Get things done (GTD)

Stay focused and accomplish more with this Getting Things Done (GTD) template.

When you have a million and one ideas, to-dos, and thoughts running through your head each day, it takes a ton of mental energy to focus and cut through the noise.

Luckily with David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology there's a science to boosting your productivity.

This Getting Things Done (GTD) template frees up your focus by giving you one central location to sort and prioritize tasks for now, later, and someday.

Here’s how:

  • Create and organize your ideas using the get-things-done list with sections
  • Hone your focus by tagging work with appropriate statuses and categories (as well as indicating the right timelines)
  • Free up mental energy by crafting a running “Later” list with tasks you’ll do eventually

What is Getting Things Done (GTD)?

Getting Things Done (GTD) is a personal productivity system created by David Allen that helps you manage your time more efficiently by laying out everything you need to accomplish and eliminating sources of stress.

The Getting Things Done flow involves five questions about any particular to-do or idea:

  1. Is it actionable?
  2. Is it a single step to complete?
  3. Will the task take more or less than two minutes?
  4. Should I be doing this task, or should it be delegated to someone else?
  5. Does it need to be completed by a specific date or time?

Based on those five questions, you sort your ideas, projects, and to-dos into eight different categories. Tasks you’ll do now (or soon) fall into these categories: to-do immediately, delegating to someone else, scheduled for tomorrow or this week, or build out into multiple tasks with next steps. Items you’ll reference or handle in the future can be events added to your calendar, notes or resources filed for references, tasks added to a list for later list, or trashed if you decide it isn’t worth doing or relevant.

Who should use the Getting Things Done productivity system?

The Getting Things Done productivity system is especially valuable for busy people managing lots of different projects and to-dos at once. If you ever feel like you have so much on your plate that you’re paralyzed on where to start, this productivity method helps you alleviate stress and focus on one task at a time.

With the Getting Things Done framework, the idea is that mental notes of things to do, ideas, and other thoughts all serve as “open loops,” or sources of stress. They distract us: instead of focusing on the work we’re actually doing, we’re thinking through all of these other things we could (or should) be doing. The Getting Things Done process helps you be more productive and focused by sorting those sources of stress into categories for now and the future.

Getting Things Done is also excellent for those who have tried creating their own productivity frameworks, or tried numerous ‘hacks’ that just didn’t seem to work.

Who is this Getting Things Done template for?

This Getting Things Done (GTD) template is meant for individuals and teams looking for a streamlined way to ‘brain-dump’ and organize new tasks, ideas, and to-dos.

How do I start using the Getting Things Done productivity model?

The Getting Things Done premise is based on gathering all of the information floating around in your head or in random notes and emails, and sorting it into actionable categories and next steps. Turning mental notes into a task management process helps alleviate mental burden so you can focus and…well, get more done!

This productivity methodology consists of five steps, each of which is easy to accomplish with this Getting Things Done template:

  1. Capture and collect all the information, ideas, and to-dos in one central location.

Brain-dump all the information you can think of that you’d like to accomplish or need to do, now or in the future. No task or idea is too big or too small here. With this Getting Things Done template, each of these ideas will live as a new task in the GTD inbox section of your get-things-done list.

  1. Break each item you’ve captured into clarified, actionable next steps.

Once you capture all of the things you’ve been thinking of, it’s time to clarify and begin sorting it. This starts at a basic level: is this thing its own new project or task, a follow-up to another item, or just material or notes to reference later? Every task will have its own custom attributes, tags, and a description for any notes or links. If you need to break down a main idea or to-do further, you can add subtasks (each with their own attributes, too). And with Height, tasks can fall on multiple lists, so you can house items everywhere they need to be and keep your projects aligned across multiple locations.

  1. Organize your tasks into more specific categories.

Now comes the real bread-and-butter of the Getting Things Done methodology: organizing all of your tasks by when you’ll do them. Go through your GTD inbox and first select whether each task is less than 2 minutes or more than 2 minutes, and then decide when you will be getting it done within the provided options: today, this evening , this week and later. Your tasks will automatically section to where you decide.

  1. Review your list and reorganize as needed.

Once your lists are all set up, it’s important to consistently check in and make adjustments. A productivity system like GTD only works when you actually use it, so dedicate time each week to reviewing your lists, reorganizing, and adding new items to your GTD inbox list as needed.

  1. Start checking off tasks.

You’ll never again be overwhelmed by how many projects, to-dos, and ideas are running through your mind. With this Getting Things Done template, you’ll be ready to tackle your list one item at a time — always with an answer to “What should I be working on right now?” With special filtering, such as by type of task, tasks needing only two minutes to complete, or deadlines, you’ll be able to view your list the way that works for you and accomplish what matters without losing focus.

How do I get started with the Getting Things Done (GTD) template?

Getting started is easy — all you have to do is click “Try in Height”. If you don’t have a Height account yet, you’ll be prompted to create your free account (it’ll only take a minute or two).