GTD Software

How to decide which GTD software is the best for you

The GTD Software Dilemma

Online, you can find a ton of practical articles explaining the beauty of using GTD software and how you can use GTD method to organize your workday efficiently.

GTD is not tool-specific, it is an approach. You can use GTD with white paper and a pencil. 

The critical aspect, in this case, is the complexity of your work and which gear will best serve the purpose of reflecting information and reminders in the most appropriate way for your workday.

Sure, the software won’t decide itself what something means, but a good GTD software will definitely help you better organize and process your workflow. 

Imagine that you travel a lot or you are always in meetings, how do you think that you will plan your work with white paper (GTD planner)? 

Or if you have to delegate tasks to your colleagues – are you going to hand them cut pieces from your paper GTD planner?

No, of course. You would prefer to centralize all of the emails and tasks in one GTD software. It is visual and accessible from different devices and locations.

Before we proceed, let’s explain first what exactly is Getting Things Done approach.

What’s Behind the GTD Methodology?

Getting Things Done (GTD) is a method created by David Allen. This is a method used for personal productivity, and it is about clearing your mind and putting everything on your brain in one place – the GTD workflow.

The GTD workflow has 5-stages:

·         Capture

·         Clarify

·         Organize

·         Reflect 

·         Engage

How to Set up the System:

Not each person’s workflow will be the same as the nature of our work is different for each individual. 

However, here we will describe the basics with you can adjust in accordance to your workflow.

The GTD workflow requires the presence of lists. List are represented by columns. In Flow-e, create new columns with the following names:

·         Capture – in this column you will put all the emails, the task which comes from emails, or standalone cards, which are just ideas in your brain and you need to gather them in one safe place.

·         Clarify – this is the step when you break down the steps you have to take to complete a given task from the Capture column.

·         Organize – here you will have to organize your clarified tasks. This means to put due dates if necessary, to add some notes. Basically, this column shows your work task by priority.

·         Reflect – in this phase, you will have to review all of the tasks in the Organize column and see which tasks/projects are still relevant and which tasks should be delegated to your teammates.

·         Engage – this is the “Do” phase where you have to deal with the tasks which are for you.

What We Are Looking for in a Good GTD Software

First, a good GTD tool needs to be easy to get your ideas into, it has to offer different organizational options, and it needs to be accessible from various devices. 

It is ok if the GTD software doesn’t have a native application, it’s enough if the application is responsive and could be accessed from any browser.

Here are the criteria we can consider what a reasonable GTD software should offer:

·         Easy input: it doesn’t matter which productivity method you apply, getting ideas, reminders, tasks into the GTD software you use must be as smooth and quick as possible.

·         Complex work: a good GTD app should be able to handle singe tasks, smaller projects, and large complex projects. 

·         Workflow visualization: when choosing a GTD software, make sure that it allows you to configure a workflow view, specific to the way you work. The GTD software needs to have clean design providing smooth user experience. You don’t need too much customization, rather than flexible software.

·         Flexible email organization: once you get your projects imported into your new GTD tool you are about to use, they will get bigger and bigger. You will need folders, labels, or a tagging option to be able to distinguish better tasks and projects. Not everyone will need them, but having this option is usually essential for the majority of the project managers and freelancers.

·         Clarifying work: this is the process to be able to define any work task. As a knowledge workers, much of the work we do requires clarification and documentation by adding related information. This could be done through commentary features such as to-do lists, notes, the ability to prioritize tasks visually.

·         Clean design and aesthetics: apparently, the function of the software is critical, but a tool with clear design plays an important role when deciding on a GTD tool. Design should be smooth, clear, clean and visually appealing to the eye. You will work every day with that software, and your eyes shouldn’t hurt!

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Step-by-step instructions on how to use the Getting Things Done method to manage a project, prioritize your work, and visualize your workflow with Flow-e.

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