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How to plan your time in Notion using GTD
How to plan your time in Notion using GTD

Collect all your affairs in one handy table for easy control.

How to plan your time in Notion using GTD
How to plan your time in Notion using GTD

What is GTD

The life hacker has repeatedly published articles on the GTD - Getting Things Done technique. It was invented and described in detail in his book by business coach David Allen. Briefly, the basic rules of this system can be described as follows:

  1. Capture all information … Write down all ideas, tasks, and deeds. If there is something you cannot do right now, make a mark without relying on memory. Everything that you record is stored in the so-called Inbox.
  2. Maintain order. As the folder with "Incoming Tasks" fills up, you need to organize its contents, sort tasks into categories, and create explanations and notes so that you don't forget anything.
  3. Prioritize … Each task should have a due date and degree of importance so you know what to do first and what can wait.
  4. Keep everything close at hand … GTD has no place for the "write later" principle. Your to-do lists and notes should always be in your sight: on your computer, smartphone, tablet and other devices. That way, if an interesting idea comes to mind or you think of some unrecorded case, you can write it down right away. When the deadline for a task approaches, you will receive a reminder, glory to the omnipresent notifications.

You can read more about GDT in our guide.

The technique is good for its versatility. Its creator, David Allen, is somewhat old-fashioned: by "Inbox" he means a real paper folder. He even printed out emails and put them on file sets.

But with the same success GTD can be applied to computer files and folders, using this system in conjunction with some service. For example, using this technique, you can sort your Gmail emails, write tasks in "", or take full control of your life with. Finally, many task managers like the same Wunderlist are sharpened under the GTD philosophy.

And of course, you can use the technique in such a wonderful and versatile program as Notion.

It is a hybrid of Google Docs, Evernote, Trello and a dozen other applications. Notion can do almost everything you need to work. Notes, spreadsheets, knowledge bases, to-do lists, kanban boards, documents - the program has it all. It's a sin not to use it to organize your affairs in GTD style.

And Maria Aldrey, a business consultant who helps business leaders organize their work, created her own GTD-based system for Notion. She shared these developments in her blog.

How to use GTD in Notion

I'm not very well organized. So when I found out about David Allen's GTD, my life literally changed. Now this is a kind of religion for me. Gradually, I built my own system, which allows me to keep up with everything, working at my usual pace.

I use a practice I call Weekly Planning. I set aside an hour every Sunday (or Monday) to plan the week ahead. This habit helps me solve complex problems by breaking them down into smaller and more manageable ones. So I get more done, get tired less, and focus on work more easily.

For me, Notion is like a game. It takes time to set up the system. But when she is ready, completing tasks becomes fun, simple, and fast.

Planning the week at Notion
Planning the week at Notion

Every week, I click on a button in Notion, and a blank spreadsheet appears in front of me. There is an empty one here, which you can pick up and use.

Here's the step-by-step process I use to schedule my tasks with Notion.

1. Collect your ideas

Take 10 minutes to list and write down all your ideas in this column. They will turn into tasks that you have to complete in the coming week.

  1. List all of your projects that are not yet completed.
  2. Check your tasks for the previous three months to find any outstanding ones.
  3. Take a look at your calendar: maybe there is something planned there too.
  4. Check your paper notebook, if available. Perhaps there are also some ideas that need to be transferred to Notion.
  5. Think about if there are any other tasks you need to do or people to work with.

Collect all of these ideas together and list them in the first column. This is your plan for the next seven days.

2. Assign the appropriate actions

An idea is not bad, but without active action, it will remain an idea. Ask yourself, "What should I do to move this task to the end?"

For example:

  • Continue filling the site with content → Write a draft of the "About me" section.
  • Create content publishing calendar → Draw a memory map for posts and assign dates.
  • Make a video for a blog → Write a video script.
  • Meet Chris → Send him an email with the date and place of the meeting.

Remember, if more than one action is required to complete a task, you must decide what to do first.

3. Set urgency

Next, you must define the urgency of each task. This is necessary in order to focus on the really important things, and not just do a bunch of work.

To understand which things to do first, I sort my ideas into four categories:

  • Important tasks - things that bring us closer to achieving goals.
  • Urgent tasks - actions that require immediate attention.
  • It would not hurt - this category includes matters that may not be urgent and not important, but their implementation would make your life easier for the next seven days.
  • Can wait - these are tasks that can be rescheduled for another week.

4. Determine the level of concentration

Sadly, we all have a limited amount of attention, time and energy. Each task takes away a certain percentage of these important resources. Therefore, evaluate the scheduled task and assign the corresponding number to it in the fourth column.

For example, writing a draft for a blog post took about 20% of my attention. And the letter for Chris is three lines long - only 2%.

5. Assign priority

This checkbox marks tasks that have the "Important" and "Urgent" tags. That is, they need to be done, no matter what. This is your priority list.

When you are finished selecting these tasks, add up the percentages from the previous column to see how much resources you will spend on them. If it turned out more than 90%, then you overestimated your strength and bit off more than you can chew. Reschedule part of it to the next week, or you will be overworked and will not have time for anything.

Planning the week (priorities)
Planning the week (priorities)

By the way, a useful tip: Notion allows you to filter the contents of table rows - this is how you can select priority tasks.

6. Schedule the task

A checkmark in the next column shows if the task is scheduled on your calendar. Decide when you will run it and create an appropriate event.

By the way, if you don't use Google Calendar or something, get yourself Notion. There you can add tasks scheduled for the week.

7. Delegate the task

Yes, you have the same number of hours per day as Beyoncé, but she has a huge team of assistants who do the dirty work for her, so she does more. However, if you also have someone on whose shoulders you can shift some of the tasks, do so and tick the delegated task in the appropriate column.

8. Finish the task

Well, everything is simple. When you finish your project or complete a task, you mark it with a check mark in the last column.


Here are a few steps to help you get even more organized:

  1. Review your spending over the past week and plan your budget for the next.
  2. Think over your menu for the week, add products to the shopping list.
  3. Process your Inbox for the last seven days in a timely manner and sort everything that has accumulated there.
  4. Plan at least one day a week for exercise.

Remember that GTD is quite flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs. Feel free to adjust the Notion templates. For example, Maria's Attention column seems redundant to me. For me, a note is enough whether the task is urgent or not. You can easily delete its columns and add your own. So, I created a column labeled "Work", "Home", "Creativity" and others to sort tasks into categories. You can do it your way.

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