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DG tale – for Getting Things Done (Beginner’s workflow Guide)


GTD with DGT:

If you have heard about David Allen’s GTD system for getting organized and now want to have some digital tool to start practicing then DG tale is the one  you can have proudly as android user. This is free application  and although in alpha phase, it is more polished than many final applications. I came across this application while searching for digital tool to practice GTD and saw high user rating for the application and developer as well. However I am not related to developer and my aim of writing these posts is to assist people regarding use of this software for Getting Things Done. For details regarding GTD system, check David Allen’s book or other net resources. Below is the brief description, how this tool fits into GTD system. One important point to remember that system is more important than tool but if one has nice tool, it makes life easier. My first post is regarding how this tools (DGT) fits into GTD workflow. In subsequent posts, will dig more into details.

GTD consists of five processes.

1. Collect:

First process is collection in which whatever plan or action you have in your mind, write it down . It has the advantage that  your mind is cleared of all those to do lists and secondly now you have secure place where you can keep those things without the fear of being lost. In digital media this place is your inbox where you can scribble all your things.

Either you can write things directly in DGT application or import them from Toodledo. In DGT it is easy. Open your application, click on inbox and then click on +  icon and here it goes

Clicking on this item will open new task where you add title. If you don’t add any thing
further then this item will remain in your inbox until you go to second stage
of GTD work flow which is processing

Quick add through widget:

Another way of adding quick task is through widget. If widget is on home screen then just click the widget and quickly  write any task. It will directly  go to inbox. For adding widgeton mobile screen, click on empty space on home screen and add widget.

Toodledo for collecting task:

For those who already have toodledo account, you can import all your tasks in DGT as it can synchronize very nicely with Toodledo. Moreover you can get advantage of having web application and email integration with Toodledo. For more information you can visit their website You need plugin which is also free and has nice synchronization with toodledo

2. Process:

Now time to process your inbox items. This you can do at time of putting items or later when you review your inbox. After  processing, your item might go to reference if not actionable or to one of action categories like next action, project , delegated or someday ( Google  GTD workflow for details if you don’t know what I mean and then below discussion will make sense)

There are many ways to process task into one of above categories  like next action, delegated, someday etc and responsible for confusion among user of different softwares. One can use tags, status or folder system for categorization.

For sake of simplicity, we limit ourselves to status in beginning. In DGT you can assign status to your tasks. If task  is to be done next, you assign next action status to it. If you have large list of tasks which need to be done but not necessarily next actions, then you can assign active status to them. If some thing not actionable Now  then you can assign other status like delegate, some day etc.

{ you don’t have to use all status. Some people don’t use status at all and rely only on folders with putting tasks in respective folders like next action, some day etc while others use tags for this purpose. So you have many options, you can use the way you want. Either all actionable items as next actions with star for the current focus of attention  or all as active with focused one with next actions. In some other post, will talk about this}

you can assign other attributes  to your tasks like

  • Due date
  • Due time
  • Reminder in form of alarm
  • Priority whether this task is high or low
  • Context: whether it need to be done at work, home or computer etc
  • Tags: To identify your task

You don’t need to put each and every attribute to task. Just some important like status and context

After entering these details, you can press save.

3. Organize:

Now after processing  tasks, your organized overall structure of tasks begins to emerge . Tasks which are just one step actions are in next action. Tasks which take more than one step to complete are put in projects. Some tasks are in someday section, some are delegated.

Actions can be next actions (to be done as soon as possible) or with a due date. In DG tale you have the options of hiding actions with due date till that time so that you are not bothered by long list. On due date, it becomes next action. Action with due date and time can also be synchronized with your calendar but it needs additional plugin.

Next organization level for next action is by context. In DGtale you have to edit context to put your own context like @home, @ work, @ errands, @ computer, @ call etc. In any task click on context, press edit and then again press edit on left upper corner, then add new context.

Now time to see what actions are for a particular context. Press @ at base of app and then select the context for which you want to see actions. Same thing you can also do, sorting task as per their status by pressing ring (status)

4. Do:

This is an important step in GTD. Either you can see your all actions or you can filter them by context. For example you are at work and want to know what next actions for work so you can filter your list and see actions for work only. You can also put star on your actions which need more attention and even set priority although GTD doesn’t support priority base much. Tasks which are overdue are are shown in red color.

5. Review:

Looking periodically at your action lists, project lists, goals, etc

Hope this introduction was useful. Leave your comment below and incoming posts will contain some practical examples to make more clear. Hope to hear from you soon


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