Not all your context lists need to live in the same app


For example some next actions can live on a big piece of paper in the kitchen, some in a tiny pocket notebook, some as post it notes on your mirror, some in a digital app on your desktop computer etc. All you need is to have all of these places available while you are reviewing and while you are going through your inboxes.
Depending on how your work, you can even have some NAs in one app and others in another. Great if you're working with issue trackers or file kanbans or email/task integration or w/e.

We've already seen this with the "read/review" folder/pile/bag. I set up a giant shelf as a book kanban with "not started", "started" (I, uh, I like working on a bunch of books in parallel, makes reading feel fresher and more joyous for me. My sister is the opposite, she only ever owns one book at a time, usually a library book), and "done" (to be sorted into my "treasure" shelves or sold or given away).

And, I mean, arguably laundry works this way too: clothes go from wardrobe to "in use" pile to washing machine.

If you implement this idea, it's important to still keep the clean project/action separation. You go through your inbasket and you go "OK, this goes on the grocery list" and you keep your grocery list as a paper list in your wallet. Or w/e.

I mean if you have a smartphone in your hand at all times this idea isn't that applicable to you. The idea isn't to overdo this and make all of your GTD sprawling and chaotic. It's just that if this can reduce overhead for you in a specific area, if it can help you work more "directly" with that area, it might be worth it for that area.

I personally love the two minute rule as an overhead reducer and I was even thinking that, if I go back to school this fall, that I'd institute a two hour rule for actionable home assignments captured in lectures. I mean, I'd first decide whether or not I'd want to actually do that particular assignment. I don't want to be driven by latest and loudest. But for things I'm already 100% committed to doing promptly, I can reduce overhead by doing it right away, the "touch it once"-principle. If it takes more than two hours I'd want to be more careful about jumping into it. I do want to get to the end of the inbasket eventually so I can balance it with other important comittments. And a project that big I might want to break down further.

Jodie E. Francis

GTD Novice
Agreed, even if you have a smartphone in your hands at all times.

We are a family of 4 and love having a mini-whiteboard on the fridge with a section for each of us. It gives a place to communicate short term next actions - esp those reminders from mom ;)

The fridge also has the weekly grocery / errand list so everyone can access & add to it...

My pocket notebook has my priorities for the day...

And the rest of my next actions are in Todoist :)