Category: GTD

My current GTD application ( does not have repeating appointments, which has vexed me for some time, as I’m in love with the rest of the application, and I’m not willing to switch just yet.

The solution came to me in a flash of light!  And the answer is contained withing the GTD system itself.  I now use a repeating appotiment on my calendar (Google calendar) to remind me to put the action on my next actions list.  This results in a little double entry, but gives me the ability to have soft deadlines, where I don’t have to constantly check what I didn’t get complete in my calendar.  As well as my calendar not having the ability to mark things as complete.  It’s a great system to make sure monthly bills get paid, among other things.

Adding “fun” to GTD?

Inspired by Oliver Starr‘s blog post here.  I started thinking about including “fun” or “hobbie” next actions and projects to my GTD system.

To sum up Mr. Starr, if you find that you’re not wanting to look at your lists, it might be becuase there’s nothing on there that you actually “want” to do.  Motivation is a complicated issue, there are many tricks that people play to get themselves motivated “if I do this, I’ll let myself to this other thing” is one of the more popular.  My vote is for whatever works.

What I don’t like about the idea is “goalifying” or “projectifying” my hobbies.  I guess if I’m not sharpening the saw as much as I should, and I need to make some time, then it would be appropriate to create a project or goal.  But I don’t want to feel bad about not getting to my “Get to level 28 in Halo multi-player” goal.  This is not to say I don’t have personal goals, “get Wing Chun black belt” is actually one of them, but it’s just to keep me focused on what’s important to me.  If I systematize too much, I stop enjoying it.  Sometimes the purpose of doing something is that your not doing anything else.  If you have a tickler every Friday to “stop and smell flowers” I think you might be missing the point of, stopping and smelling the flowers.

My Current GTD Tools:

I got asked to check out and review from my last post.  I’d never heard of it, before this, but I think everyone should.

This is not to say it’s GTD perfection, but it’s closer then anything I’ve used so far.

So, this is typically how I work my GTD process.  Anything that gets into any of my collection piles gets processed as a next action (I don’t have tasks that aren’t next actions), a tickler, reference material, a calendar item, or a project.  I also have a someday/maybe list for next actions and projects.  It’s a little simpler than what David Allen suggests, but it works for me.

One of the things I like is that GTDAgenda encourages me to follow GTD more strictly.  I’ll give you an example: I was tracking goals in RTM (Remember The Milk).  These were never connected to projects and I didn’t look at them much.  Now, when I create a project, there is a drop list for goals, which forces me to think “I need to look over my goals and make sure I’m moving them forward”, which I rarely did before.

I’ve also started adding tasks that are not next actions.  This allows me to list all the tasks to complete a project, but not have the ones I can’t do yet, which cluttered my list previously.  I like that a lot.

It’s very easy to look at your next actions by project and context.  There are 2 new items (new for me), checklists and schedules.  David Allen says that he makes extensive use of checklists, and encourages there use.  Although I like the implementation, I think it missed the mark.  Using this implementation you can setup an event, and have a check box that represents weeks, days, or quarterly tasks.  For example I have “project review” as a weekly, and “next action review” as a daily.  What’s it’s not, is a check list for things I need to take when I’m going on vacation, which is what I expected.  There’s a workaround for this on the forums, and it looks like the feature is coming, but it’s not there yet.

One issue I’m having is ticklers.  RTM is the only tool that I’ve used that handles SMS reminders well.  I live on SMS reminders for appoitments and things like “take out the trash tonight”.  GTDAgenda does allow you to set calendar tasks, and provides an iCal feed.  I can have dates for tasks and get them in my google calendar using the iCal URL, this actually work really well, but I’d rather have the ability to send reminders directly from GTDAgenda.

One more downside…  The free account is not practical.  With only 5 projects (Vitalist provides 10, edit: Vitalist now only provides 5 with the free account), it won’t work on a long term basis (but you are getting what you pay for).  RTM is the only service that I’ve used that will.  But the free version will at least allow you try before you buy.

With all that said, GTDAgenda is the best “pure” GTD implementation I’ve seen.  I encourage anyone reading to go and sign up to check it out.  I’ve included links to the Vitalist, RTM, and GTDAgenda features.

GTDAgenda Features:

Vitalist Features:

Remember The Milk Features:


This is the feature list that has been added since MAY 2008: IMPRESSIVE!  Maybe that first paragraph about it not being GTD perfection is not far off?

My search for the perfect GTD tool continues

I’ve been using Vitalist for about a year.  While I’ve really liked it, there are just a few small feature it’s missing.  The limit of 10 projects for the free account is a problem.  Not that I have a problem with it, I just can’t afford to pay for a pro account and the reminders defaulting to midnight is a real pain in the ass.

So I’ve switched to Nexty, which is not perfect either.  I’ve started using my google calendar ONLY for ticklers and calendar appointments.  Nexty will be for Projects, Next Actions, and Someday/Maybe List.

Which means that I can’t link projects and ticklers and appointments, nor can I have a reminder for an action/task.  But the big plus of Nexty is that it’s open source, anything I don’t like I can just change myself.  With my first task being to create a mobile version of the site, it’s unviewable in it’s current form.