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GTD software

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  • GTD software

    Hi All. I had attempted to write a web based PIM based on GTD about a year ago...I got pretty far with the project, but life got in the way and it fell off track (if anybody is interested in taking a look at it I can send you the link, it is does much of what my stand alone app will do). The biggest problem with the web-based PIM was security; GTD only works if you use it for everything in your life, and most people don't want to put personal information into a web-based system. Anyhoo, I am getting back into GTD and I am writing a stand-alone PIM application with a Microsoft access database backend. The program with be pretty simple and won't have all the features of some of the more advanced PIMs, but, I plan to design it entirely around the GTD concepts. I was wondering if you all could provide me with some thoughts as to what you like/dislike about your current PIM software before I get to deep into the development of this program. The nice thing about this app is that it won't have to be "configured" to work with GTD since it will built specifically to do GTD.

  • #2
    PIM Requirements

    I am a PIM junkie and have tried them all. My biggest complaint is I have found very few that have project capability like Shadow Plan or Bonsai. I want to quickly see that half the tasks in a project are complete, etc. And, for me, it must sync with the Palm.


    • #3
      It needs to sync with Outlook

      So many of us "live" in Outlook that any PIM offering web-based access must, IMO, offer synchronization with Outlook to be considered. It doesn't matter whether the bulk of list and task management is done in one environment or the other - that's an artifact of individual circumstances. But doing double entry would not be acceptable.

      If it could handle the "Action" and "Project" tags the GTD add-in creates, that would be a breakthrough.

      P.S. for the Mac users out there, you should add Entourage to this requirement as well.


      • #4
        Outlook, native and custom PIMs

        As mochant stated, many of us are inseparable from Outlook (by choice or force), that it would be hard to move to anything not integrated. I have read postings from many people (self included) using KeySuite, indicating that the native Palm apps are insufficient. The limitations of the Palm address book is too inexcusable. If David Allen reads this, I would love to know how you get around the 1 address per contact limitation? Do you have to list David - Home, David Work, David Mobil, etc.. ?

        I think a PIM dedicated to the principles of GTD would be well received. My thoughts on functionality would be to include an optional prerequisite feature on the project task list. It may require a second, multi-step task app in addition to the classic list. The way I see it working is that you create a multi-step task (project), under that header you define all the next actions associated with the project. Each NA record has optional "Prerequisite task" and an "Action List" designations.

        Whenever a Next Action is completed, the system would do the following:
        * Is this NA part of a multi-step task (project)?
        * If yes, are there any steps in the associated project for which this task is a prerequisite?
        * If yes, move those tasks to the Next Action list identified in the Action List field on the project record.
        * tasks in a multi-step project that did not have a prerequisite defined, would need to be moved manually during the weekly review.

        I also think the ability to assign a task to multiple lists would be good. "Contact Paul" could be on @Call or @Computer, if an email would suffice.

        Of course, any of these changes would prevent reliance on the Palm Desktop, which has all the conventions of the hand held apps.

        If you're PIM had email capability, it could possibly replace Outlook on many home users desks. In my case, I still have to sync to Outlook at work, but there is little reason that I couldn't switch my home PIM.


        • #5
          You have some good ideas jrdouce. Thank you for sharing them. I really like the idea of having pre-requisites for Project Action items. I am not really looking to replace outlook or convert outlook users. I am looking to provide a solution for those who don't use Outlook (such as myself). I would like to have Palm syncing capabilities eventually, but such things are difficult to implement and would have to come down the line...I may have to build a separate palm app depending on the architecture of my desktop app. The nice thing about not worrying about Outlook or Palm is that I am not fettered by the design paradigms of either...this gives me the flexibility to create a PIM that truly follows GTD without any configuration hacks.