Dedicated GTD applications on Windows

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by AdrianHolmes, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. AdrianHolmes

    AdrianHolmes Registered

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    Hi,

    Being new to GTD I'm still on a very steep learning curve and have yet to lock down the best tools for me and my partner. I'm currently using Trello, Evernote and several IFTTT recipes. This was a great start, how but now that my knowledge has increased and my requirements have becomes more sophisticated and I'm finding it too difficult to 'crowbar' this into my current setup.

    I know some people are using Zendone and FacileThings.

    From what I can see these dedicated applications are better suited to the task, especially for a novice such as myself. If designed correctly they should promote good habits and aid my learning.

    I'm on Windows with an Android phone and would want to use an app which is connected, ie a good api so service such as IFTTT can be utilised. I'm happy to pay for the right product.

    I'm keen on the 'top down' approach with 'areas of focus' driving my 'projects' and 'projects' driving my actions. As I'm sure is true for most my partner work as a team so the ability to connect accounts, share project, lists etc is very important.

    My question is, which one is best? What's your experience of these if any?

    Thanks
     
  2. Gnopps

    Gnopps Registered

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    In my experience (a very non-comlete list of their advantages/disadvantages :) ):

    Facilethings
    +Great for GTD-novice
    +Good with EN-integration
    -No IFTTT/Zapier
    -Non-working Android-app

    Zendone
    +Superb EN-integration
    +Works well
    -No IFTTT/Zapier

    GTDNext
    +Extremely fast
    -No IFTTT/Zapier

    Toodledo
    +Very configurable
    -No automatic Next-actions

    Clearcontext
    +Good that it uses native Outlook-tasks and has nice features
    -Very slow development
    -No automatic Next-actions

    Doit, Nirvana, MLO I haven't used enough to comment. As I wrote earlier I currently use a combination of Outlook (quick-actions to forward to EN to create a todo in Zendone), Taskclone, Evernote and Zendone for work tasks. For private tasks I use EN + Facilethings.

    Also, while I usually prefer Firefox I currently use Zendone as a Windows 10-app through Chrome. This can be done with any web-based task system.
    1. Go to webpage in Chrome
    2. Click hamburger menu, More tools, Add to desktop
    3. Make sure "Open in new window is checked" and create
    4. Drag icon in Windows to whereever you want it
     
  3. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    Asking "what GTD software is best" is like asking "what's the prettiest color?" There is no objective answer. And what works well for one person may not work well for another.

    Also after years of trying to find software that would "promote good habits" I can tell you there is no such thing. The only thing that promotes good habits is persistence and diligence, and those are things you have to bring to the table.

    I tried GTD in fits and starts beginning in 2007. I only really applied myself to learning it in 2014, and it's taken me until now to feel like I'm becoming proficient at it. So... hang in there. It's very worth it.
     
  4. PeterW

    PeterW Registered

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    Regarding your interest in using a 'top down' approach, check out this old thread on the forums:
    http://forum.gettingthingsdone.com/...getting-things-done/386-top-down-vs-bottom-up

    As for the tool to use, bcmyers2112 is spot on. It's not about the tool. It's about you.
     
  5. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Try Nozbe. Windows, Mac, Android, iOS with full synchronization.
     
  6. Gnopps

    Gnopps Registered

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    Very well said! My need has also changed during the years, either due to external factors (e.g. work requirements) or internal (how I implement GTD), meaning my task managers have changed along with it.
     
  7. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I would caution you on trying to get 2 people to use the same system. GTD is very personal. Your partner may thnk differently or need different things. DOn't try to fit your needs into theirs.

    And to the larger issue, there are no "Best" tools, only tools that work best for a particular person in their particular operating environment. And that might change over time.

    What I'd do is create a project to locate the best GTD tools for you. And start working on that but don't just jump off and into something without thinking about your goals and what is important to you. Think too about how you work and what you must have vs what is nice.

    I came to GTD from Covey, so very focused on top-down. It took me years to let go of that and separate the higher GTD levels from my day to day operational lists. I tried to keep all projects within folders by area of focus but that gets unwieldy. It's a lot easier and more intuitive now to review my AOFs on a regular basis in the context of my active projects but keep the active projects in one bunch.

    Now I have things in a set of tools that works for me and have remained stable in terms of tools since 2009. My exact implementation of those tools has changed, the hardware has changed and how I use them has changed but the basic tools are still the same. I'm in a Mac ecosystem so my tools are Omnifocus for lists, DEVONThink for electronic project support, higher level thinking and many of the someday/maybe lists and Mac Calendar app for my scheduled items.
     
  8. kelstarrising

    kelstarrising I know some stuff about GTD

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    This list might help narrow it down: http://gettingthingsdone.com/common-tools-software/

    There is no "perfect" tool except the one you trust and use so that your mind is free. That will be different for everyone.

    I use Evernote. David Allen uses Lotus Notes and Evernote. I'm currently writing a GTD Setup Guide for Wunderlist and am very impressed with what an elegant list manager it is.

    Here's an article that may give you and others some direction as well: http://gettingthingsdone.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/how-to-choose-a-tool.pdf

    Hope this helps!
     
  9. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Interesting. I must check its elegance - compared to Nozbe.
     
  10. kelstarrising

    kelstarrising I know some stuff about GTD

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    Yes, it surprised me. So many list managers (and I've seen a few in my day!) are overcomplicated or have some forced feature that makes it a no go. Wunderlist is simple to use, but has all of the functionality you need for GTD list management. It's well worth a look for anyone still looking for a good tool. Could be a powerful combination with something like Evernote and OneNote to handle more of the project support, notes, and reference.
     
  11. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    Wunderlist doesn't advertise itself as a GTD solution (in fact, I've never seen anything from Wunderlist that mentions GTD), yet ironically it's one of the nicest digital list manager for GTD that I've encountered for exactly the reasons Kelly articulated.

    I ended up settling on Evernote for reasons not worth getting into, but in retrospect have wondered (no pun intended!) whether Wunderlist would have been a better choice for my needs. When I have, though, I've been reminded of two things: my Evernote setup works just fine, and it would take a lot of time and energy to switch list managers.

    That's why I tell people not to sweat the choice of tools so much, nor to expect too much from a tool. If you're diligent with your GTD habits, any number of tools can work. As DA likes to say, any system can work as long as you work it.

    The article Kelly linked to with criteria for choosing a list manager was excellent, and I think the best advice to give to someone asking "What is the best tool?" is to tell them, "I can't tell you what tool you should use, but here are some things to help you make your own decision." I'd add a couple of more basic criteria to the list: make sure the tool makes it easy to create and sort lists by things like contexts, and preferably allows but doesn't force due dates. Also, try to avoid anything that forces priority coding. Linking projects and next actions is a nice-to-have for some, but certainly not a necessity for practicing GTD. Using those criteria, along with the ones in Kelly's article, a lot of tools can fit the bill (including paper)!

    My own thinking about the more robust feature sets that are so seductive to so many GTD novices (and I should know because I spent a lot of years being seduced by that stuff): a lot of those tools market themselves by offering the false promise of having everything under control at all times. No one can, or should, be in control at all times. It's just not possible. GTD isn't about always being in control -- it's about habits that allow you to regain control and perspective when and where it's appropriate, so you can be focused and bring your A-game for those times when everything's not under control.

    The other warning I'd have for those who are looking for an advanced list manager to automate a lot of the thinking that GTD teaches you to practice: even if it's just a mouse-click or a screen tap to use some of these features, they still add overhead by adding thinking to your list management. Deciding what something is, whether it's actionable and if it is, what is the next action requires thought. Anything beyond that requires even more thought. If you have to think too much you may not be willing to update the system regularly. Then you'll go back to keeping it in your head, which is the problematic way of handling things that likely led you to try GTD in the first place.

    AdrianHolmes: It may seem daunting to realize that there is no one right answer. But think about it this way: there is no one right answer! You get to choose the setup that works for you. That to me is one of the great features of GTD.
     
  12. gchirinos

    gchirinos Registered

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    After testing many applications I settled with the list below.

    My requirements were ubiquity, simplicity, security, integration, Windows and IOS.

    Tasks, projects, focus areas:
    Remember the milk. (www.rememberthemilk.com)
    Manages lists and contexts in a very simple way, synchronized with Outloook tasks and convert categories to lists.
    Mobile clients for iPhone, iPad, Android
    Full Cloud Synchronization.

    Calendars:
    ICloud Calendars.
    Outlook Synchronization (with some caveats)
    I only use iOS mobile devices
    Allows me to use my contacts as attendees easily.

    All notes (I mean all notes)
    Evernote. (No explanation required here)
    Use se folders but don't use tabs or any other advanced features
    Meeting notes, recipes, invoices, receipts, important email archives, casual observations, whiteboard photos, etc
    I use Scannable to scan invoices and other documents directly into Evernote.

    Key documents:
    Dropbox.
    Full fidelity using MS office apps for iOS.
    Immediate Synchronization to cloud
    My PC is fully encrypted for security at rest
    I am a long time user so I have I've 16 GB of storage available. You might need a premium account.

    Contacts:
    ICloud contacts synchronized with Outlook.

    All this apps have web clients if needed.
     
  13. HARDMANA1986

    HARDMANA1986 Registered

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    If your implementation goes anything like mine, I'd caution against spending too much cash as you will likely change your system a lot in the first few months (or years). Your new form of procrastination may well become changing your systems....

    I am am both tight and constrained by work policies that don't allow any third party software, so I've made a combination of Outlook and OneNotework work pretty well and probably wouldn't change it now even if there was a fancier tool. As plenty of others have said - it's very much personal.
     
  14. Wonsil

    Wonsil Registered

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    I have been using Asana. It's web-based on the client and has iOS and Android native apps. It has an inbox where your new tasks go and then you can assign a task to a project if it's a bigger deal or you can move it to a section in your workspace. If you assign a date to a task, it shows up on a calendar. The calendar can be sync'd with Google, Apple, or Outlook. You can forward email messages to a special email address and it puts that as a task in your inbox, and any attachments are uploaded as files. It has an open API and it integrates with Google apps quite well. There's a Zapier integration and a few IFTTT recipes. It was written by some folks from Facebook who cannot stand running a company on email. Most individual accounts are free and they make money on company integration. Check out the help here for capabilities: https://asana.com/guide/help/fundamentals/about-asana
     
  15. miminou55

    miminou55 Registered

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    Hi all,

    for my part when implimenting GTD methode, I've used many software, but finaly used a mixture of EXEL, google keep, and onedrive, that allow me to fill up to filter to synchronise and be available on my desktop (windows) and my phone
     
  16. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    Kelly, I am looking forward to your document on Wunderlist as a GTD manager. May I ask when you will have this available?
     
  17. teresahummel

    teresahummel Registered

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    As most people have said, the best tools are the ones that work for you. That is different for everyone. It is also the beauty of the system. I know people who love their paper systems, I couldn't work that way ever (and I have really tried over the years). I am electronic all the way with paper based filing for those things that MUST be on paper :) I was using Omnifocus, with my calendar being Busy Cal on my Mac and Evernote for my electronic reference folders and was totally happy with it.

    Then I got a new job that moved me to a Windows computer world. I limped along with Omnifocus on my iphone because I couldn't find anything else that resonated with me. Then a GTD post or email (don't remember which) asked about Wunderlist. I had never heard of this, so I checked it out. It is simple to use and had most of the features I wanted - including being available on all my devices. I saw someone complain that there are no contexts, but it's easy enough to tag an item (example: call my sister #phone) and a search for #phone will pull in all the tags from all the folders (viola! instant contexts).

    So now I use Wunderlist, Outlook (at work) with Pocket Informant (on my phone for my full work/personal calendar) and Evernote for my reference material although I can see OneNote being used like this too - I had Evernote before there was a OneNote.

    I am still tweaking Wunderlist, but it has already become comfortable, which is my main criteria - I don't want to have to think about the tool!

    This is my long winded way of saying... best of luck finding what works. Once you have found it, you can then ignore all the other shiny "productivity toys" and know you have your system in hand.
     
  18. kelstarrising

    kelstarrising I know some stuff about GTD

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    Safe answer--before year end. Optimistic answer--by mid-October. Want to be one of my beta testers??!
     
  19. AdrianHolmes

    AdrianHolmes Registered

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    Wow, okay posting on here is, so far, the best thing I could have done to increase my GTD knowledge. Definitely lots to think about.

    I understand there it's one tool which works for everyone, there rarely is. Equally I don't believe we are all so different that we need to design our own systems from scratch. I guess I was looking for software solutions which help you fall into a pit of success.

    What has been most interesting is how this conversation has forced me to rethink my current setup and the reason I was looking to change.

    I was trying to categorise projects under an area of focus. If you've used Trello you'll understand the many reasons why this is hard to do. In fact my current thinking is why do this at all.

    The top down v's bottom up thread was very helpful - thanks PeterW. For me both are important. I have, on occasion, the power to dictate my next project. This will add tasks to my action list eating into my limited availability. Therefore it's important the projects I choose are the right ones. Equally if I don't take care of my inbox I'll never have the capacity to stop and look to the future.

    I think the solution is simple. A clear mind, a checklist of areas of focus and goals and a regular review should keep the ship pointing in the right direction. I don't think there is a need for the extra complexity I've implemented by categorising projects by area of focus.

    Thanks again and I'll definitely look at your software suggestions.
     
  20. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    I spent a lot of years looking for shortcuts in the form of software. No luck, I'm afraid.

    You nailed it, and arrived at a conclusion that took me years. The idea of having a solution that links all of the horizons of life together sounds nice but ultimately reality is too messy to be contained within such a system. Regular reviews actually provide the glue that holds things together.

    One tip: don't be afraid to review things at any horizon any time it would help. You can review a single project, or go through a full weekly review, or review your higher-level horizons any time it would help you re-orient, gain perspective and get your head clear.
     

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