GTD, finally


There are innumerous posts about getting things done (GTD), and I spent so much time reading them that I actually didn’t get anything done ;) So, what would a geek-blog be without it’s GTD-post – here’s my take on the topic: Organization of your life’s daily actions basically needs a consistent system. I tried really basic stuff such as moleskines (handwriting sucks) and text-files (too unflexible). Then I switched to Circusponies Notebook (no todo-categories), Backpack (online-only) and Burnoutmenu (clumsy UI). All this systems failed for the stated reasons – I needed cross-platform compatibility in case my Powerbook dies again, offline-access and an intelligent GUI that does not get in my way.

After several weeks of testing, I’m still excited about a simple HTML-tool that now keeps all my todos: NextAction. Somehow in my development-life, I missed the fact that webpages can save data to theirselves via Javascript and JSON – I mean, how cool is that?! By that, you can have a full-blown interactive web-app in a single file, in the case of NextAction executable in every Mozilla-based browser. NextAction is really tailored towards GTD, with action-contexts (a very important principle to learn), actions for the next X days and human-friendly due-dates (“next month” instead of 2006/04/01). Of course, it’s interface is freely customizable via CSS – I’m planning to do a for it ;) To make this web-app behave more “desktoppy”, I’m loading it into a seperate browser (Camino) showing only this page without any title-bars. By this, I can instantly switch to my todo-list, and don’t clutter it with tabs of other websites – simple access is everything.

So, having a functional system that I trust, the only thing I have to learn is actually implementing good GTD – I still have those monster-todos floating around in my list that are not “actionable” in the original sense – they can’t be accomplished in a simple sitting. I guess I have to do some more GTD-reading… before I get things done… g