Getting Things Done
Getting Things Done by David Allen details a fantastic system for getting organized, reducing stress and improving your productivity in a world full of To-Do lists that are too long. Another place to find great help daily is over at Zenhabits.net. I like his version: “Zen to Done” for its simplicity. For electronic tools, there are many to choose from. In this post I will provide links to some of the cool online applications available to help you keep track of your Most Important Tasks as well as Contexts, Projects, and more.
Among the tools needed are a good filing system and good system for collecting, processing, and keeping track of your tasks. For many the best GTD system includes both paper and electronic tools. A simple notebook or, if you prefer, a fancy Moleskin is all you need for collection of your thoughts and tasks. For free printable PDF’s for paper calendars, to-do lists and much more check out D.I.Y. Planner, SVG Planner (for index cards), and 43 Folder’s Hipster PDA Wiki. And for the coolest paper based system, take a look at Pocket Mod.
Electronic GTD Applications – Online and Software Downloads
All the applications listed here are free unless otherwise noted. On all of these I give my opinion. If I don’t like one, that doesn’t mean you won’t love it. So explore. They are all good.
Simple To-Do Lists
My To-Do’s – Features – sharing, RSS feeds from friends, chat. Nice looking notebook style. Includes calendar planner, projects, and priority levels for to-dos.
TODOIST – Features: calendar, projects, keyboard shortcuts, gmail integrations, mobile access, quicksilver, iGoogle plugins, more. Wasn’t the one for me, but it is nicely done.
Joe’s Goals – for simple tracking of your gosls and daily notes. Good for your daily and recurring to-do’s.
Mojo Note – Simple design. similar to Ta-Da List except it has more features such as sharing, linking, date/time due. Free up to 99 notes, lists, reminders. For $5/month you get: â€“ 100 Listsâ€“ 100 Notesâ€“ 100 Active remindersâ€“ Email tech supportâ€“ Ad-free experience. Lists have check boxes, but tasks don’t which seems weird to me. I like Ta-Da List better.
iPrioritize – Simple minimalist to do lists. Easy to use. RSS, printing, mobile acccess, and sharing make this attractive. It’s a little slow and you have to enter your curser to make each new entry which is a pain. Can’t see all lists on one page like you can with BackPack (see below). For some people this is a feature they like so that they can’t worry about more than one list at a time. Still worth checking out.
Jotlet – todo list and calendar together. Very nice and simple. Can view by list, day, week or month. Reminders available.
Complete GTD Systems
ToodleDo – This one is very cool. Here are some features: To-Do List, Sharing, Calendar, Scheduler, Goals, Statistics, Learning, Search, Contexts, Import/Export, Connections, Booklet Printer. Some are free (i.e. to-do list & more), some are partially free (you can track life goals, but stats with tasks linked to goals is a paid upgrade) and some are only with the upgrade (such as scheduler). You can sync with Google calendar and more. You should check out this one for sure!
Simple GTD – I like this one a lot because it is simple and at the same time it is flexible.
Thinking Rock – I’ve heard great reviews of this one. I’ve watched the demo’s and it looks very comprehensive. If that is what you are looking for, you should take a look.
Nozbe – Free: limited contexts, projects and file storage. Upgrades cost $2.95/month and up. I haven’t used this much. Backpackit is similar and I like it better. If you want something very complete, you might like this. I tend to like simpler applications.
BackPack – This is one I keep coming back to because it didn’t take a lot of time to figure it out. I can have lists with different names (projects). It has lists, notes, reminders, and “Writeboards” (which can be accessed by multiple users). Calendar feature is a paid upgrade feature, which I don’t need. It has sharing. And you can have multiple pages (5 pages for free), each page with multiple lists, notes, writeboards (2 with free account) etc.
Foldera – “Foldera is a free and intuitive filing system of web-based folders that automatically organizes your work WHILE you work.” In Beta, aimed at teams. Has folders, file sharing, IM, task manager, email, calendar and more.
Stikkit – “little yellow notes that think” talk to the productivity applications you already use, as well as to friends, coworkers and family, giving you a universal remote for your life.” Not for me because it was a little too much work.
EverNote – more than just GTD, it aims to have all your info easily at your fingertips including files, images, webclips (RSS), email, documents, sketches, to-do. You need to download this application. Seems like a computer within your computer and the benefit is that you can sync with other computers to “carry” all your “notes” on everything with you. Neat idea. I personally don’t need it, but it looks very cool.
Tasks – this is by Alex King. It is $29.95. The cool thing about this online application is that it can sync with your PDA to bring it with you. And it has a free 21 day trial to see if you like it.
GMail GTD – this is a Firefox extension that turns your Gmail into a GTD application. I haven’t used it but I’ve read that people like it. If you love Gmail, this might be the thing for you.
Tracks – nice complete package, uses colors for organizing projects etc. It was more than I needed.
Free Mind – this is a mind mapping software that is free and opensource. It can be used for many things including as a task management system. I haven’t used it this way, but I’ve seen it done. It is worth having for any creative projects you need to think through.
GTD TiddlyWiki Plus – this one looks very cool, but I haven’t had time to really experiment with it too much. You save it on your own computer – client side application.
D3 – another wiki based system. I think this is for real techies. Correct me if I’m wrong. It looks way cool, but more complicated than I have time for.
TiddlySpot – using this “plain” wiki it is a neat tool for having an online journal that is only on your computer, not on the web. But you use this tool in a browser. Of course the uses for this is truly infinite. (This is the plain version of D3 and others that you can choose.)
Neptune – free for 15 day trial. After that it is $10 per year. I’ve checked it out. It’s nice. Not as fast as others. Simple GTD is just as good. But again, you never, know. You might love it.
TaskToy – I like this one too. Can view by Today, Week, or All. It has preset “locations” which are like contexts (home, office, shopping) which doesn’t seem like you can modify. And it has up to 40 projects to which you can color code and assign priority of Low, Med, or High.
Winners – Ones That I Like Best
UPDATE: Additional Applications Suggested by Commenters
Jello Dashboard: for use with Outlook
Tudumo– I checked this out. Very nice! Free software download.
IGTD for use with Macs
the upcoming OmniFocus
todo.txt: “For Mac and Linux there is the uber-geeky”
http://shrib.com “no-frills, no-gimmicks scratch paper for the ubiquitous little notes I want to take anywhere and retrieve anywhere else.”
Remember The Milk “offers great list management, smart lists, RSS, and Google Calendar/iCal integration. Plus you can email or IM new tasks.”
Ghost Action “free Mac app, simple, syncs with iCal”
Nexty – “a simple web based GTD tool”
http://www.centraldesktop.com “GTD for business. Tasks lists, online docs and spreadsheets.”
pyGTD seems to be a more techie system.
Greendoc. “Which is a online text processing tool.”
MonkeyGTD “because is a really nice application that permit organize my “next action” paradigm very easy and it’s an online and offline application.”
Gubb. “To mantain lists, like: wish list, films to watch, books to read, list of the purchase,etc. I use ”
Lastly, you can search for folks using Excel templates for GTD.
UPDATE: April 2008 – More GTD applications
http://www.fruitfultime.com – Currently free. Looks very nice.
http://www.gtdagenda.com – online application. Very nice look and layout. Has free, basic, and premium versions. This is definitely worth a look!
UPDATE: June 2008 – More GTD applications
http://www.smarttodolist.com/ – Software. Free trial. Looks very user-friendly and clean.
http://www.taskwriter.com/ – Online application. Free. Very quick signup and easy to use. In beta.
http://www.veetosoft.com/uOrganized.html – Software. Free trial. Looks very complete with folders, sub-folders and/or tags. Much more.
If you’d like to see more productivity software including ones you can purchase, you can check out this GTD Software List from Listible.
Check out The Ultimate Getting Things Done Index for RSS feed of many top notch GTD websites all on one page.
Goals On Track – very cool online goal software that integrates well with GTD. “an easy to use, web 2.0 style goal setting, goal tracking, task and time management software that helps you accomplish any goals in life.” It is a pay service, but it’s got a 100% money back guarantee. Hey, if it helps you reach your goals, especially financial ones, it will probably pay for itself many times over.
Please Share Your System!
Please share your Getting Things Done System: ideas, testimonials, and experiences. All comments big and small are very welcomed!
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