Quick start: Have 30-minutes? Start feeling in control

Do you want to start feeling better? Launch Zendone and follow these steps.

Step 1: Enable Evernote integration

  1. Open the preferences by clicking the preferences button on the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Select the section External apps and click Enabled in the Evernote section.
  3. Authorize the integration in the Evernote screen you will be forwarded to

Yay! Now Zendone and Evernote are connected

Note: This assumes you are already a Evernote user. If you aren't, you need to sign up in Evernote and download the Evernote apps.

Step 2: Dump it all! Clear the air in your mind

Now it’s time to clear your mind. This phase is called Collecting or Capturing in GTD and it is very simple: identify anything in your world (life or work) that requires your attention and record it. In Zendone, these records are stored as Evernote notes.

So what is included here? Everything. Just think in your work duties, reports to write, meetings to prepare, your teammates, calls you need to make, your finances, banks, your basement, your health, appointments to attend, your children, books you want to read, skills you want to develop…

Note: There is a Incompletion triggers list provided by the company behind GTD that can help to identify things in this stage.

For each item you identify, create a note in Evernote in your default notebook. You don't need to spend time deciding what to do about each note, that will come later. Just acknowledge whatever you have identified, write it down, and move to the next item.

As you move forward with this process you can be sure you will start feeling immediately better. And it is just the beginning.

Step 3: Process your inbox in Zendone

Now it’s time to process the stuff you have collected:

  1. Press sync in Evernote to make sure all the collected stuff get synced
  2. Open Zendone (or press the sync button in Zendone if you had already opened it) and select the Process section: there you can see your GTD inbox.
  3. You will see how the collected notes in Evernote will show up in your inbox in Zendone.

Now, start processing your inbox. For each item you need to ask yourself: does it require an action or not? The top section of the processing bar will let you choose what to do on each case:

If no action required you can do 3 things:

  • When it might require some action in the future, but it is not clear now, you should incubate it:
    • Create a someday/maybe item to reconsider at some point in the future
    • Create a tickler when you want to reconsider at some specific date in the future
  • Archive it as reference as it is useful information
  • Delete it because it is not needed

If instead an action is required, first you need to determine what is that next action that will put things in motion for this item. Take your time to clarify what it is and write down its title in the form. For example: the inbox item might be titled just ’Database security’. But the action you would create for it would be ’Investigate if database security measures are up to date’.

It might happen that the inbox item represents an outcome that imply multiple actions. In this case you need to create a Project. Open the project combo (the one labeled Single action) and press Create new project and enter a name for it.

Now, you need to decide what to do with the action. Ask yourself:

  • Can you do it in less than 2-minutes. Then do it and press the button Done Action.
  • If it is not you the one doing the action, press the button Waiting for and assign a delegated person.
  • If the action is meant to be executed at a certain date and time press Calendar and assign a calendar date and optionally a time and a duration. Everything will be synced with Google Calendar. E.g: An appointment with your doctor is such kind of action.
  • For the rest of cases you want to create a next action: an action to be done by yourself as soon as possible. This is by far the largest category of actions you will have in your system.

And this is essentially processing in GTD! While not part of core GTD, Zendone adds a couple of options that are very useful in real life:

  • Deferred actions are actions that are hidden until certain date arrives
  • You can optionally set deadlines for next actions

Following this workflow process every item in your inbox. Zendone lets you focus on processing actions working for you in the background: it will move notes in Evernote our of your default notebook and it will clear your processed items from your inbox in Zendone.

At the end of the process you will have emptied your inbox in Zendone and your default notebook in Evernote. Empty feels wonderful. And even better, you now have an organized system you can act on.

Step 4: Have each piece where it belongs

If you have completed the previous step, you now have a system for organizing everything that is in your plate. Click on the Review and Organize tab to see it:

  • Projects list
  • Calendar actions
  • Next actions list
  • Waiting for list
  • Incubating system (someday/maybe and tickler lists)

And your reference Archive is now in Evernote.

You should Review your lists periodically. This is another core GTD phase and practicing it consistently is a critical success factor with the method. You should do it as often as you need to get them off your mind. GTD also recommends doing a Weekly Review of your system.

Step 5: Why not getting something done now?

There is much more to tell about Zendone and GTD but if you have reached this point you have already made great progress. Now, why don’t you click on Do and pick something to do next?