Blog Post

Getting Things Done

These days I seem to be getting busier and busier, however where I am getting busier and busier is not all in the same spot. I have the various projects I work in (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, KDE), consulting type stuff, my new cycling life, and various others. For the past few months I have been trying to get things done, and it just doesn’t seem to work for me. I have tried tool after tool, and none of them are my cup of tea at this point. The ones I have tried are:

  • Tomboy
  • Tracks
  • Remember The Milk
  • Basket (there is a KDE 4 version coming which is kind of nice)
  • and various others…

Which one do you use and why? Do you use an online one like Evernote or such? Tiddlywiki or derivative (if so, how do you sync it all up among multiple machines easily?). Right now, when I am sitting at my desk, my whiteboard is my favorite way to keeping track of things, however I am not always at my desk. I have a bunch of machines, all running Linux of course with most running KDE (GNOME and Xmonad are the others). I have a Blackberry Curve that I use a lot as well. Any pointers? Thanks!

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  • Pingback: Richard Johnson: Getting Things Done | TuxWire : The Linux Blog()

  • Mukul

    I am also facing the same problem. Lemme know if you find a solution.

  • I use a set of plain text file (inbox, next actions, projects, someday/maybe, tickler, waiting for) on my laptop, plus a few other note taking devices (mobile phone, a couple of paper notebooks).

  • Many emacs users find org-mode to be a very powerful tool for GTD.

  • @Ross – I stopped using emacs years back, and I have tried going back just for org-mode and I can’t. I really want to, but relearning emacs is harder than reading the bible backwards in less than 10 minutes 😀

  • wolfer

    I use zim ( to keep track of my todos and to collect information. Syncing is done using dropbox / ubuntu-one. I was using remember the milk before, but I think plain text files like in zim gives you more control and flexibility.

  • phelcq

    First of all, I use a minimalist version of GTD, which is ZTD (more info at and which I recommend. It’s generally less cluttered, one thing at a time.
    To note things down:
    – when I’m on the go I use my mobile phone’s to-do list and calendar
    – when I’m in a meeting I use a plain paper notebook
    – when I get back home, I rewrite things from my mobile and notebook and sometimes my laptop into a diary – setting dates etc.
    It’s never perfect, but with ZTD I’ve managed to realise I need to abandon multitasking.

  • baxeico

    I’m following the development of Zanshin. It seems that it should be very well integrated in KDE (akonadi based, mail integration with TODO list, krunner integration and so on).

    Of course it is in a very early development stage.

  • I use task. It is based on but enhanced in various ways. I have it installed on all my machines and share the datafiles (plain text) via Dropbox. To access task while being on the run I use a ssh client from my Iphone. Works great. (Disclaimer: I contribute to the task project).

  • SunTsu

    I just use an IMAP-Server.
    I created a GTD folder, with 31 day folders and a month folder which contains 12 month folder.

    To make things more comfortable I created a simple script on the server that symlinks the current day (e.g. 25) to “00 Today” and the current month (e.g. “09 September”) to “00 Current Month”, the next month (“10 October”) to “00 Next Month”, so I have faster access.

    Additionally I created exim filters/Sieve so tagged messages to a designated mail address get sorted away correctly.

    After doing all this I simply mail my todos in, like “[24] Do laundry” or “[January] Do taxes”

  • sudo apt-get install gtg
    # done 🙂

  • I quite like hamster. It’s an applet for Gnome that keeps me from not getting too distracted.

  • Getting things gnome.
    I tried a lot of other ones, but this one is easy to handle and you don’t need a gtd-app for the training lessons fot the gtd-app;).
    It’s kiss


  • I use devtodo for my projects, it is quite effective to store the features that I need to implement. Even though it’s a CLI, it features colors, hierarchy and priority. The .todo file is an xml file easily parsable by other tools or by hand.

  • It’s a whiteboard for me too, but I have the advantage of actually being at my office most of the time (working from home, and all). If there are things on my todo list I need to take with me somewhere, I load up a list in a little app I have for my g1 that syncs an online notebook with my phone. I also can’t live without my Google calendar, which is helpful task-wise, since I put deadlines there and always have the calendar up so I can plan Getting Things Done a week out (it now also has a “tasks” thing that I’ve tried and failed miserably at using successfully, oh well).

    On the subject of being too busy, have you read Tom Limoncelli’s Time Management for System Administrators? While the focus is on sysadmins (since we tend to be pulled in 100 directions all day long), some of his tips have really transformed my workflow and made me more productive.

  • Bugger it all! Just use your whiteboard and a pen and paper. The trouble is carrying it around, but if your like any other geek then you’ll have a rucksack that will always be with you.

    Guides I have read for GTD say you should write down immediately what you need to do. I find that means I always write it on scraps of paper and shove them in my pocket for later. It’s more convenient just to have a notepad to hand.

  • For Blackberry users, Toodledo paired with TaskJot is a really great combination. It allows you to manage your list from any Internet connected computer via Toodledo and then take that list with you on the go with TaskJot. Toodledo has a free account option as well as advanced features on paid accounts. TaskJot is separate from Toodledo. It has a free two week trial and starts at $14.95.

  • Obviously, you need to buy a webcam and write some handwriting recognition software, then point it at the whiteboard and populate a website automatically.

    Personally, I use a text file at work, and evolution Tasks at home. Suffice it to say, I get more work done at work, but I also get far less video game.

  • cainmark

    I use Project Hamster, a Gnome applet for task I am doing currently, and Remember the Milk for Tasks I plan to do. Havign those 2 seperate really helps me. Downside is Project Hamster is a Desktop only app, and Remmber the milk is a web only app for all practical purposes (I don’t want to install Google Gears just to use it on the Desktop.)

  • I currently use tomboy, though I’m finding that doesn’t help me now that I’ve moved to a Palm Pré and can not view or update my lists.

    Cainmark: “Tasque” brings RTM to the desktop. I had used this previously combined with RTM’s email support. I may actually switch back to that for tasks and keep tomboy just for related notes.

  • I have a big piece of cardboard taped to my desk underneath my laptop. And I also use tomboy, but I find unless something is constantly visible I ignore it. Like I’d write a todo list in tomboy, then find it again in a month or so ( usually with all the tasks uncompleted 😛 ). Those calendar and to-do applications need a nag me switch, and it needs to be intelligent.

    For now I’ll stick with my low-tech solution ( although a whiteboard would be really nice )

  • Cybem

    ThinkingRock is the best solution with native GTD workflow

  • ccm

    After having tried a lot from paper over Tomboy to GettingThingsGnome I finally succeeded in using RememberTheMilk as it has a lot of neat features while having a clean and fast interface and interacting with gnome-do, which is a killer feature for me.

  • Jado

    Evernote via wine can be valid?

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