New GTD Workflow Diagram

Date: Monday, July 27, 2009 by GTD Times Staff

For years, the GTD Workflow diagram has been the ultimate “trail guide” for navigating through the collect>process>organize stages of GTD.  Over the past two years, David Allen has been working with the terrific design team at xplane to take his vision (his original sketch is pictured right  and you can click on the image to see a larger version) and expand it into a rich map that also now includes decision making, horizons of focus and more.

Some people got a sneak preview of it at the GTD Summit in March, and a few bootleg copies of it are floating around the Internet.  We’re getting dozens of emails a day now from GTD’ers hungry for this new piece of the GTD story.  We are pleased to announce that the new GTD Workflow Map will be officially available in the DavidCo store next month.  This new $49 product will include:

  • A full-color 20″x30″ (51x76cm) poster
  • A full-color 11″x17″ (28x43cm) poster
  • An in-depth DVD of David Allen giving a guided tour of the Map

We will announce its release on GTD Times and in our free Productive Living newsletter (formerly known as Productivity Principles and GTD Tips & Special Offers.)  Sign up for Productive Living and you will also receive the fascinating case study being completed by xplane on the production of the map.

34 Responses to “New GTD Workflow Diagram”

  1. Tom Stone says:

    Outstanding! Thanks for this update. I look forward to this being available. I’ve seen some pics of it floating around, but nothing use-able as I’m sure these poster versions will be.

  2. Geri says:

    I’ve seen the bootleg photographs of the new diagram, and I was excited for an official release – but $49 dollars?
    The original workflow diagrams from his books are a fraction of the cost. Plus, there are probably thousands of reproductions in cyberspace, and I don’t think they detract from the GTD business for Allen, I would imagine that they make people curious enough to buy the books.
    The price of the new workflow diagram is prohibitive for me and flashy as it looks, it doesn’t really say anything new, does it?

  3. FA says:

    I was waiting for this poster for long time but spending $49 for this didn’t seems logical.

  4. GTD Times says:

    Hi Geri,

    You wrote: “it doesn’t really say anything new, does it?”

    David always says, “everything is in the book,” so from that sense, no, it’s not new GTD material or models. But it’s quite different from the current workflow diagram in that it adds criteria for choosing, horizons of focus and intuitive decision making. It will walk through a more complete story from collecting to doing.

    Thanks to all for your feedback about the pricing. We know that this price will not be a fit for everyone. We do try to provide a wealth of free resources as well. This particular product represents over 2 years of design and effort. It also includes a DVD with more in depth perspective from David. We are very excited about it and hope that those of you who choose to purchase it will find it to be a useful complement to your GTD mastery!

  5. Jay Elmore says:

    It looks fascinating — XPlane did a great job!

    I would happily buy just a single 8.5″ x 11″ copy of this diagram, or even a PDF version that I can resize as desired.

  6. Jennifer says:

    $49 is a LOT of money.

  7. This time davidco has gone over the edge on pricing. Who are your clients? Who are we, the GTD fans? Of course there are high-end, high-salary, corporate managers using GTD. But if you dig in and study who promotes GTD all over the Internet, its not Fortune 500 managers, at least the ones who are still pulling in huge salaries. If we did a serious study looking at the links that have made GTD so successful, we might find the biggist advocates, promoters of GTD, are individual bloggers (usually poorly compensated for their influential writing), geeks, knowledge workers, not the few still putting in big corporate salaries. If Dave Seah –in my opinion one of our productivity geniuses– can put out some of the finest work flow forms for free, surely davidco can offer the latest work flow diagrams, also for free. Something is off in your sales strategies. If you want to see GTD as a method for everyone, why make sure something like a new visual aid is beyond the reach of almost everyone not on high end corporate salaries.(And I would be surprised if most corporate offices today would approve of this kind of office/decor expense).

    Is David Allen really making these buyer and sales decisions? It seems un-David Allen-like, or I hope it is. I didn’t understand why you put out those Italian-made desk-top tools (the stacking tray, in box etc) that were over the top in pricing, beyond something Levenger would try to distribute (and I’m a big fan/user of Levenger products). When those David Allen desk-top items showed up I thought someone at davidco had lost it. The nation is in an economic depression. Why is davidco engaged in pitching items with pricing that seems on the edge of ridiculous, counter to the GTD basic approach of efficiency and common sense? I feel identified with GTD – but I find these recent additions embarassing.

    And to price a visual aid at $49? This is a losing strategy. From a business point of view, it seems a screwy decision. Please, lets GTD with GTD. Make this new work-flow diagram available to everyone, free of cost. I will pay high prices –repeatedly– to listen to Allen teach a seminar. I might have paid $10 for a new diagram. To be charged $49 is offensive.

    Lynn O’Connor

  8. Richard Masters says:

    Eloquently put Lynn – I second those views.

  9. Charlene says:

    Newbie says it’s a good value for the money. I’ve been working with GTD for about six months. My boss notices I’m more productive. Performance review next month, and I credit the likely raise to GTD. $49 is worth it to have David coach me through the diagram, even though I’ve read the book.

  10. Vera says:

    David, please sell it for whatever price gives you a reasonable profit. I’ll buy if it fits my budget. Don’t undersell to try to please everyone. You’ve already got a range from free to high end. Too many of my tax dollars are already being sent to GM, AIG, so I applaud a company that runs well.

  11. For me, the value of the offering does not merit its price. I have long been puzzled by the paucity of lower-price point offerings by DavidCo (beyond the books themselves). The business model seems to be entirely predicated on an audience willing to pay premium prices for items that can be had for much less money (e.g., the much maligned desk set). That said, it’s nice work if you can get it.

    Best wishes,

  12. Thanks for all the feedback–this first iteration of the new GTD Workflow Map is actually two maps, a small one and a large one, as well as a DVD. I would love for more feedback on value after the product is shipped out. Until you see it, it is impossible to know the value.

    This new map and DVD is going to be great for the visual and auditory learners out there that have asked us for more help in learning David’s methodology. I can’t wait for folks to see this and use it. It will be offered at $49. We will likely have more versions at a later date. In product land, we are coming up with a range of product and pricing for every budget. We do appreciate all the feedback!

  13. Brian says:

    I agree that the DAC product pricing misses the mark when it comes to individuals. But the market will ultimately decide the price for these products. If they don’t move enough of the posters at $49 to recoup their costs with Xplane, the price will come down over time. Be patient. Put “Buy GTD workflow diagram on clearance” on your Someday/Maybe list.

  14. Matthew Johnson says:

    Does “next month” mean August? I hope so.

    I don’t really understand the complaints about the price of David Allen Co. products. David has always seemed to have communicated that quality is more important to him than price. That’s one of the things I appreciate about him. I cut corners in other areas of my life to pay for the nice leather notetaker wallet (which has already paid for itself many times in the last three years) and other products I’ve purchased. It’s not the DAC’s responsibility to make products that us “fans” can afford but it is their responsibility to stay true to their corporate values.

    Looking forward not only to the posters but to the DVD as well!

  15. Lola LB says:

    Is the interactive CD closed-captioned? As a deaf person, it’s hard for me to take advantage of all those audio products which sound like there are great stuff beyond David Allen’s two books.

  16. JBinKC says:

    I want one I can use as my computer desktop image. That’s where I keep mine.

    I got my current one from

    And $49 is too much for me as a not-for-profit volunteer and Trustee.

  17. Fred Taylor says:

    Hoping for August too, and the sooner the better. I have a couple employees I’ll be getting this for as well. We’re all trying to support each other to improve our GTD-ing.

  18. Fred Taylor says:

    The original post positions this as a diagram, which sets up the commenters to make the false comparison with other visual aids. With the DVD it’s more of a multimedia instructional tool, and those sell for more than diagrams. Lynn, how much would you charge if your free PDF downloads were graphically designed by learning experts and included a DVD of you explaining the topics, sharing your professional expertise? Rhetorical question.

  19. Kit says:

    At the bottom of the new diagram, judgment is spelled “judgement.”

    In American English, the accepted spelling is “judgment.”

  20. GTD Times says:

    Thanks Kit.
    If you are looking at the version being shared on Flickr, that is not the final version of the map. Changes have been made since that was shown at the GTD Summit, including changing the spelling of judgment. Good catch!

  21. nigebj says:

    I’d love to know how people think they can judge the value of an item they have neither seen nor touched. The price is unrelated to the physical media, unlike the deskset, it is directly related to the intellectual property encapsulated in it. And the more people ‘leak’ versions of the IP to the wider internet audience, the higher the price of the authentic goods will get – as those who are not prepared to ‘risk’ genuine copies will instead steal the IP by receiving copies of it without any payment.

    I love that Lynn should malign the ‘poorly compensated’ nature of blogging while complaining that someone else’s intellectual property costs so much … choices, choices.

  22. LVB says:

    Like others, I find it interesting that opinions are being provided without a clear understanding of the contents of the package, particularly the dvd. Hopefully, when the package is available there will be an ability to have a preview a portion of the dvd to evaluate before purchasing.

    Not many people have an unlimited budget, so decisions must be made on what is important to the individual. If the quality is good, and the opportunity is provided to evaluate, then each individual can make their decision on whether this is something that is important to them.

  23. I need to clarify that the product comes with an audio piece not a DVD. I will post a segment of the learning portion or walk through as soon as I have this to share. It is an educational piece to help folks understand the flow of the Map. It will make more sense once we have posted this. It is not like any other product that we currently offer. I will also find out if we can offer closed caption- that is an excellent question.

  24. Jay Elmore says:

    “I’d love to know how people think they can judge the value of an item they have neither seen nor touched.”

    I know what I judge the value of the Workflow Map to be, based on sample images, and do not feel I need a second copy of the map or the audio commentary. (It may be that hearing samples of the audio will persuade me otherwise.)

    I have no problem with them offering a complete package at a premium price point. Some of us are simply asking for the Workflow Map to be made available individually. What if someone wants to buy extra copies to provide to co-workers or subordinates above and beyond the original package?

  25. Dave Gray says:

    I am surprised that people are so resistant to the price of this poster.

    Even a glance should confirm that this is a work of art and a labor of love. It’s a beautiful piece and was two years in the making.

    It seems that people do admire this work, and recognize its importance, yet find $49 to be somehow prohibitive.

    For a work of art, $49 is prohibitive.

    Are you kidding me? Prohibitive? A LOT of money? Offensive?


    If you “second those thoughts” you need to get a grip. It takes a lot of time and effort to develop this kind of diagram. It’s a significant investment.

    $49 is the price of a lamp. It’s the price of a dinner. The price of taking your family to a movie. Ten days worth of Caffe Lattes. Gimme a break.

    If you call yourself a “GTDer” and you can’t find a way to come up with $49, I have to question what GTD means to you and whether you are really serious about “getting things done.”

    When youy that $49 is “too much,” I think that in most cases you have the money but choose to spend it on other things. Well good for you, choose where you spend your money. That’s your right.

    Buy the poster or don’t buy it, but don’t tell people that it’s offensive to charge $49 for a work of art.

    As an artist who’s try to make a living creating beautiful and meaningful visuals, that attitude demeans and insults my profession.

  26. I certainly did not intend to offend anyone in passing on my reaction to the $49 price tag to a new visual aid. But when you discuss (see above) a “work of art” and the price of a work of art, high priced works of art are usually one of a kind, unless the work of art is a lithograph or the equivalent, and even then, the number of copies are limited.

    To anyone who would suggest that those of us questioning the pricing of this item are not GTD-ers “if you call yourself a GTDer..” please step back for a moment

    I am not questioning anyone’s serious intentions and respect for GTD if they fail to make use of every learning opportunity offered by Davidco, such as membership in GTD Connect.

    Personally, I come up with $49.00 every single month and have for quite a while now, as a member of GTD connect. Do you pay $49 every month in order to make use of every learning opportunity offered by Davidco? Am I serious about supporting my GTD efforts, or do I just send $49 a month to every passing service that captures my imagination?

    This discussion has become way too heavy. I use GTD, fall off the wagon, get back on. I teach GTD to my doctoral students (as much as they will let me, students are often not yet at the point that they know they need a serious method to help with work/life organization). And I spend $49 a month to continue to learn, and to support my own engagement with GTD. Perhaps its time to change the GTD budget, and put the monthly payments into the new packages appearing. And hey, lets get some friendly humor into discussion of pricing.

  27. Hi all,

    Just found out that this poster in all likelihood will be in the DAC store in August 2009, it comes with a DVD and I will be able to post a clip of a short portion on the product page so all will be able to see it and preview. I do appreciate your patience and I truly understand budgetary constraints! As David says we are “all alone in this together” so to that end just know you can always email me personally ( ) with feedback and you will be heard! I love the passion that GTDers bring to all this work. My goal here is to have some great bundles and value for everyone. Thanks for playing.

  28. Richard George says:

    All I can say is this. I have never, ever, purchased anything from the David Allen Company that did not provide great value, including things like the steel upright file folder stands, which appeared to be highly priced until I received them and used them.

    I have faith that the product will provide good value.

  29. Al Byrne says:

    Liz, will the graphic, eventually, be made available as a *.pdf file (at any price!)?

    The nature of my service as a military officer means that I’m best served by being able to scale up/down as needed to make printed versions of such useful diagrams that fit into a pocket sized booklets (which lasts maybe a couple months before being worn down to tattered trash!), or, when I’m on the ship, I make a larger version which I laminate onto my desk, and remove when I come ashore. I guess you can see that a permanent hanging ‘art-work’ is pretty much unusable for me.

    Your ideas?

  30. Matt R says:

    Any update on when this will be available?


  31. John L says:

    I’m less upset about the $49.00 as I am that this actually took 2 years to design. I suspect DavidCo is merely doing what every successful entertainer does… reel you in with great performance, fancy footwork, and finally a big bill. Good luck to all who’ve been to the show. Something better always comes along.


  32. Hi John,

    We can appreciate your frustration in having to wait for this product. We would have loved it to come out ages ago too, but we strive for excellence and we wanted to put out the best product we possibly could, and there were many unexpected production factors that came into play. Sorry you are negatively perceiving that as a “great performance.” That would be a mastery skill if we had planned it this way, for sure!


  33. Sam Williams says:

    One way to think about the value of the package to you might be in terms of your time, quality of work/life, and earnings. If you believe the map will make a difference on any of these fronts, then surely it’s worth many times $49.

    Dave and David, the map looks like a home run to me – kudos. Unfortunately, FYI, it’s too large for my setup. I rarely use my offices at work and at home; I carry a 13″ MacBook with an A4-size conference folder and wouldn’t want to be folding and unfolding the map constantly. As it is, I use a free version of the workflow map ( as my desktop background, with a hot corner on my screen to reveal the desktop quickly. My lists are all in Things, and I use SizeUp to make Things quickly fill half of the screen so I can process with most of the map visible.

  34. Bhavesh Naik says:

    Here’s a quick way to figure out whether it’s worth spending your money on these posters. Do you think that, honest to god now, you can make or save $500 after buying these posters within a reasonable amount of time?

    If the answer is a resounding “yes,” go for it and get them.

    If the answer is “no,” just let it go and move on.

    If the answer is “I don’t know”, wait till you see a friend’s or a co-worker’s posters and see if you could get that value.

    In the free market society, ultimately, the price of the goods is defined by what people are willing to pay for it. Being in the same “business of the intangible” that David is in, I often advise my prospective clients to only engage with us if they are reasonably confident that their ROI is ten times the price-tag. Without it, for most people, it’s hard to justify the cost of the investment, at least at the point of purchase.

    – Bhavesh.

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