GTD Terminology: The Ultimate Reference To Common GTD Terms

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A Guide to GTD Terminology

If you’re unsure of any of the GTD terminology or jargon this page is for you. I put together a quick reference for all of the terms used in GTD. If you want to get started implementing GTD, check out this article for a quick guide to GTD.

10,000 Feet – The perspective of Projects

20,000 Feet – The perspective of Areas of Focus

30,000 Feet – The perspective of Goals

40,000 Feet – The perspective of Life Vision

50,000 Feet – The perspective of Life Purpose or Principles

2 Minute Rule – While processing do any tasks that require 2 minutes or less rather than managing them in your system

Action – The physical step you need to take to do a task

Actionable – Something that you can take action on now

Areas of Focus – The 7-15 Areas of your life that you need to maintain

Capture Collect – The act of writing down thoughts, ideas, or potential tasks/projects to be processed later

Clarify/Process – Turning a capture into a specific next action/project

Contexts – The Location, Tool or Person required for a list of tasks (e.g. @office)

Engage – Doing

Get Clear – Doing a mind sweep and capturing any tasks from your environment, email or any other place and processing them.

Get Current – Reviewing each of your action lists, projects list and calendar.

Get Creative – Reviewing your someday maybe lists and daydreaming of anything else you’d like to do.

Goals – Things you want to achieve within the 1-5 year time frame

GTD – Getting Things Done

Horizons of Focus – The range of perspectives through which you can think about life and work

Inbox – The collection place for your captures before they are clarified/processed

Mind-sweep – A brain-dump, capturing everything that has been on your mind recently (often done at the start of the weekly review)

Natural Planning Method – The Method used to plan projects

Next Action – The very next physical visible action you can take

Next Action List – A list of your next actions usually sorted by context

Organize – Moving Next Actions on to the relevant Context list

Project – A multi-step task that you want to complete within the next year

Projects List – A List of all your projects, one per line

Project Support Material – Any Material you need to help you complete a project

Principles/Purpose – The pinnacle of value in your life (you don’t necessarily have to have one)

Reflect – Looking through your list to decide what to do

Runway – The perspective of next actions

Task – Something you want to get done

Tickler System – A reminder system for physical items

Trigger List – A list of topics and questions that guide you through a mind-sweep.

Someday Maybes – A list of things you don’t want to do now but might be cool in the future

Vision – A vision of what you want your life to be like in the future

Waiting For – A list of all the things you are waiting for other people to do

Weekly Review – A review of you entire system using ‘Get Clear, Get Current, Get Creative