Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Love / Hate relationship with GTD

I've read the book, adjusted some of the things mentioned to fit me and my personal style, but I've always fallen short of nirvana.

My "inbox" is very distributed. I have to check several ticketing systems for several projects I participate, on top of all the things that arrive via email.

I'm also very command line oriented, and I still write a lot of code, sprinkled with TODOs and FIXMEs.

What I wanted is a tool that collects all that, with my help, and keeps me up-to-date. And a Pony, it seems.

So far all the this is not available. All the GTD helper applications (current favorite is iGTD) that I've tried are:

  • single user: no easy way to delegate a task in a structured way, and receive updates on it;
  • no semi-automatic external inputs: if we had some sort of plugin system, iGTD could be extended to watch specific tickets on specific ticketing systems, as my own tasks, and allow basic interaction (update, close);
  • task dependencies: iGTD sort-of has this, but doesn't track dependencies across multiple contexts.

The first one could be solved with a XML representation that is sent via email. A mail rule on the receiving side would integrate it in the other person GTD app, probably placed in the inbox for acceptance / rejection, with a checkbox "send updates to the sender".

If the email configured for a project is a mailing list, several people in the project could be in the loop.

The second one is very complex because there are several ticketing systems out there. In the same way that Blogging APIs are more or less converging to two or three standards, it would be great if a simple REST API could be developed that would allow integration with desktop apps.

In the meantime, GTD apps could allow external plugins to integrate with those systems.

Right now, I'm giving iGTD a try. Previously I was using todo.txt but it was not enough for some of my needs, like hierarchic projects and tasks dependencies.

I have to take tickets from external systems and place them in my personal iGTD, but that is only a F6 away, for now.

Lets see if I survive a week with this...