3 Tips For Getting Started With GTD

You may remember Adrian Fittolani from the time we followed him on his morning run to the Envato office. Aside from his impressive physical endurance, he also knows what it takes to get things done.

After sharing some of his GTD experiences with the Envato team, we thought it was only fair to share his knowledge with you too!


By Adrian Fittolani

Being part of Envato Market's leadership group, I'm often involved in discussions about strategy. What might the Market become? What are the most important product or service problems to solve? As the Market's Program Manager, I have a unique perspective at those times, as I find myself trying to distinguish between what we might do, and what I think we actually will do. I'm actually that kind of person. The goal is the most important thing, but I feel a great unrest until I can picture the action needed to achieve it.

So finding GTD about 8 years ago was like finding a friend. Adopting a system for turning personal ambition into daily action was like finding the secret to a happy life!

In the time since I read David Allen's iconic book, I've evolved my own system through dozens of iterations and I've tried every GTD technology imaginable, in a bid to find my own perfect productivity nirvana. Today, I use Evernote as my go-to, for its flexibility and its ability to catch all my “Next Actions” in a number of formats.

If you're keen to get started with GTD, the first thing to do is read the book! If it grabs you, you'll be done in a weekend, ready to attack the world with your new found productivity super powers. Be warned though, you might find yourself hooked, unable to return to a life of stress and confusion, disorder and mayhem. I know I'm hopelessly addicted.....

Here then are my top 3 tips for getting started with GTD, assembled after a painstaking process of elimination and experimentation (with no other recommendation than my own!). Hope it helps.

One Inbox

Regardless of its source, get all your candidate actions into ONE inbox. If you're going to decide on what you need to do next, all your options need to be in one place.

Easy Collection

A “thing to do” might originate from a passing comment, an email, a phone call, anything. Make sure you have a simple, low touch method for getting things into your Inbox in seconds.


You can find real inner peace using GTD (seriously), but only if your system become something you trust more than your own brain! Everything has to go in. Everything. Then you need to make your system the very first port of call when it comes to deciding what action to take next.

It's nerdy and it requires discipline, but it's also empowering and uplifting and I hope you give it a go. You might just find a way to organise your life that makes it better in more ways that just “getting things done”.

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