Lynne d Johnson



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11.04.09 12:42 PM

GTD: Things = Evernote + RTM ? Why Can't I Find the Perfect Tool?

Lately, I've been trying to find the best solution for task and project management. It's been no easy task (ahem). Remember the Milk (RTM) is the tried and true GTD (Getting Things Done) solution. You sign up on the Web, add tasks, and then sync them to your Gmail, Gcal, and even your iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry. But it's simple. It's a simple to-do list with tagging features. I need something more robust.

You can add notes, but that's not enough. I want to link to files, websites, emails, attachments. If there's a way to do this in RTM, I haven't found it. That I am able to access it on my phone though, is a plus. But still not sure it's enough to fully win me over.

So I also tried Things by CultureCode.

It's a little like RTM, but has some similarities to Evernote built in. Well, not exactly like Evenote, but enough to help me keep things (like files and emails) linked to my tasks.

Things screencast: linking to files from Arjan van der Gaag on Vimeo.

What doesn't work for me? It doesn't sync to my Android phone in any sort of way, other than via an iCal Task (right, the Things items sync with iCal) that's then synced to Gcal with SpanningSync on my machine. This enables me to view my tasks on my phone or in Gcal, but when I'm on another computer that doesn't have the linked file or email, I'm nearly shit out of luck. (BTW, I use Dropbox to have access to files I want to access on any computer I use.)

And though Evernote isn't really a task tool, it's part of the GTD family in that it helps you to keep track of things and information that you're going to need later. Sadly, it takes a paid account to be able to upload all types of files.

This isn't the first time I've been in this place looking for some sort of Swiss Army Knife to help me manage my life. Not long ago, I had settled on a virtual assistant named Sandy, who did enough of what I needed to be able to do at the time. But now as my project lists grow, and I need to do more things in less time, and be able to access everything related to those projects from any computer, and have some sort of access to the projects on my phone, I need something more robust.

I realize, there's probably not any one solution for what I'm looking for. And I'm in the habit of using multiple tools and figuring out how to make them talk with one another. The problem I face right now though, is I just don't know what that combination of tools should be.

Got any suggestions?

Here's my want list to help you help me out:

1. Project/Task Management
2. Project/Task Items sync to either iCal or Gcal
3. Ability to attach or link items to Projects/Tasks
4. Ability to access all the information from any computer I'm using
5. Android App capabilities (or at least soon coming)
5. Desktop App (Not necessary, but nice though online access can also serve the same purposes)

posted by lynne | |


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