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Getting Things Done with Google Notebook

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Everyone of us has a lot of things to do everyday. Organizing these stuff in a better way will sure help you get them done better and easier. People vary in their “task-keeping” scheme from To-Do Lists, Did-Do Lists, using applications as Microsoft Outlook, keeping data in their calendar or PDAs, or even sticky notes. GTD (Getting Things Done) is an easy, practical scheme to keep track of your tasks and actions.

Google Notebook is a perfect tool for processing your GTD lists. Why?

  • Its contents are available from any computer where you’re logged into your Google Account; which is a main advantage for using Notebook rather than any other GTD desktop applications as Thinking Rock and iGTD.
  • It automatically includes links in notes (including individual GMail messages).
  • It can capture information anywhere on the web with a mature browser extension.
  • It comes with Google’s signature killer search capabilities.
  • Using Notebook’s collaboration features, you could allow your spouse or co-worker to drop things into your Inbox for you to process later.

Setting up your GTD Notebooks:

  1. Log into Notebook with your Google Account.
  2. Create five new notebooks: Inbox, Next Actions, Someday/Maybe, Projects and References. It would be better if you added “GTD.” to each title as in “GTD.Inbox” for sorting purpose.
  3. Add items to any section, or add section headers for known categories of your interest, as “Work”, “College”, etc.


Each notebook has a different function:

  • Inbox: The entry point to you GTD List. Unprocessed thoughts get dropped off here for dealing with later. Pop-up thoughts, half-baked notions and “Oh! I should…” go here.
  • Next Actions: This is your immediate, actionable to-do list, a few specific items you’ve decided to carry out in the next few days.
  • Someday/Maybe: Here’s where the things you might like to do someday – but you’re not committed to right now – get shuttled.
  • Projects: Big jobs that are made up of a collection of subtasks are not next actions, they’re projects. For example, the “Clean out the office” job is made up of several next actions (i.e., “Take out the garbage,” “Rearrange the book shelves,” “Purge filing cabinet.”)
  • Reference: Research into a topic that you’ll need to carry out a next action or refer back to for a particular project goes here. For example, this is where you’d store links to the hotel, flight information and maps of a travel destination.

Get started ..

  • Get Firefox Google Notebook Extension.
  • Each day, review unprocessed items in your inbox and like a good GTD’er, decide whether to Do, Delegate or Defer it.
  • To move an item from your Inbox notebook into its right place in the system, from the drop down menu on the far right side of it, choose “Move.” From there you’ll be able to choose another notebook and section, as pictured.
  • Let others drop things into your Inbox: You can share your Inbox notebook with your spouse, boss, partner or co-worker virtually. To do so, click the “Sharing Options” link on the far right top side of the notebook. (Word of advice: just share your Inbox, not your Projects or Next Actions list. In theory the Inbox is the single entry point into your GTD system, so it’s the only one others should access.)

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Written by AlaaShaker

January 20, 2008 at 5:32 am

Posted in Technology

Tagged with ,

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