How to Use Evernote for GTD

Evernote is likely one of the very best apps for productiveness and far of its good fortune comes from its flexibility. Evernote allows you to create and save no matter form of notes you need, from audio memos to doodles to pictures, with a wealth of gear to retailer, kind, and get them organized. It’s so versatile that you’ll even use it for GTD.

GTD stands for Getting Things Done, each the identify of a productiveness technique and the name of the ebook that describes it, written by means of David Allen. The ebook used to be first revealed in 2001, and the unique implementation of GTD makes use of pencil, paper, folders, and a submitting cupboard. Since then, a complete market of apps for GTD has advanced. Some of the apps are simple in matching the language and technique of GTD, whilst others, akin to Evernote, are as a substitute flexible answers that mean you can customise your productiveness method.

Because there’s no one proper method to use Evernote for GTD, right here you’ll be able to discover a listing of options in Evernote with explanations for how you’ll use them with the GTD technique.

What Is GTD?

The GTD manner permit you to solution questions akin to “What must I paintings on subsequent?”, “What can I do to be certain that I by no means omit anything else vital?”, and “Are there any tips to assist me now not procrastinate?”

If you need particular regulations relating to what you must and must now not do to be productive, then GTD is correct up your alley. Its readability is undeniably a part of the enchantment. Essentially, GTD is a 5-step procedure through which you:

  1. Capture the entire issues you wish to have to do in a listing
  2. Decide for each and every concept on whether or not it is actionable, vital, one thing you’ll delegate, or one thing you’ll discard
  3. Organize those duties into lists
  4. Work on the ones duties by means of precedence (known as “subsequent movements” in GTD)
  5. Review your growth on performing on those duties

For extra on what it involves, see our assessment of the GTD manner.

That stated, many of us adjust GTD to use the portions that paintings for them. Others borrow core ideas and enforce them otherwise. How you select to GTD is up to you. If you might be one of those adaptive sorts, Evernote is a handy gizmo to use in conjunction on account of its flexibility.

How to GTD With Evernote

Whether you apply GTD to a tee or simply borrow the portions that paintings for you, Evernote’s options can make stronger your productiveness method. From particular person notes to Evernote Notebooks, Stacks, Tags, Saved Searches, and a couple of different options, you’ll be able to be in a position to customise Evernote to see a very powerful news on the proper time.

Notes: Save Everything You Want to Remember

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A central guideline of GTD is that you just must by no means really feel the will to retailer one thing on your head when you’ll write it down. Why expend mind area for issues you’ll reference later?

One of Evernote’s taglines is “your 2nd mind,” so you’ll see how that ethos suits with GTD. Evernote is designed to be where the place you place stuff you do not need to have to keep in mind.

Notes are the center of Evernote. In the GTD style, you’ll use notes to:

  • write down duties
  • retailer and get admission to news you wish to have on particular dates, akin to go back and forth affirmation numbers
  • keep a copy of fabrics you need to learn, akin to mag articles
  • save some other reference subject material chances are you’ll want later
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Checklists. For duties, you’ll set up them in a lot of tactics, which don’t seem to be mutually unique. Feel unfastened to mix’n’match them. For instance, one possibility is to create a tick list of duties inside of a notice. Perhaps you name this notice To Do Today, and also you replace it day-to-day. This manner works smartly for fast and easy duties, akin to those who take not more than two mins to whole.

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Note as Task. Another method to set up duties is to use one notice in step with job. This possibility works smartly for duties that experience additional info related to them, akin to making a physician’s appointment, when you wish to have the scientific place of work telephone quantity, in all probability some details about when prescriptions will run out, and so on. Notes as duties also are helpful when you need to upload a reminder to a role. Reminders in Evernote make stronger each date and time fields, and the app sends a notification on the suitable time.

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Note as Parent Task. One extra possibility for managing duties is to create a notice for a guardian job or assignment and upload a tick list for subtasks. Let’s say you wish to have to sign up your kid in a brand new faculty. The subtasks to this assignment may well be to fill out paperwork, supply evidence of residency, and provide copies of your kid’s scientific data to the college.

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Note as Reading Material or Reference. Seeing as notes can include almost anything else you need, you’ll use them to save on-line articles and different subject material that you need to learn later. You have a couple of choices for getting studying and reference subject material into Evernote. For starters, if the content material is on a internet web page, as is the case with on-line information and mag articles, you’ll clip it the usage of Evernote’s internet clipper. Second, if the content material is in an e mail, you’ll ahead the message into Evernote; unfastened Evernote individuals do not get this selection, even supposing you’ll get round it by means of the usage of Zapier to attach Evernote and e mail. You too can take a photograph or make a scan of bodily studying subject material the usage of your telephone’s digital camera and reserve it to Evernote. Or you’ll add attachments to notes.

Notebooks: Inbox and Tickler Files

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Notebooks are the place you team equivalent notes. They’re necessarily folders. In GTD style, you must get started with one known as Inbox to unload all of your concepts and notes in combination in one position sooner than processing them (deciding what to do with them after which submitting them into suitable folders).

Set the Inbox pocket book to be your default whilst you create new notes. When you set an Evernote pocket book to be the default, new notes you create will move into that pocket book mechanically, except you particularly make a choice a distinct pocket book for them. When you employ the Evernote cell app particularly, having the Inbox as your default way you’ll create notes in no time regardless of the place you might be and now not fear that they will disappear into no matter pocket book you maximum lately used. Instead, by means of stashing new notes into the Inbox, you’ll be able to ensure to see them the following time you procedure your Inbox.

Here’s a proposal of Notebooks to create for GTD:

  • Inbox, a default position to put notes till you’ll kind them or another way procedure them
  • Next Actions, for notes that you are going to act on within the instant long run
  • Someday/Maybe, for concepts and duties that don’t seem to be necessary however you want to get to if in case you have the danger
  • Reading, a spot to stay issues you need to learn
  • Reference, the place you place news you wish to have from time to time however which does not essentially require motion
  • Brainstorming, for growing and conserving tough concepts as they arrive in combination
  • Tickler Files, the place you place news that is particular to on a daily basis or month (extra underneath)

Good to know: Productivity fanatics are most probably accustomed to the trick of including an asterisk or underscore to their maximum vital folder identify to power it to seem on the most sensible of a listing when looked after alphabetically, as in _Inbox. With Evernote, on the other hand, you shouldn’t have to. Instead, you’ll use Shortcuts to order your favourite notebooks any method you need. Old conduct die onerous, regardless that, so in case you are dedicated to the usage of a unique persona, do not let any person forestall you.

GTD’s Tickler File device, additionally also known as 43 folders ^(, simply map onto Evernote’s notebooks. You create 43 folders that constitute each and every month of the 12 months (12) and on a daily basis of the month (31). On the primary of any month, all 31 day folders must be inside of the precise month folder. You document into on a daily basis folder no matter you wish to have on that day. That method, you could have the whole thing you wish to have on that day and not anything else to distract you.

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You can scale back the selection of folders you create and stick to 12 month folders, which can minimize down at the quantity of folder introduction and submitting you do. Instead, write the date the information are wanted at the notice itself. You can then seek for a date within the acceptable month folder to slim down the contents to most effective what you wish to have.

Be certain your notes all use a constant date layout, and ensure to right kind any on pieces you’ve got forwarded into Evernote by the use of e mail, copied and pasted, or clipped from the internet.

Stacks of Notebooks: Group Similar Notebooks

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A Notebook Stack is a bunch of notebooks. You can use Stacks to create consolidated archives of outdated tickler information. You too can use them to team comparable notebooks, akin to a Projects Stack for all notebooks containing project-style paintings.

Stacks can do wonders for the way you prepare Evernote, even supposing I do not essentially recommend the usage of them an excessive amount of.

For instance, some other folks like to create an Inbox Stack comprising notebooks for Tasks, Reading, Reference, and so forth, even supposing I do not like this implementation as a result of a standalone Inbox turns out to paintings higher in Evernote. When Inbox contains simply one folder, you’ll use it as a catchall for notes you create at the move. When the Inbox is a Stack, you find yourself having to kind extra regularly, which creates useless paintings.

Similarly, you will be tempted to create Stacks for GTD contexts, akin to having a stack for Home and one for Work, however sooner than you do, learn the segment underneath on Saved Searches. They be offering any other resolution, and whilst it is probably not the one you find yourself the usage of, you indisputably need to discover your choices.

Shortcuts: Keep Frequently Used Notebooks in Reach

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You would possibly use Evernote only for GTD, or chances are you’ll finally end up the usage of Evernote for different functions, too, akin to conserving a day-to-day diary, saving recipes, writing a unique, drafting shows for paintings. If your account begins to really feel cluttered, employ Evernote’s Shortcuts for your GTD folders.

Shortcuts stick on the most sensible of your left rail in Evernote in order that you notice them first. To create a Shortcut, you drag a pocket book to that high of the rail. Make a Shortcut for your Inbox Notebook and any others that you just use frequently.

GTD stresses that it will be important to see most effective what you wish to have this present day you wish to have it, so you do not get distracted by means of different news. When you employ Shortcuts, you’ll cave in your Notebook view to assist decrease visible muddle.

Tags: Add Detail for Sorting

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Tags mean you can categorize, kind, and clear out notes. They come up with extra precision when you wish to have to view notes which might be related to you this present day. You can pile up tags into teams the similar method you’ll team Notebooks into Stacks.

Which tags you create and the way you order them is very dependent in your scenario, the type of paintings you do and the way you prefer to do it. But to give a concrete instance, in GTD you may have tags for:


  • high-priority
  • medium-priority
  • low-priority


  • pending-signoff
  • pending-funds
  • pending-information


  • @place of work
  • @calls
  • @circle of relatives
  • @errands

Because you’ll upload more than one tags to a notice, you’ll simply clear out your whole notes to to find simply those you wish to have to see, akin to notes tagged @place of work and high-priority.

Good to know: You can’t have any areas in an Evernote tag. Also, as soon as you’ve got created a tag, ensure to watch for auto-suggestions of it in order that you do not unintentionally create a replica tag that is fairly other, akin to “pending-funds” and “pending-funding.”

Saved Searches: See Only Notes That Match Your Context

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Saved Searches are any other superb characteristic in Evernote for GTD fans as a result of they mean you can briefly to find extremely particular news in one click on. For instance, let’s consider you need to see most effective notes which might be each on your Inbox and feature a priority-high tag.

You can create this seek as soon as, reserve it, give it a reputation, after which drag the Saved Search into your Shortcuts segment, proper with the Shortcuts you’ve got already made to Notebooks. Saved Searches in Shortcuts get a magnifying glass icon while Notebook Shortcuts get a ebook icon.

Be planned and selective concerning the selection of Saved Searches you create. If you could have too many, they lose their goal of supplying you with very fast get admission to to a very powerful issues you wish to have to to find.

More Evernote GTD Resources

David Allen’s corporate, known as The David Allen Company (he in reality cuts to the chase when it comes to naming) sells a GTD information for putting in place Evernote, if you happen to’d desire the branded directions.

Evernote additionally gives unfastened GTD templates to use in its app, regardless that they are intended to permit you to get ready for particular tasks and duties, slightly than perform a GTD technique.

TheSecretWeapon ^( is any other useful resource that particularly explores the usage of Evernote and GTD, and it particularly tackles e mail as smartly.

If you are already smartly established with GTD, you may additionally to find those five hidden Evernote options helpful in advancing your wisdom of the app.

Author: Apple Glory

After this article was published, Apple told Dave Choffnes that his iPhone app, designed to detect net neutrality violations, will be allowed in the iTunes App Store. According to Choffnes, Apple contacted him and explained that the company has to deal with many apps that don't do the things they