Conscious Productivity: How the GTD Approach Meets Our Consciousness

Productivity is a concept we all want to improve. One popular method that has earned recognition is the Getting Things Done (GTD) system developed by David Allen. It seems natural because it reflects the workings of our minds. We are constantly receiving information, processing it, and completing tasks.

The basic principle of GTD is to do everything possible at once, otherwise postpone it for later. At the same time, it is important that the processing of information does not take place immediately upon receipt. It is ideal to devote a separate time to this process – once a day, or postpone it for later.

Kanban system is also widely used for task management. It is often used in businesses where information is usually already processed and organised. In GTD, tasks are usually simpler and quicker to complete. It is important to remember to keep tasks as simple as possible – this is often the difficulty.

Often a card in the Kanban system corresponds to a project in GTD. My projects usually consist of collections of raw tasks, which in GTD can turn into mini-projects, such as “Fix a bug” or “Implement a function”.

Either way, to successfully apply GTD or Kanban, it’s important to name each thing or record correctly and define the end result.

In GTD, tasks do not have the status “In Progress” – only projects have this status. At the same time, the concept of a project in GTD can be different from the common one. It can be a large project or a small series of related tasks.

Thus, productivity and time management depend on how we approach the processing and execution of tasks. Techniques such as GTD and Kanban can help to optimise these processes and improve our productivity.

Can Trello be used for GTD? Yes!

How to use Trello for GTD?

Trello, a popular project management tool, is ideal for organising your work using the GTD methodology. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Create a project board: each project you work on should have its own board. Each board is a separate project in GTD.

2. Define columns: Within each board, create columns that correspond to the different stages of the GTD process. Typically these are: “Incoming”, “Process”, “Next Step”, “Pending”, “Pending”, and “Done”.

3. Use Task Cards: every task or idea you receive should be presented as a card. This allows you to easily move them from one column to another as the work progresses.

4. Assign Labels: Tags in Trello can be used to indicate a task’s priority, urgency, category, or any other information you find useful.

5. Add dates and deadlines: Trello allows you to add dates to cards, making it a great tool for tracking task deadlines.

6. Use checklists for subtasks: If you have tasks that require multiple steps, use checklists within cards to track progress.

In summary, Trello allows you to customise a personal GTD system that is completely tailored to your needs. This tool provides flexibility and visibility that makes managing your projects and tasks much easier and productive.

However, there is a peculiarity in using Trello as a tool for GTD, especially when using separate boards for each project. Tracking current and upcoming tasks in all projects at the same time can be difficult, as Trello does not allow you to see all tasks in one place.

This disadvantage can be circumvented with a few strategies:

1. Using Power-Ups: Trello offers many additional features, called Power-Ups, that can enhance the functionality of Trello for GTD. For example, “Tiles” allows you to create a panel with an overview of all your boards.

2. Use Filters: Filters allow you to view only certain cards, such as those with a specific due date or label.

3. Integration with other applications: Tools like Planyway and Toggl Plan allow you to integrate Trello with your calendar, allowing you to see all of your tasks on a single timeline.

Despite these challenges, Trello remains a powerful tool for managing tasks and projects within the GTD methodology. It provides flexibility and visibility that makes managing your projects and tasks much easier and more productive. It’s important to remember that any tool will be only as effective as how well you customise and use it.

Given these nuances and the specifics of using Trello to implement the GTD methodology, I realise that there are many strategies and approaches that can be applied. In each case, a personalised approach and customisation of tools to suit personal needs can significantly improve productivity.

In future posts, I plan to share my thoughts and experiences using this system. I will look at different approaches to setting up and using Trello, and discuss strategies and solutions that have helped me make the most of this tool.

Stay tuned for more information and learn how to manage your time and tasks even better within the GTD methodology.