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Getting things done in spreadsheets

This time I would like to share the GTD (Getting things done) template in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. As always, all files which I provide don't use pivot tables, macros, or javascript. I prepare two examples:

  • My file, which I'm using daily

  • Slightly modified file which will work for most of the people

In this post, I will not explain what GTD is, but in each file, in the first tab, "FLOW" I include the GTD workflow.


The second tab, "Purpose AoR Goals,"

Define your goals, area of responsibility & life purpose. Each goal can have additional objectives, and goals can connect to the area of responsibility.


Tab "GTD"

Here we have five sections that you can hide by clicking the minus button.


Section 1 Capture:

Inbox / Notes - Here, you put everything: Project names, Meeting titles, notes, tasks.


Section 2 Clarify:

Eight different columns:

  • Project: Put x if you would like to mark it as Project.

  • To-do: x if this is a task item

  • Waiting: x if this is related to Waiting For a list

  • Meeting: x if this is a meeting or appointment

  • Note: x if this is just a note

All the above columns got conditional formatting for a better overview of which item in the inbox is what.


  • Related to Project name: I put here project name to connect related notes/meetings/tasks with a specific project name.

  • Due date or calendar date: In this field, I set a date when a task/project is due or a calendar date for a meeting/event

Section 3 Do:

  • Today - put x if you want to focus on this item today.

  • Done - put x if this task is complete.

Section 4 Organize:

Here we have different columns on which we assign specific tags to inbox items. You can specify Area of Responsibility, Context, Time, Energy, Person.


Section 5 Review:

  • Review date

  • Comments

I always put the review data so I can keep an eye on when the last time I reviewed a specific item.


Final tab "Someday / Maybe"

I decided to keep Someday / Maybe list separately. Initially, I've got this in one sheet; however, once I put 100 books I plan to read and 100 different movies I plan to watch, the list becomes so huge, etc., the GTD sheet was not smooth enough. That's the reason why I separate those two things. If you want to add hyperlinks quickly in Excel or Sheets, click CMD or CTRL + K.


What are the differences between the two files?

The only difference between the two files is the "ORGANIZE" section.

I use only two columns:

  • Area of Responsability

  • Context/Time/Energy/Who is another 1 column.

Yes, I tag everything in one cell. I use the ALT+ENTER feature to have everything on a separate line. I also use specific text i.e., _t: -> means time. _c: -> means context. The filter feature in the spreadsheet will still work as intended. I can easily filter by time or by energy level.