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Feature Wishlist for future GTD Software

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  • Feature Wishlist for future GTD Software

    Out of curiosity, if there was a program in the works to be developed specifically for the GTD system, are there any features you would want besides the obvious (in-box, project list, incubation list, calendar, etc)?

    For me, I'd want a windows or web version as the main program, then have a handheld version as well that would sync up all the data.

  • #2
    Syncability with outlook would be a plus too, I think.

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    • #3
      ability to handle sub-projects in some elegant way.

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      • #4
        This is a trick question, right?

        All I want is for the OS to be turned inside out. Instead of yet-another-program to link other programs, I want the underlying system to implement GTD. Call it "GTDOS"...

        When I save a document in any program, I want GTDOS to track which project it belongs to (and store it accordingly) and be able to plan my next actions, reminders, etc. accordingly. Similarly, if I'm working on a document associated with a given project, I want to be able to easily pull up all relevant material.

        It's kind of like managing e-mail, but inverted. When I save a document I'm "sending" it to the filesystem, but instead of tagging it as @Waiting For I'm setting up my next actions, or filing it away as Someday/maybe or reference, or maybe I am e-mailing it off to someone and waiting for a response.

        The key is to do all of this automagically. Sure, all of the pieces are there to implement it manually (and I probably will) using piles-of-files and Shortcuts (or links in *nix, to manage reference material common to multiple projects and actions), but it's a pain to maintain if all the program Open/Save mechanisms don't understand and interact with the GTD flow.

        That's my three-cents-Canadian!

        Andrew.

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        • #5
          I whole hartedly agree. Instead of little utilities written around other programs, there should be the GTD (or GTD OS, as you put it) program that doesn't cater to other programs and other file formats, it is the one stop shop for doing this system.

          Did I understand you right?

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          • #6
            Do you think a windows program or a web based program would be best suited for the call?

            A windows application will perform faster and more elegantly, since there is not state management from one page/screen to another, not to mention round trips to the server across the internet.

            An internet appication shines in that you can access your implementation anywhere in the world as long as you are on the net. I know I've always been frustrated when I want something that's at home when I'm at work or vice versa. There is XP's remote desktop (terminal services), but this is one more work around with its pros and cons.

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            • #7
              In essence, yes, you understood me. "GTDOS" is about tackling the problem top-down (interacting with the GTD flow meta-data, tags) and bottom-up (file and directory management, low-level UI behaviour, managing the meta data and tags).

              There was some talk not too long ago about MS coming up with a database file system. That would suggest some approaches to tackling the bottom-up data management, assuming the database is flexible enough to be marked up and isn't yet-another-static-format file system, where you're stuck working within the statically defined attributes+properties legacy.

              Regarding windows program or web-based, change "or" to "and". Web-based sucks when you're offline or working over slow connections; windows programs suck when you're not on a windows machine. That said, under GTD everything is managed according to projects, reference material and next actions. Over a slow link my mini-app talks GTD meta-data and I pick'n'choose which docs I need if I don't already have them sync'd locally.

              Aside: As a techie/coder, this is why I love XML-formatted data. It separates form from function. Sure it gets big in plain-text mode, but most compression algorithms (good old zip, jar or bz2) work wonders because of the inherent redundancy; gotta love information theory. Every language, including Java, can handle compressed and encrypted data, and has some sort of mechanism for parsing and processing XML. MS and others finally import and export XML formats; even graphics can be stored and manipulated via SVG.

              By changing the file meta-data, a dynamic file system could move around where links to the file show up - which set of "folders" it shows up in, how next actions and associated calendar entries are created and managed...

              ...add a property called "GPS Coordinates" and your shopping list and pictures of the vegetables you are supposed to buy will be pulled from @Errands and Reference and sent to your cell/blackberry as you approach the grocery store on your drive home from work.

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              • #8
                You do the GPS stuff...I'll do the rest. Deal?

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                • #9
                  If it is to be a stand alone program - "inking"

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                  • #10
                    I'll have to get back to you on that. So many ideas...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DeveloperMCT
                      You do the GPS stuff...I'll do the rest. Deal?

                      The GPS stuff is the easiest one. If you can do everything else what's the problem with the GPS integration. It has clearly defined interface protocol and set of data that it can provide.

                      TesTeq

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                      • #12
                        Wow, I didn't realize that!! I need to get me a GPS hardware addon to my Axim and start playing around!!

                        Thanks

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                        • #13
                          Yup, as long as it's a PDA or Laptop and you either have a GPS unit with NMEA-standard output and/or a development API (in the case of many USB and Bluetooth units).

                          Personal peeve of mine: cell phones (and companies) which technically have "integrated GPS", but no means for end-users/developers to use it.

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                          • #14
                            Ok, thanks. This will be my next gadget to buy then.

                            Is there a top 1 or 2 that's the best? I bought this Axim from Dell, and it has bluetooth and wifi features. What is the best brand of GPS's?

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                            • #15
                              "Best" is a loaded word.

                              If you want something that will work stand-alone, go with a Garmin or Magellan brand with a standard serial (usually RS232) interface that can send NMEA-0183 to just about any device. It also keeps things simple and completely platform independent w.r.t. hardware support and development languages and APIs.

                              Don't know what development is like for USB, CF, SDIO and Bluetooth GPS units for PDAs...

                              Here is something which may help on the API side of things.

                              Aximsite.com may be useful, particularly this thread.

                              Out of habit, I find The GPS Store to be a handy place to see what's out there in the GPS product landscape.

                              Enjoy!

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