —

  1. Trello setup discussion on altassian community
  2. Trello sample setup
  3. GTD’s reference material(not free 😜)
  4. Video — he talks about automation using Zapier

And finally I processed my entire inbox items and it looks something like this —

(WIP) GTD Trello setup

This is the output from my initial processsing this is still work in progress. I still need to decide on the following things —

  1. How I will manage between work and personal stuff
  2. Defining contexts
  3. Reference(evernote/drive) and google calendar setups
  4. Extracting next action items from my projects.
  5. Use some of the design cues from the template mentioned above.

While reading and implementing GTD I have realised I have become more conscious about my how I spend and manage my time. Hopefully I integrate GTD deeply into my life and get full benefits out of it.

See you next week 👋✌️

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