Not GTD in 15 Minutes


This journal entry was written by me, Brandon Nolet. I’ve finally started implementing GTD, for real; let’s talk about it.


As some of you may know, GTD is short for Getting Things Done, a book by David Allen. I don’t think it’s very important to go over the entire system here, but I’ll summarize it. The concept revolves around the concept of the brain being RAM. It can only hold so much information and should only be holding information that’s currently being dealt with. As such, everything else must be written to a hard drive.

The analog to personal productivity is to have everything written down, somewhere. Whether it’s a project or a phone call, write it down. The assertion is that the brain is meant for processing, not storing, information. By capturing every open loop, every incomplete thing, in some sort of information storage system (high or low tech), you have more processing time to give to the task at hand. If you want more information, you can either read the book or read GTD in 15.

Today’s Progress

While I can’t say there wasn’t much progress, the progress I made was certainly not in the area I expected. I didn’t realize that the physical space of the system was going to be tackled first. When I started gathering all of the stuff around my apartment and putting it into a pile, I slowly became overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, I only was able to tackle all the stuff that was actually laying around and didn’t get into any of the cupboards or closets around the apartment. There was a lot of stuff and a lot of it even went in the trash! I was happy to throw some things out though. It means less stuff to transport when I finally move this summer.

I did, however, make a mental written note to go through the respective cupboards and closets to process the rest of the physical things.

That being said, I still feel like I achieved something. There’s less stuff just laying around my apartment and many things have been moved into their appropriate places.

As well, I was able to mark down at least 10 headings for open loops and incompletes I have. Of course, some of these headings were for projects I’ve put on hold but if I want to fully implement this system, I have to collect absolutely everything; that way it’s not lingering and doesn’t pop up when I’m trying to sleep.


When David Allen wrote that it would be best to have two full days back-to-back to complete this collection process, I didn’t believe him. Now I know better and I’ll have to plan accordingly. Luckily I have this weekend to take care of that. Surely there will be an update to this process in the future.