How to set up GQueues for GTD®

Learn how to use GQueues and David Allen's Getting Things Done® to boost productivity and reduce stress

Emily Jones avatar
Written by Emily Jones
Updated over a week ago

David Allen’s Getting Things Done, also known as GTD, is a personal productivity methodology that redefines how you approach your life and work. Here's how to set up GQueues for the GTD system.

Video Overview

Import the GTD Template

We created a template for GTD to help you get up and running right away. You can import it into your account from the template gallery.

Once imported, you'll have the core starter lists for Getting Things Done. It's just a starting point, so you can add, delete, and edit lists as needed. But this will set you up with a great baseline for GTD newbies.

Using GQueues for the Five Stages of GTD


Step one is to capture whatever has your attention and put it into your trusted system. GQueues offers several ways to collect these tasks and ideas:


Step two is to process what it means.

Is it actionable right now? If so, define what the next action is. Don't just write "find babysitter," figure out what the true next step of that would be. Is it asking your friend for recommendations? Looking at for top sitters in your area? Be specific. Next ask yourself, how long will this take? If it's two minutes or less, just get it done now. If it's longer than two minutes, either assign it to someone else, or defer it.

If the item isn't actionable right now, put it in your Someday/Maybe list, log it in a reference list, or delete it.

Clarify tasks so the next action is clear and concrete.


Step three is organize things by putting them where they belong. The GTD template comes with some categories and queues to get you started. These are just a jumping off point, so you should definitely feel free to move, edit, delete, and add to this as you get used to the GTD system in GQueues!

Single Actions/One-offs. You have a queue in your Personal Projects and Work Projects categories for holding your solo tasks that aren't connected to a bigger project or area of focus. Think "do laundry," "Submit PTO request." They need to get captured somewhere, but stand alone.

Follow Up/Waiting For. These queues are for any items you delegate to someone else. They're not yours to handle, but you need to keep track of them to make sure they actually get completed. You have one for your Personal Projects and one for your Work Projects categories.

Agendas. This category is to help you organize your thoughts before a meeting, call, or appointment. You can log what you want to talk about ahead of time here so you make sure it gets covered.

Someday & Reference. This category is for keeping track of stuff you don't want to forget about, but isn't immediately relevant. Like a list of contractors you've had do work on your house. Or ideas of places you'd like to travel in the future. Or maybe a project you'd like to tackle, but don't have space for at the moment.

These lists are where the tasks will live, but you'll also want to make sure your next actions are grouped by context. We recommend using tags for that. That way you can click on the Computer tag from the left hand panel and see all of your next actions that need a computer to be completed.

Use tags for the contexts in which those action items need to be completed.

👉 Pro Tip: When working with multi-step projects, only tag the task that's up next. That way you'll still be able to preview the project as a whole, but you'll also get a visual indicator for what's on deck, and only the available actions will pull into your contexts lists.


Step four is reviewing your items frequently. At minimum, this will involve the GTD weekly review. There's a task to help walk you through that process in the template. This review helps you stay focused, make sure you're not forgetting anything important, and regain control.

Use the GTD weekly review to make sure your system continues to work for you and doesn't get out of control.


The fifth step of GTD is Engage. This is where you actually start getting things done. A great place to start is the contextual tags. When you're by your computer, click on the computer tag to see what tasks you can tackle. When you're at home, click on the Home tag for a quick view of what's on your plate.

If you want some more advanced options to help you choose what to work on next, check out Smart Queues. Here you can see tasks that are overdue, due today, or due next week. And when you import the GTD template, you'll also get a Quick Hits saved search, which pulls in any tasks with a duration of 15 minutes or less, and any you've added the "Quick Hit" tag to.


If you want to filter for tasks with more than one tag, or a combination of factors, try creating your own Smart Queue or Saved Search!

When you have GQueues as your trusted system, know you can take action and make decisions with clarity, so you can simply get things done.

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