Getting Things Done

There are a million posts about Getting Things Done, and a thousand on using Trello for this and of course, a whole book. So I won’t go into massive detail, I’m just pitching support.

I organise my life with Trello, and it’s perfect for the GTD philosophy:

  1. Capture — If it’s going to happen and will take you more than two minutes to do, write it down. (Add it to your GTD board, under the Inbox list). Otherwise, do it so it’s out the way.

Clarify — This is where “Picnic for Phoebe’s birthday” becomes “Create Facebook event for Phoebe’s birthday picnic”. Pick the next actionable task. (Rename the Trello card to something specific you can actually do).

Organise — Decide when you’ll do this actionable task using one of these categories, and with a due date if you have one: Someday/maybe, Later, This Week, Today. Dreams and future home renovations go on the Someday/maybe list til they’re ready to be moved to the confirmed lists. Getting your haircut this week goes on This Week, to be moved to Today when the day comes round that you decide to do it. (Make a list on your GTD board for each of those categories. Add one for “Waiting On” for things out of your control, awaiting a third party response).

Reflect — That decision to get your haircut today? That happens when you’re reflecting. Reflecting keeps all your lists and tasks organised. (Review your board every day, move things left to right and move done tasks to a done list with today’s date that you can archive at the end of the day).

Engage — Get going! Grab the first, most pressing thing that needs doing and get it done. Knock those bad boys off the list! You’ll feel awesome! So how does this look on Trello? It turns every task into a 3D, malleable little ‘card’ that you can drag and drop from list to list. Get cards off the Later list and onto This Week to make a bold statement that ‘This is going to get done this week.” Add due dates, checklists, tag people on cards, comment on cards, and paste links and images onto cards.

The result is a flowing production line of exactly what you have to do in life.

The best part: it’s so easy to ‘dump’ whatever comes into my mind onto my Trello board from whatever device I have to hand. I no longer have to waste human-RAM remembering all the things I have to do or writing on physical lists that are so permanent and inflexible. I can commit more mental energy to actually doing things.

I also no longer break agreements with myself to accomplish tasks. Renegotiate, sure. But break? Never. Trusting yourself to get things done is so underrated.

When you’re ready to turbo-charge your new-found organisational godliness, use IFTTT to schedule cards to be added to your list. Here are some card additions I automate:

  • I schedule tasks I want to become habits to appear on my Today list every day.
  • I have my haircut card added to my ‘This Week’ list once a month.
  • I add a card for doing my work timesheet to my Today list every Friday at 6am
  • I add a ‘Buy a new Audible book’ card to my ‘This Week’ list on the date my monthly Audible credit is added

You get the idea. Turn software into a PA that organises your schedule for you alongside your own input, and have access to it where ever you are.