Trying A New GTD System

Note: This post is a blast from the past! It was originally published in 2008 and some of the products mentioned in the text have changed significantly since then.

I’m fed up with MonkeyGTD.

The software has been in alpha for what seems like an eternity, and must be at least a year. This is most likely because there seems to only be one developer on the project.

Dear Simon Baird:

Please get help! You have an awesome software, which is only hindered by its lack of speed. I know you’re working to improve its speed, and already have, but the releases are not stable and I can’t even figure out how to use them.
So please, Pretty please, solicit some well-intentioned open source coders?


With that out of the way, let’s look at my past systems, and then the new choices.

Previous Systems

  1. Remember The Milk: I love the nature of this system—list management from anywhere (mobile, IM, email, twitter, really whatever) that is also accessible anywhere. The team at RTM did a great job of expanding on their idea and they also included one killer feature: keyboard shortcuts. All in all, I like it, but it wasn’t meant for doing GTD. Maybe it will be right for you. Check out the tour for more info.
  2. MonkeyGTD: Ah, MonkeyGTD. When I started out with you, it was so nice. You’re built for GTD and in my initial love, I ignored your small annoyances. No keyboard shortcuts? Oh, but you have ticklerfunctionality. Difficult to customize? Ah, but I can link actions to projects! Or I can customize my print stylesheet!
    Unfortunately, I have to stop deluding myself. Now that my TiddlyWiki has grown to be 500kB and has some hundreds of projects and tiddlers, it takes over 30 seconds to load mGTD’s “project view”. Compare this to the fractions of a second to pull out a paper project list, and you can see my frustration. I’m sorry mGTD. It’s not you, it’s me. Oh wait, no, it’s you.
  3. Moleskine/Paper: I tried this system setup briefly, but I wasn’t comfortable using my precious Moleskine pages for the tedium of GTD. To me, Moleskines are for journal writing, not GTD.
    Paper was another thing I tried—See PocketMod for a really useful and configurable tool. The only downside was that there is no backup of my data when it’s all stored on paper. Frequent transcribing/printing made this system go the way of the dinosaur in my life.

Out with the old, in with the new

My new selections were from the “3 x 3 Most Popular GTD” post on

  1. Gravity GTD: Weird, I couldn’t find the software. All the urls pointing to don’t seem to work. I pretty much gave up at this point. Obviously, YMMV.
  2. iCommit: This site requires too much of a commitment from me. I couldn’t find a “demo” link, so I went to sign up. So far, -1 point for not having a demo easily accessible. I register for the service, and have to go click a confirmation link in my email. Another -1 points, but I bite the bullet and do it. I’m confirmed now, but I have to get my user details from yet another email. Okay, -1 points, completely unacceptable. I’m giving up because SimpleGTD makes my life easier.
  3. SimpleGTD: Seems like the experience I’m looking for. Add actions to different contexts, view and filter by context, add actions to projects. It’s lacking some advanced functionality I’d like (add actions via email, txt, anything?) but I love the lack of cruft. I’m going to try this one out. (Oh, and the registration? User name and password, click “register” and you’re using the system. TAKE THAT, iCommit!)

So far, so good. We’ll see how this goes.


This post is in reference to Getting Things Done, a productivity system created by David Allen. I’ve been practicing GTD off-and-on for a few years now, and every time I get back into it, I like it more. It’s easy to fall off the wagon (as with anything) but GTD makes it easy to get back on. Wish me luck. You all are now witnesses to my productivity.