How to: Use a Meetings Notebook to GTD

Everyone has a slightly different style of working. A Meeting Notebook can help improve your existing methodology, by creating a focus point and a place for all things relating to a specific type of meeting or project, but you can be flexible about how you use it…


Getting Things Done or GTD is a time management method created by David Allen. The GTD Method is about getting tasks and projects onto paper and breaking them into actionable items. A notebook like the Meeting Notebook can complement this style of working.

The five steps to GTD are:

  1. Capture – Collect what has caught your attention.
  2. Clarify – Process what it means.
  3. Organise – Put it where it belongs.
  4. Reflect – Review Frequently.
  5. Engage – Simply Do.

This system is easily applied to using a Meeting Notebook as an attendee –

1. Capture – This step is simply taking notes in a meeting. Capturing on paper what is said and what is important. The note pages in the Meeting Notebook can be used to capture important information for each meeting

2. Clarify – This step involves making this information capture actionable. At the meeting you should be clarifying with the other members of the team you need to be doing. Not only that, you should be clarifying what needs to be done to get the task done (whether this is asking the question of another colleague, or breaking it down into steps yourself). Clarifying done at the meeting I personally usually continue use the notes pages, clarifying combined with the next step ‘organise’ which are done post-meeting I often use the action pages of the notebook with this step.

3. Organise – This step involves organising and writing out your action points and/or follow up tasks. As mentioned above I usually do a combination of clarify and organise together over both the notes pages and the action point pages in Meeting Notebook. You can organise them in your usual way – you might write this in a logical order, an order of priority, group them by category and assign due dates. Whatever works for you.

4. Reflect – As part of your post-meeting review and organisation of your action points (the above steps) pick out your ‘immediate’ post meeting tasks. For example if you said you would email someone a copy of a document. For these type of tasks move straight onto the next step: Engage. With the rest of the follow up actions (which you can’t do immediate or within the appropriate time block) work out when and how you are going to action them. For example I usually schedule them in my calendar and incorporate into my to-do list and review these frequently in the normal way.

5. Engage – This step is about getting on with it and actually doing the work based on your organised list that you prepared earlier. Simply work though the items on you action points page and get them done and ticked off before your next meeting.

Our Meeting Notebook is currently LIVE on Kickstarter – Ends Friday 30th January. Get yours quickly.


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