Some of the most common questions we get are about managing projects. Here is how one of the Coaches replied when someone new to GTD was asking how to manage projects and all of the related steps with GTD.
There are 3 components to consider with your projects:
1. Tracking the outcome on a Projects list that serves as a master inventory of your Projects. For example, “Complete 2010 Budget.”
2. Tracking the project support, future actions and reference for your projects. For example, budget research you have been gathering, that you will use when working on the project.
3. Tracking the next actions for the projects, on your context-sorted next actions lists. For example, “Call Jose in marketing for his dept. budget figures,” or “Book meeting to go over taxes.”
The key to your next action lists is that they only hold your next actions.
So if you have a project that has 10 steps, but only one of those is a next action (meaning you have all of the information you need to take the action) then only that one would be organized on a next action list. Many people will have some kind of keyword or enough in the description of the next action to tell them what project it relates to. All nine other actions that you cannot do yet are project support, until they become next actions.
There are many resources on GTD Connect, our online learning center, about all aspects of projects and project planning.