Saturday, October 11, 2008

Browser-based GTD organizers

There is a variety of free and commercial solutions for your Getting Things Done-style organisation. Among these we find several browser-based applications. Some are quite simple and easy to set up (or with no setup at all), while others require more complex installations and system configurations.

Let's examine a few of these applications.

You can download GTD-PHP from An application focused specifically on organizing your tasks and projects, the GTD-PHP project provides detailed documentation, including screencasts. Here's how you create a new project explained visually:

We already talked about Nexty, a similar GTD-compliant organizer similar to GTD-PHP and with similar system requirements.

Those two applications have common requirements: you must install them on a webserver with PHP and MySQL (the typical requirements for most CMS and blog systems such as Wordpress, and other popular web applications.)

You can alternatively run either GTD-PHP or Nexty in your own computer if you install a personal webserver application, as we explain in the post about Nexty. It is even possible to set up and run those appls in a portable fashion, so you can take them wherever you want with your usb drive. I've recently discovered a portable webserver called MoWeS thats comes with a selectable bunch of preinstalled software that includes GTD-PHP!

Tracks and What's next

What's Next is a personal productivity application that supports David Allen's Getting Things Done system, or GTDWhat's Next provides an environment in which to be effortlessly productive - it has been designed to offer a great user interface and generally be a joy to use:

The application works under Mac OS X, Windows, various Unix- and Linux-variants. It is a browser-based application that comes with a small local web server based on Ruby. The installation in Windows and Mac OS X is pretty straightforward, while on Linux it's a bit more complex. See the downloads page in the What's new project for more information. You will also find a detailed user manual explaining the different features and uses of What's next.

Tracks is another browser-based GTD application that also requires a more unusual (and fairly complex) setup with Ruby on Rails. It looks really good and it is fully compliant with the GTD philosophy. While its requirements and installation procedure may seem more discouraging, there is also an option of installing it more easily. Check the Bitnami Tracks Stack solution.

One of the most peculiar features of Tracks, apart from the expected Projects, Actions, Lists and other GTD elements, is the statistics page, which provides a comprehensive information about your projects, actions both in numbers and in graphics. You also get a very useful tickler file to remind you of necessary actions.

TiddlyWiki-based apps
TiddlyWiki is a single html file which has all the characteristics of a wiki - including all of the content, the functionality (including editing, saving, tagging and searching) and the style sheet. Because it's a single file, it's very portable - you can email it, put it on a web server or share it via a USB stick. (definition from the TiddlyWiki project page.)

GTDTiddlyWiki is a GettingThingsDone adaptation by NathanBowers of JeremyRuston's Open Source TiddlyWiki. The purpose of GTD Tiddly Wiki is to give users a single repository for their GTD lists and support materials so they can create/edit lists, and then print directly to 3x5 cards for use with the HipsterPDA.

Next Action is a Getting Things Done todo-list tracking tool. It's a personal database for your action items and todo lists that you use through your web browser. Now a Google Gears enhanced service, it stores its data in your computer while running from a remote server. You can also try to find the old version, which stores your data internally in the html file (saving it each time you use Next Action, by using the save as complete webpage option.)MonkeyGTD is yet another wiki-based solution:

My recommendation? If you don't want to waste time setting up your applications, you can start using any of the three last TiddlyWiki-based apps. They offer full functionality and you will be using them within minutes. Your decision will depend, however, on what you prefer: a usb app, a server-hosted app or a local install.

Finally, do check other GTD applications (not browser-based) already commented here in GTDrawings, such as Thinking Rock and other services and programs you will find in the blog.

1 comment:

Coaching For Success said...

Thanks for the update. I really appreciate the efforts you have made for this blog.

1000 Heads: the book

1000 heads, my illustration book

My artwork at Flickr

Inspiring books for the creative type

My GTD (Getting things done) illustrations

I conceived this blog basically to share my visual side notes of the Getting things done process. My most recent posts about GTD software and related topics have “masked” the original posts.

You can access most GTDrawings in the archive of december 2005 and january 2006.

Here's a miniature with most of my sketches: this is what you will find, commented and in larger sizes, in those previous posts.

See also the article about GTD drawings.

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