GTD® Step 3: Organizing – Waiting For Lists

We are continuing our series on The Concepts of GTD®, using our one page graphic which can be found here.

As a quick refresher, GTD® is a five step system for processing, organizing, reviewing and doing your tasks and projects. The five steps are: Collection, Processing, Organizing, Doing and Reviewing.


In our last installment, we began discussing how to Organize our lists and files to promote productive and efficient workflow. We discussed the idea of organizing Next Action lists in accordance with the context needed for each action’s performance. Now, we will turn our attention to organizing our Waiting For List.

Remember that items that are actionable but you are not the right person to do it should be delegated and placed on a Waiting For list. For example, if you need to redesign your corporate logo, assign that to a graphic designer and place the item on your Waiting For list. A perfect Waiting For list includes everything of importance to you that someone else should be doing.

You may find it helpful to include a date on any item that you enter on your Waiting For list as well as the date by which you expect it done. That way, you can easily organize or scan the list in a way that will let you know whom you need to contact to check on progress. One of the other things that people find helpful is asking the people to whom they are delegating tasks whether they want a reminder and, if so, how far in advance.

Whether you choose to keep a paper Waiting For list or do so digitally, the critical aspect is organizing it in a way that allows you to be able to determine what is do from whom and when.

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