Implementing GTD for Perfectionist Developers Who Feel Overwhelmed #2: Processing Next Actions

Ovidiu Stoica
2 min readApr 27, 2022


In the first part, you captured everything that was floating around in your brain in Todoist in the Capture section of your GTD project.

If you stop at this point, you will still gain some clarity from having all the things you kept in your head, laid out in front of you. Good job!

You probably have items looking like this:

  • Interract on Twitter
  • Find clients for X
  • Date with girlfriend

If you took the time to do this correctly, you can expect to have more than 70 entries captured.

“What is the next action on this item?”

Go through each item in part and ask what is the next action on it.

  • Think of that action and move the item in the Next action section, specifying the action in detail.
  • If no action is found, move the item to No Action
  • You can create a Specific Date section, if the next action is either a scheduled meeting or an event

Go through the items in order, so your brain trusts the process

It will be tempting to process preferentially but force yourself to do it in order.

This will make your brain trust that whatever the item that was captured, it will be processed by the system whenever you have your weekly review.

Make your next action be specific and include context in the description.

“Build dashboard” is not an action, but “Research tech stack for new dashboard” is.

Context means:

  • How much time it would take (<2 mins, <10 mins, ❤0 mins, > 1 hour)
  • What tools do you need (Phone, computer, car)
  • Where do you need to be (Home, office, anywhere)

You can include context using Labels in Todoist. I'll include screenshots.

In the next part, we will cover what to do with items in the No Action section.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog



Ovidiu Stoica

Hi, I’m Ovi Stoica! I help people build quality software and I write about technology, startups and marketing for developers.