A question we often get from the GTD community is, “What are the best apps for GTD?” While we would love to give you a simple
answer that tells you exactly what to use, it’s not as simple as that.
GTD is tool neutral
One of the first things to understand is that GTD is tool neutral. That’s the good news! As long as you understand the methodology, you have many options for which tools to use for your implementation. You won’t be restricted with using a single tool that David Allen has deemed the one and only way to successfully implement this methodology. In reality, your GTD setup will very likely include a variety of tools, such as a list manager, a calendar, your email, and tools for storing reference.
Start with a list manager
One of the primary tools you will need for your GTD implementation is a list manager. This is a place to store your lists and is most often what people mean when they ask what the best app is for GTD. In the Getting Things Done book, David Allen recommends starting off with 10 lists:
- Next Actions sorted by context: Agendas, Anywhere, Calls, Computer, Errands, Home, Office
- Waiting For
If you’ve been searching for a GTD app or done a search for “GTD software,” you know your choices for list managers are seemingly endless. To see the ones we have extensively tested to know they will work for GTD, check out our official GTD Setup Guides. Some of the more popular list managers include Outlook®, Nirvana®, Todoist®, Trello®, OmniFocus®, Wunderlist®, Google Tasks®, iOS Reminders®, Evernote®, OneNote®, and Things®.
Questions to help you choose a list manager for GTD
- Are there any tools already in place that you plan/need to still use?
- Where is your email? Not required, but certainly helps to have your email and lists near each other.
- Who else needs to see your data? Will you want sharing/collaboration features?
- What do you tend to be drawn to—paper or digital? Many very tech-savvy people use paper list managers.
- Is security a concern? Does your company require your data to be stored in certain places?
- Do you want cloud access or local?
- What are you willing to carry around?
- What tools are you already familiar with?
- Would you trust putting almost anything into it?
- Is it scalable?
- Can you easily learn how to use it?
- What are you willing to pay for it?
- What does it need to sync to?
Resources for setting up apps for GTD
Is there a perfect GTD system out there? Yes, it’s the one you trust and use so your mind is free.