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Start Getting Things Done with GTDNext

GTDNext to-do list iconSometimes I wonder if humans have always had problems with procrastination or if it's a unique affliction of our age brought on by information overload.  

Don't worry, there's still hope for us because we have many tools and techniques for time management and productivity at our disposal. A few years ago I became seriously interested in productivity methods. Since then I've tried and even reviewed many to-do apps and solutions. While trying to overcome procrastination, I've probably read every piece of motivation advice on the planet, including the variations and "hacks" of the most popular ones.

And after all that, I'm still equally excited whenever I hear about a new productivity method or app. What kind of approach does it propose? What does it look like? Does it have something that others don't?

Today I want to show you a new (version 1.0 was just released a month ago!) time management and to-do organization app called GTDNext. If you're looking for a logical and simple way to tackle your projects and tasks, GTDNext can help you.




GTDNext is a web app, so you will need to create an account to use it. Registration is currently free, but the pricing model is expected to change at some point in the future.

You can probably conclude from its name that GTDNext has something to do with the principles of GTD (Getting Things Done), a time-management technique developed by David Allen and described in a popular book of the same name. One of its basic ideas is that projects should be broken down into smaller tasks or “actionable steps”.

To take control over your to-do list, you first have to assess everything that you need to do, preferably by “dumping” all your ideas and plans on a piece of paper or into a GTD app. Then you can categorize tasks, specify their details and make necessary notes and comments. GTD advises you to review your to-do list regularly to track your progress and see if some tasks need to be modified in the light of those you've already completed.

When I was exploring and trying out different productivity hacks, I tried GTD too. My experiment with it lasted for about two months. I realized that it didn't suit me because I had a hard time deciding how to categorize and prioritize my tasks. Obviously, this was due to a flaw in my personality, not something to hold against GTD.

The good thing about GTD is that the core advice it offers is actually reasonable and applicable to any kind of organization system. You can easily adapt it to your needs and habits, which is exactly what I did. Today I don't use "pure" GTD, but my own system which I've created still shares some common-sense principles with GTD. 

But enough about me - let's take a look at GTDNext.

GTDNext interfaceSource


As you can see, the interface is neat, bright and without clutter, which makes sense for a to-do app. The navigation is fantastic, and it shouldn't take you longer than 10 minutes to get the hang of the keyboard shortcuts. Generally speaking, the app doesn't have a demanding learning curve and you can start using GTDNext immediately after creating an account. Personally, I believe you can use it even if you don't exactly know what GTD is. Furthermore, you absolutely don't have to be a devout follower of the GTD philosophy to recognize how useful this app can be. 

GTDNext navigation sidebarSource

GTDNext is based on a logical workflow which is supposed to help you streamline your decision process and take charge of your tasks and projects. You'll be using the main area to organize your tasks, and smaller sections on each side will help you with navigation and details. A simple scheme might look like this:

Inbox → Lists → Areas (+Tags)


You start by adding new tasks to Inbox, either via the Quick Input area or by sending them to from the email address you used to register at GTDNext. The Inbox is like a waiting room for your tasks.

The next step is to sort the tasks into Lists, which are hard-coded elements of the app that you can't rename or remove. Depending on the status of your tasks, you will add it to Someday, Scheduled, Waiting, Focus or Next Actions list, but bear in mind that some tasks are automatically assigned to certain lists because of their properties. For example, repeating tasks will appear on the Scheduled list.

Another way to further categorize your tasks is by using Areas and Tags. Unlike Lists, Areas and Tags are customizable. When you have many projects and tasks, you don't have to search for them by name; it will be much easier to use the filtering feature that works on both Tags and Areas.

GTDNext makes it very easy to turn simple tasks into projects with a more complex hierarchy. Just add a new task and indent it – it will become a sub-task of a project. In this way you can create as many levels and subprojects as you wish, and freely rearrange them by drag-and-drop.

GTDNext Projects and subtasksSource

The Action Details dialogue is where you'll tweak the options for each task. Here you can assign tasks to different Areas or Lists, set due dates and write notes. If some tasks require special and immediate attention, here you can add them to the Focus list. You can also force tasks to appear in the Next Actions (by default, only one task from each project gets listed there). By doing so, you indicate which tasks have higher priority, and GTDNext makes sure that they're distinguishable from other tasks.

GTDNext Action DetailsSource

For more information about GTDNext you should visit the official blog. There you'll find great resources about productivity and GTD, as well as detailed video guides and tips for GTDNext. The app is in active development, so if you think it's missing some crucial features, feel free to contact the developers. I expect that GTDNext will see great improvements in the future, and I wish the best of luck and success to this reliable little app.




Ivana Isadora Devcic is a freelance writer, copyeditor and translator fluent in English, Swedish, Croatian and Norwegian. She's a Linux user and KDE fan interested in web design, productivity and personal branding. Ivana tweets about the world around her as @skadinna.

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