getting started with GTD from 43folders.com

Mom called and said, “So now I have 4 inboxes filled with stuff. What next?”

I can do no better than to quote Merlin in his post on getting started with Getting Things Done:


This is a really summarized version, but here it is, PowerPoint-style:
1. identify all the stuff in your life that isn’t in the right place (close all open loops)
2. get rid of the stuff that isn’t yours or you don’t need right now
3. create a right place that you trust and that supports your working style and values
4. put your stuff in the right place, consistently
5. do your stuff in a way that honors your time, your energy, and the context of any given moment
6. iterate and refactor mercilessly


I would add a 1.5 for mom- make sure you have your MENTAL inbox cleared out. Getting all the physical stuff in piles is good, now you need to close all open loops in your head.David Allen (the author of GTD) says to write things out on single sheets of paper, one idea/project/task per sheet. Yes, you may need more inboxes.

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2 Responses to “getting started with GTD from 43folders.com”


  1. 1 Mom May 7, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Since step 1.5 was for me, I’ll respond. I have been doing almost *too* good of a job at clearing the mental in boxes of late…thus the need to do better with the physical ones.

    On the plus side, I bought new dishes and silverware and gave away *all* of the old stuff. In the past, I would have saved it in case you or your brother needed it some day.

    Out with the old, room for the new. That is probably a good metaphor for old thinking and old habits, too.

  2. 2 brianatportent May 7, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Clearing out the mental inboxes allows a separation of work and life. Cleaning out the physical inboxes helps you do better at either.


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I'm now blogging about internet marketing at RedBeardConsulting.com.

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At Red Beard Consulting I work on internet marketing primarily for speakers. I also work with Infusionsoft.

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