ForumsGetting Things Done®My semi-GTD system

My semi-GTD system
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Posted: Sep 30, 2011
Score: 2 Reference
Hello everyone,

I'm a Toodledo user that has tried a lot of apps trough the years and I always keep coming back here. As I believe that we can always learn more, I am posting my semi-GTD system here in case someones finds it useful or simply to improve my system based on new ideas.
I tried Proximo's system and full on GTD systems, and always left a bit empty.

Why a semi-GTD system? I think GTD is great but I don't follow it to the letter. I have two distinct areas on my system (Work and Home) and any system has to incorporate both, allowing me to hide one but be a click away. Also my Work has a lot of paper with a bunch of "Put out this fire now" moments; as such my system can filter by context, but I don't use the time or energy fields. To counter this I have a Focus list, with things that are Next Actions and that I want to take care of.

I don't use subtasks because it can create a bit of overhead and hide some tasks (but I am Pro and will remain so to support Toodledo).

My projects can be sequential with only one Next Action, or parallel with several tasks to get done

My active fields are:
Star: Allows for focus
Task: I focus on using verbs (for action) and placing as much info as possible
Folder: These are my projects (with one or more tasks marked Next Action, and all others marked as Active)
Context: Ihave the usual ones but also have @coworker or @boss1 or @boss2; for other persons I have the @Someone with the name of the person in the task
Location: This allows me to filter between Work and Home
Start Date
Due Date: My calendar is sometimes full of meetings and I have tasks that are defined with due date, and I place them here for them not to get lost
Status: I use only the status - Next Action, Active (for the tasks following the Next in Projects), Waiting, Someday and Hold (for ticklers - this status works only in tasks with a start date)
Note: I try to always place links for Evernote, Dropbox or Gmail

Now everything depends on searches, with the results sorted by location and then context. My searches names have the number that corresponds to the keyboard shortcut (1 is new search). The only time I leave the search view is to go to projects so I can promote a task to Next Action.

Because the first sort is Location I can collapse the one that I don't need but is only one click away.

2 - Inbox:
Stuff that needs processing and ticklers. My inbox can be a note program in my cell phone, a bcc email, or a previous task with a start date that needs to be processed again.
Checked off no AND Location is no location
Checked off no AND Start Date is before Tomorrow

3 - Focus:
Tasks that I want to get done or have a due date today (allows me to see also overdue). Daily I try to see what I have due, I check my calendar for times and I star any Next Action that I want to focus on for the day.
Checked off no
Starred yes OR Due Date is before Tomorrow

4 - Next Actions:
All next actions (standalone or from projects). Sequential projects just have one next action, parallel projects can have more and all appear here.
Checked off no
Status is Next Action

5 - Waiting
Things that I'm waiting and all have contexts
Checked off no
Status is Waiting

6 - Due
List of things with an end date - helpful for the weekly review
Checked off no
Due Date exists

7 - Scheduled
List of things with start date - for the weekly review
Checked off no
Start Date exists

8 - Someday
Someday list
Checked off no
Status is Someday

9 - Logbook
Finished tasks
Checked off yes

I hope this helps someone and any questions just ask.

If anybody in Toodledo reads this my wish list are to further improve this are: Task counts on search (in the sidebar), task dependency (with one or more Next Actions) would be good and I would really like the new search to leave from shortcut 1.

This message was edited Sep 30, 2011.

Posted: Oct 04, 2011
Score: 1 Reference
This is great post, and thanks for sharing your system. The thing that I absolutely love about Toodledo is that it doesn't force a user down any particular road, rather it let's them devise their own system. This is in contrast to just about every one of TD's competitors. Your system is the proof that while it may not be everyone's ideal, it clearly fits your needs. We're all searching for our tasklist nirvana and it's somewhere in Toodledo. Just takes a bit of work.


Posted: Oct 07, 2011
Score: -1 Reference
An interesting system, and a good one IMO, but there is one drawback: Saved searches don't work with the iOS app :(.

Posted: Oct 07, 2011
Score: 1 Reference
It has that issue,

when I'm with my mobile I check tasks that are starred, or tasks that have context "purchase" - that means check focus or things to buy.

When I don't have anything to buy (@purchases) and have free time I always have a reading item starred that I can check on my cell.

Posted: Oct 08, 2011
Score: -1 Reference
While I understand the appeal of working your system primarily from the Search view with saved searches, one of big disadvantages IMO, is that you lose the unique Show and Sort power of the other views. Each view in Toodledo (Main, Folder, Context etc) retains its own settings for Show and Sort. I use all the views, each with its own Show and Sort settings, and I rarely need to change them. For instance, I don't use the sharing feature in Toodledo, but I do use the Sharing view all the time. I just press "H". It happens to have Show and Sort settings that best display my project list.

Looking at your saved searches, it looks like they all can be accessed via existing views, with the exception of Inbox and Logbook (I have similar saved searches in my system, btw!) Your Focus view is Hotlist (aka "M3" via the keyboard). Anyway, I don't intend this as a criticism of your system, just another way of looking at things. The "best" system is the one that works for you.
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