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Getting Things Done With Software

Tom's Guide to Getting Things Done with Software


The Getting Things Done (GTD) mantra is a great one for the start of a new year. It’s not just about making a to-do list of things that never get done. It’s about organizing what you need to get done in such a way that you can relieve some stress and perhaps be more efficient in getting your tasks accomplished.

“Getting Things Done” isn’t a cliché; it’s actually the name of a popular personal productivity book by David Allen. Allen’s approach has spurred a cottage industry of software applications designed to help users implement the GTD methodology.

At its core, GTD is about unloading everything you need to do and making decisions about all the things you need to do. Certainly, not everything needs to be done immediately; tasks can be deferred but they do need to be tracked. While the approach also includes the concept of projects that need to be completed, of greater importance are the tasks that need to be done and the context in which they occur.

There are a lot of different approaches in software for trying to implement some form of GTD methodology. Some stick closely to Allen’s guidelines while others stray from the path. From a practical point of view though, it really is all about productivity and task management. In this review, we’ll take a look at eight different approaches including Backpack, Tracks, Tudumo, Hiveminder, SimpleGTD, MyToDos, Remember the Milk and GTD for Outlook.