GTD - Getting Things Done
December 31, 2008 ·
I've been experimenting with a variety of "todo" managers over the last year, trying to find one that fits my needs. I have been a fan of 43actions for most of 2008 because it offered a nice iPhone-compatible web application that was fairly intuitive and, with Fluid allowing me to have a "desktop" version of 43actions, I had synchronized access from both my iPhone and my desktop. The problem was that it was a web app so it didn't have any integration with either the iPhone or, more importantly, the desktop.I looked around at what other folks were using. I evaluated pretty much everything people suggested to me (thanx everyone!) and tried really hard to like OmniFocus: it's very powerful, it has an iPhone app as well... but it's just too overwhelming for what I need. My CTO, Richard Bennion, was a big OmniFocus fan but it just didn't work for me. Richard turned me onto Notebook (from Circus Ponies - what a great name for a company!). It's a computer rendition of a big, ruled notebook with sticky tabs and dividers etc. You can draw pictures, write todos, write general notes. It synchronizes nicely with iCal. It adds a great right-click context menu globally that lets you clip items into notes. It's really very, very good and I was extremely tempted to buy it after the 30-day trial. It has no iPhone equivalent, however (and, of course, iCal doesn't expose todos on the iPhone - why, Apple?). In the end, I went with Things (from Cultured Code - another great company name!). It looks like a standard Mac application (like Mail or iTunes) and has a hot key for quick task entry, no matter what app has focus. It now has a native iPhone application that synchronizes over wifi, while providing almost all of the functionality of the desktop version, allowing you to easily manage your tasks on the go as well as at your desk. The desktop version synchronizes with iCal as well. It's not quite as "pure" GTD as 43actions but it supports tagging which gets you close to contexts and it has some nice features around scheduling tasks (so you can have repeating tasks as well as tasks that can't start until a specific date). If you sign up for their newsletter prior to launch (see the website), you can buy the desktop version 20% off so you can get the desktop version and the iPhone version for the normal price of just the desktop version. It's probably worth noting that the iPhone version is the best selling (paid) todo manager. Here's to a productive 2009 with Things!