Lists: To Do vs Action vs Next Action


This post originally appeared about 1 month ago as a guest post on

We are all making lists. Especially if you are into Productivity in general and GTD more specifically, you will be very familiar with making lists. Odds are you are making these lists to keep track of all the things you need to do to make progress in certain (or all) areas of your life and to be reminded of them at the appropriate time.

But are you making the right list? Are you maintaining your list? Are you sticking to your list? And is your list encouraging you to actually get things done and achieve your goals?

From my personal experience and from what I see around me, I want to show you different lists and why one is better than the other for getting things done. More importantly, I will show you how to create an effective list which is attractive, encouraging and easy to maintain.
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Results of 1 Year of GTD


After consistently applying GTD for close to one year now, I can safely conclude that valuable and lasting productivity habits have formed in my life.

Like many other people, I have studied and used several productivity systems. I picked up various useful principles and techniques from them, but none of them seemed to fully apply to my life. As fun as it is playing around with various productivity systems and changing one for the other occasionally, I was looking for concrete and lasting results. Sounds familiar?

About one year ago when I encountered GTD and started applying it to my life, I immediately noticed how easily it could be adapted to my life. It didn’t take months to get started, it didn’t need difficult or expensive tools and most of all it just made sense! GTD is easy to integrate into your personal as well as your professional life. All of this makes it easier to apply it consistently and you start to see results almost immediately.

Let’s take a look at some of the valuable and lasting habits that have formed in my life as a direct and concrete result of applying GTD for one year. Believe me, it does get easier after one year and these habits could be part of your life right now!
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