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My GTD txt template

As a kind of addendum to the previous post on hacking Getting Things Done , I thought I’d share my Hamburger Helper template for a new GTD list. It’s pretty underwhelming, I have to admit, but it has a few features that are kind of neat.


First off, it’s text. Nice, simple, ASCII that opens perfectly any place UNIX line breaks are honored. If you save it as stationery in BBEdit, it will be available as a new document type any time.

Second, it’s structured using Markdown, so I can instantly convert it to a valid XHTML doc. (Remember: always leave two spaces before a line break if you want to make a “<br />”; I made a text factory in BBEdit that does this automatically).

Third, there’s a little area for “Done.” This is an artifact of my “Now Up-To-Date” days; I like seeing what I’ve accomplished. It just makes me happy, and I’ll own that. This is totally optional, but it can also be a handy place to drag “Pending” items that need to live someplace else.

Finally, you’ll notice an infelicitous sounding area at the bottom called “Dumps.” This is so that, when I do the Quicksilver trick, new line entries get shunted to the bottom—so as not to disrupt any previous entries.

A tip: if you want to be a really good GTD doo-bee, only use that append function for @inbox; personally I also use it all the time for @sometime, @tech, @groceries, etc.—anywhere I know stuff “just needs to go.”

Please do share your mods and suggestions in comments and via trackback.

About Merlin

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Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

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