What is GTD?

Getting Things Done® (also known as GTD®) is not just about inbox zero, picking great tools, or doing a Weekly Review. It’s a whole workflow ecosystem invented by that David Allen that can bring calm to your world, give you perspective on life, and give you better control of your day-to-day. As David says, “there is more than meets the eye…”


GTD Step-by-Step

Sophisticated without being confining, the subtle effectiveness of GTD lies in its radically common sense notion that with a complete and current inventory of all your commitments, organized and reviewed in a systematic way, you can focus clearly, view your world from optimal angles and make trusted choices about what to do (and not do) at any moment. GTD embodies an easy, step-by-step and highly efficient method for achieving this relaxed, productive state. It includes:

  • CAPTURE Collect anything and everything that’s grabbing your attention
  • CLARIFY Define actionable things into concrete next steps and successful outcomes
  • ORGANIZE Sort information in the most streamlined way, in appropriate categories, based on how and when you need to access it
  • REFLECT Step back to review and update your system regularly
  • ENGAGE Make trusted choices about what to do in any given moment


What can you expect with GTD?

Implementing GTD alleviates the feeling of overwhelm, instills confidence, and releases a flood of creative energy. It provides structure without constraint, managing details with maximum flexibility. The system rigorously adheres to the core principles of productivity, while allowing tremendous freedom in the “how.” The only “right” way to do GTD is getting meaningful things done with truly the least amount of invested attention and energy. Coaching thousands of people, where they work, about their work, has informed the GTD method with the best practices of how to work (and live), in that most efficient and productive way.

GTD’s simplicity, flexibility, and immediacy are its attraction. Its ability to enliven, enlighten, and empower is its magic. What, indeed, is GTD? More than meets the eye…


Learning GTD

Wherever you are in your journey with the GTD methodology, there are many resources on GTD Connect, and expert GTD training and coaching are available around the world through our Global Partners.


Join the Conversation


  1. I still think the subtitle for the first book summarizes it best: The Art of Stress-free Productivity. The keywords being Productivity, Stress-free and Art.

  2. I use GTD everyday and it is nothing more than meets the eye. All the rest is good hype. If you want productivity with no stress, begin to focus on the “no stress” part, when you will be a no stressed, focus on productivity. No you are a non stressed producer.

    I love GTD it is a very smart system. But don’t give it more importancy than it has. Don’t give it any hope to solve your existential issues. And tweak it to YOUR lifestyle and who YOU are.

  3. I have been using something like this as a personal balancing tool for a while, However, you have documented it nicely and given me some points to think on, thanks alot!

  4. I agree with Bert. I fell in love with filing, capturing, and the inbox. Then I went through a “GTD is bull!” phase. But now I still am grateful and utilize the tools while making it fit my life and psychology. The hype and quite frankly, the California-ness of it can be off putting and distracting, but the gems are truly useful.

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