I've been using RTM (both web and iPhone) as my GTD system for over a year and have found it incredibly helpful and ideally suited to my needs. I originally started with this advice from the RTM blog, but quickly streamlined the system to something less complex to manage and with less overhead.
What I've liked the most are the power of the smart lists and the iPhone app, which means I always have easy access to my contexts and a means to capture an action "on-the-fly".
My usage is best described in two parts.
For me, a critical feature is the ability to enter tasks and all associated meta-data from the "command line", so I've included as in-line code snippets the correct syntax for all the meta data types and enumerations I'm about to go through.
I use three lists:
Waiting and Maybe hold items I only look at as part of my weekly review. Everything else goes into Inbox, which I use because it's a default list that can't be deleted; the less list tabs there are the cleaner the interface is.
I've found that a list per project is unwieldy. Furthermore, my project files typically contain lots of reference information inappropriate for storage in RTM (like files of background data, hand-written notes, etc.). So I store project data separately and only use RTM to capture actions.
By definition, locations are mutually exclusive so I reserved their use for tasks that have to occur at a specific physical location. I use locations instead of tags because the
Due dates and repeat
Due dates and repeat can be entered in natural language, e.g.
Smart lists have been my key. I use them to create order from my onmibus inbox and meta-data-tagged tasks. Here are my smart lists, human-readable descriptions, and the query syntax to generate them. These list are comprised entirely of next actions.
So for example I might enter a task as follows
And now every Thursday at 7pm the task will pop up on my task list so I'll be reminded to do it before I go to bed.
Other random tips and tricks:
I use smartlists per 'project'. Inside the project I abuse the priority for GTD:
Then sort on priority, voìla, a nice GTD list.
Really simple, but works perfect for me.
When I was using RTM, the biggest savior was smart lists - I could use different tags for different projects, and then use smart lists to handle the creation and navigation of contexts.
Smart lists are SERIOUSLY powerful - you can do just about anything with them. It was the #1 feature that kept me with them so long.
After looking more, I see RTM has an excellent blog post on exactly this. It suggests the following steps:
Here's what I do: