Request to support Getting Things Done (GTD) workflow

Brass Contributor

Hello Microsoft To-Do team,


As you are considering prioritizing your backlog, I’d like you to consider first-class support for a GTD (Getting Things Done) workflow. I’ve managed to implement this in Outlook Tasks on the desktop and have been using this scheme for several years, but there is no support for my setup in the iOS app.

I’m explicitly NOT asking for support compatible with the way I have things setup now, just that the use case be supported.

Here’s how I get a GTD flow to work in Outlook 365 with Exchange:

  • Category name are prefixed with a special character. Tasks that I choose to do next are prefixed with ‘#’ for their location, such as #computer, #desk, #errand, #home, #phone, #talk. Other GTD lists for status are prefixed with ‘*’, such as *waiting, *blocked, *backlog, *someday, *tickler. All projects are prefixed with ‘+’, such as +career-management, +project-omega, etc.
  • Each category also has a color, based on the prefix. Each #now type task is colored red, each *status-list is colored blue, each +project is colored green.
  • All tasks have a +project category and either a #next or a *status-list category.
  • I create different views on the tasks with the help of DASL filters. I have views for tasks with a due date, ticklers, waiting-fors, blocked, next, backlog, someday, and projects. I also have views to detect errors assigning categories, to ensure each task follows the scheme.
  • In the morning I review each view. When my #next task list is empty, I pull from the *backlog. Every few months I review the *someday list.

I can’t quite use Microsoft To-Do to implement GTD. I could organize tasks by project by putting them in To-Do Lists, but there’s no way for me to then mark which ones to do next or keep in the backlog or am blocked on, etc.

If To-Do tasks supported tags or categories and a way to search by tag, I’d be all set. I keep my personal task list in Evernote, and utilize their tag feature in this way to implement GTD. As a plus, Evernote supports putting the tags in a hierarchy, so I can put organize all # tasks under #next, and all * tags under *status.

But using tags or categories is just an implementation detail. In the end, I just want to implement GTD in a way that I can sync across devices, and integrates nicely with the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem.


Adam Smith


1 Reply


Hi Adam,

    I am a GTD enthusiast and work with many of the same here at Steelcase and have converted from Wunderlist to ToDo using the same GTD setup we used in Wunderlist. 

We all keep context-based lists as well as a "Projects" list (or a couple....Work and Home) 

Next actions go on the context-based lists, and we link them to the projects using the # feature which makes it a hyperlink. 

Works like a charm and is pretty true to David's design intent I think. And simple.  

Here's what the setup looks like (this is from Wunderlist, but my ToDo looks identical)