Yes, you sure can. GTD Times reader Angela wrote to share her format for tracking action items.
GTD has made a significant impact on my life, and I’m glad to share a specific technique that has worked for me.
I format my Action Items list in a spreadsheet. It’s really convenient to add items as they come in chronologically or during the processing of “in.” Then the items can be sorted according to context. This is easily done by just having three columns in the spreadsheet:
1) Context (errands, @computer, etc.)
2) The item itself
3) Notes such as phone numbers, reference data, referral name, etc.
You can process “in” without wasting time inserting rows in order to put like items together. Just add more items at the bottom of the list. It is a simple procedure to sort the data by context, and BAM — action items are grouped according to context.
It has worked best for me to keep this spreadsheet on my desktop. This way I don’t have to open my spreadsheet program, open a folder, find the document, then open the document. A quick double-click on the desktop opens the application and the document, and I’m ready to scribe.
Editor’s note: You can also add a keyword for projects and actions, and then sort by the Item column to see the Projects with their next actions.