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  1.    #1  
    So I'm a big fan at the moment of the "Getting Things Done" system, and I'm finding my Treo to be superbly awesome at implementing the system. Calendar is great, taking notes quickly by voice recorder or in the notes section is also great, and syncing directly to my desktop Outlook with KeySuite is awesome.

    The major part that is missing for me is connecting my "next actions" list (which is simply my todo list) with related projects. Each "project" is basically a desired outcome with a group of connected next actions listed together. Ideally, I would check off one next action and have the next action in the project pop into view.

    I have been using KeySuite for keeping everything together and synchronizing with Outlook...which again works awesomely. But Outlook doesn't support linking tasks together or establishing a task hierarchy. And KeySuite, probably because it's meant to be a portable Outlook, doesn't either.

    I have looked at several outliner applications, but one of my main criteria is that all of this stuff stays in Outlook rather than in another desktop application. I don't want to add more desktop apps to the mix. Natara Bonsai and ShadowPlan, while decent on their own, seem to have flimsy integration with the tasks on the Palm and no Outlook integration whatsoever.

    Anyway, I finally found Agendus, which seems to support a task hieararchy view and works on top of the native Palm databases. I can order tasks other other tasks and therefore it's now obvious what tasks are related to each other, although I still don't get any sort of overall project progress or direct linking that a more integrated system might provide. But by combining that with PocketMirror, my tasks seem to synchronize with Outlook correctly. It does seem kind of silly to use Agendus for this, because there's about ten thousand things it does that I don't actually care about, but I guess if it gets the job done, I may settle on it.

    OK, that's my tale of task list replacement woes. Any other Getting Things Done fans here running into similar issues? Better yet, anyone found a better way to do it than I have?
    Treo 650 with 1 GB SD card!
    http://www.rkuo.com
  2. #2  
    Just to add to this thread...if you are looking for some good project manager apps checkout the following:

    Porgect - great freeware
    http://www.freewarepalm.com/business...tmanager.shtml

    Shadowplan
    http://www.codejedi.com/shadowplan/

    Natara Bonsia
    http://www.natara.com/Bonsai/index.cfm
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  3. #3  
    I know you've said you don't want to use ShadowPlan, but I must tell you, there is a HUGE GTD following who uses ShadowPlan. Go to the shadowplan website and get on the mailing list and check out the posts and talk about GTD, you will get huge responses and lots of tips, plus access to the mailing list archive.

    I myself find GTD a workable plan with ShadowPlan, and I must say that while the Windows desktop app lis a little on the lightweight side, its integration with the excellent Palm app makes it worth using.

    -Warr
  4. santas's Avatar
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    #4  
    I love Bonsai, but you're right, it doesn't integrate with Outlook
    Less than 400 posts to get my own little treo icon!
  5. #5  
    I also do not want additional apps and want everything to link to Outlook, I have not tried this yet but you may find it of use though.
    http://home.comcast.net/~whkratz/id3.htm
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    Treo 300-650-755P, Contract ends 11/30/07. SERO F&F 1250, The following are unlimited: N&W (7PM), Mobile to Home (M2H), Free Incoming, Vision Data, Text Messages for $49.99 - Plus Sprint AIRAVE @ N/C.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by rkuo
    So I'm a big fan at the moment of the "Getting Things Done" system, and I'm finding my Treo to be superbly awesome at implementing the system. Calendar is great, taking notes quickly by voice recorder or in the notes section is also great, and syncing directly to my desktop Outlook with KeySuite is awesome.

    The major part that is missing for me is connecting my "next actions" list (which is simply my todo list) with related projects. Each "project" is basically a desired outcome with a group of connected next actions listed together. Ideally, I would check off one next action and have the next action in the project pop into view.

    I have been using KeySuite for keeping everything together and synchronizing with Outlook...which again works awesomely. But Outlook doesn't support linking tasks together or establishing a task hierarchy. And KeySuite, probably because it's meant to be a portable Outlook, doesn't either.

    I have looked at several outliner applications, but one of my main criteria is that all of this stuff stays in Outlook rather than in another desktop application. I don't want to add more desktop apps to the mix. Natara Bonsai and ShadowPlan, while decent on their own, seem to have flimsy integration with the tasks on the Palm and no Outlook integration whatsoever.

    Anyway, I finally found Agendus, which seems to support a task hieararchy view and works on top of the native Palm databases. I can order tasks other other tasks and therefore it's now obvious what tasks are related to each other, although I still don't get any sort of overall project progress or direct linking that a more integrated system might provide. But by combining that with PocketMirror, my tasks seem to synchronize with Outlook correctly. It does seem kind of silly to use Agendus for this, because there's about ten thousand things it does that I don't actually care about, but I guess if it gets the job done, I may settle on it.

    OK, that's my tale of task list replacement woes. Any other Getting Things Done fans here running into similar issues? Better yet, anyone found a better way to do it than I have?
    I have a mac but I have used a lot of the mac outliner programs, lifebalance, shadowplan and others. There is an outlook plug in that is sold at the david allen website which I have never used but is designed for the PC.
    www.davidco.com

    One bit of warning, from my GTD experiences, is that all of these organizers could force you to be spending a lot of time tweaking your system, making sure that every changing task is relegated to the proper parent project heading, and that every subproject is correctly ordered and placed under the parent project. If you have a dynamic job with things changing daily with new data changing your plans, making sure these changes are reflected in your outliner program can be very time consuming.

    If you read the David Allen book carefully, he never really endorses the outliner approach. He himself uses the palm aps just as they are and syncs them with palm desktop. He calls this plain vanilla.

    For me (someone with a very complex job), completely jettisoning the outliners and going plain vanilla has saved me a lot of time and has gotton me to a new level - GTD-wise.

    The basic GTD concept here is that projects are a middle ground between action items below, and focus areas above.

    For a ground up explanation of how I implement plain vanilla approach, I place action items on the treo/palm tasks program in separate context specific categories @office, @home etc.

    I keep projects as separate items on a "projects" category in the palm/tasks program. Some projects have no notes. Some projects have attached notes, but I try to keep them simple.

    A project which has a lot of steps to accomplish or which has subprojects might be better thougt of as a focus area. Focus areas are more detailed for which I use as memos in a catergory, focus areas.

    In this way, in "plain vanilla" you can have your outline effect but just keep the three levels, in three different palm categories. The weekly review is the place where you should be using your cortex to connect your focus areas with your projects with your next actions. If you are on top of your projects, like you should be, most of this you can do in your head, or with "back of the envelope" planning as you go through each project one by one on your review.

    If you do this, you find that during the week you do not have to be spending time tweaking your outline, you just go thru your action items and get things done. If you have a complex job you do not need to spend time every day thinking about how you could rearrange your shadowplan outline.

    anyway, my two bits from my experiences.
  7. #7  
    I am a fairly long-time user of the GTD system. I have the Outlook Add-In on my office computer. I run my tasks on the "out of the box" Task button on my Treo 650.

    I am a tax lawyer in private practice with 200+ pending projects on my list, ranging from "nag these people to send _______" to "sit and incubate this brilliant idea" to "build the tax-law equivalent of a skyscraper in 2 1/2 weeks". So I have a complex "to do" list and a busy calendar. Oh. Did I mention referee school for AYSO? Soccer practice and games for 2 kids? School activities for 3 kids? A wife who (ahem) needs some attention from time to time? Etc.

    The point of that rant is to (I hope) persuade you that I have a busy, complex personal and professional life to keep organized. Onward . . . .

    My suggestions:

    1. Don't get enamored with finding the perfect tool. The GTD system will work only if you are constantly in your task list, updating it, adding new commitments you have made, etc. The solution is not found in a mythical piece of software out there somewhere. I know. I have looked. I have purchased. I have discarded.

    2. Exception to that point? The Treo. Own it. Love it. Use it.

    3. The Outlook Add-In from davidco.com is useful only on your desktop computer. It shows your projects and underneath each project the very next action you need to take to complete that project. The downside of the Add-In is that you cannot achieve that same view on the Treo (or on a PPC device, for that matter). This is an example of the folly of "Software will change your life."

    I am close to tossing the Outlook Add-In overboard. Because I am looking at my task list daily (multiple times daily, actually) I know all of the projects in my head and I know which actions connect to which task. (Non-GTD people need to go to davidco.com and buy the book to understand the project/action stuff).

    4. The "out of the box" Palm software (tasks, calendar, etc.) will work just fine. I've gone to the seminars. Sat at a lunch table with The Man. Had one of their consultants sit in my office for a day and organize me. The Man himself (aka David Allen) uses the Palm task list software as-is, out of the box. No Outlook Add-In. No hoo-hah. Keep it simple.

    5. The key to the GTD system (and all "organize your life" or "lose weight" or "gain serenity" programs) is in YOUR behavior. Unfortunately. And this is a bear that you will wrestle with for the rest of your life. So just get started. As a wise man told me, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly." The point? The key is to DO it.

    That's my experience. Do with it what you will. Call me to talk about it if you like.

    Phil

    w 626 689 0060
  8. rsperko's Avatar
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    #8  
    I like ShadowPlan, but if you want to use the plain vanilla you can always try Pig-Pog http://pigpog.com/wiki/index.php/GTD..._PigPog_Method
    Everex Freestyle -> Palm IIIx -> Visor Deluxe -> Sony CLIE -> Kyrocera 6035 -> Toshiba e740 -> Tungsten T2 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700p -> Centro -> Pre

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  9. #9  
    Greetings,

    I use the built in todo lists. However, I found that the omission of a start date for the task is a problem.

    Is anyone using the due date as a start date for tasks?

    Thanks,

    Dave
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    I am a fairly long-time user of the GTD system. I have the Outlook Add-In on my office computer. I run my tasks on the "out of the box" Task button on my Treo 650.

    I am a tax lawyer in private practice with 200+ pending projects on my list, ranging from "nag these people to send _______" to "sit and incubate this brilliant idea" to "build the tax-law equivalent of a skyscraper in 2 1/2 weeks". So I have a complex "to do" list and a busy calendar. Oh. Did I mention referee school for AYSO? Soccer practice and games for 2 kids? School activities for 3 kids? A wife who (ahem) needs some attention from time to time? Etc.
    Phil - A fellow tax attorney here. Though I only have two kids and not three, I think we are in the same place.



    My "how to deal with it all" approach is pretty simple but it has worked for me. I use the to-do application for work projectes. All my work stoff sits in one category (keeping work stuff in separate cateogires leads me to miss things).

    I find that the act of moving "things that should have been done today" to the next day when I'm driving to work the next day, helps me focus on what events are "must do's" vrsus "would like to dos." Here are the priorities I use:
    1. Must Do - enough said
    2. Would like to Dos
    3. On Hold - Stuff rarely hits this priority
    4. Events for which I'm waiting for someone's feedback before moving on.

    Priorty 4 is nice because by applying a date to it, I don't loise track of things like, "Need to talk with client and find out about their take on my memo."

    Could someone give me quick summary of the "getting things done" approach. Is it some formal system is the referrence just fhorthand for the obvious?
  11. #11  
    Life Balance fits perfectly well with GTD. Check out www.llamagraphics.com and look for ratz approach.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by eedwards

    Could someone give me quick summary of the "getting things done" approach. Is it some formal system is the referrence just fhorthand for the obvious?
    "Getting Things Done" is the title of a book by David Allen. Go see www.davidco.com. Or Google "GTD" to pull up a lot of stuff about it.

    Good stuff. But then a True Believer would say that, wouldn't he?

    Phil.
  13. #13  
    There is also an audiobook version of Getting Things Done that you can blast through in a couple of hours.

    I cannot say that I am wild about all the details of this system, but I CAN say that after listening through the audiobook a few times, thinking about GTD's basic ideaology, and then modifying the "system" to my needs, I am a much more relaxed person, and am able to get more things done.

    My take on the "system" (which is really pretty obvious, when you stop and think about it): your brain is really only good for storing about 5 or 6 "things you would like to / need to do" at some time in the future. Start thinking about more than this, you start forgetting some. Then you realize you're forgetting things, and start stressing over it. Then you stop DOING the things you need to becuase you're stressed about forgetting the OTHER things you need to do. Viscous circle.

    Solution: using a system you find reliable and easy to use (PDA, computer software, notepad and pencil, whatever) spend a few minutes a day getting the things you need to do out of your head and written down somewhere. As you do this, let your mind wander to longer-term goals and tasks, and get them written down too. As you realize you can no longer forget about things, your stress level should go down, and you can consult your list to get things done.

    Advanced users can really map out schedules and orders of tasks in ever-more-complicated lists, and that's something I really don't feel the need to do, even though I basically have 3 or 4 jobs (computer journalist, computer consultant, technical writer, web programmer). And then there's the personal things in life you need to keep track of too.

    Again, this isn't exactly rocket science, and I hesitate to use the word "system" for describing this, but there you go.

    And again, I find ShadowPlan the ideal tool for this. I can really thump out the tasks on the PC version, let it sync to the Palm version, and do updates (and add things as I think of them) anywhere. And it is one of those titles that is well supported by a talented and caring developer. Well worth the money.

    -Warr
    Progress? Well, at least I can get color traffic maps now...
    Psion 3a -> Psion 3c -> Palm IIIXE -> Palm VIIx -> Kyocera 7135 -> Treo 650 -> Centro
  14.    #14  
    I did a presentation on GTD at our company. I wasn't sure how well it was going to go over, but it turns out people really did like the advice. "Getting it all out of your head" and understanding why you need to do it is worth the price of the book and the time to read it alone if you aren't doing it yet. The understanding is important, because people are far more tempted to fall off the bandwagon if they don't really get why keeping things stored outside your head is helping you stay stress free.
    Treo 650 with 1 GB SD card!
    http://www.rkuo.com

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