Verbiage regarding Getting Things Done 2001 and Getting Things Done 2015


Embrace the more accurate Work Flow changes a from publication 2001 to 2015 . . . page 24 and page 27 respectively.

Collect to Capture

to Clarify

remained Organize . . . represents the Past, Present, Future . . . for a most Comprehensible and 'Reliable' Pivot?

Review to Reflect

to Engage

The funny thing is on this end "GTD" meaning has gone from Getting Things Done . . . to . . . Good To Do.

As such, a . . . Getting Things Done system . . . to a . . . Good [enjoy] To Do system . . . especially when it comes to the Hic et Noc (the Here and Now)

Please forgive all efficient/precise expression mustered . . . thank you.
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I think of them as alternate labels. Recognizing I am likely not in the majority, here are my reactions to the modifications. I like "Capture" in place of collect because it reminds me I am capturing ideas that flit through my head, not just picking up papers. I like process better than clarify because clarify sounds to me like only a thought process, but process is like taking a stack of widgets, putting them into a machine and turning them into something useful like a project/task or throwing them in the trash. I like Do better than Engage, engage to me sounds pompous and I don't like it. Ditto for Reflect and I like Reflect even less. Sounds like an amorphous state of mind I'm not sure I can enter at will while Review is something I know how to do. And Good to Do???? Just a no for me. I literally shuddered when I read that.

That said, I think it is important to think of GTD in terms that resonate for you. For me (in my head) the steps are Capture, Process, Organize, Review, and Do. Plus I'm over 60 so I feel no obligation to change what is working well for me! :)


I prefer the older nomenclatue too, partly because thats what I first learned, but also because I perceive clarify, reflect and engage as ambiguous and vague. At work, we use a lot of phrases like “engage with the community”. I prefer more specific words representing concrete actions for GTD.

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
David began changing some terminology in 2014 versions of the GTD courses. And the 2015 edition of his book had the new terminology. One of the main reasons for the changes was that the GTD audience had expanded so much outside English-speaking countries. Some languages just didn't have very good translations of the original five steps. The original horizons were 10,000–50,000 feet. Levels 1–5 make more sense to those who live in a metric world.

For those who like the original terminology, please feel free. We're not shaming, flogging, or even taking names.