Software as Google

10 April 2007

I’ve been playing with GTD for a bit (after realising that I pretty much followed the concept without some of the labels). Although Outlook does mostly OK, there are some factors that don’t work so well for me (mostly around project and task management). Some recent features of Gmail and others might prove to be a partial solution.

Having opened up Gmail, and always filling up my company mailbox limit I figured 2.8Gb was worth trying out for. However, it wasn’t until I installed Greasemonkey and registered with Remember the Milk and GTD Inbox, I think I might have something I can work with.

With GTD Inbox I seem to find it more natural to group, categorise and plan emails around projects and activities. I’d already started using Gmail features after reading Steve Rubel’s fantastic hint sheet on how to be more productive with Gmail. With RTM integrated into Google Calendar, and Actions from GTD Inbox going to RTM that loop is closed with tasks and reminders centrally stored in Gmail but accessible through their more natural calendar and task list programs.

I think this was one of the great limitations for me with Outlook. Yes you had calendar, tasks and email, but there wasn’t an easy access way to see everything relating to a project in one place (tasks, emails and appointments). The Journal function might have provided that but I couldn’t get on with it.

So now I have emails each with a ProjectHome, with actions, using Stars to identify the Next Action and tasks getting emailed to RTM and linked directly to Google Calendar and showing up on the day due. Stuff without a ProjectHome is referenced and archived for easy recovery. Now I just need to use it in anger for a bit to see if it works for me.

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