GTD for OSX part 1


I’m very interested in efficiency when using a computer and welcome new techniques in reducing the time spent dealing with various tasks.

GTD or Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done is a book by David Allen usually abbreviated to GTD, I’ll quote in full the Wikipedia definition:

The Getting Things Done method rests on the principle that a person needs to move tasks out of the mind by recording them externally. That way, the mind is freed from the job of remembering everything that needs to be done, and can concentrate on actually performing those tasks.

There’s an excellent article here on GTD: 43F Recap: Best of Getting Things Done, the 43folders overs loads of interesting links.

In this post I’ll attempt to document my attempts of applying GTD principles in my OSX environment.

OSX Applications

  • Quicksilver is a big time saver for me, it can be used for instance, opening applications with keyboard shortcuts.
  • Hazel, a System Preference that automates folder actions.
  • Evernote:  a web or desktop based app, an excellent way of jotting down thoughts and ideas, without concern for formatting or layout. Notes can be shared with different computers and iPhones.
  • MarsEdit: my favourite blog editor. A fast and efficient means to ‘record things externally’.

The Kinkless Desktop

Finding the original article can be trouble but here’s a good page here:, Five Steps to a Kinkless Desktop,  it’s a way its a system of decluttering your desktop, with these five principles:

My interpretation is to use only a limited set of  alias folders on the desktop. See: best practice for desktop icons?

This boils down to having these folders:

  1. Inbox – dumping ground, cleaned out daily
  2. Outbox – stuff going out and will be deleted
  3. Pending – stuff working on now
  4. Archives (shortcut) – link to file library
  5. Downloads ( my addition)

I’ve automated tasks using the previously mention Hazel, which include:

  • Inbox: Trash old files older than a day
  • Outbox: Trash files older than a month,
  • Downloads:  Trash zip and dmg files.


I hope I’ve given a good introduction to the GTD topic, expect further posts as I learn to put GTD principles into practice.



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