NOT Getting Things Done

As many of you surely know, I’m a big fan of David Allen‘s time/task management principles known as Getting Things Done. Well, I’ve fallen of the wagon somewhat a while back and, being a geek, I’ve been looking for something new and shiny to motivate me to get back on the horse. But a post from a GTD coach Kelly Forester got me going, however…

Kelly’s post discussed how some people implemented GTD on their Mac’s, PC’s and on the web. Since my PC is company issue (and I can’t really use Outlook because of the way our network is setup) I tend to put a lot of stuff on the web (in the cloud as Web 3.0 people put it).

The two most popular choices seemed to be Remember the Milk and Nozbe.

We all know Remember the Milk because it has such a cool name it must be good and deserves a lot viral publicity. There’s three problems with RTM as far as I’m concerned:

One: Their tabby-looking interface doesn’t survive as you increase the number of lists (or contexts in GTD terms). It pretty quickly looks butt-ugly (sorry, RTM, but that’s how I feel). And if it doesn’t look as cool or cooler than the competition it better make up for it somewhere else!

Two: Their Overview page is based purely on when a Task is due. There’s no way to filter by list (Context) or by Next Actions (a GTD term identifying the next task required to move a more complex objective forward).

And finally three: Their iGoogle gadget suffers from similar short-comings: you can’t limit the list to the context you’re currently in (so I can’t hide my At home tasks while I’m At work and vice-versa) – which is a major part of GTD.

Nozbe has two major short-comings although it is designed from the start to be used by people for GTD so it’s a great solution otherwise.

One: The free account is severely limited and the web is about getting things for free!!!

and Two: The iGoogle gadget doesn’t work in Google’s Chrome browser!!!

Finally, that leaves Google’s recently added Task manager. There’s an iGoogle version and integration with GMail so it’s available where I spend a lot of time online. It’s free (as in beer, but not yet as in speech). And I can view my tasks by list so I can narrow them down to my current Context.

All-in-all I’d say it’s almost perfect, except that I can’t synchronize it with Blackberry – yet, I hope Google is working on it though!

Cross-posted on Cameron-Schultz at NOT Getting things Done

2 comments

  1. Schultzter,

    I use the Google Sync on the BlackBerry and so far it’s great for the calendar, but you do need to clean up your contacts in Google first and tell it never to add random folk you emailed of the cuff to your address book or else you’ll end up with 15 different version of the same person. I also believe the Task will soon be part of the Sync application. And it won’t be a moment too soon. Even if I currently use MilkSync, the Remember the Milk Tool for BB, it does not three way sync between Google, Outlook and the BlackBerry the way that Google has managed to make it work. Quite honestly, I’m very surprised that Google managed to get this right before Apple has had a chance to fix all of the Mobile Me (paid service) issues. That’s right, I just took a swipe at an Apple product… but it all honesty it is Mobile Me and it kind of feels like kicking a dead horse.

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