GTD in RetainIt

GTD stands for Getting Things Done and is a task-management system created by David Allen.  GTD is implemented in RetainIt through the Goals, Projects, and Todos categories.

Goals Category

The Goals category is for creating the high-level things you’d like to accomplish.  Some example Goals would be:

  • Buy new house
  • Get out of debt
  • Write Term Paper
  • Get a new job
  • Remodel the Kitchen

Goals can be placed in the following statuses:

  • Short-Term
  • Long-Term
  • Completed

Projects Category

The Projects category is for larger tasks that require more than one step to accomplish.  For the “Remodel the Kitchen” goal you might create the following Projects:

  • Order Cabinets
  • Order Counter-tops
  • Order New Appliances

Projects can be in one of the following statuses:

  • New – Newly created projects are created with this status.
  • Active – Once you start work on a project you should set it to active.
  • On Hold – Projects you plan on starting soon should be placed here.
  • Future – Projects you don’t plan on starting soon but would like to do someday should go here.
  • Completed – Once you check off a project it automatically goes to this status.

Todos Category

The Todos category is where you place your small “actionable” items.  Some example to-dos for the Kitchen Remodel project would be:

  • Buy cabinet handles online
  • Buy paint at Lowes
  • Research stoves online

For each to-do you can create tags/contexts to identify where you can accomplish the task.  Context created by default in RetainIt are:

  • @Computer
  • @Email
  • @Errands
  • @Home
  • @Phone
  • @Review
  • @Shopping
  • @Work

For each to-do you should assign a context. For the ‘Buy cabinet handles online’ you could assign the @Shopping or @Computer contexts or both.  For the ‘Buy paint at Lowes’ you could assign the @Errands or @Shopping context, and for the ‘Research stoves online’ task you could assign @Computer or @Review.

You can optionally assign a Priority and Effort Level to each to-do.  By setting these two properties your to-do lists will be automatically sorted so that the highest priority items with the lowest effort are at the top and low priority items with a high effort level are at the bottom.

To-dos can be in one of the following seven statuses:

  • New – New to-dos are created with this status.  When reviewing your inbox either daily or weekly you should move any to-dos in this status to the appropriate status.
  • Next Actions – These are the to-dos you plan on taking action on next. Ideally, you should only have few items in this status.  If a to-do sits in this status for too long you should either break it down into smaller tasks or move it to another status.
  • On Deck – These are the to-dos you plan on doing soon.  Although not an “official” GTD status, using it can make your Next Actions lists a little smaller.
  • Someday/Maybe – These are the to-dos you can’t or prefer not to do now.  These should be reviewed either weekly or monthly to determine if they should be placed into either On Deck or Next Actions.
  • Waiting For – These are to-dos you are waiting for someone to take action on or for a response from someone.
  • Cancelled – If you decided not to do a to-do you can place it in this status or just simple delete the to-do.
  • Completed – Once you are done with a to-do click the checkbox and it automatically goes into this status.

With GTD it is suggested that you review all your to-dos and move them into the appropriate status on a weekly basis.

External GTD Links

Below are some links to help give you more information about the GTD system.

GTD Workflow Video

GTD in 15 minutes

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