As a busy but usually disorganized writer and manager, I’m always interested in ways to manage my time and tasks. The last thing I want to happen is to let down a client because I forget to send reports on time, or lose my newspaper column because I keep missing deadlines.
I tried the PDA route for about a year and a half, but discarded it after a while. The device was cumbersome (an O2 XDA) and I couldn’t carry it in small handbags or in my pocket. I would also forget to charge it and would often be dismayed to lose my work when the device died on me.
I went back to the old-school paper-based method, and I now use a Hipster PDA and Moleskine Weekly Diary for data collection.
But I then realized my system was incomplete – how could I be reminded of birthdays and other similar occasions? I also needed a backup plan just in case I lost my notebooks.
A web-based system was ideal, but I wanted one that was based on the David Allen GTD (“Getting Things Done”) philosophy, which has helped me increase my productivity at work.
Luckily, I came across the web-based GTDagenda. I checked it out, and here’s what I found:
1. It’s based on the GTD system of Calendar, Projects, Tasks and Next Actions, and Contexts.
Screenshot of the GTDagenda tour
2. It incorporates other time-management principles such as Goals (career and personal).
3. Because it’s flexible, it can be used to implement other systems such as ZTD (“Zen to Done”) and Covey’s “Seven Habits”.
It takes some getting used to, but if you’re aware of GTD basics, you can feel your way around the user-friendly system. Starting out, you can take a “tour” of GTDagenda’s features and how to adapt it to your specific purposes.
The interface is stress-free, using simple fonts in cool blue and green. The layout is minimal and clean, no clutter, making navigation easier.
Once you open your account, you’ll be taken to your page, which has a menu bar at the top – “Goals”, “Projects”, “Tasks”, “Next Actions”, “Checklists”, “Schedules”, and “Calendar”. You’ll see the list of your Tasks immediately, while sidebars contain a Calendar, your Contexts, and Projects.
GTDagenda also helps you prioritize your Goals, Projects and Tasks; links your Projects to Goals; shows if your Tasks are still active or completed; and provides you with a timeline reminder to check if you are still on track.
The “Checklists” option lets you list things that need to be done weekly – “exercise”, “update blog” – with tick-boxes for each day. “Schedules” lists your routine. I don’t think I’ll be using these, but it’s nice to know that they’re there for those who require such structures.
To get into the habit of checking your GTDagenda daily, add the URL to your tab group favorites and click on it first thing when you fire up your PC. My Daily Tab Group includes my Yahoo email, Facebook, and Friendster sign-in pages; my website (jennyo.net); and now, my log-in page for GTDagenda. (Open them all up in succeeding tabs and click on “Add Tab Group to Favorites” on your browser.)
Anything that helps you keep track of things you need to get done, is a good thing.