Tools to help Mac users with Getting Things Done (or “GTD”), David Allen’s work-smart philosophy, fall into three camps:
- Email clients, where most of the stuff that needs to get done arrives in the first place, tweaked to do the job.
- Dedicated GTD apps like kGTD or Easy Task Manager provide more focussed collection and processing buckets.
- Web-based solutions offer platform-independent tools for getting things done, especially good if you use a Mac at home and a PC at work.
After the jump, you will find some of the best options in each category.
Unsurprisingly, it’s my weapon of choice for Getting Things Done.
Thunderbird users have also put its built-in labels and saved searches to work creating a GTD system.
Entropic Principal has a great post on how to do this (see his updated Thunderbird GTD post too). Katy Whitton’s post is another excellent resource, incorporating the Lightning calendar and other Thunderbird extensions.
With its integrated calendar, contacts and other bits and pieces, Entourage is well placed to offer the grunt for GTD app.
Jorge Arango has posted his Entourage-GTD system, based in part of the GTD Projects with Entourage article at Slacker Manager. You can find an AppleScript to create GTD projects within Entourage on the 43 Folders Discussion Board.
David Allen sells an ebook of tips for implementing GTD with Entourage for USD 10.
kGTD – Kinkless GTD
Ethan Schoonover’s OmniOutliner Pro template and collection of AppleScripts is an outstanding GTD solution. If I didn’t use Mail.app to manage my workflow, this is what I would use.
All the processing and management features are there and the two-way syncing with iCal is very slick. An Applescript that transfers messages from Mail.app into kGTD’s Inbox brings added integration.
But don’t take my word for it; Merlin Mann is a hard-core fan .
Recently updated (changelog ), it offers support for projects, prioritisation, GTD contexts and more.
You can pipe it through GeekTool so that it sits right in your face on the Desktop:
This stand alone app (see a previous Hawk Wings review) offers a simple GTD framework without the learning curve (or the grunt) of kGTD.
Recent versions of the app have solved some of the initial teething problems, making it a good alternative in the dedicated apps department.
The interface is simple and efficient:
EasyTask Manager is shareware (USD 19.99) and available from the developer’s web site .
iCommit is a web-based, PHP-scripted management tool for Getting Things Done. Think of it as a wiki without the pain.
It provides the standard contexts, project and next action tools, but also allows for attachments, printable views and other neat touches described in a review on 43 Folders .
The developer hosts the app on his server on a “first come, first served” basis. Great for people who need to use both Macs and some other OS.
Jon Hicks loves Basecamp for getting his things done, but Backpack, the slimmed-down personal version of Basecamp, has almost all the things you need to run a GTD system.
Patrick Rhone recently posted a great description of how Backpack works for him.
Bryan Murdaugh has written a white paper on using Gmail for GTD.
Liming Zhu thinks that system can be improved.
Jonathan Powers prefers “Slacker GTD” , a kind of anti-getting-things-done system using Gmail and Gcal, which is not entirely a joke.
I will mention this at the end of this piece, because if I don’t Ted Palvic will scold me.
GTDTiddyWiki is very clever, very cool, very open source, very flexible and innovative and a very attractive cross-platform solution to GTD that I have never used. Some people like it a lot.
Still not satisfied?
43 Folder’s wiki
A list of blogs that talk about Getting Things Done
GTD resources list at 52 Reviews
Joel Spolsky: How to get things done when you are not in charge
PigPog: GTD on a PDA
- Mail.app and Getting Things Done
- AppleScript to create and run a GTD ‘Tickler file’
- A faster Backpack: Quicksilver, widget
- Add notes your Backpack pages by phone
- Gmail Loader: Moving Mail.app messages to Gmail
Tags: Apple, Apple Mail, backpack, entourage, getting things done, GMAIL, gtd, mac, mail.app, Productivity, Terminal, thunderbird, web 2.0, wiki