Relationship to Getting Things Done (GTD)

Hey, I first read about JD this morning and I’ve been excited all day about setting it up :nerd_face:

One question I have relates to the GTD system.

I’ve struggled with managing my task lists for years, but starting last year I read up on GTD and started using it with Emacs Org mode as the tool for it. I’ve found it really helpful for me. It has been especially effective for short-lived items that I have to pay attention to and then close.

JD seems like a great framework for longer-lived things (my filesystems have always been a mess) and I will definitely use these ideas.

I’m wondering about that boundary between note taking, and short-lived tasks, and longer-lived projects and reference material. It seems like a no brainer that I can put reference material into JD, but I’m unsure about tasks that I do tomorrow and may never care about again in the future. Would they be clogging up the tidy JD system? Or is it just a case of using areas and categories in a scalable way?

Happy to hear any thoughts on this, and to be in a space where people are excited about this stuff!

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I currently have no plans to combine todos with my J.D system beyond referencing J.D number in my tasks. I (also) use Org mode for tasks and am just doing things like “12.23 Do this task for that project”. I may move to tagging the headings in Org mode but haven’t done that yet.

I’m finding that just knowing the number is good enough and I don’t feel the need to have everything “under one roof” so to speak.


I’ve cleaned out recently so this isn’t as helpful, but at one point I had 20 projects in here. I just give them all a JD number. (This is OmniFocus.)

But I wouldn’t go crazy. I’ve changed my thinking and I’d now recommend keeping your to-do system at the category level. But as usual ‘it depends’. My system used to look like this:

20-29 Personal, projects
   24 Knowledge
   24.15 Johnny.Decimal

Yep, JD itself was just an ID at one point. And when it was, I had an OmniFocus project of the same name. Worked just great.

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Depends where you’re putting them. I’ve played with using either individual files in a folder (managed with Visual Studio Code as the layer over the top) or apps like Bear which are basically the same (but they abstract the actual files away from you), both of which allow for to-dos in random notes alongside other content.

It didn’t work for me. It’s too easy to conveniently ‘lose’ things you ought to do, they just get drowned in the noise. But hey, it might work for some people. Personally I think ‘all your to-dos in one simple place, whose job is to manage to-dos’ is the way to go. This feels like it better fits the GTD ethos.

But in that system, yes, you can still use JD. Use folders like my post above, or add IDs to tasks like Jack does. I do this in my other system (at work), adding the ID in [square brackets] at the end where I think it will help. If it’s just a thing to do, and its obvious why, there’s no need. If I think I’ll need to go off and reference another note or a file or whatever, I’ll add it.

Thanks for the ideas guys, much appreciated.

I use OmniFocus too but I haven’t yet combined JD with it. Could you perhaps explain a bit more with examples how you use the two?

Now that’s a genius move.

It occurs to me that there are some things in the JD system that kinda replicate some of the things Hook is trying to do.

I’ve been using VS Code w/ the ToDo+ extension. Great for adding checkboxes, marking things done or cancelled, and archiving. But you either end up with a LOOOOONG file with many category sections, or separate files in separate folders, but either way it feels tricky to surface the high priority items so that they stand out. I’ve half a mind to try TaskPaper, which evidently has thorough Hook support…

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Hi, I’m new here and fascinated by the whole thing.

In your reply here, you have/had three-digit top-level categories. Does this mean you broke your own rule, because you needed to have more than nine? Or that it was something you were operating before you created a purely decimal system?

It’s a difficult thing to understand that “16” is a child of “101”.