I’ve stuck pretty rigidly to my GTD plan these past two weeks and I can really feel a difference in my stress level and my ability to feel like I’m on top of everything on my plate.

I’ve modified my toodledo system a tiny bit.  Previously I mentioned that I had 4 folders set up in toodledo:

  1. Inbox
  2. Projects
  3. Discussions
  4. Someday / Maybe

This worked for a little while, but I soon found that my Projects folder was getting a bit overrun, so I decided to change Projects to Areas of Focus.  This lets me separate the areas where I don’t have any overlap to allow me to focus better.

My folder structure now looks like:

  1. Inbox
  2. Focus – Work
  3. Focus – Home
  4. Focus – Animator Friendly Rigging
  5. Discussions
  6. Someday / Maybe
  7. Calendar

As you can see I also added a Calendar folder.  This is where I’m keeping things like birthdays and other events that I want to find quickly and easily.

What’s really been helping me keep on track however is being SUPER diligent about not letting my email inbox balloon out of control.  My goal is to get it to zero every night, but that’s not always possible to do before heading home to be with the family.

That means I also don’t skim through and start reading my work emails until I get into work in the morning (or sit down at the computer at night) and have time to process everything.

I absolute refuse to let an email sit in my inbox read.  If it’s sitting there, and I’ve read it, I force myself to make a decision on it.  Is it a task?  Is it an action?  Do I need to read it later and figure out what I’m going to do with it?  Even if that last option is the one I need to do, I make it a project, drag it to my Active folder in outlook, and then make a task in toodledo to read the email and process it.

This works for my physical inbox as well.  I spent a good 4 hours on Saturday going through my entire office and cleaning up all my old files, todo notes, etc.  I got everything current, emptied my inbox, and made sure to have a good clean space that’s enjoyable to sit in.

It’s amazing how just having a clean area and a clean inbox can allow you to focus 100% on a task at hand and really plow through it.

I think I’m totally hooked!

Now.. I still wish I had a cleaner UI for toodledo.. it’s okay, but check this out.. has anyone used smartytask?

Smartytask for GTD (Smartytask.com) from Smarty Task on Vimeo.

It looks super slick.. I’d love to give it a try, but 100 bucks a year is a little steep. 🙂

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11 Responses to After 2 solid weeks, GTD still going strong!

  1. D. Cameron says:

    I’m trying that “Smarty Task” thing out right now (7-day trial). It seems slick and has all the basic features of a GTD oriented app. It’s pretty clean but so far it’s only stand-out feature is the UI.

  2. Jim says:

    Have you tried Nirvana? http://nirvanahq.com They have a really slick interface; it’s not as powerful as Toodledo, but it is free.

  3. jason says:

    Yep, I’m using nirvanahq.. it’s pretty cool! No iphone application though, so that kind of removes some of my ability to use it.. 🙁

  4. Dave says:

    Smarty Task looks pretty awesome (ideal really), but $9.99 a month for a web app is pretty rich for my blood. Jason have really enjoyed all of your GTD posts. I have been using Toodledo for 6 months now and your ideas were a big help, especially in the email area.

  5. Jules says:

    I’m new to the idea of GTD…but in a weird way I’ve been trying to organize my time in a similar manner…unsuccessfully! haha I’ll have to look into nirvanahq and Toodledo. They sound promising. $10/mo for SmartyTask does seem steep.

  6. Gillian Noero says:

    Hey Jason – congratulations on your determination to get to Inbox Zero -“Mind like water”, in the famous GTD phrase). I have been following your steps – still nowhere near zero but working on it. I looked at SmartyTask, and I cannot BELIEVE it comes from the super-competent David Allen GTD people – there are typos on the site, it is hideous expensive and it has about 15% of the functions of Nozbe. (And you cannot see what functions SmartyTask offers until you sign up for the paid version – what is up with that?!) The free Nozbe lets you really learn 90% of the system and then you can decide if you want the – cheap! – upgrade. And Nozbe lets you email yourself so that one email can put a Task in a Project folder, give it a Context, and even mark it as a Next Action. Have you ever looked at Nozbe?

  7. jason says:

    I’ve thought about nozbe.. but every time I try it, for some reason I can’t seem to stick with it. I think it’s just the UI.. I really dig nirvanahq and smarty task for their interfaces.. and toodledo for the functionality.

    Just haven’t found anything else yet that’s really “sticking”, you know?

  8. Daniel says:

    I’ve been using remember the milk (RTM) and like it a lot, but I’m really intrigued by SmartyTask (ok, mostly for the UI but also for the GTD-ness of it). As you all said, it’s about 2x’s more than I’d expect to pay, so that’s a big turn off. I’ve never tried nirvanahq or nozbe, so maybe I’ll try those. Have you tried RTM? I’d love to hear some opinions of that.

  9. jason says:


    I used to use RTM but I didn’t like the way they handled “folders”, nor the fact that people have been asking for sub-tasks for years and years and years and the developers just keep ignoring them. That’s one of the things I really like about toodledo and nirvanahq.. the developers are SUPER responsive.

  10. Hey just started with gqueues.com . It automatically integrates with the gcal and you can email tasks. Also it works well on the palm pre. I used to use toodledo but the ui was lacking a bit. will keep you posted. the price is reasonable too.

  11. Travis K says:

    I just started using doit.im, seems to have everything Smartytask and NirvanaHQ have plus more. Web based, Windows client, Mac client and all mobile platforms. Amazing features and very slick design, and it’s all free!

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