How to Use David Allen’s GTD Method on Your Phone or Laptop

How to Use David Allen’s GTD Method on Your Phone or Laptop

One method, one tool, one platform. Keep things dead simple. David Allen published Getting Things Done almost 20 years ago, in 2001.

David Allen published Getting Things Done almost 20 years ago, in 2001. The book went on to sell 1.6 million copies around the world, and its popularity helped spread the concept of the GTD productivity method.

Short for Getting Things Done, the GTD method is a time management and organisation process based on the simple concept of getting things out of your mind and onto paper. Once it’s there, you don’t have to worry about remembering things anymore, only about structuring them. This not only brings more clarity to your workflow, it also helps you release a lot of stress.

Back 20 years ago, you would have had to write things down on sheets of paper, use an eraser to shuffle items around without losing track of everything. Then you would have had to store all your lists in a safe place, far from kids, water, the dog, or any risky spot prone to compromising the readability of your lists. Finally, updating those lists would also require constant switching between an eraser, a pencil, and extra paper.

Nowadays, technology is here to help. A laptop (or a phone), an app, and a little bit of organisational skills are all you need. Technology makes organisation 10x easier than what it was 10 years ago.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to implement the GTD method in my favorite productivity app: TickTick. To do so, we’re going to follow the steps of the GTD method, only on our laptop rather than a notebook. I will use desktop screenshots throughout the whole tutorial because I don’t use the app on my phone, but it is also available on mobile and works the same.

Let’s get started.


Step 1: List it down

Open up your TickTick app and create a list to store everything you have to do. Create a Master list for that purpose, using the left side menu and clicking on Add List.

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Why not use the default Inbox? Because Inboxes get swamped, unorganised, and you don’t associate an inbox with “I have a good overview of what I have to do”. A master list is a lot more reassuring.

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