Wednesday, 23 December 2009

GTD on RTM

Having settled on Remember the Milk as my Getting Things Done tool of choice, I decided to re-read the book to reacquaint myself with the system. I'm only up to Chapter 2, but have already made some changes to my RTM setup.

I now have the following lists:





These lists won't be particularly surprising for anyone familiar with GTD, though there are a few minor differences from the basic system David Allen describes in Chapter 2:
  • Instead of 'Calendar' I have a list called 'Scheduled'. This contains any tasks that have a due date associated with them. This is a legacy of using Thinking Rock which has a 'Scheduled' list.
  • The 'Sent' list is built into RTM. I don't use it, since I don't send tasks to any other RTM users, currently.
  • The 'Today' and 'Work' lists are Smart Lists that I use to give me quick access to tasks I need to complete today, and tasks I need to complete at work, respectively. I tag all work tasks with a 'work' tag. 

Weekly Review

While re-reading GTD I realized that I had forgotten a very important part of the system - the weekly review. I now have a repeating task in RTM to go through a full review of all tasks every Sunday. As part of this review I:
  • Check that the inbox is clear.
  • Check that all actions in all lists describe atomic, achievable tasks. This may lead to moving somes tasks into the 'Projects' list, and tagging them as a 'project'.
  • Check that all projects have next actions defined. I do this using ad-hoc searches on tags (every project has a unique tag e.g. pr-learn-clojure).
  • Check that all the tasks in the 'Scheduled' list have a due date.
  • Review the 'Someday' list to identify any tasks / projects that I want to start working on, and move them to either 'Next' or 'Projects' list.
  • Review tasks in the 'Waiting' list to check whether any further action is required.
I am sure the process will evolve and develop as I re-read more of GTD.

The combination of GTD and RTM is proving very powerful. Remember the Milk is making it very easy to fully integrate Getting Things Done into my life.I have noticed a massive improvement in my personal productivity and relaxation levels already.

And it's fun!

Update 1: For Xmas I got a new extension for Firefox, A Bit Better RTM. It makes using RTM even more of a delight. My particular favourite features are:
  1. The ability to hide lists. I can now hide the 'Sent' list.
  2. Keyboard shortcuts for navigating through lists.
  3. Moving the list tabs from the top to the left hand side.
All in all this is a fantastic extension.

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