On the Yojimbo mailing list, Robert Foxworthington has posted his system for “Getting Things Done” (GTD) with Yojimbo.
It’s the first comprehensive attempt to do this that I’ve seen, and makes clever use of the new tagging features recently introduced in Yojimbo 1.3.
Naturally I prefer to use Mail.app to manage how I get things done, but Yojimbo is also a good candidate as Robert points out:
It’s lightweight, easy to use and very well designed (usability wise). Since I keep a lot of my “stuff” in Yojimbo, I also wanted to do my GTD in it so that all things are in one place instead of spread out over multiple applications… which, ever since tagging support was introduced in 1.3, works pretty well now.
He uses Yojimbo Collections to define his projects, grouping them by assigning the same custom icon to home projects or work projects.
Most actions or tasks are empty notes with just a title (and tags). He admit that he misses the strike-out feature for completed actions that often grace GTD apps but it’s not fatal:
When you’re done with an action, simply click Yojimbo’s Delete button and select “Move to Trash”. That way of course, the completed action just moves to the trash and there is no cool crossing-it-out-which-makes-you-feel-you-just-accomplished-something, but that’s OK. You can always look at the Trash’s item count to see that you’re actually getting things done.
Contexts, people, “states” and due dates are all handled by tags with specific suffixes:
Contexts are tags with an @ suffix (e.g. home@, work@).
People have tags too, basically the person’s initials with a #
suffix (e.g. af#, sk#).
Tags with a + suffix are used for “states” (e.g. waiting+,
deferred+, someday+, inbox+).
Due date tags are a date with an ! suffix (e.g. 0612!, 061224!).
Using suffixes helps Yojimbo to auto-complete the tag more reliably.
These customised tags give him nice flexibility in filtering his items with Yojimbo’s search box:
Search for the “home@” tag to see all the things to do at home… or search for “fm#” to see all the items that are related to Fred Madison, or simply search for the “#” tag to see all items that involve other people… or search for “!” to see all the items that have a due date, or search for “0612″ to see everything that’s due in December 2006… or create tag collections for frequently used searches like “inbox+”… or search for the “Urgent” label to see all urgent tasks.
Yojimbo can’t order actions and items as well as some other GTD apps nor does it easily allow for sub-projects, but Robert finds that he doesn’t miss those traditional aspects of the GTD approach as much as he thought he would.
It’s a fine system, useful and clever in equal parts.
If you are not a Yojimbo user, there are lots of other Mac apps to help you get things done.GTD, getting thins done, yojimbo, productivity, tags, collections, howto, mail.app, apple mail
Tags: Apple Mail
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