Best GTD app/website? Not Content with Google Keep

B B

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Hi all! I have been using Google Keep for the implementation of GTD and, truthfully, it hasnt been going so well.

At first I tried keeping a separate work and personal projects label. Then I had other labels for Work Actions and Personal Actions (as well as other labels for physical home, calls, etc.). Then I tried keeping a single projects label with separate notes for work and personal. And I created a single Actions label with separate notes for Work Actions and Personal Actions. What I continued to be frustrated about with Keep is that I couldnt trace an action to its corresponding project. I need to make sure theres a next action for each project but I felt like I had to scan it each time to see if that was the case. So what Ive started to do is have separate label again for work and personal projects and a note for each project, within which the project is the title and the action/waiting for is in the body of the note through a #. Then I can find all the actions under their # label and I can scan the Projects label to make sure each has an action or waiting for or agenda, etc.

It isnt ideal. I find it awkward and unclear. Also, im really frustrated I cant reorganize the notes iwthin a label. I manage clients and have maaany projects for each client, I want to be able to group them so I can scan it when I decide to dedicate time to a certain client, or to make sure I am not rewriting a project again.

Also, eventually I would like to take GTD a step further and organize subprojects. I can have a project like "Launch supplier campaign of XYZ" and within it I need to have subprojects I am organizing with Marketing and then Operations, for example. Or if I am registrating my twins for school, subprojects might be the app prcess, the financing analysis, etc. I think you get the idea. But in keep theyre all over the place.

Finally, my personal life is all on Google. Gmail, Gdrive, Google photos, etc. My work is all on Microsoft. Can I integrate these more effectively?

I dont know much about all the fancy systems but I´d like to get an idea for the best system without tooooo many fancy bells and whistles. I don't mind paying for it as long as it makes my life easier and is SIMPLE to use. Some of the interfaces I've seen have given me serious anxiety.

Thank you!!
 

kelstarrising

Kelly Forrister | GTD® Coach
You might consider the paid version of Todoist. It might be a good middle ground for what you're looking to do, between Google and Microsoft apps. Page 21 of the GTD Setup Guide for Todoist specifically talks about how to link projects to actions in a pretty creative way.
 

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You might consider the paid version of Todoist. It might be a good middle ground for what you're looking to do, between Google and Microsoft apps. Page 21 of the GTD Setup Guide for Todoist specifically talks about how to link projects to actions in a pretty creative way.
Kelly are you an official GTD Coach?
 

B B

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Yes, and I'm the tech writer behind all of the GTD Setup Guides. :)
Ohh. And are you in the group of coaches that someone could in theory hire for 1on1 support? I'm not sure how it works. I am thinking I really need some professional coaching to get me started.
 

Gardener

Registered
Another vote for OmniFocus. An important part of using OmniFocus (and, as a side note, Scrivener, which has a similar issue) is to RESIST RESIST RESIST the temptation to learn and use all the features at the beginning. Wait until the "It would be awfully nice if..." thoughts actually arise and nudge you a few times before you go to see if there is a way to do that thing.
 

samuel.d.kang

Registered
Hey BB,

I’m also an OmniFocus user. It’s a great program but I actually wanted to share a similar experience, which may provide a different perspective that hopefully helps.

I also at one point separated my work and personal next actions and projects. I also went into dividing my projects to sub-projects and linking every next action to sub/projects etc.

OmniFocus is actually really great for this, as it makes linking pretty seamless. I felt full control knowing everything was linked and organized. However, I found my lists became outdated very quickly and frequently. It was stressful since I spent so much time organization and nesting my next actions and projects. I would feel anxious and out of control again and it became a vicious cycle of trying to keep up with a world that constantly kept changing. I would lose perspective quickly as my system became more outdated daily.

Then I reviewed/remembered a few things from David and the other GTD coaches. I realized I was micromanaging. I spent so much time trying to grip control through organizing I would lose perspective and thus control quickly. I wasn’t appropriately engaging. That’s when I decided to loosen my reign on control a bit then I began to gain more perspective and thus paradoxically more control.

My lists were no longer divided to work nor personal. I realized work is a game and life was a business. It all became the same. It was all just desired outcomes and next actions to achieve them.

My next actions were no longer linked to projects. I trusted that as I emptied and clarified my inbox daily and reflected on my hard landscape, next actions list, and projects list, it would trigger next actions and outcomes (projects) and thus nothing would fall through the cracks.

I transcended higher to my horizons naturally as I reviewed my projects list weekly or as often as I needed to (sometimes daily depending on how fast life was moving).

Don’t get me wrong. I still have project supports when I need to break down larger projects or goals. But I treat them as project support material and review them as I need to help complete next actions or get current with my next actions and projects list.

Everyone is different and their system is tailored towards them and grows with them through out their seasons of life. Just wanted to share my experience and journey with my system. Perhaps it can provide some insight. Regardless, OmniFocus is great for what you’re trying to accomplish - linking things seamlessly. Checkout the OmniFocus startup guide by GTD and I believe OmniFocus provides a two week trial. Keep in mind, it’s for the Apple ecosystem.

Best,
Sam
 

mcogilvie

Registered
I think I get better results with Things than I ever got with Omnifocus. Although Things is somewhat simpler, I still have to be pretty rigorous in exposing only projects and well-defined next actions in choosing what to do next. I am looking forward to seeing what OmniFocus 4 is like.
 

ckennedy

Registered
I think I get better results with Things than I ever got with Omnifocus. Although Things is somewhat simpler, I still have to be pretty rigorous in exposing only projects and well-defined next actions in choosing what to do next. I am looking forward to seeing what OmniFocus 4 is like.
I’m in the beta. it’s still rough around the edges but becoming more polished. Its getting more user friendly and has a more attractive UI, but still functions as a database.
 
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B B

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Hey BB,

I’m also an OmniFocus user. It’s a great program but I actually wanted to share a similar experience, which may provide a different perspective that hopefully helps.

I also at one point separated my work and personal next actions and projects. I also went into dividing my projects to sub-projects and linking every next action to sub/projects etc.

OmniFocus is actually really great for this, as it makes linking pretty seamless. I felt full control knowing everything was linked and organized. However, I found my lists became outdated very quickly and frequently. It was stressful since I spent so much time organization and nesting my next actions and projects. I would feel anxious and out of control again and it became a vicious cycle of trying to keep up with a world that constantly kept changing. I would lose perspective quickly as my system became more outdated daily.

Then I reviewed/remembered a few things from David and the other GTD coaches. I realized I was micromanaging. I spent so much time trying to grip control through organizing I would lose perspective and thus control quickly. I wasn’t appropriately engaging. That’s when I decided to loosen my reign on control a bit then I began to gain more perspective and thus paradoxically more control.

My lists were no longer divided to work nor personal. I realized work is a game and life was a business. It all became the same. It was all just desired outcomes and next actions to achieve them.

My next actions were no longer linked to projects. I trusted that as I emptied and clarified my inbox daily and reflected on my hard landscape, next actions list, and projects list, it would trigger next actions and outcomes (projects) and thus nothing would fall through the cracks.

I transcended higher to my horizons naturally as I reviewed my projects list weekly or as often as I needed to (sometimes daily depending on how fast life was moving).

Don’t get me wrong. I still have project supports when I need to break down larger projects or goals. But I treat them as project support material and review them as I need to help complete next actions or get current with my next actions and projects list.

Everyone is different and their system is tailored towards them and grows with them through out their seasons of life. Just wanted to share my experience and journey with my system. Perhaps it can provide some insight. Regardless, OmniFocus is great for what you’re trying to accomplish - linking things seamlessly. Checkout the OmniFocus startup guide by GTD and I believe OmniFocus provides a two week trial. Keep in mind, it’s for the Apple ecosystem.

Best,
Sam
Thanks this was extremely interesting! I appreciate it! Will definitely keep in mind
 

B B

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Google Keep is much more suited towards quick reference material. I'd think of it more as digital post-it notes than anything else.
Yeah, it wasnt working for me AT ALL! I think it set me back on my GTD implementation by months as I tried to overcome how manual it was
 

B B

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OmniFocus
Put short, OmniFocus thinks like I do. It's a platform that allows me to keep tasks and ideas together, to capture activities while they're unfolding, and to get a global picture of what's going on. It's a lifesaver.
Interesting, thank you. I already bought the setup guide and one year premium action to todoist and im already overwhelmed so i think im going to try this out for a year but I will definitely keep Omnifocus in mind for the next phase of my GTD journey!!
 

B B

Registered
Another vote for OmniFocus. An important part of using OmniFocus (and, as a side note, Scrivener, which has a similar issue) is to RESIST RESIST RESIST the temptation to learn and use all the features at the beginning. Wait until the "It would be awfully nice if..." thoughts actually arise and nudge you a few times before you go to see if there is a way to do that thing.
Thanks! I definitely get that tailoring the use based on genuine need.
I already bought the setup guide and one year premium action to todoist and im already overwhelmed so i think im going to try this out for a year but I will definitely keep Omnifocus in mind for the next phase of my GTD journey!!
 

B B

Registered
I think I get better results with Things than I ever got with Omnifocus. Although Things is somewhat simpler, I still have to be pretty rigorous in exposing only projects and well-defined next actions in choosing what to do next. I am looking forward to seeing what OmniFocus 4 is like.
Interesting!
 
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