Mind mapping for GTD?

GTD (Getting things done) for time management and productivity invented by David Allen is really a great way ?for task management and project management, and it’s becoming more and more popular nowadays.

On the other hand, according to Chuck Frey’s survey, to do listing and project management are two of the most frequently used areas of mind mapping.

So this question came to my mind: How good can mind mapping play for GTD? Mind mapping is well known for its ability to see the big picture of information, maybe this can be used for the process of determine the next action and reviewing?

4 thoughts on “Mind mapping for GTD?

  1. Hi Edwin,

    I’ve been looking for a solution for achieving prespective… I see how powerful mind mapping can be for achieving what I’m after but what mind mapping brings to the fore becomes unmanageble an I feel I need a 3 tool approach for moving my projects forward:

    – a tool for mind mapping: mind dump
    – a tool for project management: areas, projects and subproject relation with human resources
    – a tool for managing the actions identified through mind manpping

    these tools should integrate seamlessly… After having surfed the net for several days I fear I’m dreaming… Any chance you can help me???

    Thanks in advance,


  2. Hi Marc,

    These are good ideas, and the question is how to combine all these tools seamlessly together so that can serve the GTD purpose well…

  3. You can construct a Gantt Chart using MSExcel or a similar spreadsheet. Every activity has a separate line. Create a time-line for the duration of the project (the breakfast example shows minutes, but normally you would use weeks, or for very big long-term projects, months). You can colour code the time blocks to denote type of activity (for example, intense, watching brief, directly managed, delegated and left-to-run, etc.) You can schedule review and insert break points. At the end of each line you can show as many cost columns for the activities as you need. The breakfast example shows just the capital cost of the consumable items and a revenue cost for labour and fuel. A Gantt chart like this can be used to keep track of progress for each activity and how the costs are running. You can move the time blocks around to report on actuals versus planned, and to re-schedule, and to create new plan updates. Costs columns can show plan and actuals and variances, and calculate whatever totals, averages, ratios, etc., that you need. Gantt Charts are probably the most flexible and useful of all project management tools, but remember they do not very easily or obviously show the importance and inter-dependence of related parallel activities, and they won’t obviously show the necessity to complete one task before another can begin, as a Critical Path Analysis will do, so you may need both tools, especially at the planning stage, and almost certainly for large complex projects.

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