This comes after my GTD Project List Form v1 post. Take a look if you need some background on the concept of Projects within Getting Things Done and want to see the “parent” or “companion” form that goes along with this one.
I mentioned before that I had also created a Getting Things Done-inspired Project Detail Form, and here it is:
This fold-out page is formatted to print on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. I Circa-punch the left side and trim the bottom quarter inch off so it lines up with the other pages in my Circa/Rolla organizer. The aqua line isn’t printed — I’ve added it to the screenshot so you can see where I fold the page back.
The left side holds basic project information. In the diagram below…
- Big area for the project name.
- A small area for the project code, which matches up with the project code I assign on the Project List form.
- A big box to write the desired outcome and wildest dream, to help you focus on what you want this project to accomplish.
- There are then several lines for brainstorming action items.
The right fold-out panel is a basic grid layout (1/4″ grid markings), perfect for notes, brainstorming, etc. I’ve already found this helpful for jotting down phone numbers and car service quotes for my “replace clutch” project. It’s also a nice place to write things down and brainstorm when I’m on-the-go and only have my planner with me.
So how does this fit in with GTD? David Allen doesn’t talk about a “project detail sheet” in the book, but he does talk about “project support materials” that should be filed away for easy reference (either digitally, in an email folder or document folder, or physically, in a file folder or other storage unit) that are pulled out when you are working on the project. I think of this project detail sheet as a mini portable project file that I can always have with me in my planner to jot down notes, list the next few actions I think I need to take, and refer to quickly and easily. It’s not for everyone, but I think it will work for me.
I’ve deliberately stressed the brainstorming aspect of this page. As a list-maker type of person, I often get caught up into trying, first of all, to have a “complete” list, and second of all, to completely check off everything on the list. However, for some projects it’s not practical or feasible to create a complete list. This page gives me the freedom to make an incomplete list — to just look a few steps ahead, dream, brainstorm, even — gasp — write the action items out of order. I can quickly grab the Next Action and put it into my “real” to-do list (using Remember the Milk for now), without being afraid that I’ll forget an important step down the road because I already have it captured on this page.
Finally — I’m planning a follow-up post that demonstrates my current workflow using these different forms, and will have more concrete examples on how I use this specific project detail form in that post. Update: Here it is.
- Project Detail Form v1 – project-detail.pdf
The PDF is editable in Illustrator, if you’re the kind of person that likes to customize things.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.
- Print landscape on 8.5″ x 11″ paper.
- Can punch the left side. (This was specifically formatted for a Circa/Rolla notebook but may work for other formats.)
- Trim the bottom 1/4″ off if you want it to match the Circa/Rolla Junior size paper.
- Fold the grid back so that it doesn’t overlap the hole punches.
- I file mine in order by project number so that I can quickly reference them from the Project List sheet.
If you have any feedback about my GTD forms, I’d love to hear it! Please leave a comment below.