As I explained in My GTD System (2011), I have designed my own forms for my paper GTD system. I must acknowledge a debt of gratitude to the people at D*I*Y Planner who gave me the initial ideas behind most of these forms.
The forms are:
- Next Actions
- Waiting For
- Projects List
- Project Plan
- Project Next Actions
This is the “in tray” where everything is collected for later processing (unless it can go straight to Next Actions, etc.)
These forms are used for meeting notes, jottings, ideas, etc. One of the Filofax “TODAY” markers is used to indicate the next or current page. The form is here.
Once it’s been decided that there’s a Next Action needed to progress something it goes on one of these forms. The right side of the header (next to “Next Actions”) can be used for the Context (“Calls”, “Computer”, “Errands”, etc.). The “Start” column is for the date the Next Action was added and its use is optional – it’s just a way of reminding you how long the Next Action’s been hanging around. The “Action” column is for the action and “Due Date” if there is one – note that if the action needs to be done on a specific date it should be on your Calendar and not on your Next Actions list. The form is here.
These are Actions or Projects that you want to capture but don’t what to do anything about right now. The form has three columns for you to use as you wish. The form is here.
These are actions where you’re waiting on someone else. The form allows you so say “Who” you’re waiting for, “What” action you’re waiting on them to complete, and “When” you expect them to deliver. The form is here.
The Agendas form is for topics that you need to raise the next time you see a person or group or attend a meeting. The right side of the header is for the name of the person, group or meeting. Again there are three columns – “Start”, “Topic”, and “Due Date” – to be used in a similar way as with the Next Actions form. The Agendas form is here.
The Projects List is for the more than single action things that need to be kept track of. the area to the right of the header can be used to indicate the type of Project. I have separate Project Lists for Business, Home and Personal but I keep them all in one list using the first column indicate the Project’s status (“A” for Active, “S” for Someday/Maybe, “X” for Completed/Cancelled); the second column for the type of Project (“B” for Business, “H” for Home, “P” for Personal); the third for the Project title and the last for the Area of Focus – the first two columns are narrower and the last column wider in the version I use compared to the one shown here.
There are two forms used for capturing the details of Projects. The Project Plan form allows you to record the Project Title, Purpose, Goal and any Notes. The back of the form allows you to brainstorm Next Actions and their Due Date – the actual Next Action on each Project must be transferred to your Next Actions list – this is just for your forward thinking! The form is here.
Project Next Actions:
The Project Next Actions form is just a simpler Project form without the Goal, Purpose and Notes page where it’s pretty clear what the Project is and you just need a form to record some of the Project’s potential Next Actions. The Title of the Project can be recorded on the right side of the header. The form is here.
The final form in this is just a simple form to collect “Name/Address” and “Contact Info”. The form is here.
These forms are the main ones that I use. There are some others that I will introduce to you later, including an “Annual Events Checklist” that I use to make sure that I don’t miss a birthday, anniversary or other key event during the year.