What are the best tools for GTD?

GTD is an approach that is not tool-specific. So while it’s important to land on gear (paper or digital) that will stand up to the complexity of your work and personal life, it’s more important that it clearly serves the purpose of reflecting the reminders and information in the most appropriate way for you. The tool won’t decide what something means—you have to do that, and the GTD process is the key.

If anyone is telling you a specific piece of software is required for GTD–good chance they don’t understand GTD.

We do have a few key tools that we personally use and recommend that have gone through David Allen’s extensive vetting process. You can find a link to those in our online store. If you don’t see your software listed here, it means we do not have a recommendation at this time, but a search on GTD Times and our public Forums should give you quite a few helpful suggestions about what other GTDers are using.

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24 Comments

  1. I used an Excel Workbook for about 2.5 years, but have switched to OmniFocus and I’m really happy with the results. It’s much easier to do my weekly reviews, which I used to skip way too often, and having an iPod/iPhone version which syncs with my desktop is really handy.

  2. I highly recommend Nozbe.com. Yes, it costs more then the other stuff that is around, but it is word every penny. I happyly pay $10 month for this easy to use, good looking, smart, quick, tool!
    Sonja

  3. Remember the Milk and my HTC Hero (Android) have served me well for the past year. But for projects, I’m back to super sticky color-coded post-it notes on a huge whiteboard in my office…it’s the only thing that has really worked for me.

  4. I’ve tried another of things including ThinkingRock and using a Moleskin for a non-tech way, but I’ve found Things (for the Mac) to be the best tool for use at work, at home, and while I’m out and about (iPhone version).

  5. I use a combination of GQueues, ResophNote, and AndroNoter. GQueues stores my lists and allows me to assign various tags as well as have tasks go straight to my google calendar, with reminders if needed. For ubiquitous capture, I use ResophNote on all my PCs, which syncs with AndroNoter on my Droid (through free cloud storage at SimpleNote). During daily and weekly reviews, I transfer tasks noted on AndroNoter and/or ResophNote to GQuesues lists. I agree that looking for the perfect tool is not the point. The point is experimenting with different ones to see what works best for your needs and style. Good luck.

  6. I use Things on my Mac, iPhone and iPad. Can’t rly recommend it until over the internet sync is supported. Hate to leave my home with an iPhone that I forgot to sync. I also use MailMe on the iPhone to mail stuff to my Mac, special e-mail adress and that mail gets added to Things on my Mac. Sometimes thats faster than typing in a lot of todos on Things on my iPhone.

  7. After playing and testing around with several tools I am now happy with Omnifocus for iPad (my preferred system), Omnifocus for iPod (on the go) and Evernote as reference respository. Prior I worked with OneNote for a longer time but it does not run on iPad what drove me to Evernote

  8. If you like simpler, one other program not often mentioned (I do like Things) is Easytask (I have it on iphone). It has projects, contexts, priorities, due dates and importance (you can specify as few or as many as you wish). You can sort next actions by these as well as “tomorrow” and “next 7 days”.

  9. BlackBerry 9700 with:
    – NextAction Pro app (add/view tasks, projects + contexts in fewer clicks including voice memos)
    – OntoCalendar app (make email, sms, missed calls, etc, a calendar event or a task)

    Mac with:
    – Entourage (includes AppleScripts to make email a calendar event or a task). Entourage allows items to be in multiple contexts and I track projects as ‘contexts’. iCal only permits events in one category/calendar.

    Sync both devices with PocketMac including contexts + projects.

  10. I’m in the cloud allready, love to use Toodledo and Google.
    On the road I’ve switched to my iPhone for nearly 2 years now. Although the Toodledo App works quite well, I prefer Pocket Informant for the iPhone because it’s combining a calendar and a todo-list and gives me the big picture at a glance.
    Sync to Google Calendar and Toodledo works perfect and fast via any available connection.

  11. Here’s my GTD system for the past 6 years. I use a weekly calendar book with the days on the left and a page for notes on the right. I find this is a perfect way for me to keep on top of my appointments and weekly reminders. My lists are kept on 4×6 cards.

    The nature of my work makes it difficult to access the internet at all times, so a paper approach has worked well for me.

  12. I use a Mac with Daylite Server which keeps my MacBook, iPhone and iPad sync’d with contact, calendar, project, opportunity and task management while intuitively linking my Mac mail.

    I obviously have an affinity for David Allen and the GTD system and Daylite does an excellent job of letting me work the process efficiently on hardware I can’t live without.

  13. I’m new to GTD. After sampling several different free applications, I also like mGSD. It’s open source software for those that are programming savvy, yet still flexible for those that are not. Worth a look.

    http://mgsd.tiddlyspot.com/

  14. I use GTD since about four years. As GTD tools I use Firetask on my Mac and my iPhone. What I like about Firetask is that it shows all upcoming due and next tasks on a single “Today” view, that it is project-oriented, and that it provides a practical Waiting For list.

    http://www.firetask.com

  15. I use the GTD ad in for outlook on my desktop. I could use some advice on a tool that will allow me to sync my GTD Outlook set up to the cloud and then allow me to update on a iPad or iPhone. I’ve yet to find a solution where I don’t run into problems with how projects and actions are classified. Anyone have any any suggestions?

  16. I love Microsoft Onenote for projects – it’s great for brainstorming ideas and driving out the “next actions” that then go into my Outlook/Blackberry system.

  17. Hi, has anyone used the new Reminders in iOS5 (iPhone) for implementing GTD?
    I’m new to GTD and still figuring out which tool is the best for me. I am a Mac user so it should be compatible to iPhone and Mac, synchronizing between devices.

  18. Hi,

    what works for me since a quite some time is for work:
    Outlook (no choice ) with GTD add-on which I don’t want to miss anymore, PI to sync my task from outlook to my iPhone.

    At home I tried Omnifocus on my mac but it did not give me any fun to use. So I switched to Things where the GUI is much nicer. This for me is an important part.
    I’m still waiting for a perfect tool for the mac which makes the weekly review fun.

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