What I learned from using the Getting Things Done methodology for 2 months

September 12, 2019

It was this summer, after a couple of years in university, that I realized that if I wanted to do more with my life than just going to class and doing exams, I needed to have a productivity system in place to handle everything. And so I started to search for apps and other tools to help me with it. I finally settled for Todoist for task management, Notion for file referencing and Google Calendar for my calendar.

These apps have nothing special, what really helped was reading Getting Things Done, by David Allen. If you are not familiar with the methodology, here is a good summary of the book, although I still recommend reading it. After implementing it to the best of my ability with these apps, and a couple of months of using this system, the main benefits I got were:

  • The simple act of capturing everything (Todoist really makes this smooth) in a system that I know I will end up looking at when I need to gives you a lot of peace of mind, even if your task lists get big. Not having to remember everything you have to do frees up your mind to do all those things.
  • The habit of clarifying everything that comes into the system forces you to make conscious decisions on where to put things, making you a much more organized person. It is then faster to find the right information.
  • It really forces you to think about what a project is, what is the desired outcome and why you want that outcome. It made me drop some projects that I was doing for reasons not good enough to take such a big part of my life.

To round this post up, it might be useful to know that Notion is freely available for students, you just have to change your email to the one your university gives you. Also, you can get a couple of months for free on Todoist if you import task from a Wunderlist account.

I hope you enjoyed reading the post and got inspired to read the book, it's really worth the time.