Thursday, October 14, 2010

GTD in Gmail and Google Calendar

Gmail and Google Calendar has a great task feature that you can use to setup a GTD system.

Basic setup
Start with creating the basic set of task lists (they all start with ! just to keep them at the top of  my task lists):

  • !Inbox
  • !Next
  • !Waiting for
  • !Someday
  • !Scheduled

Enter all your stuff to the !Inbox list.

Emails are easily entered by selecting "Add to Tasks" from the "More actions" menu.

If you select a task and then click the little arrow on the right you can:

  • move the task to another list.
  • set a due date
  • add a comment

(You can create hierarchies of tasks by just tabbing them.)

There is no real tagging available (to use for context presumably) but you could either use the comments for that, or do as I and  create two default tasks on the !Inbox list, @home and @work, and then just order the tasks under them.

The simplest way to do this is of course just to add the calendar events as needed and remove the tasks from the !Inbox.

But since I like to keep track of everything in lists I added the !Scheduled list. I move tasks from the !Inbox here and set a due date for them. Then I open up the Google Calendar and select tasks and then the !Scheduled lists and boom (as Steve would say) the scheduled tasks are visible in the calendar. They can be marked as completed as well as rescheduled. (The one downside is that a specific time can not be scheduled for the task in this system, you have to create a specific calendar event for that.)

There are of course lots of ways to set this up. And different plugins available. But since I am new to GTD I wanted the simplest setup possible to get me started. We'll see how it goes...

You're welcome to add comments with questions or thoughts or ideas to improve the above setup.

!Next list in Gmail

!Scheduled list in Gmail

!Scheduled list in Google Calendar

1 comment:

gtd said...

For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:

You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
Comes with a mobile version too, and with an Android app.