GTD & BlackBerry Guide is now available

We are pleased to announce the release of a resource that many of you have been asking for: a GTD & BlackBerry Guide. A few of us are now on BlackBerry as our portable solution and we put together a Guide on the best GTD tips, tricks, and practices for making your BlackBerry rock for GTD.

It’s chock-full of 45 pages of

iPhone user and BlackBerry user) and will create a Guide as soon as I feel confident we have something solid to recommend for Tasks.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hi Kelly, when you do write up something for iPhone please consider avoiding the range of tools that insists on synching via an internet based server in the ‘cloud’ which for me (and many I am sure) restricts what is allowed to be entered because it is in breach of our company security guidelines and means that it cannot be complete as a system. (wow that’s a long sentence).

  2. @Peter Robinson:
    Because of Apple restrictions on USB data transfer, insisting on “no-cloud” apps will limit you to apps that do local network wireless syncing. This really limits your choice of apps, and most people stuck with it dislike it a lot (Things from culturedcode comes to mind). It is also approximately as secure as synching to the cloud. Probably less so, because it puts a burden on users to determine how secure a local network (home, hotel, coffee shop) is. A well-designed cloud app will be more secure.

  3. Kelly,

    I’m new to GTD, listen to the audio stuff a lot in the car and I am STILL trying to find a manageable solution that is quick to use but doesn’t require lots of cross app sync’s between locations.

    If you sort a good solution out for the iPhone that covers the process simply for people new to GTD then I’ll give you my first born!

  4. I’m testing actually Pocket Informant for the Iphone with outlook and Windows XP and it looks good so far. It has a desktop sync which allows to sync outside the cloud. The sync is still in beta and I guess it will take some time until everything works stable.

    This is not meant as advertizing as just my 50 cents to the iPhone topic.

  5. I am passionate about my iphone. really want it to be GTD friendly…have you thought about checking out one of the task apps and then writing a nice little guide? so far I am too afraid to add one for fear it will make life more complicated

  6. Hello Lynne,

    I’d love to write a guide for iPhone users. I continue to gather info on this. If only iPhone came with Tasks, this would be a non-issue! So it’s just been a bit trickier for us because it requires people to install and/or buy something else to make Tasks works.

    It’s not for lack of effort on our side that we haven’t created one. It’s because we have not found a PC version that we can wholeheartedly recommend yet, based on what’s a pretty extensive vetting process for us.

    Just wanted to explain more of this as people often write to us upset/wondering/confused that we have not created an iPhone Guide yet. There’s a bit more involved, but I promise we’re looking in on this.


  7. Pocket Informant is not usable yet for iPhone users. I’ve been trying for over a week and it randomly sets appointments to a different time zone. I had an email from the company this morning that they are aware of it and hope to have it fixed in the next release. I would not suggest trying it until then. The synchronization process is also cumbersome and very confusing.

  8. @mcogilvie yes I agree it is probably true that a cloud application can be equally or more secure but that doesn’t change the security requirements my company imposes and I know of other companies that do too. Nothing on a host ‘out there’.

  9. Pocket Informant is half of my GTD solution. It has been flawless for me for over a year. The other app I rely on is Action Lists.

    PI works for me because I only rely on its excellent calendar function. All date/time-specific actions go on the calendar. In short I love the calendar because it is easy to set up and quick to implement in the field, for instance at the doctor’s office scheduling a new appointment. It has a great “weekly” view that other calendars have ignored. Its setting up alarms and repeated actions are simple and flexible. I actually change my furnace filter before it becomes plugged with an inch of dirt.

    The other half of my GTD solution, an app called Action Lists, is right next to my PI calendar app. Any action not time specific, goes here. There are five main folders, always available at the screen’s bottom. I’m in the Actions folder most of the time.

    Adding an action is very quick and easy. Hit a + icon, type in your action, and then you can also click Contexts and link your action to a context, for example @Phone.

    Besides the Actions main folder, there is an InBox, Projects, Waiting, and Someday? Pure GTD. You can create a project folder by name, and thereafter link any action, be it a phone call, errand, etc., to that project. Easy, fast, efficient way of handling the Projects vs. Next Actions challeng.

    So, for me, I was a GTD wanna be who failed using paper. With these two apps, Pocket Informant and Action Lists, along with camera, voice recorder, notes, etc., I am at long last at ease with my GTD tools. I don’t need to strain for a better way. Thanks in great part to these two apps, I feel closer to the mind-like-water peace DA talks about.
    Jim B

  10. I can’t believe no one has mentioned Toodledo in these comments ( It has a reasonably agile web app component as well as an offline-capable, self-contained iPhone/iPad app. They also have 3rd party apps that have been developed for both Blackberry (Taskjot) and Android (Got 2 Do) that provide similar features to the iOS version. I have yet to find a combination that allows for a comprehensive GTD view of my life (from the web app) and the ability to take the entirety of my GTD methodology with me for near ubiquitous idea/action/project capture on my mobile device wherever I am.

  11. Dear Kelly

    Do you at David Allen Company has any guides for replication of my Lotus Notes to and from a Nokia phone, or links to apps that will enhance the performance of my Nokia?

    Kind regards

  12. I haven’t seen any comments about OmniFocus. With their apps for Mac, iPhone and iPad and the ability to sync all three, it seems like a very systematic setup. I’m just starting with GTD and would appreciate any input from users that have tried or use this setup.

  13. Andy–

    This post is specifically about BlackBerry, that’s why OmniFocus is not mentioned. But if you do a search on GTD Times, you will find many, many posts on OmniFocus, iPad and iPhone.


  14. Thanks for your BlackBerry guide. It is great! One thing I find hard to accept about the BlackBerry calendar is that it does not sort alphabetically the day-specific actions. I usually type the category so the day-specific actions are grouped (e.g. OFFICE: do expense report). It works great in MS Outlook, but without alphabetic sorting, it is useless in the BlackBerry calendar. Is anybody aware of any way to make this work?

  15. Great guide thanks.

    Some personal notes as a BIS user. BES users can access subfolders in email and sync wirelessly. BIS users should look at Google.

    With Gmail I can wirelessly sync Contacts and Calendar. All your emails can be remotely searched and read.

    Gmail Labels = Folders so I can also “file” emails to ‘Action’, ‘Waiting for’ or just ‘Archive’ if I responded to a less than 2 minute email.

    Unfortunately I still need to sync wired for Tasks on my Mac to sync contexts.

    I made my own “GTD” BlackBerry 9700 theme which is easy in the free Theme Builder from RIM. My theme removed the latest and loudest notification icons as suggested in the guide.

    BlackBerry is my capture device and the $20 ‘Next Action’ app by reduces clicks.

    I also use the free OnToCalendar app. It lets me put contacts, emails, SMS, missed calls, etc, onto my Calendar OR onto a Task with the body saved in the notes field.

    Currently OS6 for BlackBerry is a step backwards for GTD productivity, IMHO. It makes searching remote emails a three click procedure instead of one. Adding a missed call to OnToCalendar with OS6 requires a workaround. And 3rd party apps like Next Action are not OS6 compliant.

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