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My Complete GTD System for October 2012: Things, Notebooks, iOS, etc.

By request, I’m following up on my 2011 breakdown of my GTD system. Things are simpler now, though that didn’t come easy and is still very much in flux. I’ve also decided not to be as verbose as my original post and will spare you the lengthy second part explanation.


Things for Mac/iPhone is still the reigning champ of GTD apps in my book. OmniFocus is really powerful, but the workflow is pretty rough, and more features does not equal more productivity.

I use Things for all my task, project, and someday/maybe needs. Not sure what I think about the Daily Review feature, though, and I really wish they’d beef up Teammates and maybe add a “Waiting for…” bucket.

Things is my go-to capture tool.

Notebooks, journal, pen
Notebooks, journal, and pen

I keep most of my lists, goals, periodic outcomes, etc. offline now in a special notebook which I leave at home. Work notes, mind maps, and things I need to capture go into another notebook that I carry with me and my thoughts and rantings into a journal.

Still using a Yoropen, though pretty bummed that the rubber grip always tears in time.

My notebook is “notebook + index + pages” which I found in a Japanese shop. Journal is a soft Moleskine.


Notes, calendar, contacts – I like using iCloud for all these things and they just work (as Apple would say).

Google Mail

I use Google Mail for personal emails, but not much else. Have all my old email addresses forwarding here.

iPhone home page
iPhone 4s

I don’t like keeping lots of things in my pocket, so I use my smartphone for many things. Things for iPhone syncs my task and projects, supplemented by Siri + Reminders for on the go capture. I use Notes for little things I need to jot down. Calendar keeps me on schedule for both personal and work needs. For a little while, I was pulling in my Facebook calendar by that put all kinds of noise on my schedule and had to turn that off.

The picture to the left is of my current home screen which is pretty minimal.

Honorable Mentions

Though the above makes up the bulk of my personal GTD system in 2012, there are other tools and processes that also play roles in getting things done:

  • MS Office
  • Macbooks
  • Backpack
  • Routines
  • Inbox zero
  • Regular exercise
  • 7.5+ hours of sleep
  • Music

Hope you get something from all this and see you in 2013!

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3 Responses to “My Complete GTD System for October 2012: Things, Notebooks, iOS, etc.”

  1. 1
    Robert Kok | Reply
    October 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Things look great and I also like how it integrates with Instapaper on my iPhone. Too bad they don’t offer a web version, as it’s currently Mac and iOS only.

    • 1.1
      Robert Kok | Reply
      February 11, 2013 at 1:37 am

      I’m currently using Nirvana HQ for task management. Its UI is almost identical to Things.

      I’ve tried a few others, but keep coming back to a task management tool that allows me to filter on areas of focus. I also like the simplicity of the interface that follows GTD and doesn’t allow much tinkering.

  2. 2
    March 5, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I read your earlier post about GTD and find it interesting to follow the evolution of your own journey here. I’ve been working to figure out the best way to use the many tools at my disposal – Gmail, Things, CRM, etc. Since I manage all my email accounts via Gmail I get frustrated that I can’t seem to attach emails to tasks on Things. Have you found a way around that for Gmail emails?

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