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David Allen explains the Natural Planning Model

David Allen recently held a TEDx presentation in Amsterdam on the Natural Planning Model1 called Getting in control and creating space, and why it has such a big impact in getting projects going and actually finished. If you are responsible for planning projects in any way, I strongly recommend you to watch this introduction.

Watch the video above and return for the list of steps in the model:

  1. Purpose — What is the main reason this project exists?
  2. Vision — What does the ideal (wildly successful) outcome look like?
  3. Brainstorming — Get your creative juices flowing and get things down on a mind map or outline.
  4. Structure — Start organizing the actions found in the brainstorming session and form sequences, priorities and lists.
  5. Identify Next Actions — What is the very next thing that needs to happen to move this project forward?

As you will now know after watching the video, these are the five steps of the natural planning model. They should be used when ever you need to start a new project, and to get a deeper understanding of this method, the best place to read more is the Getting Things Done book.


  1. The Natural Planning Model is part of the Getting Things Done framework.