10 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Productivity with Google Desktop and GTD

Using Google Desktop to Improve Your GTD System

Getting Things Done, or GTD, is a productivity methodology that has taken the world by storm. Developed by David Allen, GTD is a system that helps individuals organize their tasks and projects, prioritize them, and ultimately get things done.

As with any productivity system, GTD is only as effective as the tools used to implement it. In recent years, Google Desktop has emerged as a popular choice for users looking to improve their GTD flow. In this article, we will explore how to use Google Desktop to enhance your GTD system.

Part 1: Using Google Desktop to Manage Emails in Outlook

Managing emails can be a major time sink for many people. GTD recommends processing your inbox to zero each day, but this can be a daunting task when dealing with hundreds or thousands of messages.

Bob Walsh, writing for To-Done, suggests using Google Desktop to help manage emails in Outlook. By using Google Desktop’s quick search features, it is possible to quickly find and sort through your inbox to identify messages that require action.

Walsh recommends setting up quick search shortcuts for common labels, such as “To Do” or “Waiting For”. This allows you to easily filter your inbox to only show messages that require your attention.

Additionally, Walsh suggests using Google Desktop’s search functionality to dig into your email archives. By doing so, you can quickly locate old messages that may contain important information or action items.

Part 2: Using Google Desktop to Avoid Interruptions

As Walsh points out, being productive requires focus. Interruptions can be a major hindrance to productivity, particularly when they come in the form of email notifications.

To alleviate this problem, Walsh recommends setting Google Desktop to track new emails instead of receiving notifications. By doing so, you can avoid having your flow interrupted every time a new message arrives in your inbox.

Instead, you can use Google Desktop’s sidebar mode to get a quick overview of new messages without being pulled away from your current task. This allows you to maintain focus and productivity while still staying on top of important emails.


In conclusion, Google Desktop can be a powerful tool for improving your GTD flow. By using its quick search and archive functionality, you can efficiently manage your inbox and avoid being bogged down by old messages.

Additionally, by setting Google Desktop to track new emails instead of receiving notifications, you can avoid interruptions and maintain productivity. By incorporating Google Desktop into your GTD system, you can take control of your inbox and focus on what really matters: getting things done.

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