Implementing Evernote and GTD

I’ve decided to take the plunge and implement Evernote & GTD (“Getting Things Done” – David Allen’s approach to Productivity) in one fell swoop.

This series of blogs is going to track my progress, my learns and my fails.

What is GTD?

GTD is a complete approach to task and life management developed by David Allen. The original book was published in 2001 and has now sold over 100,000 copies!

I can’t cover all the intricacies of GTD in a blog post; for that you’re going to have to read the book (link at end of post). However there are several key factors that are worth understanding:

  • Get everything out of your head and into a trusted system
  • Perform regular reviews to ensure that you know what tasks you have
  • Allow yourself peace of mind knowing that you’ve captured everything

For me this is attractive; I currently have a work calendar, a work to-do list, a home calendar, a home to-do list, a a bunch of thoughts buzzing round in my head at any one point. I’m hoping that GTD will help me find some peace!

What is Evernote?

Evernote is a program that allows you to create ‘notes’, store them in virtual notebooks, tag them, and then find them easily.

Notes can be text, images or audio, and Evernote can search for words within your own handwriting! How good is that?

The other great thing about Evernote is that it works with all your devices. Smart phones, tablets, PC or Mac; there’s even a web version if you’re not allowed to install software in your work computer. This means you are never very far away from your system!

Evernote and GTD together

So I’m going to use the GTD philosophy, coupled with Evernote as my trusted system in one Big Bang implementation. Lots of people follow this structure, and I’m really excited to see how much I can leverage this.

Wish me luck as I embark in this new challenge in my search for better productivity…

To buy a copy of David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity, click the link. You can also find further content from the great man himself on

Author: Oliver Gearing

Oliver Gearing is a beatboxing, acoustic looping, 38 year old father of 3. Sounds like an electrocuted version of Elbow

5 thoughts on “Implementing Evernote and GTD”

  1. Hi Oliver! I’m really glad I stumbled upon your site through my Google Alert on Evernote and GTD. I’m delighted to hear that you’ve started this journey. As you may already know, I’m the author of the Unofficial Evernote eBook sold in the Trunk that focuses in on how to implement GTD and Evernote together. My biggest win was leveraging copy note links in each next action items with my project related materials. Now, with Evernote Reminders, it really makes getting things done that much smoother.

    It’s been a life changer for me and has helped provide me with the foundation to think differently about how I define productivity and how I manage my system. Taking the time to understand how each of us work as individuals, what time of the day we are most productive allows us to not only become more efficient and spend more time with those you care about most in your life!

    Feel free to reach out to me if you need any help in your journey! Good luck!!

  2. For implementing GTD you can use this web-application:


    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

  3. Hello Oliver, is it working? I am hoping to do the same but a bit uneasy will spend too much time learning how to use evernote etc and not enough actually GTD, or I will realise too late that I have all the wrong structure in evernote, so I will be very interested to hear how it’s going.

    1. Hi Janet,

      Good question! Unfortunately I failed in my first go at this.(my next post talks about this in a bit more detail…)

      However this is still going to be a priority for me over the next few months so hopefully I’ll be sharing some better news next time!

  4. Olivier,

    I think you should check out SmartTM app – this is productivity tool based on GTD methodology and it use Evernote so you can create tasks and checklists from content of EN or iCal / Google Calendar. This is really powerful productivity tool, I think you’ll like it! More about the app you can find at

    Btw, SmartTM is particpating in Evernote DevCup’13. If you like it vote for SmartTM here’s how to do it and here you can cast a vote

    Best regards,

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