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My nomination re: the killer app for GTD: ECCO (Palm-sync'd)

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  • My nomination re: the killer app for GTD: ECCO (Palm-sync'd)

    Since picking up GTD in January I have evaluated many PIM tools on the Palm, PPC, and PC. My last big adventure was with Excel, but currently I am having even more fun doing GTD in Ecco, syncing to an NV-70 Palm (Clie). It is hard to see how anything is ever going to beat Ecco as an awesome tool for GTD! It is now available for upload online at:

    Download Setup32.exe, and this will install version 4.01.1, which the latest version. All files created with earlier version will work with it.

    Ecco is an incredible PIM program; it's been described by many users as "addictive". Despite being discontinued in Aug 1997, it still runs great on Windows 98, 2000, XP, etc. and there are many active users. The Yahoo!Groups "eccopro" forum has 850 members and is quite lively. Once you get the 'Gestault' of Ecco and get your business onto it, it is really fascinating how much faster you can work, and how much more output you can have -- I've never seen anything like it. I'll be surprised if it doesn't get revived either as open-source, or an ambitious startup company over the next year or two - considering the mometum and fan club base.

    There has already been one GTD Template for Ecco published (see the archives), I'll also be publishing one soon.


  • #2
    Super Combination


    I really appreciate all you did to help me get Ecco on my computer. I am excited with the power of the program and the possibilities of using it in GTD. I am enjoying using it and really look forward to your template. I have spent a good part of this evening looking at the templates at Grpahic Ideas, particularly the ones for case management, project management and the one based on Franklin Covey. It is really eye opening as to the exciting things that can be done with GTD and Ecco.

    Again, thanks for your help and I look forward to the release of your GTD template.



    • #3
      Thanks James, glad the Ecco is working for you! I was "scary productive" with it today. I just kept breaking apart top-level items in each of my active projects for the week until there were 2 or 3 concrete, physical next actions ready for "no-think execution". Then I would ask, couldn't I just do the next action right here as a sub-item in Ecco. e.g. I write a letter right there as a couple of bullets, then use the "Shooter" to create a word doc, print the letter & envelope with Ecco's correspondence manager - lots of "GTD surprises" (something's DONE before, normally you would even get started). Then I move the letter into the phonebook as an indent under the addressee, so it's there for future reference. Cross-reference it into an "appt" for followup later, and the whole thing's done is 3-4 minutes. Ecco's like that - it just speeds everything up (that's just one example). I probably knocked off 125 next actions with it just today.



      • #4

        How much does Ecco cost?


        • #5
          I didn't think Ecco was being supported/developed for any longer. Has this changed?


          • #6

            It is no longer supported or developed for -but Net Manage graciously made it available for free download .

            even though it's no longer developed --the 97 version of Ecco is above and beyond the 02 versions of many programs --very steep learning curve with it-

            I used ecco back when Arabesqe had it --moved away from it for early versions of Franklin covey Ascend 97---Big mistake!


            • #7
              ECCO learning curve

              I envy you guys who are so good at GTD that you have time to figure out these complex programs!

              Seriously, is there a simplified guide to Ecco for my simple brain?



              • #8


                Would it be possible for you to share some of how you have ECCO laid out?


                • #9
                  RE: How do you get GTD to work on Ecco/Palm?

                  I have been using ECCO for GTD, and think it is particularly suited to project management that individuals do. Because it uses outlining, it is good for project planning, and linking the next action to the project. I also have downloaded the Graphic Ideas templates, and am impressed. I would like to see your GTD template when it is finished, Steve.



                  • #10
                    yes, I'm working on a template i'm going to write up. I will also share an interim version sooner. Problem is, it's a mult-hour project to get my own data out of the file, write up notes in the file just a bit, etc. It'll turn into 4-6 hours work, which I can't squeeze in right now. Working on the Excel version took a lot of cycles out of my own work that I'm catching up for now But I'll get an interim Ecco-GTD Template posted ASAP.

                    In the meantime, I suggest you download/print/study the back issues of "Easy Ecco", from That will get you up the learning curve quickly.

                    Yeah, Ecco does ROCK for GTD... it's way better than anything else I've used. After 9 months using GTD and a lot of progress, there was stilll a substantial "leap" into a substantially faster progress-mode, within a week of adopting Ecco. Of course, I had used Ecco for 2-3 years previously, so I had a head-start on the learning curve. But I think you'll see the same thing.



                    • #11
                      At the same ftp site that Ecco can be downloded, there is a user guide in pdf form. Try this link:

                      I didn't install Ecco yet, so I don't know if the setup includes this guide.
                      There also appear to be tutorials in the 'Doc' folder on the site.


                      • #12
                        Please tell me that ECCO can't be sync'd with my pocketPC.

                        Otherwise I'll spend ages setting it up and playing with it. Sorry...I just can't help myself!!


                        • #13
                          sorry Ross, but the answer is yes -- Ecco certainly can be sync'd with your Pocket PC :0)

                          You have to use Intellisync, or one of the other sync programs. They have listed a few of them that work over on the eccopro forum on Yahoo!groups. As soon as I run into that info again, I'll post (sorry



                          • #14
                            OK before I read any more of the 412 pg PDF file, how well does ECCO work for those of us who are mobile and basically use the PDA 100% and never use the desktop (I have a CLIE and backup nightly to memory sticks)?

                            I should add that I am not a sales type, and most of my "stuff" is in the form of to dos or appointments with some low complexity projects.




                            • #15
                              Doubt if Ecco is of much use if you're 100% PDA.

                              The big thing it does is allow you to "get a handle" on big/complex projects, and a lot of diverse activities across different projects. Working in Ecco, I will generate a lot of different approaches, then only map some of it into active "todo" (next action) status. But I find it invaluable as a brainstorming, information-gathering, and planning tool.

                              My Palm I use primarily as a portable storage depot/viewing device for the active todo's that are flowing out of Ecco... for "DOING" mode. And a quick-access calendar/phone book, of course.