GTD as organization method

It goes ahead that I am not a crazy person of the work. Good, perhaps yes. But not all along. That it consists in act that I like to study, but also I like to have rest and leisure. To spend time with friends, to leave the city to enjoy the forests, to make sport and to practice music. What follows is not a method to work more hours without giving us account, but a method to take advantage of better the working hours and not to take preoccupations to the hours of diversion.

We are going to see what offers organization method to us GTD to take your work of university student, and my work of bloguera otorrino, with more tranquillity.



GTD was developed by David Allen and it has become very known in the world Internet and the one of the company.

How usually organize do you? When I was student, all the tasks of doing were in my mind. When it seated to me to work, the tasks were shelled according to their urgency. Problem? That often important things forgot to me.

You write down pending tasks in a notebook, a leaf of the sketch book, or the calendar of smartphone?


Allen maintains that those so simple methods, to write down things in a list or the calendar, are little efficient.

He is very current to forget to mainly make things at the moment that there is to do them, if are boring or disagreeable. Thus, it give you to account of that you had to buy food for breakfast when already you are at home at night and all the closed next stores; you throw yourself of the hairs because you know that you have happened afternoon near several supermarkets where you could have entered to buy.

Also it has happened to you often that you have sat down in the library to study, and it give account you of which it is the last day before giving a work that ordered to you weeks ago€¦ and that to you nothing desired to do, and so there is in the low part of all lists of tasks.


This so often happens to us to all the humans€¦ Safe to those rare friendly that all we have, that already were organized in the kindergarten, whereas the common one of the mortals we give returns that way as you spin€¦

Knowing all this, GTD on approval proposes a method of organization of forgetfulnesses. Their more remarkable characteristics facing a student are:

  • It deals with all the tasks our life as important, so that so worthy to write down itself it is €œTo consult prices of airplane for vacation€ as €œTo reserve book X in the library of the Faculty€ and €œTo buy milk and cakes€.
  • The tasks of the next day of study are written down as concrete, attainable tasks. That is to say, you do not write down €œTo review Anatomy€. You write down €œTo read subject 4 of Anatomy in notes€, or €œTo review notes of practices of Anato corresponding to subject 4€. Tasks specific, measurable, and that can be planned.
  • It does not organize the lists of things to do following his priority, but the context. That is to say, you group the tasks according to where you can realise them.
    • You are on the street? Then you can make €œBuy milk and cakes€, €œRevision of glasses in the Optics€ or €œhappen through the bank€ before arriving at your destiny.
    • You are in the library of the Faculty? Then beams €œTo reserve book X to take to house€, €œMeeting with friend X so that it explains to me and€, €œTo consult Internal Medicine encyclopedia for the doubts of subject 9€.
    • You are in class? Then it is when you look for hollows to make €œSpeak with tutor of written work€, €œTo pick up notes in Reprographics€, €œTo happen through the Department of Surgery to consult problem with the Matriculation of the course€.


  1. To compile You do not forget don't mention it!

Everything what arises, is of the studies, your leisure, your at school Greater life, or what is, happens to the inboxes. All the anotable is written down in a compilation place (it can be a notebook of paper or an application of productivity destined to it). The papers and documents that there are to review, to a physical tray.

  • Advantage: the pending tasks do not remain hanging of your ram memory and preventing your main task, that is to study. The fear to that disappears something forgets to you.
  1. To process. You control your life, she does not control to you

At least 1 time in week, the ideal every day, the trays drain deciding what to do with each thing. What leaves a tray no longer returns.

  • If he is something that can become in 2 minutes, p.ej becomes at the moment (for sending an e-mail, to call to the dentist to request appointment.
  • If it takes more than 2 minutes, you put it in the suitable list: things of the Faculty; messages in the city; study tasks. If it is a great task, it is necessary to divide it in concrete tasks. P. ex. €œTo begin to prepare written work of Investigation€ it is transformed into several tasks as €œReading Gu­a Docente instructions€, €œTo choose subject€, €œTo make bibliographical search€, €œTo call to the friend Because the last year made it to request advice€, etc.
  1. To organize. It facilitates the work and it enjoys the leisure.

You decide what you list you need. It depends on your obligations, of itself you study or also you have work, on if you only live or with your family, if you study at home or in the library.

In my case, I have the following lists:

  • House (tasks of the home type called to the telephone company, to sew bellboys of an article, etc)
  • Hospital (consultations with medical colleagues, appointments for some relative, meetings, etc)
  • Table of study (article writing for the blog, to practice in the guitar work X, to study case X of the consultation)
  • Street-messages (routine purchases, extraordinary purchases, taken care of the car, etc).

Also it agrees to have a list for projects or plans that you want to do in the future: to learn to dive; to aim to you at classes of p¡del; search a laboratory that admits students in vacation. You can call it €œFor when it has time€, €œSomeday€, etc.

  1. To review. It moves away to the forgetfulnesses and the oppression of your day to day.

This is the key piece of the system. Periodically you must review your inboxes and the lists of tasks, because on the contrary some actions will remain without doing (most boring, obvious). The incentive is to be erasing what already you have done, and I assure to you that it is pleasant much. The ideal is to review the inboxes when you have some free minutes in the day, and the lists of tasks at the end of afternoon or night, before closing your working time. Thus you can choose what more haste runs and program it for the next day.

The list of things that to do in the Faculty or the hospital must be reviewed in the home of the day, when you are there. Thus you make sure that it does not remain nothing important to do.

  1. To do. I know decisive!

This is the most important part. All the previous one has sense to arrive at your periods €œto do as well as possible€. If you do not have a good organization as student, in the short whiles of study you will do the latest that have asked to you, or what it worries to you more. And you will leave of side the less urgent tasks, although for you they are very important.

Once you are €œdoing€, it takes care of the details. The USA Pomodoros to reinforce your yield those days that you do not have desire don't mention it. The USA caffein with taken care of to maintain alerts to you.


For me, that always I have had organization problems, the main stumbling block is to decide to review to me. In order to avoid it, I put a noisy alarm in the calendar of smartphone.

Another stumbling block is not to have desire to review. This does not have trick€¦ whenever it sounds your alarm, begins to review. As we shelp in this entrance, the pain that activates in your nervous system will go in a few minutes and you will be thankful to have delivered the attack.


In these blogs and their entrances you will find much information on the subject:


There are many in the Web more, but these are my favorites 😉



Almudena Trinidad

I am otorrinolaring³loga doctor in a hospital of Madrid and Professor Asociada de Medicina in the UAM. I help Medicine students to develop more effective techniques of study to obtain better notes, to remember during more time and to feel like more happy insurances and with its studies.

2 Commentaries
  • Marco Albarr¡n
    Published to 03:47 h, 17 February To respond

    Hello, the analysis is brilliant that you realise of system GTD applied to the hospital and its contexts. On the other hand the commentary seemed very important to me that you realise to place an alarm to remember to review your lists of tasks and your trays to you of entrances. My question is the following one. Each whatever you place the periodic alarm as recordatiorio to review your system GTD and if you use some application in particular?

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 11:47 h, 17 February To respond

      In order to remember tasks to me the calendar of the mobile. The alarm for the revision of Wunderlist I every day have it to the 20,45 hours, because it is the hour in which generally I stop working.

      For some tasks, I repeat the alarm with Wunderlist, in way of warning mail. As I know that it enchants to review the e-mail to me several times to the day in the mobile (when I go at work from an office to another one, after eating, etc), it always warns to me in time.

      Thanks to happen through the blog! 🙂

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