The Focus on Now and the Power of Action


Do you ever have days when you don’t really accomplish a whole lot? You know what I mean, you’re sitting at your desk and your mind wanders off. You idly check your email and your favorite websites for the tenth time today and you don’t feel like doing anything useful at all. Or you’re driving your car and you worry about all the things you still need to do this week or you analyze what went wrong during the long meeting yesterday at the office. Recognize that?

Whenever this happens to me, I try to put myself in a different mindset with two powerful commands: Now! and Action! They bring me back to the current situation, the current reality, and they remind me to be action-oriented in order to accomplish something… anything! These two simple commands I use on myself actually embody more elaborate feelings and principles of course.

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When Will My Next Action List Be Empty?


Recently I have had the pleasure of teaching and coaching other people (mostly consultants and entrepreneurs) on Getting Things Done. I’ve been using GTD for about 2 years myself, mostly teaching myself how to become better and more effective at it. Occasionally I would inspire friends or colleagues to read David Allen’s book or to start experimenting with GTD in their own life. However, training entire groups of people and coaching several colleagues and clients is a whole different, but very exciting game!

I’ll probably be writing more about these particular experiences in future posts. In this post I would like to discuss one common theme I’ve noticed when ‘students’ start asking questions about the newly acquired principles and tools of GTD.

I would frequently get a remark or question along the lines of “What am I doing wrong? My next action list is only growing and never seems to become empty!
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Top 10 of Top 10 GTD Lists


Sorry, I simply couldn’t resist publishing this article. You may have noticed that I’m a big fan of top 10 lists; in fact, my previous post was a top 10 list… and this post is a top 10 list as well! ;)

So, just for fun I compiled a top 10 list of top 10 GTD lists! Doing a quick search on the internet, I was pleasantly surprised that almost half of these top 10 lists are actually written by me. In reality, there really are some gems in these lists, so enjoy!
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10 Useful Tips for Optimizing Ubiquitous Capture


Perhaps you know the familiar phrase from the field of computer science, “Garbage In, Garbage Out“? Well, the same goes for your GTD system. Here’s a big surprise: if you feed your GTD system incomplete or incorrect input in the Collection phase, you will never get reliable or useful output in the Doing phase (next actions).

Ubiquitous capture is a well-known principle in the collection phase of the GTD workflow. If done well, it helps you to generate useful, complete and correct input for your GTD system. To help you optimize your ubiquitous capturing, I have compiled a list of 10 useful tips from my own experience.
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Ebook – Best Blog Posts 2007, Final Edition

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Best Blog Posts 2007, Final EditionRecently I silently added my ebook “The Best Blog Posts of Getting Things Done, Final Edition 2007” to my online shop. However, I didn’t want to let this occasion pass completely unnoticed.

This 112 page ebook contains nearly 40 of my very best GTD blog posts from 2007. As a special bonus it includes my set of GTD worksheets for free!
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Ask the Reader: Your Personal Mission Statement?


Getting Things Done is an excellent method for self management. However, most people argue that its bottom-up approach leaves much to be desired when it comes to top-down aspects of self management, like living according to your purpose, dream, vision, values, principles, et cetera. I don’t fully agree with this assessment of GTD but I’ll leave that for a future blog post or two!

My point is: don’t just rely on one approach to self management. Combine best practices from bottom-up and top-down approaches and adapt them to your personal situation! The bottom-up approach is useful for the operational level of your life, but it’s useless without a sound top-down approach for the strategic level of your life.
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Interview with Stephen Covey


OK, this is getting weird. This weekend I have read 2 interviews with 2 of my “heroes”. Yesterday I found an interview with David Allen on Web Worker Daily and today I found that Stephen Covey has been interviewed by Leo from! What I like about both interviews is that they do not repeat the same old questions but rather focus on an original approach, making for a much more interesting read. Enjoy!

Interview with David Allen

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Bob Walsh has just posted the first part of an interview with David Allen on Web Worker Daily. The interview (so far) is an interesting read because it doesn’t only focus on GTD, but also on health and stress. The second part of the interview will be posted tomorrow. Check it out!
Update: part three is here.

GTD Worksheets

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Special offer! Buy my ebook with all the best blogs posts from 2007 and get these GTD worksheets for free!

GTD WorksheetsI’ve recently created some handy GTD worksheets that are perfectly suited for creating or enhancing your own paper-based or hybrid GTD system. They are handcrafted by me based on my own experiences with paper-based GTD systems. Click the image to the left for a slightly larger preview of these GTD worksheets.

If you enjoy thinking and working on paper but at the same time you’d like to have professional looking GTD lists, then these GTD worksheets are definitely for you!

As of today I’m selling these GTD worksheets in one handy PDF in my online GTD shop.

The current version contains the following worksheets:

  • GTD workflow overview (diagram)
  • Calendar 2008 – 1 page overview
  • Calendar 2009 – 1 page overview
  • Next Actions list (2 different styles)
  • Waiting For list
  • Projects list (4 different styles)
  • Someday/Maybe list
  • Empty list (general purpose)
  • Mindmap template (for brainstorming, project planning)

The PDF format ensures ultimate portability and flexibility. You can easily print each worksheet on any kind of paper in any size required.

I encourage you to provide me with feedback about these GTD worksheets so I may continue to improve them for the next version of this set. If you have special requirements or wishes for a GTD worksheet, please contact me directly at gtd [at] marvelz [dot] com to discuss the possibilities.

Don’t wait, purchase my GTD worksheets today and create your own professional paper-based GTD system!

GTD Gems – Part 2


I try to keep up with reading everything I possibly can about GTD. This is becoming increasingly difficult because these days it seems everybody and their mother is writing about GTD!

Much like my post “GTD Gems – Part 1” I want to present a few interesting GTD articles from the past 2 or 3 months, especially from some lesser known blogs.

I have hand-picked the list of GTD articles below for your reading pleasure. Have a nice weekend!
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