Setting up GTD on Dynalist


Well, I don’t actually write down times. I have a set of bullets with the hours of the day which I just copy over each day - then as I move through the day I just write my tasks / notes under the correct bullet, like this:

But actually any important notes I would either put in my inbox or send to the appropriate project section - I once quite liked the idea of recording EVERYTHING in one place on my day (bullet journal style) just like you do - the only thing I found is that it required dilligent tagging to make sure nothing got lost / forgotten - one benefit of using lists instead of tags for organising (of course one should use both in combination) is that it forces you to make a choice about where it should go - any time I have relied solely on tags I have always fallen into lazy habits and the whole thing has fallen apart - perhaps someone less lazy than me would be fine :smiley:

The dynalist-time-stamps on the calendar are really only there because dynalist pro offers google calendar sync for time stamped items - when I am out and about on my phone going to appointments etc I look at my google calendar on my phone rather than going through to my dynalist calendar because it’s much faster / easier to work with

Yes that looks like a nice task system - very visual which I like - it’s hard to tell but I slightly wonder how it will hold up if you have e.g. 100+ things to do (which I probably do across all my areas of life) - it sounds like you are a bit better with technology than me (I don’t really code) so perhaps you have slightly different needs - I personally prefer to do as much as I possibly can in Dynalist and am prepared to sacrifice some optimality for that - there are things I won’t do - my files are in dropbox and I just link to them if needed and don’t use dynalist’s upload system at all - however generally I do like to have as much as possible under one roof and crucially, under a single search box so that when I search for my top priority tasks I know I really am seeing all of them - it also allows me to move around my life very quickly and not have to open / close different apps or think where something is

RE writing I have just put up a post linking to a blog article I wrote a while ago about combining workflowy (or dynalist of course) with latex for academic writing which you might find interesting:

The nice thing about dynalist compared to workflowy is you can have a separate folder for your write ups, so it really doesn’t have to ‘contaminate’ your notes at all


Don’t worry I have specifically lazy tags dubbed “@work” and “@personal”. It doesn’t get lazier than that really (although I don’t use @work often, since you know, work is subject to change. Rather a shortname for company I work for)

Also, I don’t treat tags as tags, I treat tags as folders, based on evernote’s best practice tagging conventions (e.g. an item can be placed in two places at the same time, by treating each tag like a “folder”)

I do use this, this is why I never use the “!” operator and reserve it just for this scenario only, else I would pollute my google calendar.

My current list is sitting at 50 items. I am too lazy to do any of it today though (none of those are urgent, most are project based), this is the 3rd week I have been setting up my setup. Tomorrow is just massive sprint day catch up for me. I’m also kind of tired from working out yesterday too

As of now, its actually scaling pretty well. I could see it becoming a problem at 200+ items, but realistically I shouldn’t have more than 100 items anyhow. Do note that I don’t log things in that take 5 minutes usually either, and have seperate workflows for handling things with clients by emails and such. Over half the things I have in my dynalist are things like (Backup XYZ, improve workflow ABC, explore issue DEF)

I try not to do everything in dynalist. Dynalist can only do so much. You can’t do things an excel /google spreadsheet can (e.g. scalable number of column / cell data). You can’t document code well in almost any regular notetaking app, but rather dedicated apps (gistbox) . I think its important to be flexible, in that you can handle manual integrations with different softwares (hence my SOP manual which I finished writing mostly).

Your also pretty limited to things coming in from dynalist, like I can’t RSS new ideas like feedly can or read new stories. Dynalist has some pretty poor workflows to bookmark management, so I have other systems for that too

I don’t mind looking 2 extra places for something I cannot find. Its like finding a remote for your TV. If you don’t find it the first place you look (your couch), place it the first place you look after. Same concept.
The remote is an analogy to your notes, TV is how you drive action, and your couch is dynalist

well true I could create a secondary document as well, I probably should :stuck_out_tongue:

I skimmed parts of your blog, which was a bit hard too read (formatting), but I got the gist of it. I have really never used workflowy for more than 1 hour, and I decided I really did not like it that much compared to dynalist ( I really hate workflowy’s Prezi like zooming functions, they bother me alot).

I don’t really do alot of hardcore mathmatical formulas in latex, and my go-to has always been markdown syntax for general notes. I have dabbled in a bit of Katex and Mathjax syntax though, which are very similar but simplified versions of latex (also I don’t really need formulas I got images anyways)

Why anyways and not workflowy? Just curious, what makes dynalist better in your opinoin (OR worse for that matter)? I’ve not explored it in much detail


I read this and I’m thinking: cool, so that’s how I’ll get my mail filtered and delivered in my dynalist inbox


That’s a very good point. I was frustrated with Evernote because although it’s easy to search for tags, searching for untagged items is not easy at all (there are one or two hacks to do it… on the Mac only I think). If you are using a GTD type approach and have a weekly review when you want to organise items, being able to easily find untagged ones and tag them is really useful.

If you religiously put everything in an “inbox” list that makes it easy, but if you want to quickly add items into a range of lists/contexts/projects and worry about tagging them later it’s a fiddly process.


@Schultzter @Mark_Goodson: try searching for “-# -@” to avoid tags!



I guess my need is a bit more complicated since I only tag the top-level items in a list, not the sub-items.

I would need something like is:top -# -@

But thanks for taking the time to respond and help us get the most from Dynalist.


What is your GTD set up in Dynalist? Any tips?

I have my IN, NEXT ACTIONS, WAITING FOR, SOMEDAY all as separate docs. But, looking for tips of what works best for others. How is your’s structured? How do you best maximize Dynalist for GTD?


It may be more efficient to have tags for each of GTD status. Then you can use the Agenda function in @Piotr’s PowerPack 2 for an easy reference to your system.


Thanks. So, are you suggesting putting everything into a single doc so it’s searchable via tags?


Yes, that seems more efficient.


How are you using Dynalist for GTD? Do you have a single doc for all that + your projects?

Thanks again Kevin!


I use the tags @year, @month, @week and !(date). I review @year tags once a month, @month tags once a week, and @week tags every day. The Agenda filters the items that are due that day. This is across all my documents.


Ah that’s great - thanks!


I’ve never understood GTD or Bujo. They always looks like chaotic visual horrors, or don’t adhere to my maximum-lazy life philosophy.

Here’s how I organize things lately:

I use Send to Inbox and Move Item voraciously. Also move item up/down and indent via keyboard. If I’m not at a computer I use voice Send to Inbox, either Hey google add asperagus, or hold my smartwatch button and say add asperagus. All tags are hidden via custom CSS, because they’re distracting, but they still respond to searches.


How does saying “add asparagus” link to putting that in Dynalist?


google assistant puts asperagus on my dynalist when i say to my watch add asperagus



click to uncrop those screenshots


Works brilliantly!