Best app or software to manage my GTD projects

Sol

Registered
I've been using GTD now for almost 10 years and it's been a real game changer for me. I use Omnifocus to manage all my Action Lists and Project lists as well as to keep an organised overview on my GTD world. However, I've never been able to find a project management tool that works for me. I've tried Evernote and currently I use OneNote but I really feel like my GTD practice is being held back because I don't enjoy managing my projects, and as every GTD practitioner know, regularly updating and managing your projects is vital to the whole system working. Can anyone make any suggestions as I really don't know where to turn next! Thank you
 

mcogilvie

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After trying to make Omnifocus work for me, I switched to Things 3 and haven’t looked back. One of the things that makes it very powerful for me is its support for markdown. Basically, all of my projects, and most reference material, goes through tools that support markdown. I use Things, Bear, IA Writer, Omnivore and GoodLinks a lot, but there are other apps, notably Obsidian which support markdown. Markdown is simple and easy to learn and use, but has just enough power to organize and plan just about everything.
 

mcogilvie

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@mcogilvie How do you center paragraphs in markdown? HTML? CSS?
As it happens,

<center>This text will be centered</center>

works in IA Writer, but I confess it‘s not something I use much at all.
Mostly it‘s headers, text, bulleted lists and todo lists.
Equations in IA writer, some images.
For fancy formatting, the app at the end of the tool chain is not a markdown editor: Keynote for talks, Latex for technical manuscripts, maybe an RTF editor or Pages for just writing.
 

FocusGuy

Registered
I've been using GTD now for almost 10 years and it's been a real game changer for me. I use Omnifocus to manage all my Action Lists and Project lists as well as to keep an organised overview on my GTD world. However, I've never been able to find a project management tool that works for me. I've tried Evernote and currently I use OneNote but I really feel like my GTD practice is being held back because I don't enjoy managing my projects, and as every GTD practitioner know, regularly updating and managing your projects is vital to the whole system working. Can anyone make any suggestions as I really don't know where to turn next! Thank you
I also used Omnifocus and things too. Now I work on paper. But software still miss me in a certain way. Doing this (going back to paper) made me realize the importance of reference material. This is a part witch could be more explained by GTD. It took me years to understand this. I don't think you can manage a project into a software. I did it with OF and TH (using headers) but now I use paper folders and files on my computer for my data room, I realize it was a mistake.

I think a software is made for actionnable inventories and acting.

The Key word is sandboxing. One kind of information together.

So the most important is clearly to keep what is actionnable (project and tasks) in a separate place. Every thing which is not (someday task project's relative or so) must be somewhere else. This also concern future task (not actionnable now). In my system they go inside my paper project folder. Historical things (done stuff equally goes here, mind map and planification too). In short a simple list of actionnable task clearly apart and another one of project is indeed suffisant.

Often we try, as I did myself to make systems that could group together actionnable and non actionnable stuff. It is a natural process. We try to gather together everything to get a bird eye about the subject. However this practice create confusion. It makes us understand that what is the most important is what is on our plate. Nothing else mater. You can use a software for that, you can use a paper board, you can use a word or excel file, a single sheet of paper or even a page in your paper notebook. The most important is a list, a mind map or anything that shows at a glance all engagements and aspect of our life. Every thing else goes else where. Then we can avoid mental confusion.

So I realize writing this that I over complicated everything. Now I struggle for simplicity. No too much simplicity but as needed.
When every thing is clearly identified you realize the vacuum of life. Lot of thing does need any attention. Then You can climb one more step take the higher horizons and see where and how yo want to spent your lifetime and how to make it happens
 
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Lucas W.

Registered
I’m not sure how it is solved in Omnifocus but I’ve found the below layout to be very useful.

For the support materials I would suggest to use a basic folder structure. And I would advise against any note taking app for this purpose.

  • PPROJECT
    • DUE
    • NEXT (CONTEXT)
    • WAITING
    • SCHEDULED
    • LATER

Example.png
 

Wilson Ng

Registered
I think of my app as a tool. The more important part I focus on are rituals. I use Keyboard Maestro to power boost my task manager.

I can type a hotkey or select it from a floating palette to start a Keyboard Maestro macro. The macro is basically a tour guide that displays prompts with questions that I want answered. It opens the appropriate app, screen, or task list that I need tp visit.

In the morning, I go through a Daily Startup routine that can last between 10-20 minutes which consists of:

1. Briefly look at any inbox sources (email, direct messages, social media inboxes). Forward email tasks into OmniFocus inbox for further processing. Send any appointments to calendar. Any FYIs that I can use later will be forwarded to DEVONthink.

2. Visit the OmniFocus Review perspective to monitor my projects. Keep them updated to reflect current reality. If I don't review projects, OmniFocus no longer aligns with reality and I no longer trust it.

2. A personal habit I've been fostering is reading The Daily Stoic, The Daily Laws, and the Daily Dad. I have them in my Apple Books library and will open each one for today's reading. Consider this the equivalent of a daily Bible reading. This helps me start the day off in a positive light by reading

3. Check my calendar to remind myself of what appointments I need to be aware of and what tasks I have scheduled for the day.

----

Then the next thing I do is the Daily Shutdown ritual. At the end of the day at about 20-60 minutes before closing time, I'll update my task manager and calendar. Today's events can change any project or task. Update OmniFocus to resemble reality at the end of the day.

1. Check inboxes, (email, direct messages, social media inboxes. Add any items to OmniFocus and Calendar as needed.

2. Visit OmniFocus to update reflect reality. Check off any completed tasks. Review OmniFocus projects if I didn't do it in the Daily Startup. Choose 1-3 MITs (Most Important Tasks) that I want to work on tomorrow.

3. Schedule the MITs into available time blocks in the Calendar app. Place the MITs between my existing appointments (meetings, zoom calls, lunch, etc.).

----

I also have a Weekly Review that helps me figure out what Big Rocks I want to make progress in next week's schedule.

1. Check last week' schedule and the next 2 weeks to see if there are any tasks or projects I need to add to deal with whatever is coming or follow up on any appointments that I had in the last week.

2. Check my computer folders (Downloads, Dropbox, iCloud Drive, OneDrive, Documents folder, Desktop) and move any stray items into the proper folder (archives, current Big Rock projects, etc.).

3. Review my Big Rock projects. I need to see my progress. I might need to focus on certain projects more frequently and put all other projects on pause. I'll focus on just 1-3 Big Rocks. Then I'll create a Day One Journal entry to remind myself what do I want my projects to look like at the end of next week. This will clear my mind and guide my decision making on the next few tasks to focus on for next week.

My Monthly Review and Quarterly covers much longer time horizons to figure what the quarter will look like.

----

Having a consistent routine can work with any task manager. I'm sure I can mold my ritual from an OmniFocus based workflow to a Things workflow. Some minor tweaks will need to be worked on to make it work with any task manager.

When these rituals become habit, I put everything on auto-pilot.

I've also used Keyboard Maestro to guide me through my Daily Startup, Daily Shutdown, Weekly Review, Monthly Review, and Quarterly Review. Here's an example of what my Daily Shutdown looks like:




I use Keyboard Maestro to hold my hand and guide me through these reviews. It ensures that I don't miss a step and my task manager will be as up-to-date as much as possible.

The task manager helps but its the routines or habits that matter more.


HTH
 
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