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Notes from Task Management Workshop with Tiago Forte


  • Based on GTD
  • Uses the app Things
  • distinction between tasks and notes - but both are the fundamental building blocks of productivity frameworks
Tasks Notes
active passive
verb noun
action reference
timely (more)timeless
short long
convergent (get it done) often divergent
  • tasks need their own approach - GTD and notes are core to building a Second Brain and notetaking

Difference between GTD and BASB

The writer emphasizes that tasks and notes are fundamentally different. Tasks are active, timely, convergent, short, and focused on execution. On the other hand, notes are passive, timeless, divergent, and used for reference. They emphasize the importance of treating these two entities differently due to their distinct characteristics.

Capture Capture
Organize Organize
Reflect Distill
Execute Express
  • A task is often more important than a note. So a task needs more clarity.
  • A tasks clarify and notes distill are both about clarity. But for a note this comes later, when you have a high confidence, that you will need & use it. So distill best right before expressing
  • Organize is the link where tasks and notes are handled the same way
  • Notes are not actionable themself, but they contain action items

GTD - Capture

  • Key to inbox zero - convert it super fast to a task (e.g. within Asana plugin)
  • Taskmanager Things

GTD - Clarify

  • Add more clarity to previously captured tasks. Best e.g. in a weekly review.

GTD - Organize

  • Put the tasks in a project - so what is the nearest project this task might belong too?


  • search for waiting for: (as follow up)

Free notes

  • use energy levels as the context to decide on what tasks to take on
    • e.g. focussed work vs. anytime work
  • GTD - a system to protect your attention
  • choose what the todo list is the day before … to save your energy on the day for the executing (and not waste energy with selecting items)
  • trust that sense of overwhelm … what does it has to say to you?
  • What is actionable? From that - what is of high priority?

Managing inboxes - 5 inboxes

Order of the weekly review …





Task manager

So ending with the decision what really to do about it

Summary created via Lex

In the draft, the writer discusses task management, specifically how to organize and prioritize tasks, how to focus on important projects, and how to visually prioritize tasks.

They differentiate between tasks and notes, explaining that tasks are actionable, timely, convergent, short, and focused on execution, while notes are passive, timeless, divergent, and used for reference.

They compare the steps of GTD (Getting Things Done) and their own methodology called “building a second brain,” highlighting the differences in the clarify/distill step and the reflect/express step.

Finally, they mention the importance of organizing projects and areas and the relationship between reflecting on tasks and expressing ideas through notes.


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