GTD Task Management Apps Continue to Spoil GTD

I decided, a while back, that GTD or the Getting Things Done model was the approach I wanted to take to manage my workflow. I learned GTD, as taught by David Allen, by reading first his book Getting Things Done and then exploring the model further.

As the most popular model, I would say currently, I expected and found a number of applications that billed themselves as GTD systems. The most pure of the bunch was OmniFocus. I took a look at it and most specifically OmniFocus for the Mac and immediately wrote it off. Old, tired and extremely complicated I decided this was not what GTD was about and it’s not.

However, around the same time OmniFocus v2 was announced by the OmniGroup. I liked what I saw and their admission that OmniFocus 1 was not where people wanted to be. Fortunately, I was able to join the beta. I really have only known OmniFocus v2. A problem though ensued in the summer during development which ended in the product being pulled from Beta development on Dec 1. The recommendation to the beta testers was that we use OmniFocus 1. There was no way I was going to use OmniFocus 1 which not a product I liked nor understood and cared not in the least to try to understand it.

I searched all the GTD systems once again but this time I looked at The Hit List more seriously. I found it to be fantastic as I guess many before me had. Yet, shortly into my adoption of The Hit List I came across the issue in which they did not have an iPad version.

I’ll have to figure out if I can live without an iPad app if I continue to use the Hit List. The Mac and iPhone apps are fantastic. However, one of the key tenets of GTD is flow and trusting your system and to do that it has to be available and reliable. Without an iPad app it won’t always be available.

As I reflected I thought about how precarious this application area is certainly in the Mac market. The thing that is so odd here is that in GTD your system (which of course includes more than task management) has to be solid. You have to have absolute trust in the system otherwise you’re unlikely to let go of all the things you’re remembering and you’ve turned over to your system. The idea is that in both the turning over to your system these things and with absolute trust in the system you are able to relax and let your mind deal with the things it is very good at such as ideas.

I really do hope this area improves in the Mac market and that our software systems that we use fully live up to the potential that OSX and IOS bring to the game. In the end, we can only all benefit.