GTD® Step 3: Organizing – Projects

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.


We are continuing our discussion about how to Organize our lists and files to promote productive and efficient workflow. We have discussed how to organize our Next Action and Waiting For lists and now we will turn our attention to organizing Projects. David Allen defines a Project as a desired result that requires more than one action.

Project Lists

The Project list is simply that, a list of all of your Projects. It does not include all of the various steps needed for the Project and it does not need to be listed in any order of priority. It simply serves as an index that can be quickly reviewed so that you can determine the steps necessary to complete the Project. Most of these steps will be placed in/on one of your other lists/folders such as Next Action or Waiting For. Some people find it more efficient to sort their Project list into these categories:

Personal (i.e. Home renovation Project)
Same Type (i.e. speaking engagements)

Project Plans

The Project Plan folder contains the overall mission and vision of the Project as well as supporting materials needed for the Project. The Project Plans folder should never be used as a reminder. It is a place where the resources to support your actions for the Project are found.

It is sensible to have separate Project Plan folders for each significant Project. You should first ensure that your Project is on your Projects list, then place the appropriate items on your Next Action, Calendar and Waiting For lists. Only then, should you place the relevant materials in your Project Plans folder so they will be readily available and easy to find when performing your actions.

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