I’m revising my to-do process again. My employer cancelled its full-time work-at-home program, so I need to use web-based tools, so I can get to them from work and home.

Some givens:

  • I have 20-30 active projects (‘cases’) at work. (“Projects” in the normal sense, not in the GTD sense.)
  • Dropbox and Evernote are blocked by the firewall at work because work doesn’t like “file sharing” sites.
  • I have a tendency to carry items on my task list that I’m not really committed to completing. (i.e. I’m over-committed.)

Primary tool: Nirvana

  • Everything is sequential - unless manually Active Starred
  • You don’t have to put all your projects actions on the Next lists – just the ones that you’ll worry about, or you won’t do without this reminder.
  • Having a short list of actions to choose from helps ensure that you make progress on the important things that matter “right now.”
  • Don’t use Nirvana for tracking what I did. Put that stuff elsewhere. Nirvana is just for doing.

Weekly Review:

  • Occurs Friday, Saturday, or Sunday afternoon. If I don’t get it done Friday or Saturday, Sunday’s is a must-keep appointment.
  • For each project, spend some time thinking about the project as a whole. What is the project goal? What is the project status? Is it moving forward? What have we accomplished? Review all sub-projects.
  • Adjust technique to address what worries you most. The goals are to get stuff off your mind and to work on the right things.
  • Visit each task and ensure it complies with Task Urgency, Task Decomposition and Tags - documented elsewhere on thispage.
  • Is the Someday list too long? Do I need to add tags for undecided and not-doing?

Task Urgency:

  • Star: Today. Committed to work on this today and to stay up late if necessary.
  • Next: This week. Consequential if I don’t work on it this week. (This week = through Monday after my next weekly review.)
  • Later: Soon. Not this week, but genuinely committed to get it done or expensive if not done. Use a due date to drag it back to consciousness if appropriate. (Due date = the date to consider moving it to Next, not the genuine deadline.)
  • Someday: Maybe. Look at it again in a month. Use a due date to drag it back to consciousness if appropriate. (Due date = the date to consider moving it to Next, not the genuine deadline.)

Task Decomposition:

  • Sub-projects: Create a “task” under the project, and use Nirvana “inline checklist” for subproject tasks. If I’m ready to work a checklist item, move it up a level (make it a task in the main proj). [When do I mark it complete in the checklist?]
  • Next-actions must be fully decomposed.


  • kpk (area)
  • att (area - use this only for things that my employer wants, or things that impact my performance review or resume)
  • rec (covers personal intrinsically enjoyable and work-don’t-wanna-do-anything-productive)
  • subproj (this item is a sub-project, contained within a parent project)
  • Maybe use “undecided” and “not-doing” tags for Someday?


I used Stylish to

  • Rename Later to Soon.
  • Rename Someday to Maybe.
  • Rename Focus to Today.
  • Rename Next to This Week

See attached file.