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My Got To Do GTD Set-up



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organizergrrl

Posted: May 29, 2010
Score: 2



I recently moved from the Palm platform to Android. This required me to completely revamp my GTD system. After trying over a half dozen Android GTD and Task manager apps, I finally decided on Got To Do for the following reasons:

1. The ability to import my Tasks directly from Palm Desktop to Toodledo then to Got To Do.

2. The ability to export my Tasks in multiple formats should I discontinue using Toodledo and/or Got To Do.

As I work almost exclusively from my phone, I needed to tweak my Toodledo setup in ways different from what I found in the forums to make it workable in Got To Do. Here are the details for anyone who’s interested:


GOT TO DO SUMMARY SCREEN

I have the following items on my Got To Do Summary screen:
• “Inbox”
• “Hotlist” - Tasks which are Starred or due within 14 Days.
• “Overdue” - Tasks which are overdue (It happens and I don't want them to fall through the cracks!).
• “Waiting On” - Delegated and other things I am waiting for.
• “Folders” - One per Project; the Folders Screen acts as my Projects List.
• “Contexts” - Next Actions lists.
• “All Active” - A master list of all Next Actions. Likely to be removed from the Summary screen.
• “Completed”


INBOX

I am committed to Inbox Zero and wanted a single place in the software to view unprocessed items. Toodledo/Got To Do places any actions without a Status in the Inbox. From my perspective, this makes the Toodledo/Got To Do Inbox a natural collection box for GTD “IN”. When the time comes to process my inboxes, I work through each item in the Inbox and determine what to do with it.


PROJECTS

I create a new Folder for each Project and place my full project plans in each Folder. Next Actions are given the Status of “Active”. Anything which I do not need or want to act on yet is given the Status of “Planning”. This allows me to:
1. See my full Projects List at any time by viewing the Folders screen in Got To Do.
2. Only have Next Actions appear in lists I reference each day.
3. Have my project plans, future actions and reference notes easily available without cluttering up my Next Actions lists.

I try to keep my Project titles short or, at the least, descriptive within the first 7 characters. The rationale for this is that Got To Do shows the first seven characters of the Folder/Project name in a purple bubble for each Task within the Folder. This makes it easier to recognize at a glance which Project a Next Action is linked to.

I don’t have Sub Tasks set up. I haven’t yet found the need for them, but may experiment with them in the future.

My set-up is still new, so I haven’t yet had a need to delete any completed projects or Folders from my system. I am a firm believer in CYA, so am planning to schedule regular monthly backups of my completed actions followed by either deleting them from my system or allowing them to be purged by the software. (Got To Do deletes Completed Tasks from its system after 3 months or less (Settings | Synchronisation Settings | Synchronisation Interval) and Toodledo deletes them after 6 months (for free accounts).)


PRIORITY (1 permitted per Task)

I give all items the same “Medium” Priority. Got To Do allows me to set a default Priority; however I haven’t located that same functionality in Toodledo. Toodledo defaults Priority to “Low” and while these items appear fine in Got To Do, I believe they are sometimes hidden in Toodledo. As I don’t use Toodledo much and am likely to forget about this feature, I don’t want to find myself 6 months down the road wondering why some of my Tasks are “missing”.

Got To Do color codes Tasks by Priority:
• Negative - blue
• Low - green
• Medium - yellow
• High - orange
• Top - red

I love color coding, but don’t see a need to use it as I think it would just add an unneeded layer of complexity.


STATUS (1 permitted per Task)

I only use a few different Status options:
• “Active” – for Next Actions
• “Planning” – for Agendas and Project Actions which are not Next Actions
• “Waiting” – for anything I’m waiting for or have delegated to others
• “Someday” – for my Someday/Maybe list in conjunction with an @Someday Context. I use the “Someday” Status so that these items don’t appear on my Next Actions Lists and I use the @Someday Context so that I can FIND the Someday/Maybe items in Got To Do. Without giving Someday/Maybe items a Folder or Context, I can’t locate them in Got To Do!

I do not use “Next Action”, “Delegated”, “Hold” or “Postponed”.

I am planning to play around with “Cancelled” and “Reference”, but do not currently use them. I suspect they may require a set-up similar to the “Someday” Status.


AGENDAS

Like my Someday/Maybe List, Agendas required a workaround. I use the Context of “@Agendas" and the Status of "Planning". This means that all my Agendas are easy to find on the “@Agendas” Context screen, but don’t appear on my Next Action Lists.


STAR

While not a part of GTD, I do use the Star to indicate those items of particular importance. This comes in handy when I’m not completely in the GTD frame of mind.


HOTLIST

Again, while not a part of GTD, I use the Hotlist to indicate those items of particular importance or that are time sensitive. I have the Hotlist set-up to show those items that are Starred or which are due within the next 14 days. This comes in handy when I’m not completely in the GTD frame of mind and want to know what items I absolutely MUST do.


CONTEXT (1 permitted per Task)

I use the following Contexts:
• “@Agendas” – Used in conjunction with the Status of “Planning” to ensure that all easily accessible on the “@Agendas” Context screen and do not appear on my Next Action Lists.
• “@Anywhere”
• “@Errands”
• “@Home”
• “@Pay”
• “@PC”
• “@Someday/Maybe”
• “@Web”
• “@Work”

Similar to Folders/ Projects, Got To Do shows the first nine characters of an assigned Context in a white bubble on each Task. I haven’t found this to be of any particular use, but the information is there.


TAGS

I do not use Tags because they are useless in Got To Do – they only appear on the Task detail screen. I haven’t found any way to sort, filter or otherwise view Tags within Got To Do.


CALENDAR

I do not use the Toodledo Calendar because I can’t use it easily on the phone or from within Got To Do. Google Calendar works like a dream!


This message was edited May 29, 2010.
Michael V

Posted: May 31, 2010
Score: -1



organizergrrl- This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your thought process. I just got an Incredible Droid and need to coordinate my tasks more than before. I stumbled onto Got To Do & this site. Your thinking is helping me calibrate how I should use the program.

I'm still in the "classifying" phase of all my tasks to see what works. So you use Folders as a more granular level (projects) vs context? I'm trying to organize HOME from WORK...then long/short term HOME from long/short term WORK...then individual task under each...plus HOTLIST of what is currently being done.

Your thoughts?
deekod

Posted: Jun 03, 2010
Score: -1



Interesting post organizergirl, I have Got to Do installed on my phone as well, but I find setting my browser default page to toodledo slim to be far easier,

http://www.toodledo.com/slim/index.php#_top

This interface allows the use of tags which I use for low/medium/high energy ratings to assist me in choosing tasks for action "in the moment"

Ideally TD slim would have searches and length tabs to allow me to work on my phone as I do on the laptop.

However, I am considering buying a Dell streak - maybe with a 5" screen I could use full TD interface..?
organizergrrl

Posted: Jun 10, 2010
Score: 0



deekod, I love the idea of using TD Slim, particularly as it would enable me to use the features of TD that are unavailable in Got To DO.

mickeyVee: I'm still relatively new to actually implementing GTD - despite reading (and rereading!) the books and seeing David speak, I've only started implementing GTD within the last year. I'm attempting to keep things as simple as possible - one context per action, using existing labels as provided (I don't want to have to remember that contexts are actually projects, etc). I trust that as my experience with and knowledge of GTD grows, my system will evolve.

I also have a Droid and actually preferred Shuffle to Got To Do. My only criticisms of Shuffle were that I couldn't import my existing tasks from my Palm into Got To Do and it didn't have an exportable backup built in. I'll be checking in with it periodically to see if it changes.
graffen9

Posted: Jun 17, 2010
Score: 0



Organizergrrl, I agree this is an awesome post. I have just made the same leap from palm to droid, and am glad to have found a to do app comparable to Palm's. I'm just starting to implement GTD, so really appreciate the details you have provided. It looks much more useful than how I was trying to sort my tasks.
kyith.place

Posted: Jun 21, 2010
Score: 0



I applaud the thread starter for showing us how to carry out GTD on an Android device. it would be great if she can post some screen caps =)

But i still feel one level of folders is not enough.

On my iPod Touch's softwares like appigo todo,actionlist and 2do at least have 2 level hierachy. Just right for Areas of focus and Subprojects in it.

Area of focus will be (Managing Project A to completion)

Subprojects will be (User Acceptance Test) or (Manage Variable agreement)
maury.shapiro

Posted: Jul 01, 2010
Score: 0



I've had a Palm for years starting with Palm V. I have pages of tasks. I cannot find a way to get them into Toodledo. How did you do it?
PeterW 

Posted: Jul 01, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by maury.shapiro:
I've had a Palm for years starting with Palm V. I have pages of tasks. I cannot find a way to get them into Toodledo. How did you do it?


Try this help info: http://www.toodledo.com/info/help_palm.php
maury.shapiro

Posted: Jul 02, 2010
Score: 0



Oganizergrrl references,

"1. The ability to import my Tasks directly from Palm Desktop to Toodledo then to Got To Do."

I have followed the instructions but it seems that many people have had the same problem I've had because Palm makes you export into a "TDA" file which Toodledo can't read. So how did she do it?!?!

Thanks,
Maury
David

Posted: Jul 06, 2010
Score: 0



I kind of stinks how people need specific setups to get their GTD method working in Toodledo. Maybe choices are a good thing for some people but I personally prefer CultureCode's (Things) Keep it simple and make it easy to grasp philosophy.
Proximo

Posted: Jul 19, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by David:
I kind of stinks how people need specific setups to get their GTD method working in Toodledo. Maybe choices are a good thing for some people but I personally prefer CultureCode's (Things) Keep it simple and make it easy to grasp philosophy.


David,

I agree with you 100%.

GTD is actually very simple. Toodledo has many choices which is great for many users who want to create something that works for them, but for the GTD Purist, it's an overkill and sometimes makes it hard to use.
donericoson

Posted: Aug 06, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by deekod:
Interesting post organizergirl, I have Got to Do installed on my phone as well, but I find setting my browser default page to toodledo slim to be far easier,

http://www.toodledo.com/slim/index.php#_top

This interface allows the use of tags which I use for low/medium/high energy ratings to assist me in choosing tasks for action "in the moment"

Ideally TD slim would have searches and length tabs to allow me to work on my phone as I do on the laptop.

However, I am considering buying a Dell streak - maybe with a 5" screen I could use full TD interface..?

One of the main reasons I am using Got To Do on the droid is that I like its integration with Pure Calendar widget. It allows me to see everything that is going on in one place. The other thing that would give it a great advantage over the slim website would be to have a shortcut on the desktop to quickly create new tasks. I am hoping this gets implemented soon in Got To Do.
Lance

Posted: Aug 09, 2010
Score: 2



Posted by Proximo:
Posted by David:
I kind of stinks how people need specific setups to get their GTD method working in Toodledo. Maybe choices are a good thing for some people but I personally prefer CultureCode's (Things) Keep it simple and make it easy to grasp philosophy.


David,

I agree with you 100%.

GTD is actually very simple. Toodledo has many choices which is great for many users who want to create something that works for them, but for the GTD Purist, it's an overkill and sometimes makes it hard to use.


I consider myself a GTD purist, one who uses GTD since DA published in hardback. Yes, GTD is simple and I find Toodledo simple as well. I just don't use all the bells and whistles that come with it. One of the reasons I myself in the past, and others fall off the GTD bandwagon is we try to over complicate things with our list manager.

All GTD is, is nothing more than capturing, putting it on a list, and looking at the list at the appropriate time. Very intuitive and effective. When my electronic system is an exact replica of the paper system, it works beautifully for me. Whenever I try to get Toodledo or any one of the dozen or so systems to run on automatic (pick the next action), it stops working. Primarily because I'm trying to get a computer to decide what to do next, and not make the decision myself.

And therein lies the rub. Having to make the decision on my next action (and doing weekly reviews, beyond the scope of this topic). Toodledo is a very simple list manager that I can access anywhere when coupled with my iPhone. And if it wasn't for this, I'd say the heck with all of them and go back to a more elegant solution, paper.
jerry.hartman

Posted: Aug 15, 2010
Score: 0



I have been struggling with the figuring out how to get toodledo to show me the same information as the inbox in got to do.

I think I figured it out. . . I created a search with "Status" as "none" and then saved that search as "inbox." on toodledo.

Then my inbox on my phone and the "inbox" search on toodledo is the same.
jerry.hartman

Posted: Aug 15, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by organizergrrl:

PRIORITY (1 permitted per Task)

I give all items the same “Medium” Priority. Got To Do allows me to set a default Priority; however I haven’t located that same functionality in Toodledo. Toodledo defaults Priority to “Low” and while these items appear fine in Got To Do, I believe they are sometimes hidden in Toodledo. As I don’t use Toodledo much and am likely to forget about this feature, I don’t want to find myself 6 months down the road wondering why some of my Tasks are “missing”.


There is a place under Account Settings then "new task defaults" that will let you change the default priority for toodledo.
FW

Posted: Sep 17, 2010
Score: 0



You should try the Pure Calendar Widget, you can show your Calendar from Google, all Got to Do tasks and elements from other sources in one widget. When you touch it, you can choose which app to open and many more features. Give it a try!
k.blattmann

Posted: Sep 20, 2010
Score: 0



Thanks very much for this! I'm a bit torn about the folders and projects. I am thinking I might want to use tasks as projects and sub-tasks as tasks, but intuitively the folders=projects seems best (which is what you are doing).

I am on the fence between another GTD app, Doit.im, and TD. TD seems to be much more dynamic, and Got to Do is great and alive. Just a matter of me getting comfortable with a single system.
ben

Posted: Sep 21, 2010
Score: 0



+1 on Pure Calendar Widget, one of the best convergence apps I have ever seen, developer is super responsive!
clango

Posted: Oct 03, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by organizergrrl:


GOT TO DO SUMMARY SCREEN

I have the following items on my Got To Do Summary screen:
• “Inbox”
• “Hotlist” - Tasks which are Starred or due within 14 Days.
• “Overdue” - Tasks which are overdue (It happens and I don't want them to fall through the cracks!).
• “Waiting On” - Delegated and other things I am waiting for.
• “Folders” - One per Project; the Folders Screen acts as my Projects List.
• “Contexts” - Next Actions lists.
• “All Active” - A master list of all Next Actions. Likely to be removed from the Summary screen.
• “Completed”



I use both Go to Do that sync with Toodledo. When I started I had also Outlook but actually I don't use anymore.

My Summary screen is:


• “Hotlist” - Tasks which are Top or due within 14 Days.
• “Overdue” - Tasks which are overdue (It happens and I don't want them to fall through the cracks!).
• “Due Today ” - Calendarized items.
• “Due Tomorrow ” - Calendarized items.
• “Folders” - One per important Project; the Folders Screen acts as my Projects List.
• “Contexts” - Next Actions lists.
• “All Active” - A master list of all Next Actions.


This message was edited Oct 03, 2010.
rbro

Posted: Jan 22, 2011
Score: 0



Thanks for this. I'd like to set up something like this or similar, as I'm using Toodledo and Got to Do as well. 2 questions for you:

How do you place your "full project plans" in each folder?

Why do you use a status of "active" for "next actions" as opposed to "next action"?
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