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GTD and MS Access

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  • GTD and MS Access

    After using a couple of different tools for list management, I could not find any that fit well with my style and most of them have very limited printing capabilities and were sluggish. So I have moved on to the next evolution of creating my own solution. Version 1.x is based on MS Access and then I will migrate to a web based solution. So I am hoping that some of you may have suggestions and comments about what works and what doesn't work in the different software you have used.

    I've used a lot of different software over the years and I've come to the conclusion that simpler is better. Minimize bells and whistles, maximize performance and usablity.

    Screen Shots:
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Mburkart; 06-23-2006, 02:16 PM.

  • #2
    This looks promising. I have thought about doing something like this too since MS Outlook doesn't quite do the trick when it comes to grouping and printing. Nice job so far!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mburkart
      After using a couple of different tools for list management, I could not find any that fit well with my style and most of them have very limited printing capabilities and were sluggish. So I have moved on to the next evolution of creating my own solution. Version 1.x is based on MS Access and then I will migrate to a web based solution. So I am hoping that some of you may have suggestions and comments about what works and what doesn't work in the different software you have used.
      I actually did something similar but abandoned it because I felt that OneNote would eventually do a better job (the recent beta release seems to justify this).

      One thing I want to make sure you are aware of is that Acccess will directly import and update Outlook databases (i.e. pst file folders). You can, for instance, open a pst file and create a database with all of the items in your email Inbox folder. When you get new mail, Access automatically updates the database in a dynamic way by adding the new items. These items are read-only but they can be manipulated to create new items in other databases with, for instance, a task list. I found this to be very useful and I still back up email in this way by copying items from the read-only pst database to my own database.

      Tom S.

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      • #4
        Without sharing through Outlook is this approach limited in being able to synch to a PDA/Phone (e.g. either Palm or MS)? I mean is this only a desk-bound solution (or can only be accessed over the net if it is a web based solution)?

        Thanks

        Paul

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        • #5
          Definitely build some links to Outlook...then you'll have the ever-elusive tie between projects and next actions (in Access) that can populate your task list in Outlook.
          I started doing something like that last year but got busy at work and started my MBA program so it's unfinished as yet.

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          • #6
            Updates

            Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions. Since I've been using this on a daily bases, I've made a few modifications to organization and functionality:

            Added Master Project functionality
            Added Check lists
            Improved comment and reference

            I have had several comments about Outlook and PDA integration, so I think that this is the next items to add. I believe by adding Outlook integration this will provide the needed PDA integration but I'm going to have to do some research on what is possible with visual basic and Outlook.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Paul@Pittsburgh
              Without sharing through Outlook is this approach limited in being able to synch to a PDA/Phone (e.g. either Palm or MS)? I mean is this only a desk-bound solution (or can only be accessed over the net if it is a web based solution)?

              Thanks

              Paul
              Thanks for the question.

              Right now I use it mostly as a desktop tool because of the printing capability from Access and I like paper for those times I'm not near my laptop. Once I get the basics and flow flushed out with Access, I am planning to deveop a web type application, but unless someone knows differently, a web application cannot sync with a PDA.

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              • #8
                Looks good M.

                I too am using Access. I started GTD with Excel and quickly found it very limiting. Access is a much better solution. I have programmed in Access before so it was no problem to quickly set up a database, some forms, and some reports. I am not sure how easy it would be for a non-programmer though.

                Right now I am okay with having it just on my laptop since I am on my laptop most of the day and night. I don't use a PDA so that is not an issue.

                At one point I had thoughts of making it a commercial app. I wonder if DA is open to selling a desktop GTD solution as an alternative to the Outlook Plug-in.

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                • #9
                  I don't think so.

                  Originally posted by howman
                  I wonder if DA is open to selling a desktop GTD solution as an alternative to the Outlook Plug-in.
                  I don't think so. They've even removed Outlook Add-In from their on-line shop. I think they have no resources to provide appropriate support for complicated desktop applications.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TesTeq
                    They've even removed Outlook Add-In from their on-line shop.
                    Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't notice it last time I was at the site.

                    Does this mean DA Co is no longer partners with Netcentrics?

                    If I do decide to build commercial software for GTD, what is the legality of using "Getting Things Done" or "GTD" in the title or in the marking literature?

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                    • #11
                      GTD and Getting Things Done are registered trademarks.

                      Originally posted by howman
                      Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't notice it last time I was at the site.

                      Does this mean DA Co is no longer partners with Netcentrics?

                      If I do decide to build commercial software for GTD, what is the legality of using "Getting Things Done" or "GTD" in the title or in the marking literature?
                      Actually they've moved Outlook Add-In to the Products We Use and Recommend section which has the following disclaimer:

                      Originally posted by DavidCo
                      All products listed below are used and endorsed by David. Please note that we do not sell these products ourselves and are unable to provide any form of technical support for them. By clicking on the "More Info" links for any of the products below you will be taken to the store of the company that makes and sells it. If you make a purchase, we receive a small commission. This is not the motivating factor for us recommending these products -- David uses all of these himself and has been recommending them to others for some time. We are fulfilling the many requests we get to provide links to the sources. We think you will benefit from them as well.
                      GTD and Getting Things Done are registered trademarks so you should contact DavidCo directly to obtain information about their terms of use. Some time ago Anne Gennett, the Director of Client Services at The David Allen Company wrote a post about it http://www.davidco.com/forum/showpos...75&postcount=4.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the info TesTeq.

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