Apr 08 2009

Getting Things Done By Location

Published by at 2:06 pm under General,Software,Technology

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For several years now I’ve been trying to find a way of keeping on top of everything that I need to get done.  To be honest, I didn’t think I had a problem until I read David Allens book “Getting Things Done” (GTD).  It was whilst reading that book that I realised that I spend most of my time worry about what I need to get done and what I might be forgetting to do and not enough time actually doing things.

I’ve had several attempts at trying to follow the GTD methodology but so far they have all failed and I’ve reverted to just relying on the good ole grey matter to remember what I have got to do.  I’ve tried using software to help me – iGTD, Midnight Inbox, OmniFocus, Outlook, iCal, Google Calendar – but the problem with a lot of these is that they are either platform specific (I need my laptop with me) or are calendar based (a lot of what I need to remember is not date specific).

Other attempts have been centered around a notebook that I try to remember to take with me.  This has inevitably resulted in my failing to remember to take my notebook with me and therefore forgetting to update it what I have it to hand again.

I am now embarking on another attempt to follow the GTD methodology.  This time I’m resting my faith on a relatively new entry into the GTD software arena: TheHitList form a compay called Potion Factory.  A couple of nice features that I’m hoping are going to make this easier for me to get along with are:

  • iCal syncing (I have all my calendars synced – iCal, Google, Entourage, iPhone)
  • Repeating tasks (cleaning fish tank, mothly invoicing, etc.)
  • Timer (hopefully no more getting distracted!)
  • Future iPhone support (I may forget my notepad but I NEVER forget my iPhone!)

As great as this software is shaping up there is one striking feature that I think this app – and all other GTD apps – really needs.  Task Locations!  So I’ll go out to run some errands, get home and realised there was some else I could have got done because I was in the area but didn’t because I didn;t think of it whilst I was there – if I had a map on my iPhone of tasks in my current location I could get more done in less time.

TheHitList Task MapI’m not sure of how the iPhone app UI is going to look for TheHitList but I came up with a (very) rough Photoshop version of what the desktop app might look like.

This example is showing the Today list selected and the map with the number of tasks for today on their locations.  If you  had general list selected it might show the tasks for today in red with tasks in the future fading through to grey for tasks without a specific date.  With this type of functionality you’d be easily able to see if you’re going to a location for a specific task whether or not there were other things in the area you could do at the same time.

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