GTD® – short for Getting Things Done – is a personal productivity method created and made popular by David Allen in his best-selling book Getting Things Done, the Art of Stress Free Productivity. First published in 2001, and updated in 2015, the international GTD community is over 2 million strong.
As David convincingly teaches, to effectively practice stress-free productivity, you must have a trusted system outside your brain. This means:
Trusted: If you don’t trust your system it falls apart. Do you have a system that you trust 100% to capture, retain, process, and retrieve everything you want to remember and tackle every day, over the course of your life?
System: The system is the framework by which you route and manage all the “stuff” that comes at you. David’s book teaches the heuristics and methodology for managing your own GTD system. Even as technology evolves, the GTD system rules remain the same.
Outside your brain: Our brain is forgetful. Our brain gets overwhelmed. Our brain ages. Your trusted system cannot be your brain.
So what exactly should you use as your trusted, outside your brain system? The challenge for most readers: The book is deliberately software-neutral.
GTD practitioner’s are left to find their tool, or suite of tools, to create and manage the GTD framework. There are no shortage of constantly evolving software options to pick from. Most find it overwhelming. And, they give up on GTD because they don’t find the right tool – one that can properly manage the mountain of data flying at us daily.
But there is a solution. One that is flexible enough to support all that David teaches and powerful enough to manage the information overload that is our reality. It’s Evernote.
Why Evernote for GTD
What better tool to manage your GTD practice than a software whose original tagline is “Your Second Brain”? With that positioning, it’s no surprise that Evernote has been a favorite tool of GTD practitioners for years.
Both Evernote and the David Allen Company know this. David Allen has been a keynote speaker at the Evernote Conference, and I was the Evernote GTD Ambassador in 2012 – back when Evernote had Ambassadors.
That role led to spending an hour on video with David Allen and his director of training and giving them a peek at my GTD system. I beamed with pride when David said my system was a true deployment of GTD (they had seen some that weren’t)!
Clearly, I’m not the only one who sees the life-changing productivity that GTD and Evernote provides.
But why exactly is Evernote so powerful as a GTD trusted system? Three reasons – capture, search, and access.
In GTD, David teaches his five step method for mastering workflow. Step 1 is to capture absolutely everything you are dealing with, in one single central spot outside your brain.
The bad news is that 100% of the “stuff” we need to capture, comes in an overwhelming amount of formats:
documents and files
multiple email accounts
social media messages
ideas in our brain
All of these can generate to-do’s or create something we want to hold onto for a variety of reasons.
The good news is – if you can digitize it, Evernote can manage it. Their features and extensive app integrations make it effortless to centralize digital data in Evernote. For example, you can:
scan directly to Evernote
email directly to Evernote
clip web pages directly to Evernote with the click of a browser button
type in Evernote
photograph directly to Evernote
talk directly to Evernote
paste links into Evernote
automatically import PDF files and documents into Evernote
reference Google Docs in Evernote
Slack into Evernote
Zap into Evernote
The options to capture in Evernote are vast and unmatched by any other tool. Evernote truly is the ultimate inbox.
Search & Find
Better yet, Evernote indexes everything you put in it.
This means, when you want to retrieve it, you can find it; even your handwriting that appears in the snapshot you stored in Evernote, and even the PDF or Excel doc you store in Evernote (if you’re a premium subscriber).
So not only is Evernote the best capture tool on the market, it’s also the best search tool, with industry leading search technology at its core.
And, since Evernote is cross platform and cloud based, it works seamlessly across all your devices, whether you are Mac, Windows, Android, iOS – or an ever-evolving combination of devices.
You can capture, search, and access from anywhere, anytime. And premium subscribers can even access their accounts offline.
This coincides nicely with when ideas and thoughts come to you...typically everywhere, and all the time. No need to hold the new idea or item in your brain - just log it in Evernote from whatever device you have closest to you...even your Apple watch.
I’m Stacey, your GTD in Evernote champion.
I think of my entrepreneurial life in two phases: before GTD, and after GTD.
This book changed my life.
Before GTD, I was a panic-attacked entrepreneur, unable to prioritize the overwhelming amount of tasks and to-dos that piled up on my list and in my brain. I couldn’t focus. I was in duress and was ready to give up on my business.
Reading this book was a turning point. I saw immediately that GTD was a system that would bring me relief. I saw how it was possible to operate with stress-free productivity. I just needed to create my external system. And, I knew Evernote was the right tool for the task.
After devouring the book, I went straight to my white board and mapped out exactly how to organize Evernote to support a scalable GTD system. Over the next year, I honed my Evernote GTD organization and habits and now, nearly a decade later, it’s the system I use to manage my productivity each and every day.
In 2017, I documented my system, named it EverDone, and created a community of GTD practitioners who use my methodology to support an effective GTD lifestyle. Through the EverDone community and guide, I document, teach, and support my exact system for practicing GTD in Evernote.
How to master your productivity with GTD in Evernote:
STEP 1: Join the GTD Book Club and start getting things done.
Whether you’re brand new to GTD, want to see if GTD is for you, or already love GTD and are ready to discover some deeper tips, read Getting Things Done right alongside me.
This free book club includes:
Video summaries of each chapter of David Allen’s Getting Things Done, the 2015 edition.
Mobile friendly audio and video replays so you can watch on the go.
Listen at your pace: Play at 2x speed, or take your time to absorb every last word.
Cliff notes for the whole book: Don’t have time to read the book or binge listen? You’ll get access to my proprietary book summary which includes links to key resources supporting your GTD practice.
Accountability for reading the book.
Lifetime access: Review a chapter, or the whole book, anytime you’d like.
STEP 2: Get the EverDone Guide and Join the Community.
Get the comprehensive guide that takes you step-by-step through creating, deploying, and managing GTD® in your Evernote account. EverDone is modeled after Evernote expert Stacey Harmon’s personal GTD deployment that she has used for over 10 years. EverDone has guided hundreds of people to create their own trusted GTD system in Evernote.
And the EverDone community is a flourishing group of GTD practitioners, all using the EverDone system. Evernote expert and GTD practitioner Stacey Harmon personally moderates the forum which provides best GTD practices, answers to community questions, ongoing GTD lifestyle encouragement and support, and regular guided weekly review sessions.
Trademark Notice: Neither Stacey Harmon nor Harmon Enterprises, is licensed, certified, approved, or endorsed by or otherwise affiliated with David Allen or the David Allen Company which is the creator of the Getting Things Done® system for personal productivity. GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. For more information on the David Allen Company's products, please visit their website: www.davidco.com.