In the first part of this series on GTD I told you about task processing and breaking down into context ands projects. Now I’m going to fill in the gap, what about incoming ‘stuff’ that are not tasks? Stuff that you shouldn’t forget (social security number, company policy changes etc) but doesn’t need to be actioned but only referenced.
This is your information file. This file can be stored in anything from an alphabetical file cabinet to a fully-indexed database. Which leads me on to the second part of this post.
Tracks / GTDify.com
Tracks is a Ruby on Rails webapp dedicated to managing your GTD tasks, managing contexts, projects and deadlines. It integrates with google calendar (or any calendar that can subscribe to an ICAL link) and looks awesome.
Tracks also has a fantastic API via RSS, ICAL and human-readable TXT. It’s awesome to just pull down your “at work” todo list on the console in text format with a simple cURL!
For those of us who dont want to (or can’t) host our own version of Tracks, I use the fantastic free version hosted at gtdify.com. Don’t forget to check out Shuffle, the Android-based task manager with full Tracks sync!
Springpad is very similar to Evernote (My pervious information system) in that you can write notes, tag them and search throughout the notes. Where it differs is in the richness of the data. Evernote can make text notes or accept OCR’d image notes, and that’s it. Springpad has special types for foods, CDs, DVDs, task lists, shopping lists, products (looked up from Amazon), contacts (looked up from facebook & other services, Movies (IMDB’d) and even upload files (It also does notes). In a word, it is phenomenal! Also Like Evernote, it has a bookmarklet clipper, I use it to store all my bookmarks a-la deli.cio.us too!
So there you have it, after processing with the four Ds, I put tasks into Tracks, hosted on gtdify.com, and information into Springpad. All the stuff externalized thusly, I can relax, safe in the knowledge that my systems will remember everything that I find it so hard to.
What tools do you use, Remember the Milk? Evernote? Paper?! I’d love to hear about it in the comments.