Task Managers


David Allen’s book on GTD calls the weekly review a “critical factor for success” and he is not joking. If you start using the GTD framework and you are not a robot, things will start to slip. You will complete the next action of a project and forget to add a new “next action” for that project. You will forget to remove next actions that you—if you really thought about it—know that you won’t do in the near future after all, and so on.

  • Have an “in” or inbox list. Duh. This is where everything goes as it comes to your mind. This is a dumping ground as things come to you. Throw things in there and then you can process / prioritize it later.
    • When processing the Inbox you should ask: Is this thing actionable?
  • Items can also be in one of the following lists:
    • Next Actions. These are things you should do ASAP. This is your on deck pile and where you’ll pull your next todo items
    • Waiting for. When you delegate work to others and you want to keep tabs on it. Put it in a Waiting For list.
    • Someday / Maybe list. Things you don’t want to forget, but may or may not end up being a good idea or important.


Do any action that takes 2 minutes or less right away. This is potentially controversial. Tim Ferris would argue that many of those things are not important. I find myself doing those things right away, but I’m unsure if those are actually good things to do or just procrastination.

The Goal of GTD To Relax. Our goal is not to get more done. Our goal is to focus our time and energy on the things that are most important to us and waste as little time worrying about small shit as possible.

For me, I feel like a get plenty done, but I always feel like there is more to do. I always feel like I am in an eternal Kanban of whatever is the next highest priority. There is rarely a feeling of I’m actually in a good spot wrt my Todo list.

GTD people only care about two weeks. Last week and this week. This helps us focus on things that are upcoming instead of worrying about the inactionable future.

Use contexts to help organize your todos around where they can be completed: @home, @office, @phone, @computer.

*This isn’t quite as useful for me as I basically don’t leave the house. *

Tasks should always be something that can be completed in 2-30minutes. If not then it should be broken up further.

With every new project ask: What is the final outcome we’re hoping to achieve? and what is the next action we need to take?


Use Lists for Contexts

Use Tags for Projects and what I have traditionally used lists for.

Use Tags and Nested Tags for what I would call projects or Areas of Responsibility

Put Someday / Maybe Tasks into their Own List

In this articles Example they are left with the following lists:

  • Home / Evening
  • Errands
  • Work
  • Phone
  • Anywhere
  • Someday - Maybe
  • Waiting For

It sounds like waiting for can be a list or a tag. Doesn’t really matter

In this article they differentiate between waiting for / blocked and delegated.