What makes a good weekly review?


Having the projects list updated in the best possible way. Re-phrase projects, maybe converge some or split others. Get the exchange with SdMb right. Then, the weekly goals are automatically well set. That in turn let's me have a nice weekend and a swift start when the work week starts again.


I have been doing weekly reviews since 2008. My reviews are on Sunday mornings. For several years after I started with GTD, I used to feel so good, so relaxed, after a weekly review that I would fall asleep deeply every Sunday afternoon for an hour or so! That used to be the most deliciously stress-free sleep of the week! In fact, it became a thing in our household to say “I slept like after a weekly review” after a good night’s sleep!

On a more serious note, a good weekly review for me is a complete weekly review: there are no projects left to be reviewed and no NAs not revisited. I almost never miss a weekly review, but unfortunately sometimes my weekly reviews do remain incomplete these days.

Wilson Ng

I'd create my own weekly review checklist. Everyone has different areas that needs to be checked. No one's weekly review will be the same. Create one that fits your needs. Use other people's weekly review as a template and start from there.

I combine it with my daily review (at the end of the day) for the runway level view, the weekly review (on Friday afternoons) for a higher Horizon of Focus and the monthly review (a few days before the end of the month) to check my quarterly goals.


Like others have already stated, every weekly review is good and worthwhile! It's the peace of mind and respite I seek at the end of a long week.

That said, the weekly reviews I feel the most good about are the ones where I can look back and see that I genuinely engaged in everything I needed or wanted to do for that week. My engagement energy levels are cyclical. Of course, being a "functional" introvert, I tend to take far too much time thinking about the minutia of everything before engaging. ;)

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
Several years ago I was talking with Meg Edwards and Julie Ireland about what people said were the leaks or flaws in their GTD practice. We found that every issue tracked back to either not reviewing consistently, or not doing all of the steps. We put together a series of three webinars for GTD Connect called the Trust Challenge. We explored each of the 11 steps of the GTD Weekly Review in depth. If you have any feeling less than good after reviewing, I recommend the Trust Challenge. Part 1| Part 2| Part 3


For me they're all good. What makes them great is when I let myself spend more time on the Get Creative section.
How long does it take for you to do your reviews ?My review usually takes 2 - 3 hours and I almost never do the get creative section now a days. I have 60- 70 ongoing projects and I guess being creative part somehow always falls off.

Stuart Rudner

Forgive what may be an ignorant question. I am just getting into GTD. I have adopted many of the practices, but have resisted the weekly review. I am worried it will be overwhelming and time consuming, and I just don't think I have that time to spare.
So I guess my question is "Why?" - what is the benefit you get out of it?


@Stuart Rudner
The Weekly Review is the oversight of your system. Perhaps you did the next action on a project, but did you assign a new next action or accidentally leave it in limbo? Are you otherwise scanning your calendar to see what's coming up in the next couple of weeks or something you forgot about in the past week? How are you keeping up with things you're waiting on, but people have missed their deadlines? Plus, the Review includes time for mind sweeping and creative thinking.

In practice, some people do their Review weekly, others space it out further, while still others do mini-reviews every few days. It comes down to what gives you the most confidence that your system has everything and is working. Otherwise, your mind will try to hold on to all the open loops.

David equated the Review with the relief you feel by getting everything in order before leaving for vacation. The Review is designed so you can feel that relief and confidence more frequently than on an annual basis.

Shady Waxwing

How long does it take for you to do your reviews ?My review usually takes 2 - 3 hours and I almost never do the get creative section now a days. I have 60- 70 ongoing projects and I guess being creative part somehow always falls off.
@ArunM the review takes me about 90 minutes. I get my inboxes to empty often, usually every day, so I don't have a lot to process during the Get Clear phase of the review. I also am careful not slip from reviewing into doing. By definition, everything I'm reviewing is more than two minutes. If I let myself start doing, it only takes a few items to turn a 90-minute review into a doing session.

You could time yourself on each of the 11 steps of the review and find out if there's someplace in particular that bogs you down. If you post about that in the forum, you might get tips about avoid that quicksand.