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Looking for a "visual" GTD option

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  • Looking for a "visual" GTD option

    Hi all,

    Have any of you ever felt like you needed to just see the whole picture of all your projects in one place, with all their next actions, dependencies, etc? That's where I am right now.

    Just like many of you, I have a number of projects that are ongoing and are intertwined with other projects. I currently use ToDoMatrix on my BlackBerry for grinding out tasks, but I need something more visual and intuitive for planning and high-level reviews.

    I feel like I need a giant flow chart that lists all my projects, my plans for them, their interdependencies, etc. I don't know how else to explain this, but I'm a very visual and tactile person. I need to see how things flow together and physically moving things around seems to help as well.

    That said, does anyone have any experience with what I'm talking about? I don't know if I explained it well. I tried searching for something like this, but nothing viable came up. If you need me to clarify what I'm trying to say, let me know and I'll try to do so.


  • #2
    I have a similar need from time to time and, when I do, I plot everything out on a Mindmap (I use MindManager). It also works for me if I'm having a period where I'm numb to my lists.

    I'm having a period of numbness this week and decided to use paper for my next actions lists for a couple of weeks. I've been cranking through old next actions like a maniac! I don't think HOW you do it is the magic, but I think it's great to try something new and different if you aren't where you want to be productivity wise. Maybe it's just a fresh perspective!


    • #3
      Thanks Barb!

      Wow, MindManager is serious business. I'm going to give it a try, but it's got a pretty steep price tag attached to it. I'm just wondering, but has anyone used index cards to do this?


      • #4
        You can always trying drawing out a Mindmap. That's how I started. But I must say, I'm REALLY thoughtful before I buy any software. I make sure I love it first.

        I started with a free trial of MindManager and was just blown away. If I had to wipe my computer clean and start all over with new software, I'd buy it right after MS Office. It's a fabulous program.


        • #5
          Hi Barb,

          Yea, I just downloaded the trial and am working on it right now.


          • #6
            Great! I'll be interested to know what you think of it.

            By the way, I'm not connected with MindJet...just a rabid user


            • #7
              When I grow numb to my ists, I put my Projects and NA's back into my GTD Coordinator. Seeing my Projcts on paper, and all my NA's just a tab or two away clears my perspective and I start whipping through my lists again.

              I keep my 20,00-50,000 ft. stuff in Mindmanager. Just moved these from Outlook Notes and I'm enjoying see it all in mindmaps.

              Because of the sheer number of appointments, reoccurring events, and all-day items on my calendar, I'm finding it particularly challenging keeping my schedule on paper. Hard to beat digital scheduling for addressing these issues particular to my world.
              Last edited by GTDWorks; 05-14-2009, 01:57 PM.


              • #8
                PersonalBrain is another option for an (almost) "total GTD system". The beauty of this software as compared to other mindmapping software is there is no end to the linkages. One mindmap to rule them all..........

                This will allow you to link all your actions to your projects to all your other horizons of focus.

                But, as DA says....if you're doing a weekly review weekly, you really don't need to link anything to anything else. And I believe that.


                • #9
                  I use FreeMind occasionally for mindmaps for gtd or other personal use. I've no idea how it compares with the other products, but it's freeware. Does me fine used about once a month or less.


                  On the download page you can scroll down for a beta download. I'm using that, it hasn't crashed for me


                  • #10
                    Webinar on The Brain

                    FYI: David is doing a free Webinar on GTD and PersonalBrain:

                    Wed, Jun 3, 2009 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT



                    • #11
                      FYI: David is doing a free Webinar on GTD and PersonalBrain:
                      Awesome, I'm definitely going to be in on that one.

                      I use FreeMind occasionally for mindmaps for gtd or other personal use. I've no idea how it compares with the other products, but it's freeware. Does me fine used about once a month or less.
                      I've tried a lot of mind mapping software, and FreeMind compares very well. It's one of the most capable packages out there right now.
                      Last edited by aavanderbilt; 05-14-2009, 03:30 PM. Reason: spelling


                      • #12
                        I've used FreeMind for my mindmapping needs and I've also had some great success with it. I use it to map out my overall plans to see how things fit together in my life. You could easily adapt it to your GTD needs by using it to map out your actions and how they fit together into your projects.


                        • #13
                          Looking for a "visual" GTD option? Try MindManager

                          If you're interested in leveraging mind mapping and GTD, check out a webinar that I put together that illustrates how I use MindManager to power up my GTD processes: Getting Things Done…with Mindjet!


                          • #14

                            I think that sometimes we drink a little too much of the KOOL AID. Xmind is a fantastic mind mapping tool. And its FREE! I have had much better results than when I used FREEMIND.



                            • #15

                              this may help. A low tech approach. 3*5 or 5*8 note cards, and a big cork board, or magnetic whiteboard, and a "sharpie" marker. Get the cards in different colors, Each project is a different color. There easily placed, moved around, replaced, intertwined, etc

                              Cheap, Tactile, fast, and visual.